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Culmination Of Issues Noticed! Which Need Addressing At Staff Meet


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things at our nursery have been really hectic since the new ownership, and i will be the first to admit that i have not been as hands on in the nursery really, and recently i have noticed standards slip.


I have called a staff meeting for tommorow and have put out a broad agenda of issues, only today as i went around rooms i observed:


: children not strapped into high chairs


: Children going to the bathroom on their own when they really need help (and the staff know it)


: staff changing nappies without apron


: staff leaving cleaning chemicals outside of their room rather than returning to COSHH cupboard to be locked away


:staff serving food without wearing aprons


: staff not listening to a child when he said no he did not want any more lunch (the comment heard was 'if you want pudding eat one more spoonful' (which the staff member repeated four times before i had to tell her to listen to the child when he said he didn't want more


: staff keeping bags in the rooms when they have been asked not to, and one staff member using her mobile in the room (didn't observe this but was told about it)


: Also have been told that one staff member has told a child to shut up, and 'your doing my head in'.


Obviously i am appauled at all i have seen today, and all i have heard about from one other staff member. I have spoken to the staff concerned in all my observations today but will raise the above tommorow too.


any ideas on how i can make the staff realise that i mean business and that i won't tolerate the things that i have seen/heard about.

I can not have them ignoring policies and procedures etc, or talking to the children in the manner above.


I am going to set it all straight tommorow in the staff meeting,


i plan to tell staff that they should consider the meeting as a warning that if things do not improve and i see procedures not being followed at all times and children being spoken to inappropriatly then whichever staff concerned will be placed onto disciplinarary procedures, i.e verbal warning, written etc.... ~ can i do this at a staff meeting though, i mean address them as a whole and give the whole team a warning, because to be honest all bar three damm well need a warning.


i am shocked at how things have got, and really feel like i am failing as their manager.


any ideas on how i can handle these issues, and also how i can gel my team better....


any help really greatfully received.



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oh dear that is not good and im not surprised you are cross. personally i would bring all these issues up at your meeting and generally say if standards and procedures are not met there will be the re procussions of the disiplinery procedure if thats what you have set out in your policies. Then i wold take the individuals aside on a one to one and tell them what you observed and how you want them to put it right otherwise they will face the procedures that you have in place


good luck :o .

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What a shame xD

But how lucky they have you :o i think you should do what you suggest put it back to them Do you think it is appropriate to do this,say that if they say yes then ask them to back it up with why and then put your point accross.

unfortunatly this is my experience of day nurseries,stick to your guns Dawn,this is is how 'our nursery' is going to be run and why you have policies and procedures in place.good luck x

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This is a really tricky one. On the one hand standards have to be kept and procedures and policies adhered to - after all these are serious health and safety lapses you have witnessed.


I would be inclined to state at the meeting that you have noticed several health and safety lapses of late, and reiterate the correct procedures to be followed. By all means say that any repetition of these kind of failures will be considered as reasons for implementing the disciplinary procedure, because they have such serious implications on the health, safety and wellbeing of the children in your care. And remember to record it all in the minutes so that you can later point to the evidence, if required.


As for tackling individual staff members, I would take them to one side and simply state what you observed, and ask them how they feel about what you saw. Do they think they could have done things differently? In the cases of inappropriate practice with individual children, have they considered the effect of their words/actions on these children? Hopefully by going in with a slightly more conciliatory tone you might avoid appearing to "come down heavy" initially - you will be giving your staff the opportunity to reflect on what has gone wrong and how they can avoid these situations in future. I'm not saying go easy on them - they need to be clear that this is unacceptable, and what the consequences for them will be in they persist. Sometimes enabling them to identify weaknesses or areas of improvement can bring about a change in behaviour much more easily (and without loss of face) than laying down the law.


It is also easier to give credit for what you know they can do well when giving feedback in this way - you can say you were surprised to hear them say that when they are usually so supportive and encouraging of the children, for instance (if they normally are, of course!).


