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Issues with nursery manager

(9 Posts)
Banana3 Wed 25-Jan-17 23:17:38

I have a terrible relationship with the owner and manager of our two site nursery. Six days into my toddler being there, she insisted we meet with her to discuss his 'adult language'. He was struggling to settle in and said things like 'don't criticise me' to carers. We didn't know why but asked her to monitor. Instead she suggested something a bit mad - 'getting someone in' - from the local authority's inclusion service to 'observe' our son. I called them and they said that would never happen. They have a really tight remit to only observe children once a single service request has been made by a doctor or health visitor. They said they would 'reeducate' the manager of our childcare setting about what this service was.

We took our son to the GP anyway. He said he could see no evidence of any problem, but asked that the nursery manager send him written observations. This eventually happened after some pushing by us. The observations were mainly incidences of my son using slightly odd language, but devoid of context. Peppered throughout were insinuations that I am a bad parent. It was written that I had 'refused' assistance from the LEA inclusion team - even though this is not an option in this case - and a cute little phrase about how my son is 'much calmer when he is brought into the nursery by dad'.

Since then, there have been two incidents of my son being sent home 'sick' for 48 hours (causing chaos with our jobs) when he does not appear to be sick. The nursery manager has refused to entertain the idea of us taking him to the doctor, and agreeing to let my son back in if GP agrees he is not sick (we would, of course, always stay home if we felt he was unwell).

My son, who is vegetarian, had two runny poos one day this week and was sent home with alleged d and v. He didn't seem unwell and there was no more runny poo, although he told me he ate fish at nursery -as he is vegetarian this likely would have upset his tummy.

I emailed nursery suggesting this was the case. The response was horrific. It ranged from insisting he hasn't eaten fish, to a long ramble about how my child, in the care of this nursery, has improved so much from the 'angry' child I originally presented them with almost a year ago, to an accusation that I have 'verbally abused' nursery staff.

The above accusation is based on my complaining, in what I was keen to do in a quiet and polite voice, that child was not sick and should not be excluded for two days.

This all happened just a few days after we had an email from the nursery manager alleging our son has been talking about being locked in his room (even though this has never happened to him and he doesn't even have a lock on his door).

We are at a total loss about what to do. I suspect the nursery manager was humiliated to have been called out (perhaps) by the LEA inclusion service after parading herself in front of us as a 'bit of an expert' re son's alleged behaviour problems.

My son actually adores this nursery. Aside from the manager the staff are wonderful. Food is great. Atmosphere Is happy. Activities stimulating. Staff turnover quite low. I don't want to pull him out. But I am becoming frightened of the manager, who may be vindictive.

Might she have valid reasons for her behaviours? How could I improve the relationship? I'm a senior manager in a very well known company, have many great relationships, and part of my job is to smooth out difficult HR situations. But I am totally stumped by this.


HSMMaCM Thu 26-Jan-17 08:38:14

We obviously only have one side of the story here, but based on what you say, I'd move nurseries. Have you had a meeting with the key worker, to go through her observations. If he's in the uk you could talk through his eyfs assessment, to see if there are areas for concern.

There is never anything to worry about in regards to extra assessment of your child, so don't worry about that. Have you tried full cooperation, so the manager has nothing to argue about?

If they fed a vegetarian fish, that's a concern. Do you get any feedback about food or activities on a daily basis?

TheHobbitMum Thu 26-Jan-17 09:03:27

I'd move nursery too, I couldn't put up with feeling like I was being treated this way

BackforGood Thu 26-Jan-17 20:47:22

I too am raising an eyebrow at your post, and some of the very subjective language you have used. I would be really interested to hear the other side of this story.
However, if you were unhappy with the Nursery '6 days in' I can't understand why you have still been sending him there for over a year?

WallisFrizz Thu 26-Jan-17 20:55:05

There is clearly a lot more to this than you are presenting.

Our nursery also has a 2 loose nappies, stay away for 48 hrs policy. I would say that is normal.

Littlefish Fri 27-Jan-17 21:51:41

I too would be interested in hearing the nursery's side of this story.

2 loose poos in a day would mean that a child would be sent home where I work too, followed by a 48 hour absence. We are given all sorts of excuses and reasons by parents as to why a child might have been sick/had diarrhoea. In order to try and avoid a spread of germs and ensure that a child is truly well enough to cope with a busy day at nursery, the nursery and school where I work is very strict about the 48 hour policy.

I don't understand why you kept your ds there if you were unhappy after 6 days.

You may consider that you have spoken to the nursery staff calmly, but they obviously don't feel the same way if they are talking about you "verbally abusing" them.

I think that you should move him to another nursery. You clearly don't trust the nursery manager, and won't, regardless of what happens in the future. It also sounds like they have some concerns about your child/you which you don't feel comfortable with.

insancerre Sun 29-Jan-17 10:21:11

Just move him if you are not happy
I'm a nursery manager and I can offer a perspective from a nursery point of view

Being excluded from nursery for loose nappies is absolutely standard practice, whatever the cause, unless the child has a medical condition that a doctor can verify. This is standard policy and it's unfortunate that it's inconvenient for work, but it's about duty of care to all the children

I don't see how eating fish would give him an upset tummy and I wouldn't take the word of a toddler that he had eaten it
It's strange that you want to believe him when he tells you he has eaten fish but you don't want the nursery to believe him when he says he was locked in his room
I'm surprised the nursery didn't report that to social services
As a nursery manager, I can refer children to the inclusion service so I don't know why the manager would need "re educating"
I make referrals on a form called a request for guidance even though I'm not a doctor or health visitor. I make referrals to speech and language too. It's part of my role
I think if the manager is asking you to modify the way you speak to the staff then you've probably overstepped the boundaries
It sounds like the nursery have concerns, and you are not in agreement
I would suggest taking him elsewhere as the relationship is never going to improve

Naty1 Sun 29-Jan-17 10:50:46

Sounds quite bad. How old is he?
Some people once you are on their list as being troublesome its hard to get off.
It's unfortunate about the d&v, though i cant personally see that having a bit of fish would upset his stomach. (However dd1 nursery gave her calpol despite me saying no, only give nurofen and they gave her another child's calpol! So I can see it can happen that the get something they shouldnt have.)
Dd often gets loose poos, variety of reasons other than d&v. If you hold too long you get constipated and then the next one after can be loose. Too much fruit. Teething... Its actually quite hard to tell if a young child has either D or V.

FreddoFrog Sun 29-Jan-17 11:02:30

'Don't criticise me' does strike me as an odd thing to say by a child still in nappies. Is he particularly articulate/start talking early?

I would change nurseries. It sounds like it would be an uphill struggle to change your relationship with the manager at this stage.

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