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Should I dob her in? And if so how?

19 replies

Dobber · 06/09/2010 16:47

Name changed for this, because I'm nervous about it all.

Will try and be brief; I have been attending a playgroup for some time which is run by a Council paid play worker. She works very hard to get materials, etc, together, for the group, so is clearly dedicated at some level. However, she brings her two kids to the group, and because of this is unable to concentrate on leading it. They happen to be badly behaved and disruptive, which exacerbates the situation - and has in fact led to some mums withdrawing from the group. But my feeling is that even if they were absolute angels she shouldn't have them there distracting her when she is at work.

Has anybody got any solutions other than dobbing her in? And if not, how on earth would I go about reporting her, especially when I'd want to be able to do so in a way that acknowledged the very hard work she does put in to preparation and other aspects of the job?

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Bonkerz · 06/09/2010 16:53

i dont understand this 'dob her in' sure her employers would know she has her children there, they would be on registers and it would be pre agreed. Could you live with her losing her job over this especially as she is obviously good in all other respects.
Im a nursery nurse and whilst having your own children at work with you is not ideal it is a perk of the job IYKWIM.
HAve you spoken to the worker about any of your concerns???????

Dobber · 06/09/2010 16:59

Would it be pre-agreed? It's a playgroup, not a nursery, and I'm not sure the registers get inspected, they're more for fire safety etc.

The problem is she's actually not able to do her job because she has to keep stopping to deal with the kids. The other day, for instance, three out of the four activities she'd organised completely collapsed because she had to keep stopping to sort them out. There's also the fact that the kids being so out of order is driving other participants away. At what point does a 'perk' become 'taking the piss'?

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Bonkerz · 06/09/2010 17:04

if you have concerns about the childrens safety then you should say something......when you say playgroup do you mean its a group that is staffed and children attend for funded sessions or do you mean its a group where adults stay and play with kids so more of a toddler group thing............

Dobber · 06/09/2010 17:08

Staffed, and the council funds it, but parents stay. But it's for a specific purpose (don't want to explain further in case it gets identified), which is why it's funded. And the purpose can't really happen with the current situation.

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Bonkerz · 06/09/2010 17:12

sounds like a sure start kind of set up then and if thats the case then the playworker will be employed to set up and plan activities and be there for the fire regs etc. A stay and play means just that! the parents can play with their children whilst accessing the activities that the member of staff has set up.

massivemammaries · 06/09/2010 17:19

Firstly, you don't know that she hasn't pre-agreed with her employers that her kids can attend the group. She is a play leader rather than a nursery nurse, so the parents are responsible for the children while she is responsible for the group as a whole (and her own children.

Secondly - would it really be that much different if the kids belonged to someone else?

I have been to a playgroup where a lady with terribly indisciplined twins attends lots of people have stopped going because of them.

Solutions 1. stop going, 2. try engaging with her kids yourself and play with them.

I don't think complaining to the employer is the best thing to do, but if you can really cope with her losing her job over it then you will be able to get a feedback form from the organiser / surestart centre

Dobber · 06/09/2010 17:21

Not sure start, but I don't suppose the setup is too different from that. To be honest, I'm really surprised you think it's ok. Have you got any idea how working arrangements like this get evaluated?

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massivemammaries · 06/09/2010 17:27

Because it is services rather than childcare, it would be performance audited by a manager in the council

Bonkerz · 06/09/2010 17:27

i used to work as a play worker for a sure start group, basically i would set up activities and plan them and be around to supervise or support parents. THATS IT, play workers dont need to be qualified they are literally there as support and to ensure paperwork is done. I agree with massive.....either stop going or talk to the playworker and offer HER support. please bare in mind she is probably on minimum wage and feels awful that her kids cause her problems. Talk to dont know her situation!
I think you are expecting too much from this playworker, it is not her job to look after your children...she is doing all the hard work for you by thinking of and setting up activities!

Lulumaam · 06/09/2010 17:32

i don't get how all the parents sit there and watch it implode, rather than help with some of the activities. you'd rather discuss dobbing her in?

nice Hmm

I ran a playgroup for a year via the NCT, it's bloody hard work and parents need to pitch in rather than sneer at the naughty children

if there aere 4 different activities going on, surely everyone needs to help ?

Dobber · 06/09/2010 17:38

Hold on, hold on! Nobody's expecting her to look after our children - in fact most people attending do an awful lot of looking after hers!

But thanks for the information about the way that playworkers are employed - that's helpful to know, and I wouldn't have realised otherwise. Because of the other function of the group I wonder whether those are actually the terms of her job - but if they are, it sounds as if the real problem is that the Council have got her running the group under that arrangement rather than shelling out for someone who can give proper attention to running the group in a hands on way. How to change that's another question altogether!

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Dobber · 06/09/2010 17:42

And Lulumaam, everyone does pitch in and help with the activities, and the food and drink, and everthing else going on - it's just that the kids are so out of hand that even so things end up falling by the wayside as people have to stop and deal with the chaos. And nobody's been discussing dobbing her in, they've simply been saying that they can't carry on attending under these circumstances, and the group's getting smaller and smaller.

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Bonkerz · 06/09/2010 17:45

ERRRR dobber you actually called the thread...should i dob her in! so you were thinking about dobbing her in!

you sound delightful! I hope you are never in the situation of trying to earn some extra money and taking your children with you! if you are unhappy DONT GO!

massivemammaries · 06/09/2010 17:47

ERRRR bonkers, you are being a bit harsh imo - chill out

Marchpane · 06/09/2010 17:47

Is she even paid?

Dobber · 06/09/2010 17:50

I was, yes, but haven't been discussing it with anyone else as Lulumaam suggested.

OK, put it this way - you get paid for doing a job. If you're not actually doing a good part of that job, what would your employer do?

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Dobber · 06/09/2010 17:53

Marchpane - she is paid, to run the group. The council trumpet all over the relevant section of their website that they provide this service. The situation means that the service is not being provided adequately. Should that simply be ignored?

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Lulumaam · 06/09/2010 17:53

ok, it just sounds like you are being quite punitive ,esp with the title etc.

if you have a legitimate complaint then you have a duty to bring it up with the council

if she is being paid/employed to do this and it is literally falling apart, then it cannot continue... has anyone tried talking to her?

Dobber · 06/09/2010 18:00

Well, what I wish I could say is that she should have some provision for her kids while she's working, as anyone else would - which needn't mean they shouldn't be there, just that she should bring someone along to help with them so she can concentrate.

But it sounds from what people upthread are saying that it wouldn't be that unusual for someone in her job to bring their kids along with them, and I wouldn't have known that before. I still think it's odd, though; I've done the volunteer playgroup thing before too, and I know how much work it is - it wouldn't occur to me to try and do it as a proper job while looking after my kid at the same time.

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