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So, all you parents who wouldn't let a man be carer for your kids...

(32 Posts)
dizietsma Thu 11-Jun-09 17:50:02

...how do you feel about/justify your position in the light of the Plymouth nursery child porn case?

angel1976 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:59:25

The nursery DS attends has recently employed the first male nursery worker. I have to admit my first thought when my DH told me (he drops DS off) was a bit hmm but once I met him, I could see how having him around is very good for DS. He also told me he has his own son in our very first meeting, which was great. I now think it's just great for DS to have a male influence in the nursery. He's very warm and has lots of energy. DS likes to play rough so I think the energy is good for him! But I wasn't hmm because I was worried he was a paedophile but more because it's so unusual.

I don't really see the point of your post in a way though... Surely people do realise that the Plymouth case is a one-off. I hardly think people are now rushing to take their child out of nursery because it's staffed mostly by women?

peppapighastakenovermylife Thu 11-Jun-09 20:03:16

Slightly antagonistic post I feel hmm

Angel - I know it shouldnt matter - but does he share equally in all the tasks such as changing nappies / taking 3 year olds to the toilet? Just wondering really - just always automatically think of nursery workers as female - a bit like midwives. I know what matters though is how caring / responsive they are.

CrushWithEyeliner Thu 11-Jun-09 20:05:51

It may not be parents choice because they think all men are Paedophiles hmm. What a strange op

Hulababy Thu 11-Jun-09 20:06:30

Would never bother me for DD to have had a male childcare worker nor a male teacher. Infact I think it would be a good thing to have a better mix of males and females in these environments.

I am very hmm about why people don't like the idea of male childcare workers. I mean, why does it bother you? What do you think the man's intention is? Why is it odd for a man to want to work with children?

DamonBradleylovesPippi Thu 11-Jun-09 20:10:29

Both the childminders I used for my DDs were/are a couple. And yes the man part of the couple change nappies and take to the toilet, thank god for that.

peppapighastakenovermylife Thu 11-Jun-09 20:10:45

I think its a fantastic idea - and definitely something that is missing from many childrens lives. The benefits, especially for boys are huge.

All I mean is I have never met or even heard of a man working in a nursery in the baby room for example.

Portofino Thu 11-Jun-09 20:10:59

There was a male nursery nurse at the creche dd went to. He was young but had a (grungy) beard, which scared some of the dcs initially. He was lovely though. I was a bit surprised at first but the kids loved him. I think it is good to show them that both sexes can be equally good carers.

wolfnipplechips Thu 11-Jun-09 20:13:03

All that will happen after this case is that parents will treat female carers with the same level as suspicion as they treat male carers and soon nobody will be allowed cuddle a child when they fall over and hurt themselvesm sad.
My dd loves her male nursery nurse and my dh works with little kids and is very kind and gentle with them and they adore him espescially the teeny ones, i think its a shame their aren't more male role models in schools and nurserys.

ruddynorah Thu 11-Jun-09 20:16:55

at dd's old nursery there were 2 males, both young. dd warmed to them far more than some of the surly young girls.

cory Thu 11-Jun-09 20:20:29

I take it the slightly aggressive tone of the OP was occasioned by another thread on here

so perhaps slightly bad mumsnet etiquette but I was thinking the same as I read the other thread

spokette Thu 11-Jun-09 20:22:40

Last year in my local paper, they did a profile of a man who was voted nursery nurse of the year by his colleagues.

spokette Thu 11-Jun-09 20:23:35

We need more men in nurseries and schools.

angel1976 Thu 11-Jun-09 21:12:53

Peppa - I am sure the Jonathan, the male nursery worker in DS's nursery, changes his nappy. Can't imagine him getting away without doing it just because of his gender! LOL! Why shouldn't he? That would never occur to me as a problem, afterall, DH changes DS's nappies!

BTW, I was sexually abused as a child by a close family member. Having read a lot into sexual abuse, it happens a lot more often within family as opposed to strangers abusing your children (not saying it doesn't happen). I have certain worries about DS being left alone with adults I don't know well, so have certain reservations about using CMs (male or female!) but that's just me. Even having thoughts like that, I still have the mind to know that the Plymouth case is very rare.

peppapighastakenovermylife Thu 11-Jun-09 21:29:32

No I know, lol - I wouldnt expect him not to. Just my stereotypical view of my own DH and friends partners I know trying to get out of changing them (they obviously dont) grin. I think I would be quite attracted to a man who genuinely loved taking care of other peoples children in this way

AnyFucker Thu 11-Jun-09 21:36:40

there are blokes employed by my kids after school club

have honestly never batted an eyelid, before or after the Plymouth news

they play football and stuff grin

LadyAga Thu 11-Jun-09 21:37:04

Recently an acquaintance's 3 year old son came home from nursery with a love-bite on his neck given by the male nursery worker.

Police are investigating.

