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Heard nursery staff verbally scream at my child

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user1492716806 Thu 22-Oct-20 09:33:50

Just need some opinions on this as i've been so unsettled since I heard what I did but the nursery management are being very cold about it all. I have taken her out of the nursery as a result.

My 2.5 year old daughter who used to wave me merrily goodbye when going to nursery has been resisting going in for some time. Crying and clinging to me at the door when I leave her etc. Up until a few weeks ago she was very happy and confident going in, sometimes never looking back. Now they have to tear her off me. She is quite verbal and often tells me she is scared of a particular staff member who works in the office. This lady is quite intimidating to look at appearance wise so I assumed she was a little frightened by her physicality and that was that....well turns out she's scared of her for a whole other reason. When I dropped her off last week she was again crying at the door. Her main class teacher took her in but forgot to close the main door behind her. I also forgot to hand something in so decided to enter soon after. I could hear my daughter screaming and still resisting to get in. From what I could make out she threw herself on the floor rather than go into the class. There is another door in between the main door and the nursery so I couldn't make out what happened visually but I suddenly heard one of the office staff come in out of nowhere and scream aggressively "I SAID GET UP OFF THE FLOOR. GET UP OFF THE FLOOR RIGHT NOW. YOUR DISTUBRING ME AND MY MEETING!!! as my daughter continues to wail. Trust me, reading this on paper might not sound that bad but it was so aggressive and horrible that I initially assumed she was ranting and raving at another adult on the phone. Could not believe when the penny dropped that she was actually addressing my upset 2 year old child. I literally froze in shock and walked away rather than go and barge in. How ridiculous am I? I called up after 10 mins in tears, asking this particular staff member if she thought her language and tone were acceptable. She denied everything of course - trying to pin the blame on my daughter being unsettled because she is coming in an hour later than her usual time. She never mentioned any reason as to why she would scream at my child in that manner.

I contacted the nursery's Director and explained what I heard. I then get the whole 'I don't know what you THINK you heard but so and so isn't like that etc etc.....' I'm in tears on the phone recalling the whole thing imagining my daughter still hysterical in that place. I asked the Director if she could have a look at the CCTV to see if she could at least view the encounter. She calls me back later to say she has had a look and that the context would explain what I 'perceived' to be harshness as my child was sitting in a hazardous part of the doorway and this staff member was trying to stop my child from getting caught in the door. I do not believe a word of this. Even if true why would she rant and rave that my child was disturbing her and her meeting? I have asked to see the footage but she is postponing it for 2 weeks as she is 'away this week' but she seems unfazed by what she saw. I'm wondering if I need to even bother with going in to look at the CCTV as the audio won't be heard and that imo is the most distressing part. But a part of me wants to see as I don't believe for a minute this teacher was trying to put out any danger. But even if she was trying to avoid a hazard does that still excuse her aggression? I'm worried that if I view the CCTV and can see that she was trying to avert some sort of danger, that i'm forced to concede that what I heard wasn't that bad when it was worse than bad - it was tantamount to bullying and being verbally slapped.

My other concerns are that

- it seemed that this is the way this staff member normally 'handles' my child. The demeaning and cruel way she spoke seemed like like nothing unusual. I somehow don't believe this was an isolated event.

- the class teacher who initially met me at the door was the only immediate witness and I naively assumed she would corroborate what I heard but no she was defending her colleague

- my daughter vomited at the nursery that same day according to the class teacher but they don't know why....I asked my daughter why she threw up (i.e. eating too fast etc) and she said she just wanted mummy and daddy so I again assume she was crying her eyes out and got sick from anxiety.

- she was not herself that evening - very subdued and complaining of stomach and back aches. We spent an evening in A&E. I thought she must be coming down with an infection but nothing medically indicated that according to the doctor. When I saw her right as rain the following morning I came to realise she was probably suffering from anxiety being in the nursery environment. I tried to explain this in an emotional email to the Director and rather than be sympathetic to my child's distress (regardless of trying to protect her staff), she completely ignored my daughter's pain and feelings and simply said 'when would you like to come in and view the CCTV.' Considering I have had a 4 year relationship with this Director and the nursery with my other child, I am absolutely appalled by the lack of concern. She tries to promote the Nursery's Montessori, Let the Children Lead the Way, Vegan, Earth-Friendly ethos but she's proven to me its bullshit. When it now comes to actual parental concern and a child's emotional and physical wellbeing she wants to be very black and white about the whole thing. Imagine that? Paying 1k a month for my child for to be verbally attacked whilst distressed, making herself sick

I've taken her out - but my husband seems to think she should stay where she is as a matter of principle and that the nursery should be the ones to be held accountable and staff should be dismissed. I can't see that happening at all.

