Remove LO immediately and not pay 4 weeks notice?(65 Posts)
LO (22 months) attends a nursery that has a separate soft play area for use of the general public. Nursery now uses the soft play before it opens to the public and after it closes so I drop LO off and pick up from the soft play area.
I have had some misgivings about this arrangement because it always seems a bit chaotic and I've seen children climbing up the slide, going behind the counter that the soft play serve food and beverages from and this week saw a child running around with a toilet brush.
Yesterday when I collected LO I looked in the under 2's bit where he usually is and couldn't see him, all the staff were busy with parents picking up so I was looking around for him when another mum said she'd been watching him coming down the slide (a great big bumpy one) and she'd been concerned as he's only little and seemed totally out of control bumping of the sides and tumbling over towards the bottom.
I then spotted LO who had climbed to the top of the steps back up to the slide and at that precise moment lost his balance and tumbled, head over foot, all the way back to the bottom - probably a 10ft+ sloping height down (fortunately) rounded/padded steps so no injuries just shock and tears.
Not one member of staff had been supervising him and hadn't for some time by the sound of it, not one member of staff saw him fall and not one member of staff noticed him crying - he was still crying on the floor by the time I'd made my way over to him.
The upshot is I feel very strongly that I don't want to take him back there ever again, I don't trust them to care for him and keep him safe anymore. Who knows how many times this has happened previously, he is 22 months old and using a large play frame totally unsupervised.
If I remove him I will need to find alternative childcare asap, I can't afford to pay two providers at once though so, I either let him attend for the 4 week notice period which I am loathe to do, or I don't take him back (I will take annual leave until I find an alternative and settle him in but `i can't do this for 4 weeks) and don't pay the 4 weeks notice. Under the circumstances, would it be unreasonable to do this?
Report the setting
What did they say after the incident? Was it logged?
I think you would have good grounds to not take him back and report them. Sounds like making money is more important than childcare, everyone has to earn a living but not at the businesses expense
Yanbu, how on earth could they expect a setting like this to work. And who is responsible if something happens, the soft play or the nursery. The kids are so little and need supervision. You would be perfectly entitled to remove him asap and site their reckless arrangement as the reason.
The member of staff I spoke to didn't really know what to say, she just asked LO if he was ok and then proceeded to tell me about his day. No it wasn't logged.
You're certainly not being unreasonable to remove him.
You just need to cover your back, to stop the nursery pursuing you for the four weeks' notice. I think you need to put your concerns in writing and make a formal complaint.
My DD was doing those slides from about 18 months (she's early to everything) but it was me that was responsible for her. Had I been paying for others to be in loco parentis and she'd done it because nobody was supervising her, heads would roll.
It sounds like ofsted need to know about this as well as the local authority.
Remove him. And report them asap. Completely unacceptable, the toilet brush is disgusting.
'Due to safety concerns for my child I will be removing him from nursery and craving payments with immediate affect.'
Definitely report this (although I'm not sure who to)
"I think you need to put your concerns in writing and make a formal complaint."
And remove your child immediately. Under the circs I doubt they would chase you for payment if you decide not to give the required notice.
Yanbu. You can't supervise children adequately at soft play unless there's one to one, which won't happen in a childcare setting. Completely unacceptable.
Demand that the incident be logged.
Tell them you are removing your child immediately due to the clear lack of care and failures to safeguard your child.
Report them to Ofsted.
Find a new setting asap.
Yes remove and report - there is a number on the OFSTED website you can phone.
I've had to do this with a nursery as they moved his room upstairs (spiral staircase) and got the children to start walking downstairs holding hands with each other. DS was 16mo at the time and had only been walking for 2 months.
Amazingly though OFSTED weren't that bothered and said as long as the nursery had done a H&S assessment it was up to them and they couldn't act until a child was injured.....
I'm glad I did remove him though, as another mum I kept in touch with later told me that one of the children had fallen downstairs.
I would certainly remove him and cite the incident and inform them that they have failed in their 'duty of care' towards your child, which represents a 'breech of contract' on their side.
Report the setting*
Totally unacceptable, I can't believe they didn't even log it as an accident!
So you reported it and the staff member didn't appear to be shocked...this tells you all you need to know.
Write everything down in a factual manner. As much detail as you can remember.
Email the nursery manager today with a description of what happened and list of your concerns. Make it very clear that you are seeing this from a Safeguarding perspective. Tell them that your ds will not be attending until the manager has investigated and reported back to you. Make it clear that you expect all fees to be suspended during this time.
In the meantime, get on the phone to other providers to find out their availability.
Don't take him back there. But let them investigate. If the response is unsatisfactory, report to Ofsted. This will show that you gave the nursery due information and time to investigate. If they then fail to follow appropriate procedures, then Ofsted will be more interested. More than if you jump in to calling Ofsted immediately IYSWIM.
Sounds like anyone can walk in and collect a random child too?
Thank you for your responses, it seems my reaction isn't OTT.
LO is a looked after child (I'm related to him but I'm also his foster carer) and I do feel very over protective because I've been trusted to care for him even though he isn't my own child.
Ultimately the decision not to take him back is not my alone, his Social Worker will have to agree so fingers crossed.
Good advice form whey one plus, please get in contact with the other parent who witness your son being left on his own. She is a good witness.
I would definitely report to OFSTED. The whole set up sounds ridiculous and unsafe.
Not unreasonable as long as you pay for the days you have used IMO. You may have a fight on your hands over the unpaid notice period but hopefully one you will win, and Karoleann's wording should hopefully reduce the chances of them pursuing you for it. But a load of people telling you on MN that you're being reasonable won't necessarily mean the nursery will take it lying down.
You could also ask how they will be changing their procedures to make sure this never happens to another child ever again.
I just wanted to gauge others opinions to see if I was way of the mark. If they wish to pursue this through the small claims court I feel fairly confident that I have a strong case ( I attend County Court regularly for my job and feel confident about representing myself) but I wanted to check I want being OTT because of LO being a looked after child.
Oops the previous post was mine too but I must have different accounts on my phone and iPad - only because I can never recall which password or email address I've signed up in!
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