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to phone ds's nursery or should I just let it lie?

51 replies

wigglemama · 15/04/2011 10:12

I went to collect ds (3yo) from nursery yesterday. There were 2 members of staff at the door, one coming out, one inside. As I walked past I said hello to one, wlked on and then turned to say hello to the other only to find them mouthing something to each other behind my back. I figured it was work related and just went to get ds.

The first thing he said to me was "I was left inside at playtime today". (I am normally greeted with a hug and a "Do you have anything to eat mummy?") The member of staff jumped in quickly and told me that they were taking the children out to play, they got to the bottom of the stairs, done a head count, realised 2 were missing and went back to get them straight away. My ds replied to this by pointing at the staff member and saying "No, you left me inside". She just laughed it off and told him he was being silly, repeating what she had said before word for word.

I thought nothing more of it until we got to the car and my ds said "Me and Clara looked everywhere for the teachers but we couldn't find them. We looked in the bathroom, the home corner, the reading corner, but they weren't there". When I asked him what he did then he said they just played and then a teacher came, but they didn't go out to play.

The stories just don't match up. The stairs are directly outside ds's room and had they realised at the bottom that 2 were missing, ds would not have had time to look anywhere for the teachers. Plus, he said he didn't go out to play and she said he did. I know he is only 3 but he doesn't lie and is very articulate.

To be honest, although I am worried that they were left behind-surely a member of staff should be at the back of the line to do a quick sweep of the room before they all leave??- I am more annoyed that I feel I have been lied to and that my ds has heard the staff member lying. Obviously there's the other issues like what if there had been a fire or if they had injured themselves.

So, should I phone up? Ds isn't back in Nursery now until Tuesday. I don't want them to get away with lying to me, but am happy to hold my hands up and apologise if I am wrong. They have CCTV in all the rooms, so surely they should be able to go back and check exactly how long they were left alone for??
DS has been at this Nursery for 2 and a half years now and I have never ever had an issue.

OP posts:
diddl · 15/04/2011 15:40

But if it was accidental, then surely that is worse, as none of the staff had any idea that there were 2 children wandering about inside.

And tbh, if staff can´t count correctly because children "move about" then I´d be looking for another nursery asap!

Slambang · 15/04/2011 15:47

Could it actually have been a very short time that felt like a long time to your ds?

My ds was once 'left' in the playground at school when he was in reception and 'all the other children had gone in and the doors were locked'. It turned out on detailed questioning that one door (his normal classroom door) was closed but other doors into the school were still open. A teacher was still in the playground scooping up the stragglers and he just hadn't heard the bell. He was never actually 'left' but the panic of thinking for just a few seconds that he had been, led to several weeks of nightmares and lots of questions about 'what should I do if...'.

Mind you, I think those nursery workers are fibbing and will keep fibbing (and making your ds out to be exaggerating) to cover their big fat behinds.

DuffDad · 15/04/2011 16:17

Hope it went OK. For what it's worth, I'd approach the situation along the lines of: "There has obviously been some truth distortion here, if it was DS, I want to make sure that it was just misinterpretation/age, and if it was more deliberate, I want to make sure he doesnt start fibbing to me. Obviously if it was the staff members, I want to be sure that this kind of thing cant happen again, and want an explanation of exactly what I was told"

b1uebells · 15/04/2011 16:23

Hope it went okay, any update op?

OpheliaBumps · 15/04/2011 16:24

Just read this, I hope it went ok.

It is a worry, as diddl says, what if it had been a fire, rather than just playtime?

I would want to know their policy for checking headcount etc when they play outside/have a fire drill, and what they intend to do to make sure it doesn't happen again.

dribbleface · 15/04/2011 16:40

As a nursery manager i would

a) want to be aware if i wasn't already. My staff know to always own up to honest errors. Lying and covering up, is in my opinion a sackable offence, where as human error isn't always
b)want to reassure you if it wasn't quite as your Ds said.
c)if it turned our my staff had lied, i'm sorry but their feet would not touch the floor, as i said i accept mistakes but not a cover up.

Hope it all goes ok.

Grabaspoon · 15/04/2011 16:44

What happened? Did you see the CCTV?


LDNmummy · 15/04/2011 19:56

Private nurseries are dodgy in the sense that they lack enough regulation to assure staff are actually following through all rules and regulations, even the most common sense ones. Please keep updated as I am sure your LO is telling the truth.

wigglemama · 15/04/2011 20:23

OK, so I went to see them and spoke to the Nursery manager. To be honest, I didn't have to defend my ds alot. She was already aware of the situation and talked me through EXACTLY what had happened and showed me CCTV.

The staff member who had spoken to me when I collected ds yesterday knew something had happened with ds being left inside but didn't know the details. She was trying to cover her colleague's back, even though what she told me was completely inaccurate! I pointed out to the Nursery manager that this was setting a really bad example to my ds as he knew she was lying. She was unaware of that member of staff saying that and said she will speak to her about it.

