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Nursery problem

(19 Posts)
pumpkinbump Mon 09-Sep-19 23:48:59

My daughter is 13 months and attends nursery 2 full days on a Tuesday and Wednesday. I work 16 hours over these 2 days. She still hasn't settled there although she was getting better. Tuesday and Wednesday last week I was asked by the nursery to leave work early to collect her as she was unsettled all day. I was also told it was unsettling the other babies and also because they had a full house of babies Wednesday {6 rather than 3 or 4} and as she had been unsettled she was having 1 to 1 care in that she wanted to be picked up all the time. When I went to collect her they asked me if I could ask work if I could do half days instead. This would mean working 16 hours over 3 days which would cost me more in childcare. The nursery have said they have Monday Tuesday and Wednesday available for my daughter to attend half days. Does this sound right? I feel not enough time has passed to settle her properly as she is only there 2 days a week for a month as she started at the end of July. Obviously babies who are there full time or more days settle more quickly. I told the nursery I would speak to work about this but the manager was not in until Monday. I emailed work this morning asking them if I could split my hours over three days for a month as the nursery have said they think this would benefit her. They have agreed to let me do this for a month. I then emailed the nursery to tell them but as today was impossible for me to work half day by the time I could sort anything out, I asked them if she could attend a half day Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday. They said they do not have any availability Thursday or Friday. I then said that in that case as I need to work my contracted Hours and was unable to take any more time off and I had no holiday to use, she would need to do full days Tuesday and Wednesday this week and we could start next week with the half days as I have no alternative childcare. They have basically refused this and said she can only do half days despite not offering me an alternative. They know I have no childcare to allow me to do a third half day this week to work my hours. They have even asked if anyone else can help look after her. Can anyone offer advice? Not really sure what I am asking, just want opinions really on this and what to do going forward. She's been attending a month at 2 days a week and they have asked me to collect her 4 times, once because she had a loose nappy which I understand bit the other times because she was unsettled. One of them being the first day she did a full day.

OP’s posts: |
Hannah021 Tue 10-Sep-19 08:44:15

How much notice did they give you? Did you say to them Ok i'll take the three days starting from this date for one month only?

I'm not sure what choices they have, esp if this is a private business, but if they've not given you enough notice, i'd push back and say, you asked me, and i put an arrangement in place which begins on bla. I cant do any more. We have already agreed on two days, and you cant pull out on a short notice.

GrainOfSalt Tue 10-Sep-19 09:09:43

If you have a contract (which you should) I would ask for this explicitly in writing (that they are not prepared to provide care today) as it sounds like they would be breaking their side of the bargain.

Tumbleweed101 Tue 10-Sep-19 20:53:20

What are full days?

While it may help her settle it seems a bit odd that they expect you to be able to arrange this with work immediately- if at all.

Joloupic2019 Wed 11-Sep-19 07:28:19

As a nursery worker this sound fishy to me, instead of disruption to your whole routine and work life there first port of call should be to offer additional settling In Sessions.

Thid could be with yourself or anyone your child is familiar with. Also offer to take in photographs of the family for your child to look at etc.

It feels as though they are just copping out. I know neither yourself or the nursery will want the children to be upset. But the fact they've mentioned 1-1iis what's required then they should ensure they have an extra staff member on hand. It's not that difficult for them to do that.

Maybe see if work would give you a week off or week if half days for a while and ask nursery to do more settles with you. They can't really refuse that, the children should have as many as they need.

If they start being arsy with you then I would mention that they are breaking the original contract of when care and days had been originally made

Pandaeyesblack Wed 11-Sep-19 11:13:02

I have worked in a nursery before and I don’t think they can dictate what days you work. Surely they should be trying to fit in with your requirements and make your life easier? Seems strange to me. Maybe find another nursery which is flexible.

Invisimamma Wed 11-Sep-19 11:29:20

Go back to your contract with the nursery and see what it says about notice periods to change days.

It sounds like they might be trying to push your child out to make space for a full time (more profitable) child.

Geneva1995 Thu 12-Sep-19 14:50:22

I’m sorry but change nurseries. Sounds ridiculous to me... it is their job to care for your child regardless of how demanding she is. Fair enough calling you to let you know she’s unsettled etc but not saying you need to change your hours!! My nursery has 35 babies a day 🥴 with the correct ratio. It’s hard but it’s our job

Nosh01 Thu 12-Sep-19 19:06:00

Hi My niece has just started 1st year of nursery week a go and today I received a letter from the nursery saying that your child 's place and session is about to change and will be reviewed on a ternly basis and also if they need to change session or have no longer space available for her they will give 1 month written notice I was wondering they can actually do this can anyone help please thankx

itsaboojum Fri 13-Sep-19 08:25:47

Not quite sure what you’re asking, so excuse the random nature of my reply.

