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Nursery staff being 'shouty'

(23 Posts)
mwah79 Wed 16-Jan-13 14:16:31

Hi there
I wonder if anyone has advice for me about the nursery where our DS has just had his first full morning. My DH and I are wondering if we need to buck up and accept that our child is in this world of group work, or if this is just a really bad nursery.
I feel that the staff are extremely verbally agressive with the children. Even the manager, who seems to be quite a gentle soul, is very direct and I have to say 'in your face' when challenging the children. Granted I have no idea who these children are or what events have led up to the encounter but it's not what our DS is used to and I am worried about how he will cope with this sort of challenge, when he gets into the obvious arguments over sharing, not sitting down etc. He is used to being shouted at from across the room ocassionally but generally we try to speak to him at his level, and in an audible, but not raised tone. Is it wrong of me to think that professionals should do the same?
Having said all of this he stayed at nursery the whole time and none of the staff reported any upset behaviour. He seems to have really enjoyed the experience. Are we being crazy here?

Catsdontcare Wed 16-Jan-13 14:20:11

I think you have to go with your instinct on this one. If you get a bad vibe then look elsewhere

Snusmumriken Wed 16-Jan-13 14:21:46

I can't stand it when adults shout at children. It is completely unacceptable in my opinion and sets a very bad example.

Isildur Wed 16-Jan-13 14:22:54

Could you elaborate a bit, perhaps give examples of what you witnessed?

Because saying that the staff were 'extremely verbally agressive with the children' is fairly extraordinary. I can't imagine anyone leaving their children in such an environment.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 16-Jan-13 14:25:39

What isaldur said.

PriscillaLydiaSellon Wed 16-Jan-13 14:28:35

You are definitely not being crazy. 'Extremely verbally aggressive' sounds slightly OTT (I find it hard to believe that such a nursery would remain open!) - but I can well believe that the children are subjected to much less gentle treatment overall than they may be used to at home. After all, it's mass childcare, and there has to be an element of crowd control (sadly).

Do you have any alternatives? (Either an alternative nursery, where you can suss out beforehand whether the staff speak to children in a kind and controlled manner) or an alternative form of childcare? Is there a good local CM, for instance?) Personally, I wouldn't have my children anywhere near a place where adults raise their voices to them.

mwah79 Wed 16-Jan-13 14:42:48

Yes you're right. 'Extremely verbally agressive' does sound bad. They were saying all the words you would expect to hear and going through all the motions I would expect from an educational environment but the tone of voice was all out in my opinion, as was the reason for challenging 'bad' behaviour.
On entering the nursery to pick up my ds he ran up with his new friend to hug me and say hello to his brother. The little boy with him started trying to take off the wellies of my ds2, who was in my arms. I barely noticed but next thing I know one of the workers had him outside the room shouting (in my opinion) at him about how wrong this was. This basically escalated to the point where the child was so frsutrated during the 'time out' he'd been placed on, that he was throwing cushions around the place. As I say I have no idea what people had expereinced before I arrived but as a stand alone incident I really felt that the worker made a mountain out of a molehill and turned it into an unneccessary stand-off.
This is the start of DS1 nursery career. He already goes to a wonderful CM two days a week but turns 3 in the spring and so we are trying to build up gradually to 15 hours. I chose this nursery because it is very small and I thought the children would get a lot of attention. I didn't bank of it being negative. Thanks for you comments.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 16-Jan-13 20:08:31

Attention isn't always a good thing though is it smile. Is there a reason that he can't just stay with his CM?

ScillyCow Wed 16-Jan-13 20:10:21

At our preschool I can't believe how the staff always stay so calm!

I would challenge it tbh.

And look elsewhere probably.

mwah79 Wed 16-Jan-13 23:08:29

Thank you. I am quite new to all of this and am realising it's quite difficult to articulate observations and feelings when surviving on 3 hours sleep every night! I think you've coined it for me though sillycow. I want staff to at least look like they are happy to be there. He is still with cm 2 days every week but we are trying to ease him in slowly to nursery and eventually school. It's not a childcare option for us. Although I will appreciate the time alone with DS2 if it works out - mainly as a bonus and not a priority. I assumed the general consensus was that if your child was eligible for 15 hours in pre-school then we should be using that to ease transition into primary education. Is this not the case? Would love to know more. He does seem ready to be without his primary carers. I just want to be sure we're reacting appropriately to the new setting. Thanks again.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 16-Jan-13 23:14:39

Think using the 15 hours is entirely upto you. You can use it with some cm, wont yours take it?

I can't see how being in a situation where the staff seem far from relaxed and you seem unhappy can be beneficial to any of you. Is ther another nursery you could check out or could you just not send him to nursery?

PriscillaLydiaSellon Thu 17-Jan-13 14:43:07

"I assumed the general consensus was that if your child was eligible for 15 hours in pre-school then we should be using that to ease transition into primary education. Is this not the case? "

Very much depends on whom you ask. My children were eligible, but I didn't send them to nursery. I eventually found a fabulous little kindergarten, and they spent about 4 hours per week there until they started school (I also delayed that, as I don't think children should be at full-time school when they've just turned four).

