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Drinking at nursery

(16 Posts)
circlesquare Fri 18-Jul-08 10:45:41

... no, not the staff.

DD has been very thirsty this morning and as she arrived at nursery asked for a glass of water. I was surprised that she was refused and told that she could have a drink at snack time, which I knew was half an hour away.

In that instance, I asked if she could have a quick drink in the meantime as she was unusually thirsty but it got me thinking. The children in the nursery are offered a drink every two hours at snack and mealtimes, so clearly get plenty to drink - no worries there. I'd just assumed that they'd have the right to a drink between times, too - they do at school, don't they? I certainly do at work!

So how do nurseries juggle this right with the need not to have a whole roomful of children asking for water every five minutes (many of whom I'm sure would do it for the distraction smile)?

bogie Fri 18-Jul-08 10:49:09

Ds' nursery have a water bottle for each child with there picture on it, on a tray at the front of the room so they can drink all through the day without having to keep asking.
I wouldn't have been happy if they would have said no you can have on at snack time I would of made them get one.

TigerFeet Fri 18-Jul-08 10:49:20

At dd's nursery they have water available at all times. The older ones can help themselves. This was implemented after an Ofsted recommendation - so I would have thought it was standard practise really.

Perhaps you could put it to the nursery manager that water should be available at all times? I know we're having a crappy summer but I would have thought that especially in hot weather a drink every 2 hours might not be enough for some children.

witchandchips Fri 18-Jul-08 10:50:52

Our nursery has a water foutain (which if broken is simply a jug and some cups) and children are allowed to go over and help themselves.

Rachmumoftwo Fri 18-Jul-08 10:51:39

Pretty sure that drinking water has to be available at all times for children. I would suggest the water bottle system, with the named bottles kept at nursery, washed and refilled by staff. If they aren't doing it now, it will be mentioned in their next OFSTED for sure.

Hanleyhigh Fri 18-Jul-08 10:54:30

It is a requirement that water is freely available at all times. My dc's pre-school had named water bottles out for the children to access.

linzs Fri 18-Jul-08 10:55:36

Hi cicrlesquare.

The nursery are supposed to have drinking water available for the children to access whenever required.

I am a nursery owner/manager and ways in which we provide this are by leaving covered jugs of water and plastic beakers at children's levels so that they can pour their own drinks or by providing lidded beakers on a tray for the children to access when they are thirsty.

Yes it can be difficult to manage and I know of many nursery nurses who were very shocked when the idea was first introduced but to be honest the children soon get over the attraction of having free access to the water and begin to use it only when thirsty.

To be honest I am very shocked at the nurseries reaction to your DD this morning - they should have got her a drink straight away and I would have been furious if one of my staff had told a child they had to wait until snack time - they should be aware of the importance of offering water when needed.

circlesquare Fri 18-Jul-08 10:57:25

I did make them get one, of course, and they're reasonable people so hopefully it will have started a chain of thought in them, too. I'm in Scotland so don't come under OFSTED but I'm sure the Care Commission must say the same thing about water.

Will definitely raise it but just wanted some "normal" solutions to suggest at the same time.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 18-Jul-08 10:59:23

DS's nursery had named water bottles.

DD's preschool has a jug and some cups, as does DS's school actually.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 18-Jul-08 10:59:50

But as a secondary school teacher I don't allow drinking in my lab...

circlesquare Fri 18-Jul-08 11:01:38

I don't blame you! That could have some explosive (or poisonous) results. But I don't think they've quite got round to pre-school chemistry yet (give it time), so DDs nursery should be safe enough...

circlesquare Fri 18-Jul-08 11:04:29

Thanks all. I wasn't annoyed, just surprised - it was just a "Not now, wait" reaction amidst the melee of arriving children, and they got the water with good grace when I backed DD up. So it's more to do with them needing to implement a policy at management level, really.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 18-Jul-08 11:05:13

I dunno, with the new Early Years doodah it's surely only a matter of time...

circlesquare Fri 18-Jul-08 12:08:54

BTW, if anyone does know of anything I can point to saying that the Care Commission requires water to be available all day, I'd appreciate it. Haven't had any luck so far and the last inspection report said that parents were happy that the children had access to snacks and drinks throughout the session. "Throughout" is probably open to interpretation!

squirrel42 Fri 18-Jul-08 12:24:43

The National Standards for Daycare - Standard 8 Food and Drink; it specifically says fresh drinking water is available to children at all times.

It's all changing to new requirements from September under EYFS but I'm sure something will still be in there for drinks.

PortAndLemon Fri 18-Jul-08 12:33:46

DS's nursery have water available at all times, and the older children are encouraged to help themselves. In DS's room they have one of those big jugs kind of like a Thermos but where you press a button on the top and water comes out of the spout, and there's a stack of plastic beakers.

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