Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Has child protection gone crazy?

I have been mulling this one over for a few days as it has narked me, then I suddenly hit me that I should write down such incidences on here, as soon as they crop up in my head. It is my blog after all and just every now and then I want a bit of a rant.

I thought of it all whilst cooking dinner, I said it all out in my head and then thought 'quick write it down before you forget!'. All the while thinking I really need a dictaphone, that would solve the problem. Seriously though I would feel such a fool speaking into one of them, or even my phone. I mean for goodness sake, who do I think I am?

I have only previously had one other rant about my nursery and this was in my early days of blogging about nursery staff not respecting my wishes, but that's another story altogether...

Anyhow, dinner is bubbling away so I have bolted over here to the laptop. I want to put the world to rights about my annoying nursery manager. Last week she really got under my skin, not because she actually did anything majorly wrong, it was the way in which she addressed a matter. Now I don't often pay much attention to the notices on the nursery front door (bad mummy) but I have noticed one particular notice asking for mobile phones to not be used. Apart from them being a distraction for young children, I do understand the real meaning behind this, the darker side to them being prohibited. That is child protection, as a Mum of course I understand where they are coming from and because of the recent cases in the press regarding the misuse of mobiles for indecent images, I see the worry.

What has really annoyed me is the stance the nursery manager took. It was a foul day when I picked Beastie up and certainly not suitable to be standing in the rain waiting for my husband to pick us up. So being sensible (keeping my child dry) we stayed put inside and waited on a seat by the front door until our lift arrived. Not having the desired super power of xray vision, I wasn't able to to see when my husband was going to pull up so figured I would have to rely on my phone. It was on silent and it rang, the briefest of calls to say we could leave. Just as I pulled my phone out of my bag the manager walked by, she heard my conversation for the millesecond that it was and preceded to stand there and say 'now you do know that you aren't allowed mobiles in here don't you?'. I replied explaining that I was aware but it was raining outside and we needed to know when to leave. She went on the justify her patronising statement to which I was fairly short.

This was the same lady that told me she didn't agree with children attending nursery and that they should be with their Mums. This was coming from a woman that runs a nursery, not to mention it is not the most tactful thing to say to a new Mum who already feels incredibly guilty leaving her child AND paying them.

Now if you have stuck with me this far, bravo, I am not sure I would have (or skimmed a bit, I am good at that). Then you might want to comment on how you would feel about this? I feel it's child protection gone too far and some jobsworth relaying protocols unneccessarily, there is a time and a place, I really didn't feel this was needed.

It takes me back to when I first took Beastie swimming, along with a friend and her child. We were so excited to see their reactions and not surprisingly we wanted to capture the moment on camera. Oh no the lifeguard put paid to that, by asking my friend to put her camera away. Again I can see the rationale, but it was just my friend and I in the pool, no one else to even star in the photo's unwittingly. We were Mums! (complete with rather large tums) what threat did we pose? we didn't steal these children to take indecent photo's, they were our children. It really upset us as it was a special time for us and we wanted to document that with photo's, so very sad. It just worries me that peoples seem to have no common sense anymore and that there is so much red tape, they can't see beyond it.

It's very much like people are trained like drones to do things one way and one way only. A bit like when you go to the supermarket and some of people on the check outs appear to be battery operated. They barely acknowledge you and then say 'would you like any help with your packing?' seeming not to have noticed you have only bought three items!


  1. Unbelievable. I am so sorry you had to go through that> I know exactly how you feel when you have to leave baby with a carer. How insensitive. Did you complain?
    as for photos again ridiculous. I have found recently people in service industries are becoming automatons.

  2. Mummyandthebeastie31 May 2011 at 20:41

    I should have complained but considering I needed a place for my son and she was the manager, I didn't have much choice. They are indeed automated! x

  3. We have the no photo's policy in our children's centres but as for no mobile phones I have never heard this one before. I can understand if someone was taking pictures with their phone but I think your nursery manager needs to use a little common sense!! I have yet to see someone take a photo with a phone whilst holding it to their ear having a conversation.

    Lots of our parents complain about not being allowed to capture photo's of their children and I do agree with them as long as no other child is in the picture why should parent's not be allowed to capture their own child's special moment.

    I think you have acted very calm, I would be reporting the nursery manager to OFSTED. You are paying for a service and should not be made to feel guilty about having to work and this manager obviously does not have a heart. It is so hard going to work leaving your child in day care but some of us have no choice.