I think there is a huge pressure on parents to make their children 'ready for primary school'. If you look at it in a different way, though, children will spend huge amounts of time at school from 5-18. Why rush them into that kind of life before you need to? Much is made of the benefits of nursery, but I think that children who are at home in the early years benefit massively from the experience (secure attachment to home/parent; closer to siblings; experience wide range of situations/ages/types of people, rather than only encountering their contemporaries, etc, etc, etc - though I fear this is not a popular MN view!)

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 17-Jan-13 14:45:23

It's a popular view with this mner smile

PriscillaLydiaSellon Thu 17-Jan-13 14:58:41


mwah79 Thu 17-Jan-13 16:49:30

Hmm yes. I see what you mean. He'll be gone long enough I suppose. I was involved in an OfSTED for a children's centre recently and one of their objectives as an organisation is for children to be 'school ready'. It does seem a lot when you consider EYFS curriculum but I would, by the time DS's have to go into education, to be confident in the fact that they have been away from the main adults in their life and can cope with that. I don't want to start discovering problems when it's too late to fix them. Will have to have a little mull over this!
Re the nursery. It just doesn't feel right. I can remain calm in my job when working with young people and their children so I should really expect the same from other professionals. I think I have to follow my instincts despite DH insisting that we have to start working on resilience skills in order for DS's to be able to deal with shouty teachers!!!

PriscillaLydiaSellon Thu 17-Jan-13 18:40:19

It's partly a question of what 'school ready' means. Some might interpret it as meaning that they're trained to sit on a carpet and behave in an 'institutionalised' manner. Some might interpret it as self-sufficient, with good manners, able to communicate with a wide variety of people (male, female, old, young, all social classes, with/without disabilities, with/without religious beliefs etc, etc, etc), able to manage personal hygiene and make good choices. If it's the latter, a child with at least a reasonble upbringing would soak this all up over his/her first five years without ever going near a nursery. This is all far more valuable than the EYFS 'curriculum'.

But it's also a digression! Agree that you have to follow your instincts, and sorry for waffling. smile

mwah79 Thu 17-Jan-13 20:45:39

No no it's all food for thought

birdsnotbees Thu 17-Jan-13 20:55:01

Go with your instinct. I took DS out of two nurseries for similar reasons. Then he went to the nursery attached to his school (he started there when he was nearly 4) and he loved it. BUT it was completely different to the two nurseries we'd tried. As in, I never had a wobble about leaving him there as the staff really did give a s**t about him. In the private nurseries they couldn't have cared less.

Also agree with others about this rush to get them school ready. DS's CM kept banging on about him being 'ready' for nursery, hence us moving him, but he just wasn't. By the time he went to pre-school nursery he was ready, but he only went 3 days a week for the first 2 terms, gradually increasing to 5 days at his insistence.

He went from being clingy, unhappy, shy and crying every morning before nursery to running in without so much of a backward glance.

Basically, if you're leaving your kid somewhere and it plays on your mind the whole time they're there, it's not right. Good for you for picking up on it.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Jan-13 21:07:00

I was brought up in the 70's and find most parents now far too soft - but even I wouldn't like the way she treat the little one who was taking off your little ones wellies, that sounds WAY over the top, but as you say, it's hard to know what the build up to it was, although, I would expect her not to act like that when you were there anyway iyswim

I don't think it's essential to go to nursery to be 'school ready' but I do think it helps. They learn to follow instructions, negotiate with other children, get into line, sit on the mat etc and it does help most children when they start school. However, if it's a negative experience it wont help them. On the other hand, he might not be bothered by their attittude and it wont hurt him to know that not all adults are the same as you, DH & your CM.

I'd look at other places in your situation.

VikingLady Mon 21-Jan-13 16:10:26

I am studying to be a child minder at the moment, and "school-ready" was described to us as being able to sit still for short periods, understand and follow instructions, go to the toilet, eat largely unaided and be able to make friends. The most important was the ability to make friends. Can he do this at the child minders?

Goldmandra Fri 25-Jan-13 22:07:29


You have good Early Years care already from someone you trust, knows your child well and can deliver everything he needs. Unless she is always well under her numbers this include experience of following the routines of others and being cared for as part of a group.

I would forget the nursery and leave him with the childminder.

Maybe if there is an Early Years setting close by which does settling in sessions at the school he will be attending you could consider sending him there for a couple of sessions a week. Otherwise just leave him in the place he's happy and you feel he's well cared for.

He doesn't need a different sort of childcare to prepare him for school.

isthatallyouvegot Mon 11-Feb-13 14:22:26

I must admit nothing raises my blood pressure more than when I hear so called adults shouting at very small children (or children in general tbh) I do not believe that intimidation is a good way for children to learn how to behave especially if it is used for something so trivial, I remember watching a teacher shout at a small child over the most miniscule thing, then shout even louder when the child got really frustrated and shouted back! But of course the child was then being rude hmm. On another occasion I have stood and watched another teacher take two (slightly older) boys to one side raise her voice slightly asking if what they were doing is acceptable? when they both acknowledged that it wasn't she then described what was expected of them, they agreed quietly apologized to each other and then her and continued with what they were doing. She clearly knew how to deal with children and had the up most respect from her pupils....Now that's how it should be done.

ukatlast Mon 18-Mar-13 21:02:03

QUOTE OP 'DH insisting that we have to start working on resilience skills in order for DS's to be able to deal with shouty teachers!!!'

(Reception) teachers shouldn't be shouting either!

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