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I've been a nursery nurse for 14 years ama

(23 Posts)
WhosThatGirl89 Sat 13-Feb-21 21:48:45

Just as I've seen a few threads with questions/concerns about dc going to nursery I thought I'd offer any advice/insights I might have. I've worked with all ages between 6 months and pre-school and am currently doing sen training. Fire away if you have any interests/questions 😊

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Iliketeaagain Sat 13-Feb-21 22:20:49

just wanted to say I think you must have the patience of a saint and thank you. Especially in the pre-school room - honestly I think it must be like herding cats some days!

I think the nursery staff where dd attends are bloody brilliant and hugely underpaid across the sector. A bit like social carers, we pay the least to those who look after our most vulnerable family members.

It must truly be a vocation - have you ever thought about moving sector (private nannying for example) to get better pay? Or do you stay for the love of the job?

What's the funniest thing a 3 year old has ever said to you?

WhosThatGirl89 Sat 13-Feb-21 22:28:12

Aww thank you for saying that. I get that alot about having patience. Honestly I have more patience with 10 3 year olds than I do with my own 5 year old Dd some days!

I do think it's a vocation. It's not a job that you can do if you don't really enjoy it. I would've liked to nanny for the experience of it but as a single mum I can't really do it now.

Things that make me giggle is when 3 year olds talk like they're adults. A boy many years ago said to me
"I would like you to come to my house for tea one day" thinks for a second "wait you don't have my phone number" thinks again "oh I know you can ask my mummy for it and then we can arrange something"
Literally word for word 😂

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WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 09:57:08

Anyone?

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Emeraldshamrock Sun 14-Feb-21 09:59:12

Are some staff meaner and less patient to a disruptive DC. I think I know the answer?

StevieNicksIsMySpiritAnimal Sun 14-Feb-21 10:01:59

My niece works as a NN. Her setting has just been taken over by a large chain and all NNs are being asked to sign a document saying money will be deducted from their salary if children break any toys/equipment during their shift. Is this standard practice?

WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 10:03:08

I wouldn't say meaner. But I've definitely worked with people that are less patient and maybe wouldn't know the best way to deal with disruptive behaviour

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WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 10:05:31

StevieNicksIsMySpiritAnimal

My niece works as a NN. Her setting has just been taken over by a large chain and all NNs are being asked to sign a document saying money will be deducted from their salary if children break any toys/equipment during their shift. Is this standard practice?


That seems very strange to me. I worked in a nursery that was taken over by a big chain and a lot of staff left because it felt like the business didn't know how to actually run a nursery as a caring place and only cared about the money. I was one of the staff that left

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Emeraldshamrock Sun 14-Feb-21 10:07:23

maybe wouldn't know the best way to deal with disruptive behaviour Makes sense DS has really settled in primary the way they are trained to speak to him he has SN it was obvious 2 certain workers had less patience and were actively mean with him in nursery.
He would walk in most days if it was the Tuesday staff he'd run and cling the door avoiding them.

WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 10:12:47

Emeraldshamrock

*maybe wouldn't know the best way to deal with disruptive behaviour* Makes sense DS has really settled in primary the way they are trained to speak to him he has SN it was obvious 2 certain workers had less patience and were actively mean with him in nursery.
He would walk in most days if it was the Tuesday staff he'd run and cling the door avoiding them.


Oh bless him. I'm glad he's settled in school now. I'm actively working to make sure all the staff in my nursery understand the best ways to understand sen children and are consistent in their care. It's so important for the children

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StevieNicksIsMySpiritAnimal Sun 14-Feb-21 10:22:40

OP - how do you balance doing such an important job with the low pay and low status? I really tried to talk my niece out of doing an Early Childhood Studies degree as I knew it would never pay off. She's back living with her parents after uni and I can't see how she'll ever be able to afford a house even though she works 40+ hours a week.

WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 10:29:31

StevieNicksIsMySpiritAnimal

OP - how do you balance doing such an important job with the low pay and low status? I really tried to talk my niece out of doing an Early Childhood Studies degree as I knew it would never pay off. She's back living with her parents after uni and I can't see how she'll ever be able to afford a house even though she works 40+ hours a week.


I won't lie it's definitely hard. It's stressful and tiring. But imo it's worth it when you love your job. The only way to earn more is to go into management or specialise in something like senco. But the same can be said for teaching I guess, you don't go into it for the money, you do it because you love the work. I'd rather do a job I love for low pay than dread going to work because I hate the job

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Kaydogsdinner Sun 14-Feb-21 11:08:18

Have you ever, or has anyone you've worked with, just taken a dislike to a child? I don't mean because of bad behaviour, just because they were simply unlikeable? I worry that some staff at my DD's nursery have taken a dislike to her, they seem to be warmer to others. In fairness, there was a massive change of staff and I don't know them that well and handovers take place at the door because of covid but I just get a feeling they are very cool with her and i worry. She is a chatterbox and quite sensitive but as I have another child with very high needs I guess she may have been spoilt a bit, I've over compensated perhaps as she has to sacrifice quite a bit for her older sister!

