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Or rather is DH being unreasonable?

(103 Posts)
2beornot Wed 09-Jan-13 07:56:32

DH asked me to start this thread off, I'll show it to him later.

The workers at dd's nursery (she goes two days per week) at exceptionally bad when it comes to grammar, spelling and general use of the English language.

Here is an excerpt from dd's nursery book yesterday:

"Iv had a lovley day today we done singing and painting and we also went in a lovley walk to the shops to by some some snack" (I've been very careful to copy it exactly!).

This book is written by dd's key worker at nursery. It's not just written though, they speak in a similar way.

Now this really bothers DH. Partly because its annoying wherever you see incorrect spellings etc. but I think it's more of an issue as they spend so much time with dd. Whereas I just think that they've got more important things to worry about and in the grand scheme of things it's minor.

So, is he BU?

janelikesjam Wed 09-Jan-13 15:36:15

Wouldn't bother me. Its a very small part of your child's education and will not influence her speech at all in the long run so I think YABU. As long as its friendly, active and fun - I think thats what counts most in a nursery.

However, if it really bothers you, you could go elsewhere, but I think it would be rude to correct them. They are toddler playworkers, not teachers.

3smellysocks Wed 09-Jan-13 13:47:59

how good is she with your kids?

badguider Wed 09-Jan-13 13:31:45

written communication wouldn't bother me at all - nor would a bit of vernacular or dialect in spoken communications but things like 'we done painting today' would bother me i'm afraid, i would worry that at 2yo this is what a child would pick up and copy - i suppose it depends on the number of hours of nursery per week.

you can't say anything to the nursery, all you can do is consider carefully if it's where you want your child and if the benefits and good points of the staff make up for this shortcoming (and i do consider modelling bad grammar and poor speaking skills to be a shortcoming).

LimburgseVlaai Wed 09-Jan-13 13:30:50

Not sure whether this has been mentioned yet (only skimmed the thread) but:

Children usually adapt their language use to their circumstances. So at nursery or school they are likely to use a different accent and different words from the ones they use at home, in front of their grandparents, in front of friends, and so on. In that sense they are almost multi-lingual.

DD1 used to use her nursery accent to annoy us: "Mummaaaaay! Daddaaaay!" She knew exactly what she was doing. Also DD2: "At home we have a loo, but at nursery it's called a toilet." [said in a prim voice]

So OP, continue to set a good example at home and don't worry about nursery. As someone further up this thread said: diversity is a good thing.

diddl Wed 09-Jan-13 13:25:27

But part of the job is to write in a book for parents to read!

bachsingingmum Wed 09-Jan-13 13:14:24

I take grammar and spelling very seriously, both at work and with our DDs, but I really wouldn't be too concerned about this. We've had nannies whose written grammar etc was dreadful, and had the DDs at nursery where they acquired a very strong regional accent/dialect. But they didn't see what was written in the day books (they couldn't read at that age) and the accents moderated hugely shortly after they started school. What mattered to me was that as babies and toddlers they were loved, well cared for and played with. Whilst I often correct colleagues who don't know the difference between its and it's, I judged it would be a losing battle to try this with our nannies. There would not be enough time to correct those defects in their education and it would damage our relationship.

garlicbollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 12:48:08

Am I the only pedant snickering at the errors in posted opinions on this topic? [evil]

hammyimo Wed 09-Jan-13 12:30:20

I think at nursery it doesn't matter so much. Especially if it's only two days a week. Our nursery was a bit like this and it hasn't affected mine. Mine also had a Polish primary teacher in reception who's English wasn't fluent. Again, it hasn't been a problem. I think it possibly would be further up the education system.

MrsMelons Wed 09-Jan-13 12:17:31

Weirdly the member of staff who's spelling and grammar was the worst actually had an English degree shock

AnnieLobeseder Wed 09-Jan-13 12:13:26

Weird how there seems to be a culture of looking down on the educated and people who speak well in this country. Sad how many of have said you've been teased or mocked for having good grammer etc at school.

larrygrylls - interesting comparison, but I don't think the two are entirely comparable. Especially as choice of nurseries is generally a lot more narrow than choices for restaurants!!

MrsMelons Wed 09-Jan-13 11:33:02

Tiggy that was me - I was being a bit blase in how I worded that - I meant the EYFS for pre-school aged children would be more around learning phonics as opposed to actual spelling which I know leads onto spelling of course. I should better as DS1 could spell pretty well at 3/4 yrs. I ran a pre-school for 5 years so I do know the EYFS well and understand what you are saying.

Just because the staff may spell badly in the homelink books doesn't mean they can't spell at all, especially to the level any 3 or 4 year old is able to spell.

My spelling is awful on MN I expect but at work I am sadly a pedant!

garlicbollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 11:27:25

"phonetically plausible"

Oh, I do like this! It reminds me of a picture my friend posted to Facebook, of her DD's captioned drawing of a multi-coloured "renbo". Aww wink

MrsMelons Wed 09-Jan-13 11:23:11

Larry that is exactly what I would expect from my DCs pre-school and it is exactly what they did get whilst there, there were just a few badly spelt entries in their informal homelink book which when I got over myself I could turn a blind eye to.

