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Tricky Parent at Preschool?

(23 Posts)
Lizzylou Tue 29-Sep-09 11:34:52

OK, DS2 goes to local Preschool, same one that DS1 went to, lovely staff, great place for him and my DS1 loved it there too.
One of the Mothers who is on the Preschool Committee has started taking her almost 2 year old son to the Preschool and has to stay because they are not insured for children who are not 2.
The problem is that she is always very stressed out with her DC (her eldest is at school with my eldest) and really not the sort of person you'd leave your children with. Swearing/smacking/ignores her DC frequently.
There have been issues brought up by other parents (just amongst themselves) where, if an Ofsted inspector it could impact hugely on the preschool. I was told today by another Mother of two incidents which left a lot of the parents waiting at pick up very upset.
So, what do I do? Do I speak to a member of staff, wait it out until her child is 2 years old or speak to her? I will have to see this woman for years at the school run, so don't want to cause trouble. I know she finds it tough atm so equally don't want to upset her.
I don't want the preschool or my DS suffering because of her behaviour. BUT because I don't do all the pick ups/drop offs (CM does most) I didn't witness actual events so would be hearsay.
I also feel that she needs some help tbh, but knowing her, I can't see her accepting it.
?

Mamazon Tue 29-Sep-09 11:39:34

if she is behaving like this inside the pre school then surely the staff will already be aware?

if they aren't insured for her child then the child shouldn't be there.

Lizzylou Tue 29-Sep-09 11:41:22

That is my feeling. She has got round the insurance bit by staying there with him. I think she has used her position the committee to pull strings.

The incidents last week happened in the toilets just off the reception area, so only parents witnessed them, the staff were with the other children.

Mamazon Tue 29-Sep-09 11:43:17

is she CRB checked?

I think i would complain abotu the fact that anyone is there other than staff tbh.

and yes i would rasie anything i have seen or heard with the manager.

If you all know what she's like i cannot imagine the staff dont know too.
i suspect they are just as unhappy abotu the situation as you but are afraid to tell her no.

maria1665 Tue 29-Sep-09 11:47:41

Tackle it with the nursery.

They can get the insurance amended to include a named child under 24 months - they did this with my daughter - the displayed insurance cert had her name on it.

I think they are on dodgy ground by letting her stay. Is she CRB checked - she has access to other peoples children. Nursery's assurances that she is never left alone with children who aren't her own just won't wash.

I would hazard a guess that they are prejudicing the validity of their insurance by consenting to this arrangement.

Get it sorted - BTW - if she's that bad, I bet the nursery staff are just dying for someone to complain. My advice - keep personality out of it and point out the insurance/CRB issues.

Lizzylou Tue 29-Sep-09 11:50:01

That is exactly is, she is a "strong" character.
The PS Manager is off ill atm, I think I will speak to another Mom who is on the Committee as well. If Ofsted had witnessed the events last week or another Parent had complained then I think they'd have been shut down/investigated tbh, which would be awful as it is an excellent preschool with lovely staff.

GooseyLoosey Tue 29-Sep-09 11:53:54

First instinct was to say she just can't stay as then you have to open the pre-school to all under 2s and as others have said, CRB checks etc become an issue.

However, as I suspect she really needs to be away from her child for a little bit both for her sake and that of the child, I think I would go down the route of a one off named amendment to the insurance. However, to the degree that there is a cost associated with this, she should be asked to meet it (which will presumably deter others).

Only other option is that if the child will be 2 very soon, you grin and bear it.

scarletlilybug Tue 29-Sep-09 11:54:53

If the mother is on the committee, she must have had a CRB check.

I would raise the matter with the committee chair - assuming the mother in question isn't the Chairperson. Otherwise, another commitee member.

Ask to look at the pre-school's policies - they might well be in breach of their own policies by allowing her to stay.

littlerach Tue 29-Sep-09 11:55:20

It's not just insurance though, it's also Ofsted.
A preschool is registered to provide care for childrne of a ceratin age which is displayde for all to see.
If she is on the committee she shoudl be CRB checked anyway.
It may be worth contacting the Chair of the committee as the staff may feel they are unable to do much.

Lizzylou Tue 29-Sep-09 11:57:37

I went to committee meetings a few years back and wasn't CRB checked though, Scarlet.

Yes, you're right Goosey, she finds it tough with her son, she does need a break, which is why I didn't say anything when I first found out about the arrangement.

Will hunt down voice of reason type Mother also on the Committee and speak with her.

Thanks

bumpybecky Tue 29-Sep-09 11:57:40

I expect she is (or is in the process of being) CRB checked as she is the chair.

At our preschool all of the committee has to be CRB checked and registered with Ofsted as it's a requirement for Ofsted registration, the preschool constitution and insurance.

