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To be annoyed that my local Sure Start Children's Centre wouldn't let me change my baby there?

(64 Posts)
Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 11:53:34

Yesterday I was at a cafe with a friend, I went to use the baby changing facilities but the cafe is brand new and the changing table thing was not yet attached to the wall. I then remembered that there was a local Sure Start Children's Centre very near by, so thinking that they are a "Milk Spot" and supposed to be a one stop shop for all things child-related, my friend and I popped over so I could use the baby changing.

To my dismay the receptionist refused for me to enter, saying that they don't just let "anybody in". I thought this was out of order but she refused point blank to let me in!

Am I being unreasonable to be shocked and annoyed at this?

b4bunnies Fri 22-Mar-13 20:18:50

its ridiculous

Shlurpbop Fri 22-Mar-13 20:17:04

YANBU - my local centre is brilliant and I would often pop in just to change a nappy and have a quick chat with the staff. Was a real lifesaver sometimes smile

Footface Fri 22-Mar-13 20:13:42

I worked in a ss centre, and at one point we were threaten by particular parents and their family, due to child protection issues.

We made it policy then to not be in the centre on our own with people. It may well be a case that the receptionist was working alone that day

Sizzlesthedog Fri 22-Mar-13 19:42:25

YANBU. I would have done the same. They are normally friendly places. I would complain by email or phone to the centre manager. I thought they were drop in places for support, who knows what type of day you were having and needed a bit of kindness. Our local one is struggling so much due to funding cuts, as all of them are. I'm sure they would have been happy to have helped someone and reached their targets.

Ragwort Fri 22-Mar-13 19:10:06

YANBU - as others have said, this is a service provided by the tax payer and the receptionist sounds totally obnoxious not to allow a perfectly reasonable request.

Why do so many people love abusing their position of 'power' by being difficult?

Years ago I worked in customer services and one of our staff refused to allow a member of the public to use the toilet, it escalated into a huge complaint and could so easily have been dealt with by using common sense and kindness - but that seems to be a totally old fashioned view these days with all our 'health and safety' legislation.

DumSpiroSpero Fri 22-Mar-13 19:05:18

The funding issue is the all the more reason for them not to turn people away - we have to prove how many people come through our doors, the demographic of our users and whether we are hitting our 'target groups'.

If someone came into us to use the baby change facilities, we'd probably pin them to the nearest chair and give them a blow-by-blow account of all our facilities and services, before sending them on their way with a selection of flyers, programmes and application forms for the nursery school!

MummytoKatie Fri 22-Mar-13 17:43:25

I think it that circumstance I'd have remembered that I hadn't had dd weighed for ages (I was surprisingly un-pfb about it so it would have been true!) and so signed in for the baby clinic.

ariane5 Fri 22-Mar-13 17:28:41


I don't see how they could say no to a mother wanting to use baby change facilities in a childrens centre??

crashdoll Fri 22-Mar-13 17:09:26

"Thank you for making me see that I'm not being unreasonable!"

You appeared to think you were not being unreasonable anyway. hmm

Tanith Fri 22-Mar-13 16:26:30

Children's Centres are no longer a one-stop shop for all things child-related. Since the coalition government was elected, they have had their funding severely cut back; some are even in the hands of private nursery chains.

DumSpiroSpero Fri 22-Mar-13 14:38:31

I am gobsmacked! I work at a Surestart Centre (admittedly a big one). We don't always have groups on, but we have a cafe and even if it isn't open anyone (even without kids) can come in and use the space/play area/books, feed, change and get cold water or a hot drink from the machine.

Even if w were holding an INSET day, I can't imagine anyone I work with turning away someone that needs to change their baby.

With an attitude like that they'll be lucky to stay open in the current climate - ridiculous.

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 13:58:55

Havingkitties, your message really made me laugh! But I see the serious side too. Thank you for making me see that I'm not being unreasonable! I think I might just write them !

