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To be really angry at the letter received from nursery?

(128 Posts)
Pinkbabe1 Wed 06-Jul-16 17:40:51

DD goes to nursery twice a week, mornings only and I collect her at 12.30

Today I was 6 mins late picking her up as my son had a massive shite explosion 5 mins before we were due to set off and it took me a while to clean him up, hence being 6 mins late. This is the first time it has happened in the whole time she has been there apart from when my son was first born and I told them on dropping her off I would be late collecting as he had his injections (was told no problem)

Anyway, got to the door and was promptly handed a letter to which i read when I got home. It was a "late collection policy" letter which basically said that for every minute you are late collecting there will be a £1 charge in future - fair enough. However it then went on to say that as I had been persistently late (!) this could be considered neglect and abandonment in extreme cases!!! I was absolutely flabbergasted and immediately emailed the nursery. I am yet to receive a response.

I have since spoken to another parent at the nursery who said they received the same letter after being 2 mins late to collect their daughter, therefore a generic letter.

AIBU to think this is really a harsh thing to put in a letter?! I don't think it was at all necessary but maybe I'm wrong and this is normal?!?!

FrancisdeSales Wed 06-Jul-16 17:43:03

If you have never been late before I would definitely put this all in writing to them to protect yourself. Otherwise charging for lateness is normal.

SoupDragon Wed 06-Jul-16 17:43:10

Perhaps they are fed up with parents taking the piss and always being late. Although that is no reason for them to accuse you of being persistently late if you haven't.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 06-Jul-16 17:46:01

I would strongly suspect there have been persistent offenders and the staff have been told to give everyone the generic letter.

Pinkbabe1 Wed 06-Jul-16 17:47:45

Quite a few parents I know are late picking up so I can see why the policy has been put in place. However the comment about neglect and abandonment is really strange I think? I don't think that was at all necessary to put in a generic letter

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 06-Jul-16 17:47:58

Social services advised us to give a letter mentioning this to all parents on the second lateness. It seems harsh to count this as your second but I'm guessing the guidance hasn't changed and they are just sticking to what they've been told to do.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 06-Jul-16 17:49:28

Oh it's so that social services can become immediately involved if any children are left for a while uncollected. The exact time will vary - they'll wait longer at lunch than at the end of the day when the staff need to leave, for example - but the letters ensure that parents are aware that this can be considered neglect, and means social services will provide support and collect the child if needs be.

KoalaDownUnder Wed 06-Jul-16 17:50:28

A generic letter is fine, as long as everything it says actually pertains to the individual.

The OP shouldn't be getting a letter saying 'As you have been persistently late...', since she hasn't.

'If you are persistently late in future...' would be different.

Not surprised the OP has her back up.

RosieSW Wed 06-Jul-16 17:52:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 06-Jul-16 17:53:25

That's awful. I've been late a few times over the years, up to 25 mins, and never been charged or had formal warning. I've always phoned to let them know though.

RosieSW Wed 06-Jul-16 18:02:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonhomie321 Wed 06-Jul-16 18:05:16

I think that this is, sadly, pretty standard for a nursery. They will argue that they need to be strict about staff:child ratios as it affects their insurance, and some parents are regularly late and take advantage. As a result, generic letters are handed out to everybody regardless of circumstances etc which can be completely ott. I was once late out of work due to unforeseen circumstances, and was cutting it very fine, but would have made it in time had I not got stuck behind a funeral car and mourners. Nursery treated me in a similar fashion. I was really annoyed and would have been furious to be accused of neglect or abandonment! I had sent my three children there all from being babies to starting school, and felt I had a good relationship with them, often picking the children up early too. I had spent many thousands on fees and even wrote glowing online reviews for them. I suppose, had I arrived at the same time as another parent, we should be seen to be treated the same for being late, but it was still very galling. Aside from this, I don't know how nurseries are staffed and organised, but I doubt it is good practice to operate with a bare minimum of staff:children. What if a member of staff goes home ill or a member of staff has to take a child to hospital. Surely that would negate their insurance?

1AngelicFruitCake Wed 06-Jul-16 18:05:24

The problem with saying 'I've always phoned to let them know' infers you think this excuses being late. The staff have to stay, quite likely won't receive any overtime for this and then be late picking their own children up.