Sorry - I've gone on (as usual!) but I also wanted to say one thing about the things you didn't observe, but were told about. At the meeting you could just say that while you're reminding staff about these issues, you'd like to remind people of the rules concerning 'phones and bags etc. It is very difficult to deal with things you haven't seen without singling out the 'whistle blower' and this might be enough to deter this behaviour in future.


And I've a feeling that once they know you're on the lookout (for good practice as well as bad) they'll raise their game. And if they don't, they'll know what to expect!




PS and I'd also like to echo what andreamay said: they are lucky to have such a reflective and caring practitioner as you on their team!

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sorry........just a small niggle.............be careful about 'one person telling you what's going on'........and be CERTAIN you can trust what is said.I had a member of staff at my old group telling the committee chair all sorts of things,(which were believed, because 'she's so lovely/so concerned', etc )and which, in every single case, were completely untrue. This lady may well be telling you exactly what IS going on, but go with what YOU see, hear, know and feel first....just to be fair to all the others! Though, I have to say, you do seem to have a good picture of it all, so I'd agree with the 'general warning' ideas above..let them know what your standards are, in no uncertain terms, and then keep to what you have said, if those standards should slip.

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Putting myself in your shoes, at the meeting I would say, here is a list of unacceptable behaviour....then read out all the things you have mentioned, maybe in less detail ie: instead of child told to eat one more spoonful (which identifies an individual) I would list that behaviour as 'not listening to children and enforcing undue pressure'.....or you could start the meeting with here is a list of all the policy breaches I have witnssed over the last 2 days, then list such policies....


then I would say.....Can anyone give me one good reason why I should not commence disciplinary procedures for these unacceptable behaviours / breach of policies? I would then stay silent for at least a minute, to enable the staff to reflect, think, and let them know that the purpose of the meeting is serious.


I would then say that I have seen some positives such as..........especially good as everyone is dealing with new ownership, some changes etc, However, now is not the time to test the boundaries, now is the time for everyone to recognise and to acknowledge and grow from the positives. Finally let me make it clear that any persons breaching policy, which means breaching contract will from this day on be disciplined accordingly. Lets all show a bit more responsibility and then I know I will not have to call such a meeting again in the future.


I know it's hard, but I used to remind myself that these are ADULTS, professionals who are paid for a highly responsible job and should know better. Making expectations about abiding by policy clear and NON negotiable they will all know where they stand. Managers time is too busy and precious to have to keep dealing with what can only be described as adolescent behaviour.


Finish this very short and sharp meeting by letting the staff know that as from tomorrow the Staff Award scheme starts, at the end of the month each membr of staff will be asked to nominate their STAR STAFF AWARD to one person, giving their reasons. Then in one months time you will have a meeting where you read out all the positive comments about all the staff. If there are any staff with no comments you can add your own so that no one is left out, then award the certificate / gift ( if you want) to the winner. Start a STAR STAFF AWARD chart.


Good luck, remember firm but fair.




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My husband deals with risk assessment as part of his work and its a constant battle because of human nature. We all start to accept more and more risk into our lives with the adage that 'nothing bad had ever happened so far, so I don't see why not'. This is the problem - every time we do something risky and all ends up well it reinforces the fact that perhaps the risk isn't so bad after all. However, we all have these procedures and policies in place for a reason! Perhaps you need to reiterate why it is they need to do these things and the consequences for the children and themselves if they don't.

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Dawn - I read the title of your post and before I looked at the author, I had a feeling it was you.


You must feel so disappointed - you had come such a long way and now staff have really let you down.


I have been through some similar things recently, and somehow I'm coming out the other side, and feeling quite positive. I'm not sure how I dealt with it but somehow I obviously did - but I know that it was hard, as sometimes you feel like you are on your own.

Unfortunately I had to make examples of a few people, but it seems to be doing the trick.


One of the things I did was to have a supervisor's meeting, and go through it with them - after all, you can't do it all by yourself, so need to use your senior members of staff to support you.


Let us know how it goes.



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Guest Praesus Infelix

Good advice has already been given on this subject. I was introduce to the classic management book "the one minute manager" by Ken Blanchard, I think, earlier this year. It's really very good and easy to read and it's helped me a lot.

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