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Nursery security - how would you expect them to deal with this?

(30 Posts)
Stroan Wed 05-Jun-19 10:42:34

Firstly, starting this by saying that we love our nursery and DD loves being there. This feels like a really trivial issue but it could lead to a serious one.

They have a large space at the front, separated from the driveway by a fence and gate. It's a fairly new feature, and means the kids can freely go from the inside to the outside. They are always supervised in line with the correct ratios so all good there and it's obviously great to have outdoor access.

The gate on the fence has a latch on the inside and a bolt on the outside. Parents frequently leave the gate fully open or pushed shut but unlatched. This happens even when kids are in the garden and the staff or closest parent normally have to run over and shut it before a child gets to it.

It's almost never bolted, despite parents being asked to make sure both mechanisms are used and therefore some of the older kids are easily able to open it. DD saw us arrive yesterday and opened it to come out onto the driveway. One of the staff got to her in time, but no-one knew whether she had unlatched it herself or a parent had left it open - either way, the bolt clearly wasn't used as she wouldn't be able to reach that. Lots of people drive fast in the car park so it's definitely a concern.

We see the gate left unsecured 3-4 times a week and DD is only in for 3 days. It's ALWAYS parents, the staff are vigilant but it leaves them in a difficult situation when parents can't be bothered to spend half a second latching a gate properly.

What would you expect nursery to do in this situation? I've raised it informally once and I know I'm not the only parent getting irritated! They've emailed all parents but it's made absolutely no difference.

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DownUdderer Wed 05-Jun-19 10:49:28

Does this mean anyone could enter the nursery? There’s no front desk of special key pad?

Knowivedonewrong Wed 05-Jun-19 10:50:30

The nursery clearly know it's an issue. Could
You suggest they put a sign on the gate?

Talcott2007 Wed 05-Jun-19 10:53:24

from what you describe there need to be a different gate type with a automatic lock that actives when the gate is closed that is only opened by a code on the inside - its should not be able to be freely opened for the outside

Mrsjayy Wed 05-Jun-19 10:57:52

Is there a nursery newsletter/email I would ask them to include it in that and ask for a sign to be put on the gate people wouldn't be so careless if a child wandered out the nursery needs to be nagging.

Stroan Wed 05-Jun-19 10:59:58

From the garden space at the front, there are 3 doors into different parts of the nursery - all with video buzzer entry.

It actually hadn't occurred to me that anyone can just wander into the garden where the kids are playing because they are ALWAYS supervised, normally by several members of staff. But I guess that should be a concern as well. That said, it's not a high fence so any adult could climb over the fence if they really wanted to access the space.

My main issue is with parents who are too lazy to just shut the gate!

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Mrsjayy Wed 05-Jun-19 11:02:07

It is just laziness to not bolt it over.

hormonesorDHbeingadick Wed 05-Jun-19 11:02:53

Our nursery’s garden is in front of the nursery. When the children are in the garden the gate is always locked with a padlock and the member of staff nearest the door carries the key to unlock the door.

Stroan Wed 05-Jun-19 11:11:32

@mrsjayy it's been featured in the newsletter, an email has gone out about it specifically, it's been on their facebook page and there's a sign on the gate. I also know that repeat offenders have been spoken to. It is complete laziness. In fact, this morning, one dad sent his kids into breakfast club without getting out of the car and they left it open too. That's even worse!

I mentioned it to one Mum - bad morning with DD refusing to go in. I was mid negotiations and the other Mum stepped round DD to open the gate then left it wide open. I had to sprint over to shut it before DD got there (at 6 months pregnant!) and was so frustrated that I called out to her to make sure she closed the gate. She started screaming at me that she was in too much of a hurry to mess about with a gate. Ok, so it's my responsibility to control my child but I would never want to make another parents life more difficult for the sake of closing a gate.

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Mrsjayy Wed 05-Jun-19 14:37:52

I would be tempted to shout shut the bloody gate at anyone and everyone grin

IVEgottheDECAF Wed 05-Jun-19 14:40:30

If parents can use another entrance then i would make this one out of bounds to them. Put a padlock on it or such. Its asking for trouble.

PrayingandHoping Wed 05-Jun-19 14:45:56

This sounds v bad practise by the nursery

The first entrance to the nursery should be a security door not a gate!

And to allow children to come in by themselves while parents wait in the car????

