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Help-unhappy with nursery

20 replies

griff31 · 27/11/2011 12:52


My dd is 2years 3months old.
She started nursery at 18months old in baby unit.
At first she was clingy.
But she settled and was really happy.

6weeks ago she was moved with few other kids in her freindship/age group.
The preschool units the opposite side of road , different team.

Its so much bigger 3levels
the communications not as good as baby unit.

she started crying every time we drop her off even when we drive into nursery road.

She does one full day a week mainly for her to socialise with kids her own age and her own development.

I picked her up thursday as usual.

I had my 5year old with me at time.
They asked if we could talk in office.

some staff had commented her hair can be messy at times and occasionally she has marks on her clothes.

I explained that she has clean outfit on every thur morning when shes leaves for nursury run.
I also supply 3spare sets clean clothes in change bag as she has a tendancy to get messy and is potty training right now.

I also explained shes got fear of bath right now so hair has been an issue currently using detangling spray/putting it in bunches/clips.
she is being bathed reguarly under duress I even get in bath with her and shes washed daily.

I understand they have to raise points but it was way they did it.
They also said they aware I have 3kids including baby am i coping anything they can help with?

They documented our conversation and made me sign it.
Felt completly ambushed and couldent really say much as had 5year old with me and baby/hubby waiting in car.

Am I being paranoid? are they trying to outline neglect?

I rang my hv who get on very well with.
she said they handled situation wrong.
that my coping was patronising question, that the asumption because I have other kids I couldent cope and it was none of their business.
Thats its normal for toddlers to hate washing and get dirty.
That im doing all right things getting in bath with her, buying new bath toys ect.

Other than that they say shes happy child and doing well with potty training as within the last month I managed to get her potty trained and in toddler bed so was thinking we doing quite well.

Hubbys fuming hes booked appointment to see nursery manager wed.
I have appointment to veiw another local nursery tommorow.

we have to give 4weeks notice within contract.
shes not been overly settled in preschool unit since transferring
yet shes got freinds there.

so confused what to say to them wed.
should I move her?
hv says i need to do whats right for her.
but feel shes already funny about drop off if she senses im u happy with nursury too that may make things worse.

Feel really uncomfortable dropping her off thinking all staff talking about her and judging me as bad mum would make me quite paranoid between leave house clean, school run with 5year old then nursury that she might get dirt her snack or her drink down her in car.

I feel so hurt and angry.
spent thur night/friday in tears.
she looks so lush thur morning had brand new outfit on.
she has so many lovley clothes and always put thourght about everything matching for nursury.
I wash all the kids clothes after each single wear.
Thats why im stunned they trying to makje such huge deal of it.
surly its normal for toddlers to get messy?
everytime i pick her up they changed her outfit so they should know that.

I dont really know anyone at the preschool unit very well.
based on last week not liking her keyworker very much.
if they had casually said oh whats with the scary bad hair day I would have told them.
I always make the time to chat to the staff and if i drop off not hubby fill them in on what shes been up to that week

So for essay so stunned and upset.
They made me feel awful and breaks my hear for them to think shes does not look nice or that shes well looked after.

OP posts:
LauraM20 · 27/11/2011 16:35

As a nursery owner I was horrified to read this the nursery acted terribly, you should never have been made to feel this way. So what if her clothes were abit mucky, she is at nursery I'm sure they are going to get alot messier. The nursery should be working alongside you not making you feel like a bad parent, sounds like they are very unproffesional. Do not worry, sounds like you are doing a fab job!! I would look into another nursery, somewhere that you are respected as a parent and feel comfortable and confident sending your daughter to x

Pozzled · 27/11/2011 16:48

I'm also shocked that they acted like this. You should see the state of my 3 year old some days when I drop her at nursery. Her clothes don't match because she chooses them herself, they're clean but not pristine and her hair gets messy on the 5 minute walk from home.
IMO a good nursery understands that toddlers get dirty, they should only be raising concerns if the child is obviously unwashed, or appears unhappy etc.

griff31 · 27/11/2011 17:04

Thanks laura m.

really reassuring to know this is not standard nursery policy.