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 13:56:53

Pigsmummy, I think the point point is, mine is a drop in centre for baby feeding so I assumed it would be OK to drop in a change him!

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 13:55:28

hb84, I think I will follow that advice

hb84 Fri 22-Mar-13 13:16:41

I don't have a child and I often think people are being totally unreasonable and demanding when it comes to baby changing, but I really don' t think you are being unreasonable in this case. I'm surprised so many people on here think you are. The receptionist was totally rude. If it had been a cafe and you went in to use the baby changing room without buying anything I would have said you were being unreasonable, but you went into a place designed specifically for mothers with babies. Next time don't tell her why you are there. Just sign in and go for it, then leave.

Pigsmummy Fri 22-Mar-13 13:12:08

YABU it isn't a drop in centre and there vulnerable people there. They are very security conscious for that reason. I would have popped in somewhere else, weatherspoons are good for letting you pop in or I would have gone back to cafe and used the floor. There are changing mats that you can buy for your bag or parenting magazine are giving a free one. Just a small mat for a quick change when no facilities around.

bassingtonffrench Fri 22-Mar-13 13:10:29

YANBU and I can't understand why people think you are.

it is not a big ask for an institution which is meant to be about catering to the needs of local children.

changing your baby on your knee is not a good idea.

Havingkitties Fri 22-Mar-13 13:06:04

YANBU, but it looks like you've enraged some of the 'mummy martyrs' who feel you should change your baby on a cold skanky pee dribbled on loo floor just because if they suffered so should you, rather than try to use a publicly run service's baby change facilities.
The surestart centres near me are happy to let you drop in whenever they are open, to play, meet mums, feed, have the odd class on and BF group, so I can't see the problem in asking to change your baby there.

Cripes, offer to take the nappy home with you and give the change area a wipe down if it really means that much to them. You could write to them and highlight the unwelcoming attitude and ask them to clarify their purpose.

Tubegirl Fri 22-Mar-13 12:46:09

That's weird. I was specifically told at my local centre I could nip in any time they were open to use the facilities. Mind, there are rumblings about closing it so perhaps they are attempting to get more people in.

drjohnsonscat Fri 22-Mar-13 12:41:39

sounds totally jobsworth to me.

What harm would it have done? I can't imagine local women queuing round the block just for the joy of using their babychanging facilities! Really can't imagine why there have to be rules and regulations about this and even if there is some reason why there are rules and regulations, couldn't someone employ a bit of common sense and kindness?

Mumsyblouse Fri 22-Mar-13 12:37:50

So what if lots of people started going there and changing nappies? That way they might get lots more people in who don't normally go there (the 'hard to reach' mummies) to look at the stuff on offer, perceive there to be helpful and welcoming staff etc. SureStart have often had problems with recruiting in the local community- I don't see how the odd nappy change is going to be a huge big extra workload for them as the facilities have to be cleaned all the time anyway.

And, even if they weren't 'meant' to, they could have done so just to be kind. My children's school has let me in a few times to use the teacher's loos if I get caught at drop-off/pick-up.

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 12:33:41

Puddock, that's interesting, perhaps that is what lies behind it. I suppose I should have questioned as to why I couldn't change my DS there..

Fakebook Fri 22-Mar-13 12:32:35

If they started allowing everyone in to change nappies, they'd have a very messy toilet and every Tom, Dick and Harry wanting to come in to change nappies. It's like the BHS in our city centre: you're not allowed to use their toilets without a receipt to prove you've purchased something grin.

Habichuela Fri 22-Mar-13 12:31:03

Eskino, likeFirawla and Yellowfishy -we are on the same wavelength!

ElliesWellies Fri 22-Mar-13 12:30:07

YANBU - you are registered there, they had a drop-in going on, and you are allowed to go in to feed your baby. So I don't see why you couldn't nip in to use the baby changing facilities. You should have said I'm not just anybody, I'm a regular here.

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