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DD says member of staff hit her at nursery

32 replies

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 21:39

Kids make stuff up I know, but the way my DD has discribed this to me makes me worried. I don't want to put a lot of detail here to out us (and have name changed) but I'd really like some advice on what DD's nursery ought to do.

From what DD describes, a member of staff at nursery gave her a clip/slap round the back of the head yesterday when she wasn't co-operating, which is an odd thing imho for a 3yo to invent.

It's not me who does drop off and pick up, but much of what she told us has been relayed to the nursery manager today. We wanted primarily to see if there could be some explanation for what she was saying. The nursery manager apparently straight away described the same situation DD had described (without having been given the context DD had given about the activity they were doing at the time for example) but the manager said she just moved her to get her to do what she was meant to be doing, and that no children are ever hit at the nursery. So I am now wondering what on earth actually happened.

Should the manager automatically be making sure this is properly investigated? (From what both the manager and DD have said, it sounds like the manager herslf was invovled, so presumably someone else at the nursery should investigate!) or do I need to request this?

Although my DD has not been injured, if true this would be a really serious thing wouldn't it? Equally, DD, aged 3, is clearly not hugely reliable as a witness! If I were sure something had happened, and especially if DD had been bruised/marked, I think I'd need to go straight to Ofsted or the local council with it, but in these circumstances I'm not sure? Any advice very gratefully received! I'm clear on what I need to do for my peace of mind wrt DD and childcare, but want to make sure that this is followed up properly.

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Smartiepants79 · 30/04/2015 21:47

This seems to be a case of the same situation being seen in two different ways.
Have you any other concerns?
Do you generally trust the nursery manager and how she does things.
I can imagine what she describes happening quite easily. Your DD seems to see it differently. Is she prone to exaggeration? If you did similar would she turn round and yell 'don't smack me' because my youngest daughter would.
(Don't you hit me mummy, it's naughty)!!!

SolomanDaisy · 30/04/2015 21:48

God, I have no idea. My 3 year old DS once became completely outraged that he was hit in the head in the preschool classroom, when in actual fact his coat hood was caught on a peg and he'd essentially hit himself (I saw it happen). But still, a lot of what they say is true, so it's hard to completely dismiss it. If it did happen I would bet some other kids would have noticed and told their parents, DS always tells me if the teachers do anything unusual.

How did the manager react? I guess I'd partly go on instinct of whether to trust her.

DinkyDye · 30/04/2015 21:50

It obviously bothered your dd because she told you.

How do you generally feel about the nursery?

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 22:03

THank you so much for the quick replies! I have other (very minor in comparison) concerns about the nursery and in particular the manager. Plus I have alternative childcare options available so it's easier to feel confident in doing the right thing as far as DD is concerned. Having said that, she seems mostly happy enough at nursery, but she is a very laid-back happy-go-lucky little lamb... but the way she described this was so credible. What I don't therefore want to do is not raise this properly if there is actually a problem at the nursery.

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DoJo · 30/04/2015 22:10

Having listened to some of the things my son has told me, it does sound like she might have misinterpreted events - my son told my husband that I pushed him over when he had walked into me and fallen, that I had hit him in the face when he had run into my elbow as I was sitting down etc. She may have interpreted a touch as having been hit, but it doesn't necessarily mean that she is describing it accurately.
If the manager actually saw what happened, then I'm not sure there is much need for an investigation, but if you are still concerned then presumably you could go in and talk about it again with whichever member of staff you think is likely to be the most objective.

guilianna · 30/04/2015 22:14

hmm, difficult one. I work with N children and try to tell parents up front if I have inadvertently bumped them or something. It can happen. I also apologise to child. The bit that's odd is your dc associating the contact with non-co-operation; if I want to get a child do 'what she was meant to be doing' I'd do it by communicating rather than man-handling. I hate to see N children moved around like packages.

guilianna · 30/04/2015 22:18

to be clear - the manager said she 'moved' her by the head/neck to get her where she wanted her to go?
While that may not be the slap described, it doesn't sound like inspirational practice!

Stubbed · 30/04/2015 22:26

My son told me that his uncle had hit him. I know categorically that he didn't (he was babysitting along with several other adults). They say all sorts of things.

confused79 · 30/04/2015 22:30

The other week I guided my 4 year old son out my way in the supermarket, using my hand on the back of his head (let me stress GUIDED here), and he asked why I'd hit his head. He wasn't distraught or anything, but was an observation of his, maybe that's what's happened with your daughter.