I wouldent mind if it was true but she always leaves the house in fresh clean clothes and all matching co-ordinated colours.

Theres a couple of her spare bottoms that i pack in her change bag that have few paint stains on from when shes been painting a nursery.
I never moan when they ruined a few new outfits with paint stains.
If its not her spare bottoms could be a few of her spare vests that seem to stain easily but they failed to give specific example of what item of clothing was dirty and when?

her pegs by the door and her change bag was undone with some of her stuff on floor dirty in plastic nappy bags and stickers on saying had accident as potty training. The 3 spare tops were unused and clean in her bag so have no idea what items were dirty and when which guess will query in greater detail on wed at meeting with manager.

They did make me feel awful and it seemed like a formal inquisition not a helpful supportive chat with a parent. I dont see why how many kids I have is an issue I have 3quite common round here.

her hair is an issue but challenge to find a kid who likes having their hair washed and brushed.

Plus they quite inflexible with times I pay from 9-5 but because got school run I cant make it there until 9.20-9.30.So school/nursury runs stressful enough without stressing that shes immaculate clean on arrival.

I try to be quite chilled out. we a very close family and kids always happy and well never been to and e with them so resent the message they were imply we bad parents especially as they barly no us yet we judged already.

At the end of conversation they were trying to be be all freindly tone we just making sure we cant help in anyway, dont feel bad well how do they expect me to react. really wish had said more at time but was caught off guard and had my eldest with me..

OP posts:
RitaMorgan · 27/11/2011 17:10

One day a week is a nightmare in terms of settling - it's too long between sessions so is like starting afresh each week. Can you do two morning instead?

As for taking you aside - you would think a nursery is used to seeing mucky toddlers with messy hair Confused Unless it was really bad - inappropriate clothes for the weather, clothes that are threadbare or much too small, nappies left on to long etc - I'm really suprised they said anything.

purepurple · 27/11/2011 17:16

How rude of the nursery. I work in a nursery and would never dream of saying anything like that to a parent. I really don't judge people on how clean or dirty their children's clothes/ hair is.
There was no need for the nursery to say anything to you. If the nursey have concerns about your child, then they may well feel that they are following child protection proceedures. But they have gone about it in a very hamfisted way.
In fact all they have done is to alienate you and make you feel as if you need to take your DD elsewhere and potentially off the radar.
We have children at our nursery that wear the same clothes every day. Some go home with paint in their hair and come back in the next day with it still in their hair.
Some don't even send in spares and we have to send them home in nursery spares.

Bossybritches22 · 27/11/2011 18:26

First I am surprised they have moved her into the pre-school group, she is only just over 2 really & the PS-ers are 3+ whichis a HUGE developmental diffference at that age. No wonder the little tot is unsettled it is a big change.

Secondly as others have said they are being VERY judgemental, although their intentions are sound in offering help they have got it totally wrong & insulted you to boot.

I would have a word with the owner/manager & let her know how you feel but also find another nursery if you can that values you as a parent a bit more & treats you & your DD as an individual.

griff31 · 27/11/2011 18:59

I always send in 2-3spare clothes
diposable nappies
coat, hat gloves if needed.

They were always so laid back and freindly in baby unit.
last few weeks been sending in spare pants to use in nursury but putting her in disposable pullup on school run .

I used to bath her every other day but last month and half shes screamed house down every time bath her so get her in bath least 3times aweek and wash her every day. as soon as she goes in bath she tries to climb out, hv says just a phase dont worry kids dont need bath every day as long as they clean.

A lot of problem is her growing independance she wants to wipe her own face, she loves washing her hands and brushing her teeth.

So shes not dirty or smelly. The issue was a few marks on her clothing.
Her hair i try wash best i can with sponge.
its not so much dirty just get tangled !Sometimes i trim knots out if she wont let me brush it.

I brush it smooth and add clips /bands which she then takes out and makes her hair all messy again some mornings shes resembles the lost fraggle!

She has white blond fly away static hair which is bit short to do anything with can sometimes get into 2 high pigtails if she lets me.

