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Nursery key worker sacked - what to make of it?

(3 Posts)
leicestershiregirl Fri 09-Sep-11 10:18:25

There are a number of things concerning me about DS's nursery. He has just changed classrooms. I was a little bit put out that his key worker who seemed really nice and he liked a lot didn't move too, but then yesterday I found out she has just been sacked, though I wasn't told why. Me and DP are confused.

On top of that though he has been in his new room for just one week they now want to move him to another room, I was told because they now have too many children in that room but DP was told because he is advanced and "big for his age".

I'm concerned about the lack of continuity, which has made DS a bit unsettled, and also about this thing with the key worker - I really want to know why they got rid of her. Something professionalism-related like being late too often or something to do with the way she was caring for the children? Would we have been told if she'd been caught doing something unacceptable like smacking them?

It doesn't help that they are in the middle of redecorating and the general air is one of chaos - DS hasn't even got a peg to put his bag and coat on.

How should I be responding to all this?

cookielove Fri 09-Sep-11 18:14:37

Well her being sacked could be nothing to do with the children, e.g she is caught faking sickness on several occasions, if was nothing to do with her ability to care for children then the parents in my eyes do not need to know, also i don't thin the nursery will tell you any way even if it was.

She would have been a key worker to many children and unable to follow him through the nursery, so you can be put it out, but i don't see why.

Not having a peg must be a inconvenience but not the end of the world, if things don't improve after the building work has finished then i would say something, but i think you have to accept things may be chaotic while the builders are in.

Also him being swapped rooms, is a little un professional but both comments by the carers may be correct, that they had to many children and as your child is bigger and advanced he would benefit by changing to a different room, i don't think swapping rooms after a week would be that upsetting, however if you are upset then talk the manager.

FlyingStart Sat 10-Sep-11 16:47:19

leicestershiregirl,

I agree with what cookielove wrote. I can't tell you how to respond but I would like to share my experience regarding a similar incident as an aside and offer some reassurance.

My two eldest children attended a super nursery and I was very fortunate to have them cared by the most wonderful woman, who had been a childcarer/nursery nurse/teacher at the nursery for over 20 years - I will refer her as Mrs Wonder-Carer. Despite her abilities (inteligent, has NVQ Level 3 etc), she never wanted to become a manager or hold a more senior position at the nursery, or indeed any other nursery. She was just very happy playing, caring and looking after young children all day. The children loved her, and it was obvious as to why; she loved being with children and it was obvious that she enjoyed their company.

Because of such a great relationship we had, myself and many other mothers kept in contact with Mrs Wonder-Carer, even though our children are now at school. Last summer, like you, I heard some disturbing news. Another parent informed me that Mrs Wonder-Carer had been sacked. I was shocked. The parent who informed me has her youngest still attending the nursery, and so she demanded answers from the manager and the owners.

We found out that she had been sacked for insubordination.

It turns out that that the new manager, who had just joined the nursery last autumn, took an immediate disliking to Mrs Wonder-Carer. This new manager began to note down every tiny error Mrs Wonder-Carer made. For example, not placing the paint pots in the correct order (Mrs Wonder-carer said she was never informed that they had to be stored in a specific order), not baking to the specific recipe (Mrs Wonder-Carer used a standardised cupcake recipe and not the one provided by the manager), not using the correct coloured post-it notes when writing observations. That sort of thing. Mrs Wonder-Carer told me that this new manager had introduced so many new systems and processes, that all the staff struggled to implement them and they all made some mistakes, although such mistakes made by other staff were ignored whilst hers were singled out and noted down in writing.

Anyway, it all came to a head when the manager was off sick for a week. The owners had instructed Mrs Wonder-Carer to take over during that week and to follow the manager's plans for that week. The staff looked everywhere for these instructions, but could not find them. They tried to contact the manager at her home, but phone calls always reverted to the answer-machine. Both phone calls and e-mails were never returned/replied.

In such circumstances, the staff - clueless as to what they should do - did what they thought best. There was a special occasion coming up the following week (being summer etc) and they had to do/make something for that occasion. So the staff did the craft activities for the occasion that had been traditionally carried out every year since the nursery had opened. Unfortunately for the staff, that went against the specific instructions left by the manager. On the manager's return the following week, when she heard what the staff had done, she flipped and held Mrs Wonder-Carer responsible and demanded that the owners sacked her. The owners, together with the manager, asked Mrs Wonder-Carer to leave, citing examples of "insubordination".

Mrs Wonder-Carer admited to having spoken out-of-turn to the manager, and to have made a series of minor errors (as the ones described above.) It was sufficient to get her sacked/asked to leave.

What I am trying to do, is to illustrate how easy it is to be saked from a nursery. At no time were the children placed at risk. It was just that Mrs Wonder-Carer no longer fitted in with the new style management at the nursery. Perhaps something similar happened to your child's ex-keyworker?

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