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Nursery carers kissing kids on lips

176 replies

PoopyNappy · 24/04/2006 22:58

Was shocked when I picked DS up from nursery last week that the carer gace him a kiss on the lips.

Asked a friend of mine if she observed it as well and has seen the same person kissing her DS and others on the lips.

What about passing on illnesses such as meninjitis and other such things. The worst thing was that the carer had a stinking flu type cold at the time and sure enuf several days l8r DS came down with fever, rash and waking through the night. Had goto Dr's twic in one day cos DS got a rash with pinprick blood spots...

Maybe I'm being a prude here but I think kissing on lips is for close family. Kissing on cheeks is fine surely?

I'm gonna have to say something but be very tactful without trying to offend...

Thoughts?

OP posts:
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Greensleeves · 26/04/2006 21:05

I kiss my dss on the lips and it's a joy to have that loving, intimate relationship. I didn't have that sort of thing with my parents and it means everything to me. If I'm honest I probably would bristle a bit internally if I saw him being kissed on the lips by one of his nursery school teachers, but I would rather he felt like that about them than not, and they about him, IYSWIM. He is only three, so if he likes somebody, he loves them and wouldn't see why he shouldn't kiss them. :)

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morningpaper · 26/04/2006 21:06

"gives the message to children that any adult, even ones who aren't part of the family have the right to kiss you on the lips (or worse), it leaves a child vulnerable."

Totally disagree with this. No one is talking about FORCING a child to be kissed. This is about offering and accepting affection, nothing more than that.

FORCING affection is wrong, yes, no one would argue with that. But that isn't what we are talking about.

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pucca · 26/04/2006 21:07

My DH and i both kiss our dd on the lips, i just find it odd that non relations would, or non close family, i just don't agree with it, and as i said before very unhygienic. With my niece and nephews i either kiss them on the cheek or vice versa. I just find it strange tbh.

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bubble99 · 26/04/2006 21:10

How would you deal with a nursery toddler who wanted to give you a kiss? It happens a lot in nurseries, toddlers are often an affectionate bunch. If a baby puckers up and launches towards you with a kiss what to do if you have a 'kiss on the cheek only policy' or even a 'no kisses' policy.

I understand the the OP was talking about a carer approaching children for kisses (not something I would do. Too much snot and I have my own snotty children) but the discussion seems to have moved on to nursery kissing in general and some posters have said that they would 'offer a cheek only.' I'm interested to know how they would react if they weren't quick enough and got kissed on the lips. Would they then have to fill in an incident form??!

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bubble99 · 26/04/2006 21:11

That was to panicpants, BTW.

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panicpants · 26/04/2006 21:12

If a child is kissed by any adult within it's own experience it wouldn't be able to tell when a kiss was an innocent token of affection and when it isn't. I've worked with too many vulnerable children, who have been placed at risk because they don't know what is and isn't appropriate.

I'm not saying that nursery carers can't give affection but the line has to be drawn somewhere.

We kiss ds regulary so I'm not saying no to kissing, I'm saying no to some nursery worker who I wouldn't know that well.

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ThePrisoner · 26/04/2006 21:13

My toddler mindees sometimes try to put their hands down my top - now that's pretty rude!!

I also think it would be inappropriate for a schoolchild to be kissing teachers, but it is very different for younger children.

However, I've had some of my older mindees (some of them are now 11 yrs old) since they were babies and, to them, I probably am "part of the family." When I take them to school, they put their heads up so I can kiss them on the top!

If someone started suggesting that children I've cared for (emotionally as well as financially) for so many years should stop hugging and kissing me, I think it would be a very sad world we live in.

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bubble99 · 26/04/2006 21:16

How should carers deal with a cuddly toddler who leaves an activity and comes over to a carer for a cuddle? This happens a lot in nurseries, especially when children begin to get tired. If the child attempts to kiss the carer on the lips, as he or she may do at home, what would you suggest the carer does in that situation?

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panicpants · 26/04/2006 21:17

Bubble99 if that was to happen then you have to decide if you want to kiss the child, but personnally I'd discourage it.

If other parents allow this then thats fine, but I agree it's a difficult one for you.

But what if a child goes home and says mummy so and so kissed me today on the lips, and then that parent makes a formal complaint?

You are leaving yourself wide open to prosecution and I wouldn't want to risk it for that reason as well.