Many pre-school practitioners are amazing and brilliant at their jobs and are worth WAY more than they are paid IMHO!

pictish Wed 09-Jan-13 11:21:09

Wish I did - I just misspelled 'vocabulary'. grin

TiggyD Wed 09-Jan-13 11:19:54

By the way, I have the auto spellchecker well and truly turned on at the moment! smile

TiggyD Wed 09-Jan-13 11:17:35

The phonics reference was a response to the poster who said nursery staff don't have to teach anything to do with writing. EYFS covers birth to 5. Even in nurseries children can pick up some spellings and have to learn that capital letters are for important words.

pictish Wed 09-Jan-13 11:17:25

Champagne socialism?? Ha ha! I will take that as a compliment of sorts, if I may!

You are quite wrong. I come from a working class background, and as yet, have no formal education of my own. I just happen to have a natural feel for vocabularly and literacy. My youngest child will start school next year, and then I plan to do a degree in English Literature. As it stands now, I am a sahm because I haven't the earning potential to pay for childcare as well. All I can expect are minimum wage jobs...of which I have done plenty....mostly care work, in amongst the other plebs like me.
In my time I have met some truly dedicated and selfless hard workers, and some of them couldn't spell for toffee...but oh my, they were bloody good at their jobs.

I met some dross as well, of course.

I am totally removed from being a champagne socialist, but you obviously think I'm educated so I am quite pleased by that!

I don't have an agenda of any sort, other than thinking that it's a waste of time to sweat the small stuff.
I see things from the nursery workers' pov you see?
Some of those people who could barely write a sentence, put me to shame with their motivation and generosity in their posts...even though they were getting paid peanuts.

These people are not teachers...and neither should they be expected to be.

Feminine Wed 09-Jan-13 11:16:24

I have this 'problem' also...with DD3

I'm not bothered though. I am pretty well spoken and educated, was ribbed at school no end.

I thought being educated (and sounding it) was vital. I don't anymore. I don't think it matters.

I think the happiest humans are those that don't care/mind.

I understand where your DH is coming from, but I really wouldn't worry.

larrygrylls Wed 09-Jan-13 11:16:00


When I go to a restaurant I would far rather go to one with great hygiene than great food....but I don't think it unreasonable to expect both.

AnnieLobeseder Wed 09-Jan-13 11:14:31

It would (and did) annoy me, but at the end of the day, it's a very small part of a child's life and hardly likely to have a long-term detrimental effect on their language skills. I would rather my child was at a nursery with bad English which treated the children kindly and well than one with good grammar and poor childcare. Of course, one with both would be nice! grin

garlicbollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 11:12:10

Steven Pinker ... the problem is one of snobbery and not of grammar.

I agree, and I'm a pedant! Like most others on the thread, I recognise that understandable language is valid language (I get angrier about incomprehensible 'businessballs'.) Your DD's diary entry makes me cringe momentarily, then I do a bit of a mental "Omm" and get on with it!

*2b's DH*: YANBU to mind, but YABU to care grin

Kiriwawa Wed 09-Jan-13 11:10:27

Agree entirely with Godmandra. DS's key worker's written English was appalling but she cared for him brilliantly. He's at school now and it doesn't appear to have affected his progress.

What's the concern? That it will affect your child's long term development? That's it's harmful in some way?

tarantula Wed 09-Jan-13 11:08:33

I work in IT and am a member of IT forum. Most of the people on this forum are highly intelligent people and they are working in high level jobs where making small mistakes can cost companies a fortune. You would not think it though from looking at the grammar and spelling that many use in their posts. Lack of grammar and spelling most certainly does not equal stupid and does not mean that said person is unable to do their job.

MrsMelons Wed 09-Jan-13 11:08:26

Tiggy I am not sure I understand the point of your post. Having poor spelling/grammar does not mean the staff are not teaching phonics properly. BTW I know the EYFS pretty well.

What age are you referring to? Not many 2 or 3 year olds are able to write words using their phonics knowledge. I know there are some but definitely not many!

larrygrylls Wed 09-Jan-13 11:07:56


Incidentally your posts are hugely insulting to those who work very hard and professionally in Early Years Education to give each child under their care the best start in life. The idea that it is only cuddles and play that matter is a huge insult to the hard professional study and practice that they have undertaken. The headmistress of our nursery has an MBE for her services to early years' education. I suspect that you may find a chat with her enlightening.

Of course social interaction and good quality care are a very important part of Early Years but, to understand those properly, one does need to have a basic level of education and interest in the job. The report we receive on our son shows their achievement in the Early Years' curriculum backed up with photographs to demonstrate their progress and a well written report to us as parents. They will also happily advise us on any parenting issues we may have etc etc.

I am sure those professionally qualified in Early Years could write the above better than me but, even as a parent, I can see that there is a LOT more to it than cuddles, feeding and cleaning.

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