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AMA

I work in a nursery... AMA

89 replies

AMANursery · 05/02/2020 19:27

Name changed for this just because I post on local boards so don’t want this to be outing to my particular setting.

Just as background, I’ve been in the nursery world for 14 years, started as an apprentice and now a manager and done every role in between!

OP posts:
elliejjtiny · 06/02/2020 16:38

Interesting one.

What was the most precious/fussy/entitled thing a parent asked you to do for their child?
Would you send your own child to your nursery?
What qualifications do you have?
Do you own the nursery you manage and if not do you have a good relationship with the owner?
What is your favourite activity to do with the children?
How old were you when you became a manager?
Do you still get to spend much time with the children or is your job mainly paperwork?

DreamingofSunshine · 06/02/2020 18:03

Do you ever dislike a child?

AMANursery · 06/02/2020 19:38

What was the most precious/fussy/entitled thing a parent asked you to do for their child?
I have had a parent shout at me because their child care home without their most precious hair clip. I was an apprentice at the time on £3.50ph. She sent an email saying it’s disgusting and what on earth are we doing if we’re not watching the children. We are watching the children - just not their hair clips!
We’ve had a few parents that have treated us the way you would treat a nanny, not considering that we are looking after a lot of other children so not every single little need can be met at the precise time you want. Also, no matter how many staff we have and how vigilant we are - accidents do happen!
Would you send your own child to your nursery?
Absolutely! I see the great benefits it has to children’s social skills. Things like sharing and compromising are taught well in nursery.
What qualifications do you have?
Level 5 in child care and a degree in Business management
Do you own the nursery you manage and if not do you have a good relationship with the owner?
I am manager but do have shares in the conpany. The owner used to be very very involved, for the first 20 years or so but has taken a well deserved step back since building a strong management team. She pops in once or twice a week and always at the end of the phone.
What is your favourite activity to do with the children?
I love messy and sensory play. I think it is highly beneficial to children and I love the fact that they can do things they probably couldn’t do at home.
How old were you when you became a manager?
I was 28.
Do you still get to spend much time with the children or is your job mainly paperwork?
Id say 70/30. 70% in the office 30% on the floor. it’s a lot of admin, staff observations, supervisions, appraisals, meetings with outside agencies and general day to day running. I still change nappies and help with lunches though :)

OP posts:
YesIDoLoveCrisps · 06/02/2020 19:40

Do you judge parents who leave very young babies in full time?

AMANursery · 06/02/2020 19:40

Do you ever dislike a child?
Honestly? No.
Some children are certainly challenging, but when you spend so much time with them you appreciate and enjoy their little ways. They are all unique and even the most challenging of children has moments that you love

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SleepForTheWeak · 06/02/2020 19:41

What would you say is the most challenging age group to look after?

Jobseeker19 · 06/02/2020 19:43

Me too!
How do you deal with parents who wont keep a sick child at home?

We have had parents bring in children with measles, chicken pox etc and my manager will listen to their son story and then we have to look after a very sick child 1-2-1 which theoretically will take is out of ratio.

PatchworkElmer · 06/02/2020 19:44

Is the 30 hours of funding having an impact on your nursery?

Do you judge parents? I always feel like the manger at ours is listening intently to what DS and I are chatting about when we leave 😂

Jobseeker19 · 06/02/2020 19:44

*sob story.

AMANursery · 06/02/2020 19:56

Do you judge parents who leave very young babies in full time?
No. Everyone’s circumstances are different and who am I to judge someone when I don’t know the full story. We honestly treat the children as a big group of aunties (we have no male staff - not being exclusive) so I don’t see it as any different as leaving them with a grandparent. The parents that have to leave their little babies always beat themselves up about it - but they are in safe hands and very well loved

OP posts:
AMANursery · 06/02/2020 19:59

What would you say is the most challenging age group to look after?
18 months - 2 comes with a lot of frustration related challenges. That’s when we tend to see the most biting. They know what they want but not how to say it.
A child born in September/October tends to be quite bored by the summer before they go to school. We do as much as we can but they seem to crave more structure and get frustrated with the younger ones

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MarshaBradyo · 06/02/2020 20:01

What is a good age to start some sessions at a nursery? - eg if a child can start at any age. Or skip altogether

AMANursery · 06/02/2020 20:01

Me too!
How do you deal with parents who wont keep a sick child at home?

I’m very very strict when it comes to policy. We can’t afford having all our staff come down with bugs all the time. I turn people away almost weekly. I find it frustrating when a child has clearly had calpol in the morning and flags 4 hours later. It seems to be the same parents that do that that moan about their child being unwell all the time from nursery - I wonder why Wink

OP posts:
AMANursery · 06/02/2020 20:05

the 30 hours of funding having an impact on your nursery?

