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worries about nursery

19 replies

lazycat · 25/03/2008 14:07

5-month old dd & i had first settling in session at nursery today. she had a lovely time playing with sticklebricks, but when i looked at them i found some little bits were coming loose. i also found a small piece of plastic on the floor that a baby could choke on.

i gave the bit of plastic to one of the staff, who went quiet and looked worried. also showed them the brick, but they didn't check the others.

now worried about dd being safe there, even though everything else about the place is lovely. what would you do?

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lazycat · 25/03/2008 17:05


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dippymother · 26/03/2008 00:26

Risk assessment should be done on a daily basis. This would worry me, as it sounds as though it is not done regularly and/or the staff are too busy or inexperienced to notice such things. There should be 1 member of staff per 3 babies but if there are more than 3 babies in the room, although the ratio of 1 adult to 3 still stands, not all of those adults have to be qualified, some may be students and relatively inexperienced in procedures.

When children are taken to nurseries or childminders, it is a risk whatever anyone says, and more so with very young babies. If you feel unhappy with what you've seen, you must do something about it before something tragic happens. Most accidents occur because staff have not been observant or vigilant in health and safety issues.

Go with your gut instinct, but please do not compromise your dds safety because you will never forgive yourself if anything happened there.

windygalestoday · 26/03/2008 00:31

as a nursery nurse i wouldnt actually have set sticklebricks out for babies under 1 .....generally i feel with regards to a nursery dont always take facilities as first priority look at the staff - the private nursery i wored in many years go was very run down but we all dearly loved our charges and those children were the happiest most stimulated bunch you could meet.

as it is both facilities and staff attitude seemed to be lacking so id go with dippymothers advice.

lazycat · 26/03/2008 16:31

I felt the same way, and chose this place because of the staff - they were so friendly and welcoming to dd, whereas at the other four places I saw the staff didn't seem to be that interested in the babies.

I mentioned it to the person in charge of the baby room today and she said she'd sort it out - but didn't put the bricks away.

What is the next step? Worried, as I'm crap at being assertive, and I've never had to deal with anything like this before!

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lazycat · 26/03/2008 17:45


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windygalestoday · 26/03/2008 19:35

maybe you should ask to speak to the officer in charge-and just say clearly u are anxious this is your first experience of using day care and just say what you think ....if she deals with it as you feel approprite you know the nursery is for you if not maybe you need to reconsider?

sorry im not being v helpful but thats all i can think of to suggest?

dippymother · 27/03/2008 00:43

As windygalestoday mentioned, perhaps sticklebricks are not a good choice for babies. Most baby rooms would have activity mats, rattles, shape sorters and the like so maybe you could ask the supervisor if all the toys are suitable for babies under 12 months because you're concerned that this particular toy is meant for older children as it might be a choking hazard.

Hopefully, they will remove this toy and deal with your query quickly and set your mind at rest. If not, you may have to look at alternative options.

Be aware that staff will have 3 babies to care for, plus preparing food/feeding, changing nappies, administration tasks etc, and all these distractions mean that sometimes, things may be overlooked or missed and although it is rare that the consequences are tragic, it has happened before and will happen again.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

lazycat · 27/03/2008 20:38

Thanks for your advice!

Complained twice to room supervisor about damaged sticklebricks on successive days. Today, the damaged ones were still in the play area, so I complained to the manager, but by the time we left they were still there. I also saw a toy that was clearly marked as only suitable for kids over 3.

I don't know what to do now, as I really like the place apart from this problem. The staff are so much nicer with the babies than at any of the other places I've seen, but I don't want to put dd at risk of accidents - parents ought to be able to take for granted that the toys their babies play with are safe. What would you do?

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lazycat · 28/03/2008 12:34


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lazycat · 28/03/2008 18:19

bump again!

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SoupDragon · 28/03/2008 18:26

The age for stickle bricks (the infant set) is 12months and over so your DD should not have had access to them at all.

SoupDragon · 28/03/2008 18:27

I would be tempted to complain to Ofsted (?) if the manger did not take my complaint about inappropriately aged toys seriously.

SugarSkyHigh · 28/03/2008 18:45

lazycat, I Can#'t see why they have done nothing after you have complained twice to the person in charge of the room and then once to the manager.

I know it's difficutl to be assertive at times! How about telephoning the manager? these things can be easier on the phone?

or, even request a meeting with the manager, rather than mentioning it 'on the hop' again. I understand how you feel - this would be niggling away at me, too - sort of, "WHY haven't they done anything yet?" well why indeed! They really should have.

SugarSkyHigh · 28/03/2008 18:47

p.s. i agree sticklebricks are inapporpriate for this age btw.
i work in childcare fwiw

DeeMid · 29/03/2008 17:48

When you signed you contract did the nursery give you any information on Making a Complaint - I give all my parents and full set of my policies and procedure including a Complaint Record.

Fill in the form Ticking Standard 6 - Safety as your concern. They then have 28 days to deal with your concern and inform you of their actions. If they don't you can then go to Ofsted with your concern.

You have had what I call the 'friendly word' and nothing has been done, making it official means they will have to do something.

Ash80 · 29/03/2008 17:57

I don't think the nursery is following safe childcare. I think you should definietly consider putting your dd in another nursery!

And also complain to Ofsted.

lazycat · 31/03/2008 12:28

Thanks so much for your advice! Hopefully they will have done something about it when I go back today. Planning to speak to manager again and see what they think.

They also have lots of toys from McDonalds. Is that usual?

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jaz2 · 31/03/2008 13:25

I'm sorry you have had this experience. It's bad enough putting a little one in nursery (my DS went in a 8mo), and I would feel exactly as you do.

It's all very well for the staff to be nice and welcoming, but of the two, health and safety must be paramount.

However, you MUST be assertive - surely your anger must motivate you not to be "palmed off". PLEASE stand your ground with the nursery manager. DON'T be apologetic.

I would also ask the manager why it is necessary to have MacDonalds toys in the nursery. Did they get them for free - why did they accept them? Are they especially good toys. Being a snob, I'd be cross if DS came across such things at nursery - I want to avoid him having the urge to go into MacDonalds for as long as possible, and free marketing like that would upset me.

Good luck. I'm sure they just need you to remind them of their responsibilities - and be aware that you will nag them until they do. Certainly fill in the complaints form / go to Ofsetd. If you are really worried, I'd keep DD away, nothing is more important than her safety.

lazycat · 02/04/2008 13:22

Went back yesterday and they'd sorted it all out. So relieved!

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