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Concerns about sons nursery(9 Posts)
Hi all. This is my first post on mumsnet . I’m having concerns about my child’s nursery and wanted to get other mum’s opinions before I approach the nursery. I’m really sorry for the essay I am about to write!
My son started nursery just after his 2nd birthday in September. He’s settled into nursery well and seems happy there. He is developing well and has learnt a lot since being there so I am encouraged by that.
But I do have issues with the nursery, here’s what’s been happening. Firstly he is never in any of the nurseries Facebook posts. Sounds silly but Every time I see a post I hope he might be featured in it, but no. It upsets me as I’d love to see what he’s doing at nursery and being with his friends etc. one afternoon they posted a picture of his group sitting down with hot chocolate with a Christmas film but he’d already gone home as he only attends in the morning on that day. I showed him the picture and he asked where he was, because he realised that they were his friends and he wasn’t there. The final straw came when they posted Christmas party pictures (which I didn’t even know was happening) and a visit from Father Christmas, again on a day that he doesn’t attend. It was really sad to see all the other children having their Christmas dinner, wearing party hats and getting a gift from Santa knowing he missed out. I get that he doesn’t attend on that day but perhaps they should have done another party for children who wernt there or at least given parents a chance to organise for them to go to the party if they could. I spoke to them about it and they did admit other parents had expressed dissatisfaction about not being told there was a Christmas party (obv children who didn’t attend that day as well).
Next Is the lack of communication. When I collect him (doorstep pick up due to Covid) they tell me if he’s slept and how long for, what he’s eaten and usually ‘he’s been great today’. That’s it. I have no idea what’s he’s doing all day apart from when he comes home with paintings and things he’s made. They don’t tell me how he gets on with the other children, it’s him that tells me about the children that he plays with. They haven’t mentioned anything potty training yet, even though I was told before he started they would help to support whatever we were doing at home and would offer advice. Am I asking too much? I want to know what my son is doing every day and don’t think that’s unreasonable?
My last point is lack of professionalism. When Boris announced that all educational setting were closing apart from nurseries last week, the next day when I dropped him off at nursery, it was so evident that the staff didn’t want to be there. I can understand they are scared about the Covid situation too, but I don’t feel they should be portraying their annoyance to parents. Also the manager made me feel awful about sending him in by saying ‘if it was my child I would keep them at home’. I have been working full time from home since March and my husband works in construction and so has worked the whole way through the pandemic too. I have actually decided to keep him at home now/ send him to his nana’s for a few weeks because I am worried about Covid as ell. But even that is a strain as my mum has copd and is at slight risk. Plus she struggles to have him for 4 whole days. I don’t feel that the manager should have said that to me. Its started to make me question what they are like with the children. They do seem a bit grumpy at times.
Please let Me know what u all think. My husband agrees with my concerns and is usually the first one to say if I’m overreacting or being unreasonable! Thanks all
Does your nursery use any kind of communication system? Famly?
Photos - just checking, you have given agreement for photos to be taken and uploaded onto social media? Clutching at straws but just thought I'd check!
With regard to not much of a handover - at our nursery we are currently only doing a very basic handover to avoid spending time with parents (Covid ), however we do use Famly and regularly post on there what the children have been up to and always happy to answer any questions from parents.
The Christmas party is a tricky one - we had a party before Christmas, on a set day, and unfortunately we couldn't invite every child due to ratios. However every child got a present, card and enjoyed Christmas crafts over the week.
About the staff being professional - im disappointed to hear that. It's a scary time at the moment, I love my job ( being with the children is the highlight of my week - saddo ) but I am only human and will admit I'm terrified that my job puts me at risk. I wouldn't however make that clear to parents!
Thanks for your reply @frustrationcentral.
They haven’t told me if there is a communication system. I assume not? They’re sent one communication since he started and that was by email.
Photos- good point. I did wonder about consent but there was nothing on the registration form about this and again they’ve never mentioned it.
Handover- completely understand that due to Covid this is limited. They tend to use their Facebook as a way of communication but it is very limited and it’s always on days when he’s not there so again, no idea what he’s doing .
Yes do understand about the party. Did you communicate to your parents of children who wouldn’t be there in that day that there was going to be a party? He want given a present or anything but they did do Christmas crafts as he came home with a few bits.