Hugely :( it’s frustrating because nursery’s aren’t receiving the same amount of money that we would from a non funded child but standards and ratios are expected to stay the same. We’d also love to give the staff a higher pay rate but times are tight!

Do you judge parents? I always feel like the manger at ours is listening intently to what DS and I are chatting about when we leave 😂
Judge? No. But you do always have to be on guard with regards to safeguarding. It’s a strange set up really because you build up a rapport with families and because they’re trusting you with their most precious thing in the world some families see you like more of a friend, and with that sometimes comes awkward situations when they tell you too much and you have no choice but to deal with it. There’s a fine line between being warm and homely for the children but also professional for the parents

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Fuckitwhynot · 06/02/2020 20:06

What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made to do with a child?

AMANursery · 06/02/2020 20:07

What is a good age to start some sessions at a nursery? - eg if a child can start at any age. Or skip altogether
Under 1’s are easier to settle as they usually haven’t developed separation anxiety yet. They are easier to distract and settle. A 2/3 year old that has solely been at home with their parents is usually quite tricky at first as it’s such a shock to the system but they will settle eventually. In 14 years there has never been one child that didn’t eventually settle - sometimes it takes longer than you’d expect and a lot of adjustments need to be made to the process but they get there in the end :)

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MaraScottie · 06/02/2020 20:09

Interesting AMA, thanks!

Have you ever been concerned about a child or suspected neglect? (I hope not for the children's sake)

AMANursery · 06/02/2020 20:10

What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made to do with a child?
As a practitioner I got too close to a family and it blurred my judgement when it came to safeguarding. I was making excuses for them and didn’t report things to the safeguarding lead as quickly as I should have done. (The child wasn’t in immediate danger). Luckily, the manager at the time was very very good at her job and dealt with it and trained me on safeguarding. I’m now safeguarding lead and know exactly what I would do differently.
The family got support and as far as I know, things are sorted.
I still feel bad about that

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AMANursery · 06/02/2020 20:13

Have you ever been concerned about a child or suspected neglect? (I hope not for the children's sake)
Yes, several times. I’ve been to court with regards to a child protection case. Horrible. Nursery is a big part of a child’s life and as you are such a big part of the family’s life, you do often see/hear things you wouldn’t normally if you were, let’s say a friend.

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Settlersofcatan · 06/02/2020 20:14

I find it frustrating when a child has clearly had calpol in the morning and flags 4 hours later.

This happened to us once except that we hadn't given any calpol, he genuinely seemed absolutely fine when we dropped him off. It was so frustrating that the nursery staff clearly assumed we were horrible people who had calpoled and run.

Anyway. My question - do you have favourite children?

PatchworkElmer · 06/02/2020 20:15

@AMANursery agreed that it’s a difficult line with creating a welcoming environment vs being professional. I also think that it’s a weird dynamic because nurseries are businesses- I find it weird to get assertive and ‘I am paying you, and I’m not happy with xyz’ (which I have had to do a couple of times- vs. knowing that the nursery are looking after my most important person, and therefore feeling hugely indebted.

I also think that the fact parents are paying means that ‘advice’ is less welcome than it would be from, for example, a school setting.

AMANursery · 06/02/2020 20:20

This happened to us once except that we hadn't given any calpol, he genuinely seemed absolutely fine when we dropped him off. It was so frustrating that the nursery staff clearly assumed we were horrible people who had calpoled and run.

Oh I totally appreciate it’s not always the case, but we can only assume when they say ‘ I had purple medicine this morning!’ 😂 but yes totally understand that a child can drop very quickly.

Anyway. My question - do you have favourite children?
No. Possibly I did as an apprentice as I was very nervous about my ability so the the ones that seemed to like me made me feel better about it. The children that were very cuddly would often get me!
Nowadays, I definitely have children I know better (5 days a week compared to one half day a week or something) but I wouldn’t say favourite. As lame as this sounds all children are unique and lovely in their own way.

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AMANursery · 06/02/2020 20:27

@PatchworkElmer you worded that perfectly. It’s very conflicting.

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Ebeneser · 06/02/2020 20:28

How would you deal with staff members who lied/gave misinformation to parents about how their child got injured at nursery?

FoxtrotSkarloey · 06/02/2020 20:32

Very interesting, thank you. I've got two questions:

  1. you mentioned biting, especially between 18months - 2 years. How would you expect a nursery to deal with a repeat biter? Many children bitten, normally when the biter wants a toy.
  2. how many days at nursery do you think is best to get the most out of it but balance home life? Five days at nursery seems like a lot for a one year old.
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