  4. I have to agree it's all gone a little too far. I mean if you wanted to take a picky of a kid you could do it on the street. It's bad enough we can't take pictures of our kids at school plays etc now we can't use a mobile phone. Ridiculous, phones have been proven to be better for safety, especially as a woman with a child on her own.
    I think it's gross how this woman speaks to you, I have never encountered this with our nursery xxx

  5. jessies_online31 May 2011 at 22:01

    I would complain too but assuming there is no alternative nursery for Beastie then I can understand your reluctance. I can't believe that she actually said that kids shouldn't be in a nursery, she's quite happy to take the money though - someone like that shouldn't be running a nursery as they are obviously only in it for the money. I took my daughter out of a nursery due to a very similar sounding manager that was more interested in filling all places than the welfare of my daughter!

  6. Mummyandthebeastie31 May 2011 at 22:20

    I know it's so sad about school plays, such important milestones in a childs life. She covers it up appearing nice but I often find her giving me funny looks and my colleague feels the same. Strange woman! xx

  7. Mummyandthebeastie31 May 2011 at 22:24

    All the other nurseries are a lot more expensive and this nursery is at the top of where I work so it's nice to be close if they need me. Luckily he loves it and the girls that work there are lovely. It is worrying when people like her are in these jobs but I think she is close to retirement, that's the saving grace! xx

  8. Mummyandthebeastie31 May 2011 at 22:31

    Thanks for your comment and it's nice to know I am not alone in my thoughts! Very true about taking a photo by your ear! if it was me I would have been embarrassed to say what she did. She made herself look silly.

    You know I have never thought about complaining before, I just put up with it as I don't often see her. I won't be putting up with her snide comments anymore though, that's for sure. I am paying for their care and they have done a few things there that I am not happy with (taking my son through the hospital where I work when I have told them not to) x

  9. This is a really interesting post because I always wondered how I would feel about child protection when I had a baby of my own.
    I remember once going into a indoor play gym with a friend of mine and her two year old, it was quiet and we went to take a photo when we were told not too by the staff. I just thought it was incredibly sad that she couldn't take a photo of her daughter having fun because of ridiculous rules.

    While I think that yes in certain situations you have to be careful, I also think we have gone a little bit too careful in recent years. I agree possibly with staff not having their mobiles out at nurseries after the recent high profile case, but I don't agree with parents being told off for making a quick call while standing out of the rain- thats just when I think it has all gone a bit too over the top. And I can not believe that she also criticised you for sending Beastie to nursery- outrageous, she should not even be allowed to run one if she has thoughts like that.

    When we took Mads swimming for the first time, I took our camera in. The pool was quiet and Mr E held her while I took some photos. It is a local privately owned pool and one of the member of staff did look round at us but then smiled and let us carry on. I am really grateful for her because I am so glad I captured that first special moment.

    While I agree that we do have to be careful for our children, I also think there has to be an element of common sense and case by case scenarios. If a family is taking photos and the staff watch them and they literally point the camera at their own children and no where else, then I think it seems a shame for us to miss out on fun days out.

  10. Mummyandthebeastie31 May 2011 at 22:48

    It seems we have all had very similar situations with taking photo's, luckily for you at the pool you had someone there with some common sense. I too agree that staff shouldn't have access to their phone's unless on a break but then when they take the kid's out they will surely need a mobile then? I would much rather know they had way of contacting me or an ambulance, but where do you draw the line?

    Just makes me sad with the world we live in now...thanks for you comment too, thought provoking isn't it xx

  11. I'm really shocked that this happened to you hun...I can understand why you are so riled by it, I would be too. I can understand no cameras but not no mobile phones. I used to attend a Baby Sensory class and I was always taking photos of MC and her friend (her Mum is a friend of mine) and also I've taken photos in play gyms before. I really think the world has gone a bit mad but then again, I can also understand that there are a lot of horrible people in the world too.

  12. Mummyandthebeastie1 June 2011 at 18:56

    I seem to be unlucky here with people going over the top! it's also sad how people perceive situations as well. Ther is no innocence anymore :-( xx

  13. Thats awful. First I cannot believe that a Nursery Manager would tell you that children belong at home with their Mum's that is disgusting. Most mum's feel terribly guilty about leaving their children at the start and she really shouldn't have said that no matter what she thought. Sounds like she should be in another job!!

    As to cameras...I think this country has gone a little crazy and it is sad. I am always extra careful when taking photos that no strange children are in it, just mine or friends we are with!

    We were able to get pictures of poppy in the pool in Canada but haven't taken Rosie swimming yet...not found a pool warm enough! Poppy always went to this gorgeous warm pool but here in the UK they lie about the pools temperatures...I do not understand why. If you made them the temperature you advertise people would actually go! They should be like a warm bath not an ice tub!

    We may not have had the problem with photos but I remember my Husband was sat on a tiny wall surrounding the side of a baby pool whilst he blew up our little ones swimming float thing! They made him get off because of health and safety reasons. It was ridiculous. Feel like I have had a bit of a rant now too!!!