OP, I don't think it should have said persistently late but this is obviously a generic letter. the staff need to be consistent and give it to everyone but the wording could be less harshly worded.

Pinkbabe1 Wed 06-Jul-16 18:12:28

What I did find odd was that the letter said "this applies to 3.15 and 5.30pm collections" I collect my DD at 12.30 as she only does a morning session. I too have a good relationship with the nursery Bonhomie, which is why I suppose I'm so upset about it

diddl Wed 06-Jul-16 18:16:11

" apart from when my son was first born and I told them on dropping her off I would be late collecting as he had his injections (was told no problem)"

What else did you expect them to say in that case?
Why didn't to ask in advance rather than telling them at the time?

It's just a generic letter, why would you take it personally?

Cutecat78 Wed 06-Jul-16 18:16:39

Yeah - because Social Workers have nothing better to do hmm

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 06-Jul-16 18:22:46

A family member runs a nursery, parents royally take the piss, late collecting, paying their bill, the works. It appalling how little respect the majority of the parents have for the owner and staff and the importance of ratios to Ofsted etc.

I imagine your nursery is the same, so a standard letter is handed out for lateness to disuade those that are persistent offenders from doing it.

Pinkbabe1 Wed 06-Jul-16 18:23:10

@diddl - because the doctors had phoned that morning to say that they had to change DS injections date because the nurse had double booked my appointment. If the nursery had said no I would have had to cancel his injection and wait for the next appointment. So I paid extra for her to stay later and have lunch with them.

I didn't say I took it personally. I was upset about it because considering the circumstances and the good relationship I have with them surely a quiet word or an email would have been more appropriate rather than a harshly worded letter!

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 06-Jul-16 18:24:38

The staff don't need to be consistent and give it to everyone. There is more need for the staff to be correct than there is for them to be consistently incorrect.

Nurseries do not have to use generic letters. They can tailor their communication to be accurate instead. Or they could simply keep their generic letter to the simplest matter - explaining the terms of their contract, explaining what they are and what actions they take in certain circumstances, rather than making assertions about clients' behaviours which may or may not apply.

This sort of carelessness and overreach always makes me wonder what else they do that is dishonest as a matter of course in an attempt to cover themselves.

Xenophile Wed 06-Jul-16 18:25:34

Aside from this, I don't know how nurseries are staffed and organised, but I doubt it is good practice to operate with a bare minimum of staff:children.

Sadly, nurseries are only generally profitable if they operate on a bare minimum staff:children ratio.

OP, when you started your child at the nursery, you should have been given a copy of all the policies and procedures, or offered it and refused one. In that, there would have been a copy of their late pick-up policy, which I suspect would have included the details from this letter.

Late pick ups are more than a small inconvenience, they can mean that the nursery is over numbers and therefore would be operating illegally. This is especially the case when you use a morning session only. If it helps, I used to charge a full hour for any lateness over 15 minutes, a lot, but it stopped people doing it!

Not trying to be harsh, I do think that the generic letter without the not-pertinent bits scored out, was a bit much, but it's your second instance of being late now, so it's probably just something that was triggered automatically.

diddl Wed 06-Jul-16 18:29:00

So you weren't late when your son had his injections?

Pinkbabe1 Wed 06-Jul-16 18:30:14

Not technically because I had paid extra for her to stay and have lunch with them for half an hour

1AngelicFruitCake Wed 06-Jul-16 18:39:46

Boom
So you're suggesting that a parent unexpectedly turns up late and the staff, along with themselves now running late, need to ensure a personalised letter goes to that parent? What if one staff member counts 4 late pick ups as not being too often and so gives out a gentle reminder letter but another staff member gives out the harsher letter for the same number of times to another parent? They give out the same letter to avoid any confusion. They shouldn't have to be dealing with persistent lateness in the first place.

CarlGrimesMissingEye Wed 06-Jul-16 18:42:10

I hate all this generic letter cramp to cover arses. So YANBU to be pissed off. But they have to Do this shit these days thanks tithe phenomena over the top nit picking for paperwork.

AbyssinianBanana Wed 06-Jul-16 18:46:45

You've only been late once and this is their "first offense" letter then. If you arranged, agreed upon and paid for your child to stay later, they cannot count it as a late pickup.

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