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Concerned about behaviour of nursery staff

(5 Posts)
pasturesnew Mon 17-Aug-09 20:13:10

Today I had a doctor's appointment so took DS to nursery then went to that and then was passing the nursery again on the way to the station when I saw (from behind):
- 3 nursery staff with various toddlers coming out of the local park where they regularly take them to play
- 1 toddler fell over. Not on purpose or in a tantrum or anything, just tripped and fell forward on the pavement. He was fine and got up straight away but a member of staff (let's call her A) known to me told him off for tripping up! She was not shouting and the boy did not seem very troubled at all by what she was saying but she was very snappy, it was along the lines of "Get up [name]!" and "Why you always doing that" .

One of the other staff (here "B") and recognised me and started saying "Oh dear [name], are you all right?" and looking at A in an agitated manner but A did not shut up!

Gradually I overtook them on the pavement and said "hello, all right" and gave A a LOOK but I'm not sure what to do now.

I am thinking of writing the nursery manager an e-mail or a letter but is that overkill? It wasn't that terrible and if I'd seen a mum doing it I wouldn't have been too bothered, but A is supposed to be a professional childcarer.

If I just mention it to the manager I am convinced she will brush it off so if I am going to say anything I think it needs to be more formal.

Would you say anything, and, if so, what?

MrsProfessor Mon 17-Aug-09 20:22:42

Yes, I would do something. However, I wouldn't necessarily put it in writing as that can backfire on you. I'd request a private meeting with the manager and tell her what you saw and why it concerned you. If she is any kind of decent manager, she will talk to A without dropping you in it.

However, I'd be a bit concerned generally about leaving a child in a nursery where (one of ) the staff speaks to children like this. It would terminally put me off the place!

pasturesnew Mon 17-Aug-09 20:30:09

Thanks. It wasn't one of the staff in DS's room and on the whole the staff are lovely but I was not impressed at all.

Prinpo Tue 18-Aug-09 13:36:02

My first concern would be to make sure that there'll be no comeback on DS if you do say something. I know that sounds heartless and selfish but, hey, he's your first priority. As the other member of staff saw you noticing, I'm pretty sure that they'll know that any complaint has come from you. However, as you say that he's in a different room then you should be ok.

I agree with MrsP and would approach the manager directly. If you speak to her then it feels less like a formal complaint and more like an observation that you want to pass on to her. I'd say something along the lines of this is what you observed, you feel that the staff member was unduly harsh with the child and that you are concerned about her behaviour. I'd then put the responsibility on to the manager and ask her how she plans to deal with the situation - it's her job to come up with a response, not yours.

If you want to make sure that she doesn't brush it off then you could arrange to meet with her in a few days time to see what action she has taken. If you're not happy that she's taken it seriously then you could consider putting it in writing. It's not a sackable offence and far worse things are probably happening in many other nurseries but it is well-below the standard of behaviour and care that you and other parents should be entitled to expect and the manager owes you a decent response that properly addresses your concerns.

Just as an aside, I bet that the parents of the toddler who fell over would be grateful if they knew that someone was not ignoring the staff member's behaviour.

pasturesnew Tue 18-Aug-09 19:13:51

Thanks. I spoke to the manager today and she was very good about it, I felt reassured she had taken it seriously and will have a word with the staff member in question.

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