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We have a member of staff who will soon be returning from maternity leave and wants to have her baby in the baby room with her.

 

we have the space to be able to do this and it seems like the obvious thing to do. The child's key person would be a different member of staff and we would hope that the returning member of staff would remain professional at all times.

 

We do, however, realise that the baby will be at the age when he'll be very strongly attached to his mum and worry that he will cling to her all day, restricting her from working effectively within the room.

 

Has anyone had experience of this situation? How did it work for you? Did any difficult situations arise and how did you overcome them? Does anyone have a copy of a policy with guidelines for staff working in the same room as their children?

 

Thanks for your help!

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Hi there! We have had a few situations regarding this, and to be honest, and not very helpful - sorry!, it really depends on the member of staff and even the child. We had our administrator and her girl in the same building (she sometimes covered staff lunches but only for an hour or so) but still felt the need to come down from her office upstairs on average about 3, 4 times a day and see the child, upsetting her when she had to leave and return to work again. She was explained of the situation but still continued to do it, making it extremly difficult for the staff and the child. But on the other hand, our manager has two children and worked with both of them through the time they were attending the baby unit. One was absolulty fine, didnt bother at all when she left the room and interacted well with other staff, no problems at all. However the other child was the same as the administrator's daughter and although the manager was much more understanding and very helpful, it was still hard. So to be honest, i guess you wont know until you try it! Hopefully the member of staff will understand if any changes need to be made :)

 

Nikki x

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Not come across this before but my only thought is that she SHOULD be her baby's key person. A Key Person is someone the child feels is special, can form a bond with and will look to for care - surely that should be the mum? :o

 

Just a thought x x

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In twelve years I have had 6 staff's children in the Nursery when they are, but have always set the guidelines prior to the child starting and put them in writing so all is clear

 

* The staff member has to work in another area from the child where at all possible ( occasionally they may have needed to cover in the childs area but I avoided this as much as possible)

*If they felt the need to pop in and see thier child it was in THEIR time ( i.e breaks ) not work time

*The same rules with regard to behaviour etc are to be followed as for the rest of the children

*If there were any issues they staff member knew to come and discuss them with me if they could be potentially awkward with a colleague as the child's key person, and I would act as intermediary

 

All in all it has been successful, no real issues :o

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One of my staff members has her son in preschool. He started when he was 2 but was always popping in with her so he was very familiar with us all. For this last year he only came in on days she wasn't working but this coming year he's in every day and will be in the same room. He's not in her key group, and I think he's formed a sufficiently strong bond with us all to be able to cope well. Watch this space!

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I know that being a childminder I'm coming from a different angle but I don't see any problem with a practitioner being a carer to her own child. That is exactly what you do when you childmind other children alongside your own.

 

Why should this child be especially clingy? Yes he'll have a closer bond with one member of staff than with others but isn't that the whole point of keyworkers anyway? If he has a secure attachment to his mum this should give him the confidence to develop good relationships with the other staff.

 

Could an experienced practitioner not be trusted to treat the children fairly or to encourage her own child's independence? Surely if you trust her to do her job well she'll continue to do it with her own child in the room.

 

I can see that being in the same room but being discouraged from having cuddles and being with Mummy could be distressing but I can't see why that would need to happen.

 

If he needs to be comforted by clinging to mum all day at first wouldn't he be doing the same with his keyworker if his mum wasn't there? I would hope that he would be cuddled for as long as he took to settle whoever was doing it.

 

I have to say that I have always had enough cuddles and comfort for all of the children in my care regardless of whether one of them was my own. I was well able to share my time out fairly and as my own children have grown up sharing me with the others they have never ever had an issue with it.

 

I think that, unless you have a good reason not to, you should trust this lady's judgement about what is right for her and her child and whether she can work successfully in the same room as her own baby.

 

The way I see it you will bring a child into the setting with an already well established key-worker relationship which would set that child up beautifully to take full advantage of the experiences on offer. The settling in process would be much easier and you'll have happy baby and happy mum.

 

If you insist that the child is in a different room or spends more time with a different practitioner you'll end up with a confused baby and an upset mum. I don't think sharing your mum with other children is confusing but I do think mum being around within sight or hearing but not available to you could be incredibly confusing and upsetting.