The Nursery manager told me that there were 2 members of staff involved in the error (Both room leaders incidentally). She had had a meeting with them that morning about it. They have been put on 1st stage of disciplinary as a result and the area manager is coming in to speak with them next week. They have already planned a new procedure for taking children outside, where they do a headcount BEFORE they leave the room and then do a full group register when they all get outside-before the children are allowed to go off and play. She apologised profusely and said that it was a huge issue that they are taking very seriously. I felt confident that it had been dealt with well within the Nursery and that it will not happen again.

As it turns out, my ds and Clara were in the toilet and when they came out everyone had gone out.

I am pleased that I went in to see them. Thanks again for the advice and support!

OP posts:
FAB5 · 15/04/2011 20:29

I am glad they are taking this seriously. Will you keep your son at the nursery?

Happymm · 15/04/2011 20:36

The procedure they're planning on putting in was the exact one I would suggest, as this is what's done at my DC's nursery. Good to be secure in the knowledge that things are being put right, and lying not tolerated.

smokinaces · 15/04/2011 20:38

Glad to see everything is following protocol, and the manager was honest.

just as an aside, are children at 3 meant to be in the toilets alone? Only ask as at my sons nursery they have a keyworker with them - or at least standing by the door. Didnt know whether this was protocol or just them being over cautious?

I am really glad they didnt discredit your son - but how scary to come out the toilets and find everyone gone!

b1uebells · 15/04/2011 20:43

Glad it all got sorted.

How long were they actually alone for? Was the girl's story in any way accurate?

Hope your ds is okay :)

tomhardyismydh · 15/04/2011 20:43

i had a similar issue but no cctv. I would contact ofsted about this prior to contacting nursery incase they are tempted to tamper with cctv.

i would not let this lay and would not let my dc back untill this was delt with.

trust your instincts.

wigglemama · 15/04/2011 21:02

I will keep ds at the Nursery, he's been there a long time, my dd is there too and I have never ever had any other problems/issues with them. Both ds and dd are very happy there and I feel comfortable with how they are deailing with it all.
They were alone for around 5 minutes, which doesn't sound long in any other situation, but is long enough for something to have happened in this situation.

OP posts:
breatheslowly · 15/04/2011 21:05

I am a bit surprised that the management waited for you to raise the issue. I think it should have been reported to you in the same way as an accident would be - i.e. on the day and written.

diddl · 15/04/2011 21:05

I am absolutely gobsmacked that they don´t gather them together & count before going out.

I had no idea that places wouldn´t do this.

Melly19MummyToBe · 15/04/2011 21:13

My neice and nephew go to a nursery where the door to where they go outside and play is in the same room as where they spend all their time. And when it's the time of year when they play outside a lot they just leave the door open and the kids go in and out as they please, there's normally 3-4 staff on so they can keep an eye of all the children, inside or outside.

hairfullofsnakes · 15/04/2011 21:13

How absolutely disgusting they lied and made out your son was being silly. Please follow this up an not only should those in question be severly reprimanded, they should apologise to you in person for their lies. I would have NO faith in that place and take my children out immediately - they are a seriously poor example on how to behave. You trust these people
To look after your kids and not only have they failed here, they completey lied about it.

Please let us know what happens - if they do not investigate/take your concern seriously say you will go to the local paper. Thank goodness nothing bad happened but I am aghast they lied so blatantly.

gemmummy · 15/04/2011 21:18

smokinaces, my DS aged 3 goes to the loo alone at his nursery, I think it depends on if the child is able or not, and the staff help the ones that need it, or bum wiping. Just for a wee he will go alone.

Cat98 · 15/04/2011 21:19

yanbu, though I understand it may be difficult to bring up.

smokinaces · 15/04/2011 21:23

gemmmummy, I wonder whether its because its linked toilets? The two preschool room share the toilets - so he could go in, go for a wee and then decide to join the other room Grin He is more than capable of going alone (does at home) but there is someone by the door/in there when he is.

Then again, he is also one to play with the water.

And the toilet roll

and sit on the floor playing paper mache with it all, in his own little world of roll play.

so guessing they go in to hurry him up!!!

TheMonster · 15/04/2011 21:34

I'm glad you spoke to them, and at least you can be sure that they will be extra vigilant in future.

ThingOne · 15/04/2011 21:37

I'm glad she was honest. My DS2's nursery had some children as young as two go to the loo alone, to promote independence. It does seem right the staff have been through the first stage of the disciplinary procedure though - I help my son's reception class, as a volunteer, and I count kids in and out of the toilets!

chocadoodle · 15/04/2011 21:49

Do you think she would've told you OP if you hadn't have raised it?

I'm glad it seems as though she's taking it seriously.

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