But my number 1 reason for not allowing it is hygiene

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Greensleeves · 26/04/2006 21:20

Carers looking after children below school age are "in loco parentis" ie "in the place of a parent". This means that they must do the job of caring for that child's needs as a parent would. In a pre-school aged child the need to be kissed, cuddled and loved is not an optional luxury, it is a basic need. IMO working parents would have an awful lot more to worry about, and the whole system of all-day childcare would be a huge disaster for children and families, if carers were not allowed to show physical affection to the small children in their care.

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morningpaper · 26/04/2006 21:21

Panicpants O appreciate that you are a teacher so you have a lot of experience with older children etc

but looking after small children is a totally different kettle of fish

My children's nursery diaries often say "Fell over, had lots of kisses and cuddles" and I think "Thank feck for that!" otherwise I'd feel terrible leaving them crying with some nursery assistant crouching down by them but not allowed to TOUCH them

Tiny kiddies NEED affection!!

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bubble99 · 26/04/2006 21:22

Very sad to have to reject a kiss from a baby isn't it?? He/she would probably find that horribly confusing.

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morningpaper · 26/04/2006 21:22

A parent could make a formal complaint about someone letting a child sit on their lap if they wanted to!

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hulababy · 26/04/2006 21:22

mp - we have had reports like that too, and the "kisses and cuddles" always resures me.

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panicpants · 26/04/2006 21:23

Physical affection, hugs cuddles and kisses andcheeks, foreheads etc ok, lips not.

AND I think there's a world of difference between a childminder whose had the child regulary, to a nursery where there is a high number of staff, and probably a higher turnover of staff aswell. Not to mention all the work experience students and helpers.

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morningpaper · 26/04/2006 21:27

"Physical affection, hugs cuddles and kisses andcheeks, foreheads etc ok, lips not."

Those are your rules though - why is that inappropriate but sitting on a lap is okay? Sitting on a lap could be far more sinister.

"AND I think there's a world of difference between a childminder whose had the child regulary, to a nursery where there is a high number of staff, and probably a higher turnover of staff aswell. Not to mention all the work experience students and helpers."

I think all children need to learn that they have the right to say no to affection, but I think it's a bit harsh to start teaching tiny children that their freely-offered affection might be constantly rebuffed!

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bubble99 · 26/04/2006 21:28

panicpants. I am a nursery owner. Go and wash your mouth out!!!!! Wink My wonderful, fantabulous, superduper nursery does not have high staff turnover, thankyou very much. All of ours are original staff members.

I do accept that other nurseries do, but young children don't tend to approach unfamiliar staff and certainly not for cuddles.

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ThePrisoner · 26/04/2006 21:28

I know that many schools are no longer allowed to remove earrings, and the applying suncream scenario has been discussed before (even at nursery) etc. I've often made "jokes" with RL friends that it won't be long before Ofsted decide that childminders (and nursery staff) shouldn't really be cuddling babies. Inappropriate touching, obviously.

I suppose that I will have to issue another form for parents to sign that says that I'm allowed to hug, cuddle and kiss my mindees, and there will be space for them to fill in what they think is appropriate, and whether it should stop at a certain age. Yes, I am being facetious, but you can almost see it happening ...

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bubble99 · 26/04/2006 21:30

And I'm also wondering where the list of 'approved/disapproved affectionate gestures' comes from.

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panicpants · 26/04/2006 21:35

Bubble 99 your nursery sounds lovely. :)

The prisoner, that sounds like a good idea. We are NOT allowed to remove or replace earrings, or change nappies without another member of staff present (We are a nursery, infant and junior school).

However, for things like applying suncream or to administer other medication we must have written permission from the parents, in the form of a letter home thats returned.

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panicpants · 26/04/2006 21:37

Morning paper - I certainly didn't say sitting on a lap was ok, although I'd have to say I might be worried if the member of staff was male.

(I await your quotated response :o)

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morningpaper · 26/04/2006 21:38

My 3 year old's carer at nursery is male

I assume I should be a state of blind panic

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panicpants · 26/04/2006 21:39

pmsl

I knew it would be

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morningpaper · 26/04/2006 21:39

I cannot for the life of me imagine why you can't remove a child's earrings without another adult bring present

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morningpaper · 26/04/2006 21:40

and he's got a beard

sinister

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