Completely understand about the Covid situation and to be honest, think it’s ridiculous that Boris didn’t shut early years settings too!
We didn't make a big thing about telling parents about the Christmas dinner/party, we did quite a few different activities over the month and tried to mix it up a bit over which day they were done - Christmas jumper day, walking to the church, posting cards at the village post box etc were all done on different days. I'm sad to read your little one didn't get a present , we handed ours out over the week so every child took theirs home on their last day.
I think if I was you I'd approach the nursery, ask them about photos- have you missed the permission slip etc, how do they go about informing you on how your little one is settling etc. As I said, we use Famly, we post a group message most days (with photos), settling in posts - simply a couple of photos of a certain child saying they've settled and are happy etc and to inform parents of progress etc we have focus weeks. Each child has a focus week every term, observations are carried out and at the end of it the parents are given a report showing how they're progressing, what the staff are going to do to help the child to move forward and also little extras like what they enjoy playing with. I like adding in something very specific about the child (a love of dinosaurs etc),Parents then feedback what their feelings are. Whilst we have this focus week obviously we're always observing the children, it just gives an opportunity to really focus on that child's needs in greater depth.
I'd voice your concerns, as a nursery were always happy to talk to parents and help to sort out any worries they have
Hope you get it sorted x
Combined, it doesn't sound great, but I think a few things are easily explained. Were any of these types of things raised in their ofsted report?
Facebook posts does sound like a permission thing or just an unintentional thing. It seems like either you are missing some comes or it isn't great. I would just ask what comms you should expect and if the answer really is only Facebook, then I'd ask for your son to be included. With regards to the quality at handover each day, then just ask what they've done!
Christmas party is unfortunate but normal. What my DS' nursery do is just make sure any events are always held on different days so they rotate.
That comment from the manager wasn't great. But if it was a one off, I'd assume it was down to current pressures or a bad day.
@frustrationcentral thank you so much for the advice. It really helps to have an example of what other nurseries do. That’s what I would hope to have from them. Thank you again x
It sounds like their communication just isn’t great. My DD’s nursery have a weekly newsletter that highlights key dates for each week and is colour coded so we know whether we as parents need to do anything.....eg send in an orange to make a christingle or send child wearing a Christmas jumper. This also had the Christmas party date in which was the last day of term, but they did open this to other children who don’t usually attend on that day for an extra charge.
They also use tapestry which is an app that they upload my DD’s care diary to (what she’s eaten, nappy changes, naps etc) as well as observations. We usually get at least one set of group pictures for all the children doing a specific activity and then at least 2 observations per week just of DD linked specifically to her development and the EYFS. I also find that if I ask the staff at pick up what she’s done they are happy to elaborate on the days activities and how she’s been, but again that might be because we already have the online care diary so don’t need to be told about meals and sleep etc.
My DC is 3.5 and handovers really are minimal- I usually get a "yeah they've been fine, usual happy self" and "no accidents today!" (Or a nappy bag with dirty pants if there has been an accident). I did have to check that they were eating meals and then the next few handovers they gave more details on meal times. Pre-covid they had a little diary where they wrote activities and meals, naps etc down but they have stopped that now.
With potty training, when my DC moved to the pre-school room the nursery staff just asked us to send in a load of pants and they said they would start. I was a bit as DC hadn't shown any signs of being ready but actually it did help and we carried on at home. Maybe your nursery are waiting for you let them know when your child is ready?
I don't think what the manager said was helpful at all. I would be really annoyed!
Facebook is neither here nor there. I think I've seen 2 pictures of my little one in the 2 years they've been there. It's just nice to see what activities they do generally!
Thinking about the Facebook thing - if your child is at the setting whilst the photos are being taken there is also the issue that some children naturally don't put themselves forwards to be in the centre of an activity. We have a couple of specific activities every week that we always post about, we have lots of children who are more confident and like to show off what they're doing etc and a few who are happier stood on the sideline. As nursery workers we obviously encourage all children, but sometimes the child just wants to watch and that's ok, we just always remember to include them in photos as best we can as just because they aren't keen to join in, it doesn't mean they didn't enjoy watching it