EspressoExpresso Sun 14-Feb-21 11:10:53

My son is leaving nursery soon, what's a good gift for his key worker? 😂

WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 11:19:21

Kaydogsdinner

Have you ever, or has anyone you've worked with, just taken a dislike to a child? I don't mean because of bad behaviour, just because they were simply unlikeable? I worry that some staff at my DD's nursery have taken a dislike to her, they seem to be warmer to others. In fairness, there was a massive change of staff and I don't know them that well and handovers take place at the door because of covid but I just get a feeling they are very cool with her and i worry. She is a chatterbox and quite sensitive but as I have another child with very high needs I guess she may have been spoilt a bit, I've over compensated perhaps as she has to sacrifice quite a bit for her older sister!


Unfortunately I have worked with staff that didn't get on with certain children. Honestly I have too also had children I didn't get on with. It happens. The thing is that as a professional, no one should be able to tell! A good practicioner should treat all the children the same, however this doesn't always happen. If there has been a change in staff it can take a while for everyone to get used to each other, hopefully it will settle soon

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WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 11:20:22

EspressoExpresso

My son is leaving nursery soon, what's a good gift for his key worker? 😂


Can't go wrong with chocolate and a homemade card 😋

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needadvice54321 Sun 14-Feb-21 11:21:40

EspressoExpresso

My son is leaving nursery soon, what's a good gift for his key worker? 😂


I can't talk for OP, but as a nursery nurse I would love something personal from the child - a handprint on a card with a nice message inside. Many years ago I took a break from Nursery Nursing to become a SAHM. I still occasionally look at the lovely cards that I received when I left, I worked in the baby room and those "little ones" would now be teenagers!

TreesoftheField Sun 14-Feb-21 11:29:51

What should a parent look out for when choosing nurseries? Or what would be signs that something's not good?
My daughter always seems really happy there and all the staff seem nice but sometimes I worry because it's strange not being with her for 24 hours a week!

WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 11:36:32

TreesoftheField

What should a parent look out for when choosing nurseries? Or what would be signs that something's not good?
My daughter always seems really happy there and all the staff seem nice but sometimes I worry because it's strange not being with her for 24 hours a week!


It's really hard getting used to not really knowing what they're up to all day isn't it?!
Imo when looking at nurseries it should feel welcoming and homey when you walk in. It should seem busy but not chaotic. All the children should be occupied. There will inevitably be upset children sometimes, but they should be being comforted, not left alone. The person showing you around should be able to answer any questions you have and be friendly and reassuring. The nursery should try to accommodate you and your routine as much as possible to make you feel comfortable.
Once they have started coming out happy at the end of the day shows they're enjoying it. Being upset when they are dropped off doesn't mean they don't enjoy it once you're gone!

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cherrypop86 Sun 14-Feb-21 11:45:43

I did this job for over 15 years. I don't think any member of staff I worked with enjoyed their job. I left 6 years ago and would never return. It's not the children I disliked, but the job itself. Stressful and at times tedious for very low pay. And in all the settings I've worked there's been a high level of bitchiness and the odd bully here and there. Some of the staff I don't think were suited to working with children. Has this been your experience at all or have you always had good staff?

WhosThatGirl89 Sun 14-Feb-21 11:52:42

cherrypop86

I did this job for over 15 years. I don't think any member of staff I worked with enjoyed their job. I left 6 years ago and would never return. It's not the children I disliked, but the job itself. Stressful and at times tedious for very low pay. And in all the settings I've worked there's been a high level of bitchiness and the odd bully here and there. Some of the staff I don't think were suited to working with children. Has this been your experience at all or have you always had good staff?


I'm sorry to hear your negative experiences. I've definitely had times that I wanted to leave. I did leave and did admin for a year but I found I really missed it and have enjoyed it since going back.
You do find that because it is mainly a female work force it can be bitchy. I just stay out of it and as a more experienced member of staff I try to make sure everyone is behaving appropriately. I experienced bullying myself when I first started from a staff member who didn't like working with new staff. I reported it and it was resolved.
I have worked with people that it's obvious they're not suited to working with children. Luckily, they don't last long. Either they quit or are let go for legitimate reasons

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EspressoExpresso Sun 14-Feb-21 11:59:09

@WhosThatGirl89 and @needadvice54321 thank you! We're working on the homemade card. He won't engage with painting at nursery (SEN) but he is just starting to at home so hopefully that's that angle covered!

I might have to speak to the nursery manager about what his key workers preferences are around chocolates or a really bloody big bottle of alcohol. Lord knows she deserves it!!

needadvice54321 Sun 14-Feb-21 12:16:27

That's really kind @EspressoExpresso , I'm sure she'll really appreciate it!

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