If nursery try to enforce any change (ie if not mutually agreed) they must allow the contracted notice period and give you the option of leaving instead.

Settling is a complex issue in which adults frequently make the mistake of thinking they can find simple reasons/solutions, so I’d treat all answers (mine included) with extreme caution.

The attendance pattern could be contributing to the problem. You’re giving your daughter two days to get used to nursery, then five days to get used to not being at nursery. Not sure if you have an alternative though.

Before starting nursery, did you give DD much opportunity to be without you? Most children don’t dislike the presence of nursery, but they do dislike the absence of mummy. This is a problem you solve with preparedness before starting childcare, by letting baby spend significant periods of time without you.

To be fair, nursery have been trying to find solutions; it’s just that those solutions don’t fit well with your work pattern. Not your fault, but neither is it a justification for the usual knee-jerk “find a new nursery" replies from PPs. They’ve given one to one care and constant pick-ups rather than leaving her to cry. But they do have to consider the effect on all the children. It’s all too easy to say it’s their job to deal with it, but they are dealing with it by considering every child’s needs, not just the one. If every child needed such one to one care, they’d have to employ many more staff, and parents wouldn’t want to pay for the increased cost.

itsaboojum Fri 13-Sep-19 10:29:23


It will depend on the contract but most probably the nursery has every right to do this. They are proposing a significant change to the terms of the contract, so they are effectively terminating and applying new contract terms. They just do this by issuing new terms (a 'contract variation') rather than physically ripping up and redrafting the contract. This is done by using one of the termination clauses in the contract: usually a simple 4 week notice period. But check the contract to see if a different notice period applies: nurseries often have a three-month or half/full school term period instead. In some circumstances they could make changes with less notice, if forced to by events beyond their control (legally, 'frustration of intent').

Btw, is the child claiming funded childcare (often called 15 or 30 "free hours") ?

Tbh you’d be better starting a new thread. Jumping on this one could result in confusion between the two different situations.

Nosh01 Fri 13-Sep-19 12:47:48

Yes it is 15 free hours

itsaboojum Fri 13-Sep-19 15:46:45


It is normal practice for funded places to be reviewed on a termly basis. Many local authorities insist funded places are only offered one term at a time, and expect nurseries to reflect this in their Ts&Cs.

chamchick26 Sun 15-Sep-19 07:38:23

15 hours would not apply for this age of child.

Also they are certainly not 'free', no child care is free sadly but that is another thread.
The nursery are definitely not dealing with this sensitively. There are better ways to address this if a child is not settling well and from what you say they are not trying very hard.

itsaboojum Sun 15-Sep-19 07:49:33


Yes, you are right. I should’ve noticed the age when I asked about funded hours.

But the OP says it is funded childcare. It does make one wonder about the veracity of this thread. Hmmmm?

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Sun 15-Sep-19 13:18:27

Where does OP say it’s funded? Another poster has joined with a separate query saying it’s funded. That’s not the OP though.

itsaboojum Mon 16-Sep-19 07:43:25

Sorry, you’re right. I get so confused when someone jumps on an existing thread when they ought to start a new one.

ThePhoenixRises Mon 16-Sep-19 07:58:33

Can you look for another nursery?

Maryann1975 Mon 16-Sep-19 12:29:55

@itsaboojum I agree with everything you have said. 2 days at nursery and then 5 days with mum is not always a good combination when trying to settle a child to a new setting. The nursery do have to consider the needs of the other dc and if having your baby upset all day is upsetting the other babies, that is something that needs to be taken in to consideration. (If one baby crying starts another 3 off and there are only 2 members of staff in the room, what do you want them to do? On a ratio of 1:3, and if there are 6 babies). If you don’t want the other babies needs taken in to consideration, then you need to employ a nanny on a one to one ratio.
Settling in is complex for some children and there are lots of things you can do to make it easier for your dc and less hours a day, for more days a week is one of them. So I get why the nursery have suggested this.
Saying that nursery can’t dictate your working hours is not helpful. If the current arrangements are not suiting the child, then something has to give!

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