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Would this annoy you? Does your nursery do this?

(30 Posts)
AnnieLobeseder Fri 05-Aug-11 11:55:31

Or is it quite normal and I'm just being miserable?

DD2 is at full-time nursery, and on the whole I'm very happy with them. But they keep having 'parties' every couple of months, starting at around 2:30pm, ending at 4:30, and they invite the parents to come. So not only does this mean that nursery effectively closes at 4:30 on those days, but we're also expected to take an afternoon off to attend. So I'm paying until 6pm, but have to take time off work and take my child home at 4:30.

Of course I have the option of not going, and I have missed a couple because of work commitments, but then I arrive to a lonely tearful child who is all sad because her mummy was the only one not at the party and all her friends have gone home!! sad

I put DD2 in a nursery because I work and need her to be looked after, from 8pm to 6pm. These parties are a major inconvenience and it really bother me when they have them.

So do I have a point or am I just a miserable old trout?

CMOTdibbler Fri 05-Aug-11 12:00:16

YANBU - I'd be very miffed at that going on even once a year tbh

MumToTheBoy Fri 05-Aug-11 12:02:45

I have never heard of this, and my ds went to 2 different nurseries before starting school. Are they for good/ specific reasons?

I am an early years teacher and can see why they might have a themed event every term/ half term (and we are required to invite parents in as much as possible), but as you are paying for the place and the hours they shouldn't be expecting you to take her early.

I am amazed that all of the other parents can come each time, as I certainly wouldn't have been able to!

Ciske Fri 05-Aug-11 12:08:34

I'd be annoyed with this. Working parents get precious little time off as it is, and they shouldn't be guilted into spending their annual leave at nursery, and then having to pay for that as well. If you were free in the afternoons to lounge about at parties, you wouldn't be paying for nursery, would you!

I'd explain your issues to the nursery, see what they say and take it from there. You can't be the only parent that gets annoyed at this.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 05-Aug-11 12:10:39

I'm constantly amazed at how flexible everyone else's childcare seems to be. Not only can other parents apparently attend these parties, but DD1's after school/holiday club is no longer operating in the half terms because not enough children are attending. How can these parents take all the half terms off?

The nursery parties are for things like Mother's Day, Father's Day, today's one is a farewell for all the children going on to big school.

I may have been exaggerating at the 'every few months', but it does seem like there have been loads.

lynniep Fri 05-Aug-11 12:11:41

YANBU at all. This is ridiculous. If they want parties, they should have it on their own time. Complain. I can't see how they wouldnt realise that this isnt on, but they obviously dont.

hocuspontas Fri 05-Aug-11 12:16:43

Are you absolutely sure you have this right? (No offence meant!) I can imagine them putting these things on, and they sound a nice thing to do, but it should be optional with the nursery still having full responsibility for your child if you can't make it and definitely not close after the party! How can they justify this? OK, the parents attending would take their children home fair enough but to close?

gallicgirl Fri 05-Aug-11 12:18:15


Why the hell would you want to attend a party for other people's children leaving nursery to go to school?

AnnieLobeseder Fri 05-Aug-11 12:21:28

hocuspopcus - they are optional, and the nursery is of course obliged to care for DD2 until 6pm if I don't turn up. But pretty much all the other children will have gone home and she'll be very well aware that other mummies and daddies were at the party, but DH and I weren't, and will make sad faces and ask where we were.

Since I work 5 mins from nursery and DH is an hour away, sadly the responsibility falls on me. And he feels less guilt......

thesurgeonsmate Fri 05-Aug-11 12:21:40

I agree YANBU. Ours have "parties" but just amongst themselves. To socialise with parents, a wine and crisps is arranged before the parents evening.

catsareevil Fri 05-Aug-11 12:23:21

Are you really the only parent who doesnt attend these parties? Was your DD the only child in the nursery when you picked her up? It does seen strange if parents need full time nursery but are also able or want to) spend an afternoon at the nursery every couple of months.

Ciske Fri 05-Aug-11 12:24:26

It's probably done with the best of intentions, to make parents feel included etc., but they should really reconsider how this is done, especially if it's causing upset to some of the children because their parents couldn't take a day off. DD's nursery has parties, but it's just with the kids, parents are not invited.

RitaMorgan Fri 05-Aug-11 12:24:27

DS's nursery had an end of term celebration for the children going to big school, but he is in the baby room so I didn't bother going - I'd be suprised if any parents who didn't have a child leaving went to it?

hocuspontas Fri 05-Aug-11 12:24:50

I see, I mis-read. How about suggesting they hold the parties later? Say 3.30 - 5.30? Less time for your dd to be alone.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 05-Aug-11 13:27:37

When I called today to confirm the time I asked why they didn't have them later in the day, and they said it's something to do with tea time.

Thing is, it doesn't really matter if there are a few other parents who can't attend these events. If there's any event where some parents are there for the whole afternoon, it's going to upset the children whose parents aren't there.

The nursery is part of a chain of about 4 or 5. I wonder if it's worth finding out if this is company-wide or just our branch, then writing some sort of gentle complaint.