Her clothes not threadbare , no holes
her outfits weather/season approipriate
clean on
provide spares

been putting her in mostly skirts and dresses with tights to aide them better with potty.

They acknowledge shes a happy child, rarly ill. very sociable and smiley.
feel shes at an age she should really be enjoying everything nursery has to offer

she often comes home in dirty nappy.

I change her as last min before leaving house as possible so she gets up has brekkie 1st then dressed at 8 we leave house at half 8 drop off eldest then head over to nursery.

Rita-take you point originally wanted to do that but works out more expensive to do 2half days than one whole day silly really and whole day allows me to do chores she hates doing like shopping, bank and give her baby brother some peace.

We picked nursery as close to our house and gym .As I pick eldest up at 3.15 shes in gymnastics 3/45-4.45 and toddler got bored of waiting round for the hour then we go pick her up at 5.

she was so happy in babyunit and does have some little freinds.
she was 2in september and had little birthday part for her and few of her nursery freinds.

Took her to messy play at toddlers group other day and she was no messier than the next 2year old.

she does easiy get food/drink down her.
and if drawing, painting she inevitably manages to get it on her.

need to work out how to stay calm and what to say to nursery manager on wed. guess I should get my feelings down on paper incase I forget.
I couldent think straight at pickup thursday as was so shocked and had eldest with me.

Just curious for those who work in nursury environment what would be correct way of handling this?

They have made me want to move her as not convinced shes entirly settled and maybe smaller nursery with slightly more freindly attitude be better but torn as she has mates there.

OP posts:
Wolfiefan · 27/11/2011 19:15

Really not sure they had to raise any of these points. My 2 yr old has hair like a mad scientist at the moment (no prejudice as my hubby is one!) because she hates having her hair cut. Last time I tried it I cut my own hand. Oops. Would rather her hair was a bit long than cause unnecessary upset (it's not in her eyes)
Regarding the clothes- my DD generally goes into nursery in my DS s old stuff coz she has such a good time she messes it all up!
This sounds heavy handed and I understand you feeling criticised.
Perhaps she needs shorter settling sessions until she gets used to this new space. Perhaps you could stay for a bit and help her settle?
You sound like a highly organised and loving mother. It's none of their business how many children you have.
Don't like the business about the dirty nappies sounds off to me.

RitaMorgan · 27/11/2011 19:53

Wouldn't worry about moving her because of friends - the relationships with staff/enjoying nursery are much more important at that age. She'll make new friends quickly enough.

Sending her home in a dirty nappy is completely unacceptable! Have you raised it with them?

I don't think there is a correct way of handling it. Just tell the manager that you are unhappy with the way in which you were approached. Keep to the point - she is always dressed appropriately, but toddlers get messy and don't like their hair brushed! So long as she is kept safe, healthy and happy then it is not the nursery's place to comment on your parenting.

Bossybritches22 · 27/11/2011 22:47

Second RM's point about chums, they tend to play alongside peers rather then with them at that age.

I'm really not sure what point they were clumsily trying to make, & getting you to sign confirmation of "just a chat" is Shock & smacks of a knee jerk reaction to something they think is neglectful but I'm not sure what??!

griff31 · 27/11/2011 23:22

I know its so weird

Like i says shes been at that nursury since end feb.
she was in babyunit up until recently no issues.

why document a chat?

shes most definatly not neglected.

she has so many nice clothes that she wears for nursury.
we have cheap brands for round house

she mostly wears gap and boden to nursury.

apart from her fraggle hair and strops about bath

shes fine.

shes prone to tantrums right now but thats just her age.

shes been doing so well last few months

shes beeen quite slow with her speech.
shes pottytrained quite quickly

shes genrerally very happy smiley little girl who adores her baby brother and gets on with her elder sister most of time.

We had a small birthday party for her in september and 3 of her nursery mates came along they were so sweet. its highly likly they all end up going to different schools.

Her names down for preschool attached to eldests school but she cant start until september next year providing theres a place shes 3 then.
The social interactions been good for her!

will be vewing eldests old nursury tommorow as thats improved.They were always ok with eldest just had stupidly high turnover and was bit run down but they had makeover and reveiws are good plus its smaller and all 1 site as hoping baby can join when toddler gets funding they 20months apart.