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 22:30

The manager says she turned DD around as she wouldn't face the right way. (whereas DD had told me she was hit because she (DD) was shouting.) All the manager had been told at this point was that DD had said that a member of staff had hit her on the head the day before. The manager immedtiately described the situation DD had described (without the hitting!). DD is very inventive with her stories, all kinds of nonesense, but it is the way she has described this (with none of the usual surreal imaginings) that has caused me concern.
I suppose I think if something like this was reported, and the day before you'd gently lifted a child to face the other way, you'd not immediately think of that incident, you'd think you'd need to speak to the other carers, find out if anything notable happened that could be related to this??

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Starlightbright1 · 30/04/2015 22:39

It is a really hard one. I have spoke to the nursery when DS said he had eaten nothing all day. turns out when member of staff said what he ate and he was sat next to her it was as she said.

I am also a c minder and one of the children said you hit me. I asked what she hit me with your scarf.meaning my scarf had physically touched her.

What does your gut instinct say? Have you tried asking DD if she was doing what was said?

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 22:48

My gut instinct is that there is a problem. DD has described being hit on the back of her head with a "hard hand" so I don't think she's misinterpreting something like being gently manovoured. Equally, she's a loopy 3yo, of course she could be being inventive!
The thing is, say I take DD out of nursery - problem resolved, except that if this did happen, and happens again with other children who also may or may not be credible/believed, then that's awful! Which is why I'd like nursery to investigate and keep a record I think?

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LondonRocks · 30/04/2015 22:54

Can you get her to show you with a doll? Try not to ask any leading questions or prompt her. Might give an insight?

The worrying thing for me is your gut feeling about this. If you were totally confident about her, you'd have left it at that.

guilianna · 30/04/2015 22:54

I tend to agree it's a bit odd that the manager immediately matched a gentle guiding with your daughter's account. What you can do about it, I'm not sure. Were other adults in the room?

guilianna · 30/04/2015 22:58

also to turn a child round, if you had to do it physically, you'd tend to use shoulders, wouldn't you?

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 23:01

The doll idea is a good one, I'll try it.
I think I'm unlikely to get to a point of feeling I know either way for sure though, hence all the questions about what should the nursery be doing. I think I will ask them to investigate and see what they say. I suppose I was thinking that if they ought to automatically investigate, but aren't doing this without being prompted, then that would be another alarm bell.

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LondonRocks · 30/04/2015 23:06

I'd say something really neutral like, show me how Dolly A (the staff member) moves Dolly B (your DC) if she needs to.

If you feel this way, you'll always be suspicious. Maybe look for an alternative. If I had doubts about my DC's nursery manager, I'd find it impossible to relax!

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 23:07

Thanks guilianna, yes I agree it's odd. It was a group activity so there should have been other adults in the room. It is the manager who did the gentle manouvering/hitting(!) though which adds to the difficulty.

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guilianna · 30/04/2015 23:13

Approach the N owner? (hopefully not owner managed)

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 23:18

It is owner managed! Gah :-(

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elephantoverthehill · 30/04/2015 23:28

Does DD want to go to the Nursery? Happy to be dropped off etc? I am still kicking myself 17 years down the line. We moved, DS went to a new nursery and gave me all the signals at the age of 2 that he didn't want to be there. I assumed it was separation anxiety etc. One bathtime I noticed a bite mark on his arm. I discussed it with the nursery manager who said it must have been a child. The size of the jaw mark showed it was certainly not. I removed DS. A week later a colleague who had her child there said the nursery had shut down. I don't want to be dramatic but I wish I had been more in tune with DSs needs.

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 23:37

The last couple of weeks she has been reluctant to go, but this morning of all mornings she seemed fine again! I will have to go with my gut on this. I just don't want to be walking away from a situation invovling children where I feel things aren't necessarily operating as they should, without making sure there is a record of this held by the nursery, and of course that record may well show no other concerns were raised etc etc. I will try to make sure that happens and I guess if if doesn't I can contact Ofsted.

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PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 23:38

Thank you so much for all the help and suggestions!

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elephantoverthehill · 30/04/2015 23:52

By your initial post you sound like you have very balanced view. But I agree with gut instinct. If they are professionals they will have a complaints system and will look inwardly at how this - hopefully- misinterpretation has happened.

PostmistressMcColl · 30/04/2015 23:55

Thank you. I am going to sleep better tonight! x

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