I don't want to come across as a spoil-sport though.

SarkySpanner Fri 05-Aug-11 13:32:51

FIWI Our nursery has two parties a year (xmas and leaving) and parents are not invited to these.

Why do they want the parents there?

notcitrus Fri 05-Aug-11 13:42:09

That's bizarre. Ds's nursery seems to have a party about once a month, but except for CHristmas and a summer picnic the first I know about it is when I arrive at 6 as usual to find extra-bouncy children, party bags, crumbs of biscuits and crisps everywhere, and facepaint. The picnic and Christmas ones parents attend.
There's also two annual trips which are optional but require parents to accompany - so far I've avoided as being on a coach for a couple hours with a couple dozen under-5s sounds like hell on earth, but I bet ds will start wanting to go soon.

I'd be very annoyed if I was paying for care until 6pm and not getting it. But some nurseries really don't seem to cater for working parents, or find most of their kids are collected after school so late-stayers are a small minority - are there any others in your area?

waytoomuchchocolate Fri 05-Aug-11 13:43:38


It's all very well saying they are optional but it doesn't change the way the your DC will feel when mummy or daddy isn't there.

At the moment DS1 is only in nursery for a couple of half days a week and I'm at home with DS2, so could in theory go to parties, maybe these are the parents who go?

But once I'm back at work it would be impossible - I'd say something. Perhaps not all of them could be for parents, or be shorter and closer to the end of the day?

MichaelaS Fri 05-Aug-11 13:44:00

Mine does this sort of thing but its always optional, and most of the parents don't go.

Perhaps you could suggest they separate the children into two groups - one group whose parents will be coming in, and another whose parents won't be coming in. They should keep them separate, so those who will not have parents at the party won't seet he other group and get jealous or sad.

I would definitely write a letter or have a chat - if these parties are every 2 months that's 6 half days = 3 full days of your holiday entitlement. Ask them if they would be happy to give up a similar proportion of their own leave whilst paying for the privilege. Although you do have a choice on the face of it, the upset this is causing your child means you don't have a good option - either waste holiday or cause your daughter upset.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 05-Aug-11 14:07:15

Thanks for all the responses everyone. I'm glad to know it's not just me who thinks this is unfair on the children and the parents who find the time off tricky.

Apart from this one eccentricity I really do love this nursery, the number of children is quite low, the building and equipment are all new, the staff are so lovely and it's right next to work, so I'm not going to move DD2 or anything over this. She moved here from another nursery that was a child-dungeon, and the only other nursery in the area, while also lovely, isn't an option for us for an obscure reason I won't bore you with.

I think I might have a quiet word with the manager this afternoon. She's very sweet and does listen to concerns. They very quickly removed all toys with small magnets when I suggested they weren't suitable for babies and toddlers and explained why.

PuppyMonkey Fri 05-Aug-11 14:15:26

Our nursery has parties, eg for Xmas and also Halloween etc. But parents aren't invited and indeed my DD is urged to go along even if it's not her day at nursery ( we only go 3 days) so I get two hours free childcare. Bring it on!grin

BikeRunSki Fri 05-Aug-11 14:19:10

I don;t think YABU. Our nursery has "party tea" in the relevant room when it is a child's birthday, and a themed day "Wild West", "Princesses" etc with a party tea when it is a nursery worker's birthday, or for special occassions, Halloween, Royal Wedding, Comic Relief etc I have never been invited, and they are always open normal hours.

BlueArmyGirl Sun 07-Aug-11 19:15:04

TBH this is probably one of their 'getting parents involved' things that every good nursery does in order to tick the right boxes with Ofsted - parental links is a big thing! Anyway, this is pretty much the beginning of the end, it doesn't change when they move to school. There will be charity coffee mornings, trips with the prerequisite parent helpers etc. I get that it is about involving parents but for parents who work f/t and don't have the luxury of taking days off at the drop of a hat it is a nightmare. Unfortunately you just have to grow a bit of a thick skin about it - easier said than done though smile

drcrab Sun 07-Aug-11 19:41:03

Our nursery does this and yes I've felt guilty for not being able to turn up. I've tried and frankly I'd say I was actually in the minority!! grin minority as in there were v few mums who turned up. And those who did turn up were either not at work at day or were sahm anyway.

Funny though for fathers day they had a morning breakfast bacon butty thing for dads who drop off the kids and go to work. For mums it was an afternoon tea (was going to turn up with my DD as I was on maternity leave anyway) but didn't manage as DD was sleeping!

If you think your DD is so affected by it i'd have a word with the nursery manager. I know that for some of the activities they do separate those whose parents come and those who don't. So kids don't feel left out.

My kids are usually the last few to be picked up. That's life. sad

TiggyD Mon 08-Aug-11 09:38:46

It's done to get parents involved more in the nursery. By getting to know the parents you can look after the children better. Many of the parents are at home and send their children to nursery for the social interaction and can easily go in. Many can't. Do you stop all events? What about the parents who like them? Split the children up with half upset the others had something special? Hold events on the weekend and upset the staff and parents who work then?
You can't please everybody all the time.

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