Is there anyone else willing to be chair? I suspect if you rock the boat you might find your chairperson resigns.....

bumpybecky Tue 29-Sep-09 11:58:37

oh sorry, I misread the OP, she's not chair - just as well really!

Lizzylou Tue 29-Sep-09 11:59:49

The Chair is not a parent anymore, this Mother is Treasurer.
Am sure a CRB check if it had been done wouldn't pick up anything "wrong", it is more her parenting style and gosh, temperament I suppose.

scarletlilybug Tue 29-Sep-09 12:08:17

If you are actually on a pre-school committee, you need to be CRB checked for Ofsted purposes. So I doubt the lack of CRB checks would be a valid reason for her not being allowed to attend - because she probably is CRB checked.

The pre-school may well be in breach of its Ofsted registration, though, by allowing her to attend. I amagine it says something like "nn children over the age of 2 may be cared for on the premises".

GooseyLoosey Tue 29-Sep-09 12:09:03

I have a friend who finds caring for her children all day quite tough and stressful and always brings the little one places where she really should not be. Watching them together can be stressful for all concerned and I find that you get sucked in.

From that experience, I think a friendly word (from Chairmum) along the lines of "it seems pointless you staying all the time when X is nearly 2, shall we see if we can amend insurance and other docs so you can just leave X". If the mother is like my friend, she will bite your hand off with gratitude!

wannaBe Tue 29-Sep-09 12:27:40

thing is, if you go in and complain do you think anything will be done?

I would be inclined to ring ofsted and report it tbh. I know that sounds harsh, but if you complain and nothing is done and you have to go down the route of speaking to ofsted they will know it was you. So I would just go straight to ofsted and speak to them about your concerns. Also, they're more likely to take note if the warning comes from an authority.

littlerach Tue 29-Sep-09 12:30:41

But she can't leave the child if they are under 2 as it will mess up the staff ratios completely.

i htink you need ot find out if the Chair (who is the registered "owner" or person) is aware.
if they are aware and not bothered/interested, then take it to Ofsted.

littlerach Tue 29-Sep-09 12:31:52

Sorry, just seent that it is the Treasurer.

Maybe she is in to do her Treasurer's role and acnnot find anyone ot look after her child (thinking the best!)

peanutbutterkid Tue 29-Sep-09 13:05:48

I really don't think that Ofsted would be the least bit bothered in principle, about the woman staying, because she is CRB checked in that setting. That's the extent of their concern about suitable person vetting.

I don't understand why report to Ofsted unless you want them to come inspect, and the woman will be on her best behaviour while they watch. Unless, If A LOT of parents complained, then Ofsted might come down heavy, is that what you want?

Is this woman paying for sessions? Sounds like she needs to find a soft play centre instead!

Lizzylou Tue 29-Sep-09 15:41:02

No Peanut, I wouldn't want Ofsted to inspect/shu the setting down. What I didn't want to happen was for another parent to complain/Ofsted to spotcheck or whatever and them get into trouble because of this woman.

She was shouting at her son, left him in the toilet by himself when he was mid tantrum and walked off, leaving him screaming and banging his head on the floor. The person who told me about this had to comfort him.
Two days running.

I guess what I am worried about is how her behaviour reflects on the preschool and if, as she is there as an adult her behaviour has to correspond to any guidelines etc.

Couldn't get to speak to anyone this pm.

peanutbutterkid Tue 29-Sep-09 18:35:25

Oh dear, sounds (a little) like what I might do on a very bad day blush -- but not the shouting at least, or letting Tot bang so hard they might hurt themselves.

Technically she is a Trustee for the charity that manages the preschool. So she's not directly responsible for caring or educating other people's children, I still don't think Ofsted would express an opinion.

However, on the chance I'm totally wrong... I would think about ringing Ofsted and asking what is the position if a Trustee and her child are in the building during a session, and the Trustee does not supervise her minor child at all times, potentially putting him at risk; does Ofsted have an opinion about that?

Knowing their answer might help inform you about the best way forward with the other options suggested.

peanutbutterkid Tue 29-Sep-09 18:37:29

Sorry, don't say she's a trustee! Say she's just a parent who was visiting, or some other believable Tosh. Don't let on she's a Committee Officer.

vbusymum1 Tue 29-Sep-09 18:47:01

AFAIK you don't have to be CRB checked to stay with your own child at a pre school. The one I attend is very strict on that kind of issue and its never been mentioned which rather makes a mockery of the fact that the committee members who may never even see any of the children do need a CRB check.
At my setting the staff would definitely have a word with a parent who behaved like that if they saw it but I'd say its a matter for the committee rather than Ofsted, maybe a reminder in the newsletter about parental supervision.
If the mum does struggle with the toddler maybe she did the right thing by walking away rather than losing it with him and although its not ideal by any means at least he was in a safe place.

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