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To still feel disturbed about this nursery.

(280 Posts)
MrsDrRanj Tue 05-Nov-13 22:43:16

This has been bugging me on and off for years, one of those things where I feel like I should 'do' something because it just doesn't settle in my mind well.

5 years ago, when I was 17, I got an apprenticeship at a nursery through a training course. I'd never had a job, hadn't finished school and was recovering from a breakdown so it was a big deal to me. I was naive and very nervous.

Things happened while I was there that now really bother me, especially as a parent who may have to find a nursery for ds one day.

There was an incident with 2 other apprentices having a shouting match infront of pre school children, including calling eachother 'slags' etc. they were not fired and parents were not informed.

The manager came into the room I worked in and loudly discussed the children's progress infront of them, including declaring that a little boys speech wasn't as it should be and she had suspicions he was colour blind (right infront of the little boy who was 3)

One man punished a preschool boy who suffered with constipation for having an accident by forcing him into a nappy that was too small for him. The boy was screaming and in the end there was poo everywhere including the little boys hair. Another member of staff came and shouted at him but nothing else was done. (I have recently read in the news that this man has now been convicted with voyeurism and possessing indecent images of children which made me go cold)

When I was invited on a work dinner out the leader of the preschool room spent a lot of the night doing impersonations of the children, including taking the piss out of a little girl for not understanding much when English was not her first language.

In general the nursery was badly managed, people were bitchy and mean, apprentices were left in charge when they shouldn't have been etc and thankfully I didn't stay there long. But it still bothers me. The nursery is still running and though there's a chance the staff may have moved on there could also be the same people working there.

The nursery had been rated 'outstanding' by ofsted and was part of a high end chain of nurseries. It has left me terrified of putting DS in nursery as id be devastated if any of the above situations involved my child. I feel awful for not doing anything at the time but I was so inexperienced.

Would you do something now? And if so what? I don't want it to bug me forever I just can't seem to shake it from my mind.

janey68 Wed 06-Nov-13 17:58:04

Sort of agree and disagree there Shona .

Because as a working parent you may need over 30 hours of childcare per week , per child, you cannot really compare with getting in a cleaner for 3 hours a week. Childcare costs are actually a huge chunk of working parents income.

Having said that, where I agree with you is that sometimes people have a funny attitude to paying for childcare, and will readily pay out on other things but prefer to use relatives for free when - witness the many threads on MN from disgruntled parents who complain that granny isn't caring for the child in the way they want. Though again, of course, some people don't have the luxury of choice to pay because they are in low paid jobs

BerstieSpotts Wed 06-Nov-13 18:07:19

Yes exactly janey. And a gardener or a cleaner is a luxury but childcare is a necessity if you have to work. It's not really the same.

It is frightening though when nurseries are run as a business first. Which of course, they kind of have to be.

Shonajoy Wed 06-Nov-13 18:13:00

But the people who are doing the caring need a reasonable income too! My friend is a childminder and is on below minimum wage- she's fabulous with kids and treats them so well, park outings, painting etc. but if you wanted it as a career you'd be stuffed. So you're saying that people who look after our most precious things deserve less pay than someone in McDonald's? Because childcarers are vastly underpaid.

Shonajoy Wed 06-Nov-13 18:16:54

Nursery here, 8-6am £36 a day, or £155 a week. Nurseries ARE businesses, but £36 a day is £3.60 an hour, which is appalling considering staffing, premises, lunch (included and snacks). I'm amazed that parents who think that's expensive GO to work, I'm sure most of them will be earning at least double if not triple that rate. And childminders are even cheaper. A cleaner is £8 an hour in this area.

Shonajoy Wed 06-Nov-13 18:18:41

And of course a gardener and cleaner are luxuries that I don't have btw, but it's incomparable- worst they can do is break an ornament, steal, or ruin your lawn.

janey68 Wed 06-Nov-13 19:22:02

Shona- I am a professional earning a decent salary, yet when we had two children pre school age in nursery, there was a period of time when the childcare cost ALL my income. I didn't begrudge it because my children were in a fantastic nursery, (which ironically I couldn't have afforded if I hadn't worked) and also I saw it as long term investment. I don't think generally that parents who pay for childcare do it with penny pinching in mind

WRT to childminders- I agree, it may seem like a low hourly rate, but frankly many cm do the job as a way of earning an income without needing to use childcare themselves. We used a lovely cm when ours were just a few months old before they progressed to nursery. She did it because she loved children, was excellent at it, and it was a way of earning an income while being in her home with her young child all day. I suspect that in terms of actual money in her pocket she was at least as well off as I was after paying her!

So while I agree that in an ideal world, there would be better remuneration for childcare jobs, I also see the other side of it. Make it more expensive and people simply won't be able to afford to go to work, and then the childcare jobs won't be there

monkeynuts123 Wed 06-Nov-13 19:25:34

It doesn't surprise me. I've seen some unspeakably shit practice in schools, nhs and nurseries, some of which have had glowing reports.

