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Trouble with nursery, what should I do now?

27 replies

vicimelly · 14/01/2004 18:38

My DD has been going to nursery for about 4 months now, she really enjoys it and gets excited about going. However when I got her home yesterday she was really withdrawn and quiet, and when I took off her coat she had two really bad bite marks on her arms.
I was furious as I was sure that if anything happens to her while she's there, they have to inform me of it when I pick her up, which they didn't.
I called the nursery and spoke to the manager, she said she would speak to the staff who were in her room this morning about it.
When I called back this morning she said that she had spoken to them, and they hadn't informed me of it because they didn't know it had happened!!
My DD was in a room with 7 other children and there were two members of staff there,I am seriously concerned that this could have happened twice and go unnoticed by the staff, where were they!?!? Also she was wearing a short sleeved top and the marks were very visible, how could something like that go completely unnoticed!?
I have now taken her out of the nursery as I no longer have faith in the care she is getting there, however I am still concerned about it, it does seem to me that the only way this could have happened is if the children were not being properly supervised, which has left me worrying about the other children there!
Should I report this, and if so who do I report it to?

OP posts:

codswallop · 14/01/2004 18:45

Two people with 7 kids does sound bizarrre - wonder if they were both looking at some activity or somethig - or one had sliiped out....

Mind you I have lost count of the times my kids have got a bruise and i am not sure what happened.

ds2had his leg inplaster after a fall at nursery and they truthfully said they had no idea how it had happened. He was outside in a space and just fell badly.

I respected them for it at the time.

Biting is very common esp amongst 2 year olds IME and it usually passes. However I thinkthat the small kid:nurse ratio does sound odd that no one noticed


littlerach · 14/01/2004 18:45

You can cotact Ofsted on their hotline, anon, if you like. Details on their website. Also your council. DD was once bitten and no-one noticed, but I figured she mustn't have made much of a fuss, and could't even remember who had done it.HTH.


codswallop · 14/01/2004 18:46

agree with littelrach tho - maybe it didnt hurt - kids normally grass each other up!


Azure · 14/01/2004 18:56

Vicimelly, I'm sorry this has happened to your DD. How old is she? DS has been bitten a few times in nursery over the months, and I have normally been informed of it; the one exception was two weeks ago when I spotted a mark on his shoulder in the bath (and DS told me the name of the boy who did it, but wasn't upset). I was also surprised and upset when the staff weren't aware that it had happened, but it wasn't visible and I let it go. It's an fact that some kids bite, and nursery staff can't be everywhere at once. It is important that a biting situation is dealt with - my nursery has a procedure in place for this. It is concerning that DD's marks were not noticed. I would send the nursery (if a chain, head office too) a letter of complaint and ask for their procedures in dealing with kids biting, and why it wasn't spotted. In isolation, I unfortunately would not consider it grounds for a complaint to authority (Ofsted or whoever). Have you withdrawn DD for good?


vicimelly · 14/01/2004 19:00

I know she would hvae made a fuss!! lol She cries for the silliest of things, even when you know she hasn't hurt herself
The marks on her arms are really bad, even today the teeth marks are really pronounced and they have gone all black and bruised, it must have been quite hard bites, I'm sure I'd have scremed had it been me!! lol

OP posts:

vicimelly · 14/01/2004 19:04

DD is two, It's not the biting that has angered me really, these things happen, children go through phases etc, it's just the fact that there were so few children to look after, and I cannot understand how it could have gone completely unnoticed twice.
I have withdrawn her completely now, I just don't feel that I can trust the staff anymore, if this could happen twice without them noticing (and I can garantee that DD would have kicked up a fuss!!) then what else could happen!?!

OP posts:

zebra · 14/01/2004 20:35

Codsy: I think for over 2's the staff:child ratio is 1:4, so the number of staff (2 in a room of 7-8 children) sounds right...

Vicimelly: if it were me, and my child really liked the nursery as yours does, and you've been happy about it so far, i would just make a loud complaint to staff about them not noticing or dealing with it... and see how things go from there. They may be able to scratch their heads & remember an altercation that they hadn't realised quite all what was happening, then they'll know who the culprit child was, plus they will be more aware in future to watch out for it.

We had a biter at our nursery, age 2+, and she was CHRONIC. I never got upset about it but a lot of other parents sure did, and the nursery went to great pains to tell us all that they were speaking to both parent & child about the behavior to resolve it. The child did get better with this pro-active effort by staff.


tanzie · 14/01/2004 22:21

Read them the riot act. They should have noticed or heard her squeak! Our DD1 has always been a bit of an explorer/climber. DH went to pick her up from nursery one day, when she was about 2 1/2 and found her walking down the road on her own. He went back into the nursery and read them the riot act. They said it wouldn't happen again, no idea how it happened. Next day, same thing happened. She had climbed out of the window, over the gate and out of the front garden. Again, no-one had noticed (they had two staff to six children as well!). Went back and told them it had happened again, and cheeky cow said it was our fault for not disciplining her properly, and they couldn't keep an eye on her all the time. She didn't go back...That wasn't in UK, but was supposed to be a British Nursery School.


vicimelly · 15/01/2004 00:38

There really is no way I will be taking her back there, aside from the fact that I really no longer trust the staff, when I asked DD if she wanted to go to nursery today she burst out crying She used to get so excited about it.

OP posts:

FairyMum · 15/01/2004 07:58

I think you are over-reacting. I think they should have told you, but I also think it's possible that they might not have noticed. I have been in my living-room with a friend and our 2 kids and not noticed that one has been bitten. True, we did notice when the "victim" told us, but it is possible that your DD didn't actually make a fuss. IME experience children often behave differently in nursery. My DS, for example, always make a great fuss at home with me. In nursery, however, they say he hardly ever cry when he hurts himself. I think children have a wonderful way of just getting on with things....