OP’s posts: |
Mumdiva99 Thu 22-Oct-20 09:40:20

Several questions: why is your daughter going in an hour later than normal?
Why would you take a child to A&E with just a tummy ache? (Surely with covid you would call NHS direct and be redirected elsewhere?
Why would you walk away from nursery if you believed your child was being abused?
Why would somewhere you have been happy for 4 years change so much?

mamangelo Thu 22-Oct-20 10:03:05

I’m shocked you left her there after hearing someone speak to her in a way that you felt was like being verbally slapped. Honestly I think the nursery Director/ staff probably think the same. It makes the accusation of the behaviour less credible. It could be perceived that you were unhappy with the way she spoke to your child, called to tell them as much and because you were unhappy with their response to your complaint have worked the incident up in your mind to be more than it was.

Certainly remove your child from the nursery, your husband wanting to keep sending her as a matter of principle is frankly insane.

I would put it behind you and move on. I wouldn’t pursue the nursery to look at cctv etc. What exactly will this achieve?

It seems like there is more going on to be honest. The vomiting and rushing to A&E with stomach pains... in your heart do you really think this is because your child is being bullied at nursery? Is there anything else going on? Finding lock down hard etc? I mean this from a place of kindness. I am struggling massively at the moment and my anxieties definitely rub off on my kids. When I am anxious I also fixate on single events and whip myself into a frenzy and get things all out of proportion.

If you truly feel everything in yourself and household is good and want to take this matter further due to child safeguarding concerns I would think call your local council for advice.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide

FatCatThinCat Thu 22-Oct-20 10:10:19

There's no bloody way I'd be sending my child back to what you now know is a completely toxic environment. If the management were shocked and open to making things better, maybe. But they're not, they don't care and so nothing will change.

Brieminewine Thu 22-Oct-20 10:14:02

If how they spoke to her was really aggressive how could you walk away and leave her there?! Could your mind be exaggerating what really happened because you feel guilty for not intervening at the time? If the incident has been caught on CCTV and the member of staff is still employed and has their support I would imagine they have found no issues with how the situation was managed.

FelicityPike Thu 22-Oct-20 10:16:17

Why the Hell did you leave her there once you heard her being yelled at like that?
Also, why did you take her to A&E?

Slightlybrwnbanana Thu 22-Oct-20 10:18:25

I have removed my child from one nursery for a lot less than that.
She's telling you repeatedly she is scared of that staff member and you still send her?

HazeyJaneII Thu 22-Oct-20 10:20:39

FelicityPike

Why the Hell did you leave her there once you heard her being yelled at like that?
Also, why did you take her to A&E?

This!

EdmundElephantIsACleverClogs Thu 22-Oct-20 10:23:47

Sorry op I have to agree with pp that there's no way I could have left dd there if it was so bad, and the nursery director probably thinks the same.

I would remove her from the nursery though, you can't send her somewhere you aren't 100% happy with.

Do you think the reluctance to go in might also be due to lockdown/ being off for so long?

Idroppedthescrewinthetuna Thu 22-Oct-20 10:24:50

So if anybody was shouting at mu child there would be no way I would be walking away! Not sure why you did this. Is the screaming as bad as you remember? Sometimes memories are exaggerated. I am not being patronising but I am sure mother instincts to protect would have come into play, freezing amd walking away while you believe your child is being verbally abused is not what I would expect.

A child being taken to a and e cos of tummy ache and vomiting for one day is very extreme, I would address this unless there are underlying health issues because otherwise you will spend your life in a&e. This also makes me wonder if you are over protective and maybe your child wasn't being screamed at.

If she was genuinely being screamed at, please don't think I am calling you a liar or over protective l, then actually pull your child out of that nursery immediately. If the behaviour of an adult upset your child so much she was sick and it put you in tears, you need to get your child out of there! Definitely view the CCTV, you can ask for it I am sure. You know what you heard, now, was this teacher standing above your child screaming in her face or was she shouting across the room so it sounded more aggressive than it was? Does that make sense! Take action OP! Your child will thank you for it, if action is needed! You will thank yourself too, it is horrible to worry about your childs care.

SmellyBumMum Thu 22-Oct-20 10:26:03

Follow your instincts! You’re absolutely right to take her out of nursery and you should definitely insist on seeing the CCTV and follow up your complaint with the relevant care inspectorate. You didn’t act on the spot at the nursery as your brain was trying to process the situation and decide what action to take. The nursery staff are going to underplay what happened to cover themselves. Even if you don’t take the complaint further, please don’t send your daughter back there.

ReneeRol Thu 22-Oct-20 10:27:33

I wouldn't send her back and I'd make a complaint about the nursery. You'd be in a much better position if you had walked right in, told the staff member to stop abusing your kid, picked her up and taken her home. Then complained.

I wonder if you have anxiety issues or anything else going on that made you leave your toddler in that situation. I just can't imagine how you could leave her in the situation described.