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 06-Nov-13 19:41:25

What annoys me is the way good nurseries do NOT get outstanding ratings because they haven't known how to play the system and have failed to provide some unimportant piece of paper showing silly statistics about how often the children pick their nose or some such daftness. Ofsted is rubbish. The system is rubbish - how can an outsider visiting for 2 days POSSIBLY have any idea of what REALLY goes on.

Word of mouth recommendations are the only thing I trust. From more than one mouth.

TokenGirl1 Wed 06-Nov-13 19:44:59

I looked around 15 different nurseries (and saw some bad things such as babies being left to cry for 15 mins with absolutely nobody even acknowledging them) until I sent me 12 month old to a Busy Bees that had an outstanding rating. I liked the key worker and I was really happy with the environment....
......until I did several unannounced drop ins, hearing my baby screaming in a travel cot, watching her fall on her face and be unable to get up so she cried and the staff just left her to struggle (all the other children were having snack and the staff were chatting to each other on camera so not occupied with another child), rusty toys that she was putting in her mouth and collecting her up when she was very distressed like nothing Ive seen before or since. God knows what I didn't see!

We pulled her after three days and they gave us a refund. My dd would not let me out of her sight for a month after and screamed on holiday when put in a travel cot (again never before or since). She had no such reaction a month later when left with a child minder. You know your own child and she was severely affected by what went on there. I should have complained to Ofsted but just didn't have it in me at the time, very emotional, heavily pregnant and back at work....

I found a copy of the complaint letter the other day and it still chills me to the bone reading it. Made me want to go and find that key worker and punch her lights out, several years on....

Ruffcat Wed 06-Nov-13 19:51:37

I used to work in a high end nursery, it was also badly managed and in some respects dangerous. They also had outstanding because it looked amazing.

You could always contact your local childrens services, they often have advisers who support nurseries, but often have a better insight into the day to day running and would properly appreciate the info

Ruffcat Wed 06-Nov-13 19:52:52

I should add I left pretty quickly, but ofsted weren't really interested

yonisareforever Wed 06-Nov-13 19:55:18

without a shadow of a doubt I would be kicking up one almighty stink about this chain and this nursery.

would you be happy with your child there? if not of course report, without delay.

yonisareforever Wed 06-Nov-13 19:56:49


I had the same but in old peoples home, hughly rated because it looked more like hotel full of antiques than home, relatives loved coming to vist, but my goodness it was terrible behind scenes and everything done to be as cheap as possible.

I guess people do realise old folks homes and nursies are a business so everything will be done to make profit?

yonisareforever Wed 06-Nov-13 19:58:32


I try and urge people to do what you did, its the only way you have any idea of whats going on in nurseries, please do drop ins, be aware staff change etc...

EmpireBiscuit Wed 06-Nov-13 19:58:48

My DS starts his nursery settling next week - I feel physically sick.

TiggyD Wed 06-Nov-13 19:59:20

Of the nurseries I've done supply in over the past couple of years, I would say that:

2 are shit
8 are poor
10 are OK. Average. nothing special
3 are good
0 are brilliant

yonisareforever Wed 06-Nov-13 20:00:38

I have said this a million times.

Rate nurseries, old folks homes and anywhere vulnerable people are, like trip advisor, soon sort the wheat from the chaff and make the companies pull their socks up.

yonisareforever Wed 06-Nov-13 20:01:22

empire just make sure you do drop in's unn anncounced.

TiggyD Wed 06-Nov-13 20:05:20

Keep your judgey pants on Empire. Every time you go there it's a test for them.

EmpireBiscuit Wed 06-Nov-13 20:06:13

Oh god, my poor wee baby sad

TiggyD Wed 06-Nov-13 20:07:34

There are nice ones about!

hardboiledpossum Wed 06-Nov-13 20:09:15

I am a nursery nurse though I don't work in nurseries anymore, I have worked in many nurseries. I have not worked in a single day nursery that I would be happy to leave my own child in. I was always being told not to pick up crying babies so as not to spoil them. staff would talk about children in front of them. most of the staff were horrid and bitchy. most of these nurseries were ofsted outstanding or good.

EmpireBiscuit Wed 06-Nov-13 20:10:19

I'm sure I've picked a good one, I researched enough. He'll be fine, I'm just having a wobble. Not the thread to read when you're an end-of-maternity leave and already upduffed wreck.

smudgedgraffiti Wed 06-Nov-13 20:13:48

YANBU. My DD went to a nursery which was run in an appalling way, there were numerous incidents including children being lost from rooms, accidents not logged but covered up etc. I complained to Ofsted, who were not at all interested and did nothing.

I agree entirely with yonisareforever.

yonisareforever Wed 06-Nov-13 20:14:14

really empire?

surely this is the thread you wan tto read so you know what to look out for and to make sure you do lots of drops ins?

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