This is not to state that all male child care workers are paedo's or a threat, but it's to identify that it does happen and just because a female worker has been discovered as a paedo doesn't mean that we should think that all male workers are safe.

I think it shows that some nurseries have severe failings in their recruitment processes and we should be vigilent parents and cautious when choosing a nursery; read and understand their recruitment policies.

Some nurseries allow new staff to work with children whilst waiting for their CRB to be returned!

angel1976 Thu 11-Jun-09 21:47:02

LadyAga - That is shocking! shock I guess it's all about perspective. Child abuse happens all around the country, in any location... There's thousands (if not millions) of children attending nurseries, schools etc where they could be at risk but they could equally be at risk at their own home... It's a matter of keeping a perspective on it and making your own judgement (as a parent) as to who should take care of your children etc. We shouldn't let cases like the Plymouth one make us suspicious of all nursery workers, male or female, that's just absurd!

Rollergirl1 Thu 11-Jun-09 22:21:30

I have to admit that I did feel uncomfortable about the fact that my DD's key-worker was a man when she moved to the toddler room when she was 18 months. I also knew that it was silly and unfair as I didn't have a problem with any of the female members of staff who could be just as likely as him to be dodgy. And I wasn't even seriously considering that he was a paedophile or anything. But I just did not like the idea of a man, other than my husband, changing her nappy, quite possibly in a room with no-one else present. And my DD being too young to communicate anything if anything untoward did happen.

I spoke to quite a few people about it who all said that if I was just in the slightest bit uncomfortable that I should speak to the Nursery Manager. So I did, really just as a means to putting my mind at rest. But I also felt that I owed it to my DD to speak up about it rather than not say anything through awkwardness and embarrassment. The Nursery manager looked incredulous when I spoke to her about it and said that no-one had ever come to her about this in the past. She actually made me feel like an utter shit, but did put my mind at rest.

Having said all that he was amazing with the kids and DD absolutely adored him.

Still, I do think it is a little bit of a funny situation. For instance, would they allow a male teacher to take a little girl to the toilet at primary school?

angel1976 Thu 11-Jun-09 22:32:03

I did wonder in the case of the Plymouth abuse case how she got the chance to abuse and take photos of her charge(s). DS is in a nursery where the nappy changes take place in a room right by the main room BUT there is a big window at adult height where you can see the nappy change happening. There is also glass on the door that leads to this room (this is where the toilets and wash basins are) so I guess everything is pretty open in DS's nursery. Wonder if I would feel differently as well if DS had been DD and the setup is a different from the one in DS's nursery?

nancy75 Thu 11-Jun-09 22:36:19

dizietsma - interesting wording in your op, why do i have to justify my position to anybody when it is the care of my child? fwiw i would feel uncomfortable with dd being changed/taken to the toilet by a man, totally irational maybe, but as she is my daughter then surely its my choice who gets to look after her. i do not have to justify that to anyone.

BirdyArms Thu 11-Jun-09 22:53:02

Ds1's nursery has 2 or 3 men and they are great. One in particular is fantastic, ds absolutely loves him and has a way better relationship with him than any female carers he's had. Ds1 hasn't been in his class for almost a year now but gives him a big bear hug whenever he sees him and remembers him in his prayers every night!

I think that men tend to play with children in a different way to women and are generally more physical eg ds1 used to love having tickle fights with this male carer. Dh felt a bit uneasy about it until he went to the nursery and met him and saw him with ds1.

Surely children must be relatively unlikely to be abused in a nursery setting because of the number of people around and all staff will be CRB checked. I would have thought that there is more risk with a childminder or nanny, eg my friend has recently realised that her childminder has a man secretly staying with her, childminder is on benefits and denies his existence so my friend is looking for a new childminder. I am digressing but though nurseries come in for a lot of critism risk of sexual abuse hasn't been one of them until now.

cory Fri 12-Jun-09 07:38:13

otoh it is of course the parents choice who looks after the child in nursery or teaches them in primary school

otoh the lack of male figures in the early years has been identified as one of the factors which make boys do less well in education

dizietsma Fri 12-Jun-09 11:56:48

This post took off long after I went to bed, sorry everyone!

The reason I'm asking this is because quite some time ago, perhaps a few years even, there was a thread on MN where lots of people claimed they wouldn't have a man as carer for their child because men are more likely to sexually abuse. This is, of course, sexist nonsense and I feel the Plymouth case is good evidence for this.

Women abuse too, and if you think your child is safe just because they aren't being cared for by men you are ignorant at best. At worst you could overlook indications of abuse happening to your child because "women don't do that".

I personally think much more men are needed in childcare, and am overjoyed and impressed by their courage every time I see a male childcarer. I think it does make a real difference to the dynamic of a childcare service, and a real difference to the kids to be cared for by both genders.

sarah293 Fri 12-Jun-09 12:01:22

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