IMO children will get bruised and bitten and might also have the occasional accident in a nursery. My children have both bitten and come home home with bruises themselves. It did upset me when they had bitten someone, but it never bothered me when they came home with bruises. It's just what happens when you put lots of 2 year-olds in one room. I think if I wasn't happy with the way nursery was dealing with it, I would just have talked to them.


Bozza · 15/01/2004 12:36

Agree with fairymum. DS sometimes cries about the most trivial things and other times (if he is not tired and busy, or if he has won the battle eg taking toy off another child) he doesn't cry at all. Certainly wouldn't have removed him for this although would have expressed concern/annoyance. Now Tanzie's experience.....


Hulababy · 15/01/2004 12:46

I think I would have just expressed my concern over it, and shown them the marks too. But I wouldn't take my daughter out - unless it looked like adult's teeth.

DD is ever so clumsy at times and often comes home with bumps and bruises, and scratchs. Some times I am told of them, sometimes not. I did quesion one time when DD had a big scratch down her tummy as it was visable when I changed her nappy, just. I phoned and the nursery nurses were asked. They said they had no idea and hadn't noticed it but they'd been playing outside and wondered if it had happened there. I agreed it probably had and she doesn't really make a fuss when she knocks herself anyway, so was happy.


bambino1 · 17/04/2004 10:27

Hi I work in a private nursery and the ratio is 1:4 when it comes to two year olds which is the group i run. I have had a biter in my group as well as a scratcher. They are very sneaky children and will watch to see your attention is on another incident. Although things like this have happenend to children of my group, I have always informed both sets of parenets. There is either a problem with the staff or they just did not want to own up to a mistake they may have made. I wouldn't neccesarily take her out of nursery but see if any of the other parents have had a problem. hope this helps.


goosey · 17/04/2004 10:41

vicimelly, I think you are right to trust your instincts espescially if your dd is getting withdrawn and upset. It is possible that she was bitten without any adults noticing, but I agree with you that in a properly caring environment someone would have noticed the marks on her arm and investigated.


Chandra · 17/04/2004 10:43

bambino... have a question for you, what would you recommend a parent of a biter? DS is 14m and bit me once but now, everytime he aproaches to give me a kiss I'm on my guard... I will be very concerned if he start doing it at nursery, it has only happen once but I would like to know how to stop the problem before it become an habit


bambino1 · 17/04/2004 10:48

his biting is either a phase he went through or that he saw another child doing it. I'm sure the nursery would inform you if he had started biting there. If it should carry on then you need to let him know that it is not nice to do so. maybe stop something he likes if it should carry on and hopefully he will realise.
does your child communicate well with you?


goosey · 17/04/2004 10:56

bambino, I hope when you said that biters were very sneaky children you really meant that their biting can be sneaky? If my child took to biting I would be astonished if a trained nursery worker took the view that my child was sneaky.


Chandra · 17/04/2004 11:01

Well at 14m his communication skills are limited to signing bottle, gloves and "touch no" and he founds the word "no" terribly funny, so, I am sad to say that at this stage reasoning it's out of the question...


Chandra · 17/04/2004 11:07

Well it's sad to be called that but we now that children are sometimes mean, sadly when it's our own, but rather than being shocked and in denial I would pay more attention to him to know what exactly he is doing and find out why is doing it....


bambino1 · 17/04/2004 13:34

I mean that the situation usually happens so quickly that not alot can be done at that certain time. i feel that they do not understand that things like this are wrong and that it is their way of expressing anger. I agree that it is not right but stopping it is easier said than done.


Jimjams · 17/04/2004 20:38

chandra - my son has recently been through 2 phases of pinching (for a reaction- not sneaky- he has no theory of mind so it wouldn't occur to him that other people didn't know he hadn't done it- but when pinched little children make a big interesting reaction, or he'll do it when frustrated and a child gets in the way). He's been at his nursery for over years without being in the incident book once then he was in it 6 times in the course of 6 days for pinching. He was also pinching adults at nursery, home and school. Together we agreed on the following strategy - any pinching and he is told firmly "no pinching" and then turned around so his back was to us- and given no attention (or at home I would put him outside the room and shut the door). It sorted it out very quickly. We had to give a very calm but disapproving reaction, as any shouting just reinforced the behaviour.

Nursery were less concerned about it than me as he wasn't singling out any child- and as they pointed out to me he has been pinched etc.

One the subject of bruises- he has had one huge bruise on his kneee- massive - looks very sore. He was with me the whole week- and I have absolutely no idea how he did it.


Jimjams · 17/04/2004 20:39

too many negatves- I mean he thinks that everyone else knows what he is thinking so it wouldn't occur to him to hide the behaviour. Therefore not sneaky iyswim


Jimjams · 17/04/2004 20:40

aggh been at the nursery for over 2 years. I really must preview!


LadyMuck · 17/04/2004 21:21

Must admit I've always had any bumps/bruises/bites/scratches pointed out - they've admitted when they've not been too sure of what has happened, but they've always noticed.

Gut instinct means a lot. Like the others I wouldn't fuss over one event, but you do need to be happy with your childcare.


SoupDragon · 17/04/2004 21:33

I think I'd be concerned that bite marks on a bare armed child hadn't been noticed but I'm not sure I would have taken my child out of the nursery for just one incident. OTOH, you have to be happy with your choice of childcare.

On the subject of sneakiness, I have known 2 biters that were very sneaky. When DS played with either of them, he would always get deliberately bitten or scratched. After that, I would watch the offender like a hawk and I could always see them checking to see if I was watching. Invariably, as soon as I took my eyes off them, DS would get injured again. Sneakiness may not be true in all cases but it was certainly true in both these situations.

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