OP posts:
Bossybritches22 · 28/11/2011 09:22

No I'm sure you're NOT neglectful don't you worry griff31 just trying to work out what they're up to really. I owned & ran a nursery for 10 years & there's no way I'd have done that to a parent.

A quiet chat maybe if I thought they were struggling with some aspect of parenting (which you clearly are not) just to give them a chance to ask for help if they needed it.

Will be interesting to see what they say on Weds, good idea to write down the questions you always forget until afterwards. I know your DH probably wants to go in all guns blazing, bless him, but if you can take the puzzled & hurt line (which you are) & say you want to know if they feel there are issues to discuss as you two are fine with it all, it might be better.

Oh & if they ask you to sign anything ask why & only do it if you are confident what they are using it for & ask for a copy. It's not a legal requirement!

All very odd, whatever the outcome you've probably lost trust in them so a visit to a few others wouldn't hurt.

Good luck! Grin

griff31 · 28/11/2011 09:50

Really appreciate advice.

was meant to be visiting another nursery this morning but can as all 3kids are poorly with cold and cough. toddlers been poorly since friday but baby and 5year old poorly now:(.

I rang the nursery a nd rescheduled for wed afternoon.
They couldent have been nicer.

Meeting current nursery manger wed morning so going to be hectic day.

Guess will meet and outline my concerns
think about it overnight
most probably notice wed and start her in new one after xmas as not sure how I can get past this.

I would be forever worried we wouldent meet their high exacting standards.
I feel like they dont trust or respect me now.
As everyones pointed out their actions are out of the ordinary!

My freinds a hairdresser and going to attemt toddlers 1st haircut this week ends need trimming and she sort of has natural fringe as hoping regular trims make it easier to look after and thicker as my eldest has scary hair.

I remember with my eldest I cut her hair myself and she moved it went wrong, worse still went to get a comb and she grabed scissors and cut some more off.
Her nursery thourght it was hilarious and dident judge me at all and dd1 hair far more scary than dd2

OP posts:
TiggyD · 28/11/2011 16:56

The older half of the nursery sounds crap. Leave. (I'm a nursery Nurse)

Could you take health visitor with you when you meet with manager? Or a friend who won't take any nonsense? It's easy to get talked into a corner if somebody has a meeting at you.

Good luck.

nailak · 28/11/2011 17:10

i would happily send my dd to nursery in paint stained, pen marked clothes, and they would prefer i did that then send her in her sunday best.

RitaMorgan · 28/11/2011 18:32

DS goes to nursery in stained clothes all the time - I'm not sending good stuff to get ruined!

Bossybritches22 · 28/11/2011 19:07

RM-how sensible!

We had one lovely family who sent all 3 DD's to us & always in the most BEAUTIFUL co-ordinated Boden/Monsoon clothes.....initially it stressed us all out no end trying to keep them clean, but Mum was wonderfully philosophical about it all as it was her Mum who insisted on buying "quality stuff" for the DGC's she just wanted her kids to have fun & get messy so they did!!!

DingDongDialsMavislyOnHigh · 28/11/2011 19:29

Oh gosh you poor thing! it sounds awful, I don't think I could maintain a positive relationship with them after that. The awful old cynic in me is wondering if the nursery is full so would like to get rid of your DD as she only does one day a week so they have room for a full time child on the waiting list....

griff31 · 30/11/2011 22:51

Well thourght I update you.

We had meeting this morning with current nursery.

Had to take both youngest kids as no childcare.

My toddler started acting up from moment we parked car crying thinks he thourght was nursery day.

I dressed her as we do normally for nursery nice dress, trainers, tights, jacket , hair as usual clean and shiny just static although she did let me add a clip to her fringe. thourght best nursery manager see her in exactly state we left her.

She sat on my lap clinging to me drawing whilst we talked.
we made notes before hand and hubby was really good.
They say they take note of what we say and may try handle things differently in future.