Sorry but this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen

Florencenotflo Wed 05-Jun-19 14:46:49

At DD's nursery, because of the set up (it is within a school, different start and finish times to the school) they have a member of staff on the gate at drop off. Once the kids are in it is padlocked. It's then unlocked again at pick up time with a member of staff supervising pick up.

It sounds like they need to be supervising the gate at pick up and drop off. If parents are dropping off say between 07:30 and 08:30 (and not just at one time like mine) then the children shouldn't be able to access the garden until drop off is done. The same for pick up.

Stroan Wed 05-Jun-19 14:47:29

@mrsjayy I am very tempted but when I did it politely it didn't go very well! It must be driving the staff mad too.

@ivegotthedecaf I wasn't very clear. Everyone has to use the gate to get to one of the three doors, it's sort of enclosed the space at the front of the building and is the only way in.

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orangeshoebox Wed 05-Jun-19 14:50:36

they need a better gate. like the self closing ones on country walks.

maybe ask to see the risk assessment the nursery did regarding the gate?

thomasthecheekyone Wed 05-Jun-19 14:50:42

It sounds similar to our nursery, there's a front garden, with a gate to the car park. This gate is latched and bolted but often left unbolted. Our nursery has built an additional fence across that parents aren't allowed to open. Nursery workers only open it when a parent is collecting/ dropping off. So for a child to escape they'd have to get through two gates.

IVEgottheDECAF Wed 05-Jun-19 14:51:30

In which case i would say the area is unsuitable for use during pick up and drop off time. Which if it is a private nursery could be any time!

A nursery near me lost two preschool children last month, found wandering by a road....

RandomMess Wed 05-Jun-19 14:54:52

They need to weight the gate so it slams shut and the staff need to bolt it outside of normal drop offs pick ups.

I'm sure you can have springs on them that makes them self close.

The latch needs to be high enough that the DC can't reach it too.

BlingLoving Wed 05-Jun-19 15:01:37

This was a problem at our gym. The gate from the pool to the eating area was always being left open by stupid people. They've now got a gate with one of those self closing hinges which is very effective.

And yes, certainly security on the gate in terms of access being restricted via key codes or whatever should be the same as any other entrance to the nursery.

I would be formally complaining to the nursery and offering suggestions. This is a serious concern and needs to be addressed physically as clearly requests are not sufficient. And mistakes happen.

PrayingandHoping Wed 05-Jun-19 15:02:04

It sounds a v bad set up, they need to fence off a passageway to one of the front doors and all parents should be checking their children into their relevant rooms.

Bad set up, bad practise. What does their ofsted report look like?? 👀

Stroan Wed 05-Jun-19 15:33:52

@prayingandhoping not under ofsted, we aren't in England. The applicable report is recent, positive and praises the fact that the new space offers child-led access to the outside (the kids are supposed to be outside 60% of the time). It would be a shame if they had to stop using a space that the kids love just because some parents are too lazy to close a gate.

With the exception of the Dad dropping his kids off in the car park for out of school care this morning (which I know for a fact is not allowed and I'm certain he'll be spoken to) the gate and fence don't impact on how the kids are dropped off at all. We take them to the door, use the video entry buzzer then hand them over to staff IN the room where they are fully signed in. Even if they are in the garden for pick up, we still have to go into the room to sign them out and get their stuff. The gate doesn't affect this at all.

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CottonSock Wed 05-Jun-19 15:36:02

They need to man the gate if kids are playing outside.

RandomMess Wed 05-Jun-19 16:01:36

So the parents don't need to use the gate at all?

Key code lock it...

Teddybear45 Wed 05-Jun-19 16:04:43

Local nursery had a similar set up. They eventually stopped parents from going into the nursery during operating hours. All pick ups and drop offs were from the driveway and it was made really clear in the newsletter that it was because parents were being negligent.

Stroan Wed 05-Jun-19 16:19:30

Ah no, sorry, I'm obviously not explaining it very well. All parents have to use the gate to get into the enclosed garden space. From the enclosed space there are three individual doors to different parts of the nursery all with secure buzzer entry.

It used to be open completely and the kids couldnt use it at all plus parents would drive right up to the doors. The parent committee were asking for a fence for years and it's a great addition, IF a solution can be found to the gate.

I find it so bizarre that multiple parents think it's ok to leave the gate open!

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