Honeyandapple Thu 22-Oct-20 10:33:03

This doesn't make sense. You perceived your child to be yelled at in a completely appalling way but you walked out that door.
Could you be over exaggerating in your mind?
If you really heard what you are saying, don't send her back. Get the CCTV footage. Make formal complaint to the business owner. Let other local mums know of your experience.

AngelaScandal Thu 22-Oct-20 10:34:27

I would withdraw

OverTheRainbow88 Thu 22-Oct-20 10:34:32

So much victim blaming on this thread, it’s unreal.

Sometime when caught off guard people react in a way that they wouldn’t usually- ie. waking away.
Nurseries aren’t like schools you can drop off and collect as and when as long as it’s in line with their opening and closing times. Maybe it’s taking OP longer in the morning to get there as child is reluctant to go. Nurseries change over time, maybe that aggressive worker wasn’t there until recently?

I would write an official complaint to the manager and explain that you will inform Ofsted if they don’t get back to you with an accurate account of what happened.

I would not send my child back to that nursery and look elsewhere. Their mental health is the priority, she’s clearly unhappy there.

1940s Thu 22-Oct-20 10:36:53

Every bone of me would have stormed through that door if I'd have thought they were shouting at my child in such an aggressive manner. I can't get past that and the fact you left her there all day too.

1940s Thu 22-Oct-20 10:39:36

OverTheRainbow88

So much victim blaming on this thread, it’s unreal.

Sometime when caught off guard people react in a way that they wouldn’t usually- ie. waking away.
Nurseries aren’t like schools you can drop off and collect as and when as long as it’s in line with their opening and closing times. Maybe it’s taking OP longer in the morning to get there as child is reluctant to go. Nurseries change over time, maybe that aggressive worker wasn’t there until recently?

I would write an official complaint to the manager and explain that you will inform Ofsted if they don’t get back to you with an accurate account of what happened.

I would not send my child back to that nursery and look elsewhere. Their mental health is the priority, she’s clearly unhappy there.


I don't care if it's victim
Blaming. She claims to have been so distraught and crying calling up ten minutes after but still didn't go back and get her. I can understand freezing for a moment but honestly motherly instinct would kick in and I'd remove my child from harm

StitchInTimeSavesNine Thu 22-Oct-20 10:43:43

You've done the right thing by removing her, obviously.

Spend the next few days focusing on your dd and finding a new setting for her. If you need to for childcare.

Stop thinking and saying she's got anxiety. Of course she's distressed. Anyone would be being shouted at like that. You would, your husband would. Her feelings are normal, expected and valid. It's not anxiety.

After your dd is ok, then you tackle the nursery problem. You will be feeling better yourself by then so it will be easier. Look on their website for their complaints procedure and follow it.

TheSeedsOfADream Thu 22-Oct-20 10:48:31

At what point did she tell you she's scared of the woman in the office?
When you've asked your daughters keyworker what has changed over the last couple of months, (prior to this incident as you said) what reason did they give?

B1rthis Thu 22-Oct-20 10:48:44

"Thank you for the time you have taken to look into this matter. My daughter and I have learnt some valuable lessons during the time she has been a pupil. We will be ending our daughter's time at your nursery with immediate effect as we feel our teaching/growing techniques for small children slightly differ"
Then contact ofsted with your complaint. Don't argue with stupid, they're not interested in your child's welfare. That's evident.
Teach your daughter that she's amazing and did so well in making new friends etc but there are things adults should never do and this was one of them. And if it ever happens, to tell mum immediately.

june2007 Thu 22-Oct-20 10:49:01

If your that unhappy pull her out.
However a few things. Perhaps your child was upset because they were ill? (You said latter the child was sick and had stomoch ache.)
Perhaps the child really was having a meltdoen in an akward place. Were they really screeming or being stern?
Why go to A&E for a tummy upset?
A few odd things don,t add up.

StitchInTimeSavesNine Thu 22-Oct-20 10:50:40

You can't contact OFSTED until you have followed the complaints procedure.

Smileandtheworldsmileswithyou Thu 22-Oct-20 10:55:27

I can’t understand how you would walk out the door after hearing that. I would have gone straight in and taken my daughter home after questioning the woman. It sounds awful

HazeyJaneII Thu 22-Oct-20 10:55:38

So much victim blaming on this thread, it’s unreal.
Not so much victim blaming, more that I wonder if something has been lost in the retelling...walking away having heard that, calling in tears and then not picking daughter up until later....and A&E after a child vomits...it's just all a bit strange.
The poor child, who is the victim, is getting no blame at all!
Nurseries aren’t like schools you can drop off and collect as and when as long as it’s in line with their opening and closing times.
This is not true of many nurseries and preschools.

Pinkyxx Thu 22-Oct-20 10:56:43

If I'd had the level of concern you indicate, I would have walked back in, picked up my child and left.

A few things you say don't really add up - A&E for a tummy ache?

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