It turns out was lot less serious than they made out.
we believe it was stained clothes not dirty as really feel impossible.
does make us mistrustful of them now in some ways no matter how apologetic/nice they appeared today.

The offensive dirty item clothing wasent infact clothes but knickers.
They say slightly marked we think stained and best but baffled really.
Reason why is been potty training last 5 weeks.
going well. at home shes nudist and either wears no pants easy access to potty/toiliet but when out as its early days we still use disposable pul lup pants.

The only place she wears pants is nursery.
The pants last thur clean washed out of her underwear drawer.
any stuff dirty that comes back from nursery is always bagged up with nappy bag anything that is bagged goes straight in machine.
we suspect that maybe she did have dirty pants in nursery and staff failed to bag it and added it straight back into change bag as as explained her bag was mess thursday at pickup with it open hanging on peg and some stuff on floor.

most weeks i add 3 spare changes outfits, underwear and disposible pants if not bagged we sometimes assume clean and remain it this bag for following week as only use this change bag once a week for nursery.

Of course the not admitting could be there fault and dident have energy to argue. I can summise all I like still baffled everything from her bag was washed thursday night so cant even examine exhibit a.

We ended saying we unsure if we can stay as feel they handles us badly and we were quite calm we understand their due diligance over child protection but they made mountain out of mole hill.
Her keyworker was not even present and she seems quite harsh last week.

They say they be sad to see her go as shes doing so well and shes so happy there hard to guess when we drop her off but shes happyish at pickup and has little freind ship group.

The nurserys quite big consists of 6rooms they go in all six and its age 2+ to 4. they do divide the kids into age groups for actvities and they have keyworker system.

we sad as was so happy with baby unit and fact she made freinds.

we want to put her needs before ours and make right decision for her.

what confused us even more as visited another local nursery our eldest attended.

Its massivly improved since eldest left.

better organised, been decorated , massivly improved garden we used to nickname the prision yard. The toiliet facilities are better.
Its on one site and all 1 level the current one has 3flights of stairs.
They remembered us and did feel cosy its looks so kuch better but is based in quite a rundown area compared to new one.

Our toddler happily ran off and played with their toys whilst we looked around which we felt was good sign.
They know us and we were never treated badly.

But worried about moving her.
Think she be clingy wherever we put her shes just going through that phase..
plan to start baby brother when she gets funding in jan 2013 so might be nice to have them all on one site for us and for them as she adores her brother and may make it better for him to settle in.

They also have nativity which is lovley .
but her current nursery has summer fair/xmas fair .
Unsure if im going to xmas fair its on sat and hubbys working.
wondering if should go and see how she is in current nursery.
we have to give 4weeks notice.

feel really bad for moving her and unsettling her.
but at same time think other nursery has many advatages too buts smaller so not as many rooms.

it has 3rooms baby 0-2, 2-3 and preschool room, toiliets, sleeproom. sofytplay room and recently made up yard/garden.
They also leave the nursery to go nearby park and have annual nursery trip and xmas party.

However our needs different from eldest as worked full time she did 4days my toddler only does 1 day a week which guess with current nursery not much loss for them and thats shes just a number.

Sorry for another essay.

just confused what to do.
thourght about doing pros/cons for each.

OP posts:
Bossybritches22 · 01/12/2011 08:38

Thanks for the update OP -sounds like you both handled the visit well despite the lack of clarity, like you say a tad of an over-reaction on their part possibly.

Now this is just my opinion but I'd go with your gut instinct on this one. The new nursery may be in a run down area but you say the inside is improved & the staff lovely & welcoming so that's a HUGE plus given the current situation.

Your DD will obviously kick off a bit if moved they often do at first,understandably, but then again if the staff are more welcoming you will relax & so will she so the upset will soon settle.

The events they do xmas/summer stuff is all extras to be honest, the childrens happiness & your trust in the staff all year round is the important thing.

Don't underestimate the value of having all the DC's on one site, thinking ahead to your DS going to, life is complicated enough for you without dashing around to 2 sites,so plannng for both is good idea.

Good luck with what you decide!

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