 

I would talk it through very carefully with all concerned before making this decision but if this lady is a good practitioner I would think long and hard before insisting she is separated from her child.

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I know that being a childminder I'm coming from a different angle but I don't see any problem with a practitioner being a carer to her own child. That is exactly what you do when you childmind other children alongside your own.

 

Why should this child be especially clingy? Yes he'll have a closer bond with one member of staff than with others but isn't that the whole point of keyworkers anyway? If he has a secure attachment to his mum this should give him the confidence to develop good relationships with the other staff.

 

Could an experienced practitioner not be trusted to treat the children fairly or to encourage her own child's independence? Surely if you trust her to do her job well she'll continue to do it with her own child in the room.

 

I can see that being in the same room but being discouraged from having cuddles and being with Mummy could be distressing but I can't see why that would need to happen.

 

If he needs to be comforted by clinging to mum all day at first wouldn't he be doing the same with his keyworker if his mum wasn't there? I would hope that he would be cuddled for as long as he took to settle whoever was doing it.

 

I have to say that I have always had enough cuddles and comfort for all of the children in my care regardless of whether one of them was my own. I was well able to share my time out fairly and as my own children have grown up sharing me with the others they have never ever had an issue with it.

 

I think that, unless you have a good reason not to, you should trust this lady's judgement about what is right for her and her child and whether she can work successfully in the same room as her own baby.

 

The way I see it you will bring a child into the setting with an already well established key-worker relationship which would set that child up beautifully to take full advantage of the experiences on offer. The settling in process would be much easier and you'll have happy baby and happy mum.

 

If you insist that the child is in a different room or spends more time with a different practitioner you'll end up with a confused baby and an upset mum. I don't think sharing your mum with other children is confusing but I do think mum being around within sight or hearing but not available to you could be incredibly confusing and upsetting.

 

I would talk it through very carefully with all concerned before making this decision but if this lady is a good practitioner I would think long and hard before insisting she is separated from her child.

 

 

Thank you Upsy Daisy. Saved me a rant. Better to have a loving mummy sharing herself and not leaving anyone out than a guilt ridden staff member who resents not being able to care for her baby.

 

Honey

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In my experience none of my staff ever felt guilt ridden and a couple of them even stated that they didn't want to be in the same room as thier child as they would find it too distracting/hard. They all trusted thier colleagues enough to know that the child would be well cared for, and felt that the variety was good for thier child and made them more independent possibly. One of the staff siad that not being with her child at work enhanced thier relationship at home, as she was able to give her 'quality time' and she felt this wouldn't have happened if the child had been with her all day ! Maybe I have unusual staff but I don't think so :o

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In my experience none of my staff ever felt guilt ridden and a couple of them even stated that they didn't want to be in the same room as thier child as they would find it too distracting/hard. They all trusted thier colleagues enough to know that the child would be well cared for, and felt that the variety was good for thier child and made them more independent possibly. One of the staff siad that not being with her child at work enhanced thier relationship at home, as she was able to give her 'quality time' and she felt this wouldn't have happened if the child had been with her all day ! Maybe I have unusual staff but I don't think so :o

 

It's good to hear that you trusted your staff's judgement about what was better for them and their children. I think that is the key. This lady clearly feels that it would be better for her child to be with her so I'd like to think she'll be trusted to make the right decision too.

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Hello all and thanks for your replies!

 

Perhaps my query came across a bit harsh and unsympathetic - I really didn't mean for it to be!

 

Of course, it goes without saying that many babies need constant comforting when they are settling in and if this is what it takes, then that's what we do! And there's NO WAY a baby would be discouraged from cuddling his mother or even having no access to her and, quite frankly, I'm hurt that you thought this would be the case.

 

I'm just saying that, in my setting, we've had an unwritten policy that a key person doesn't care for their own family and friends, as a member of staff who doesn't know the child/family can be more objective when writing observations or ressolving problems.

But then having a key person who already knows the child/family makes settling in and keeping up that all important two-way flow of information so much easier for all concerned!

 

I'll have lots to discuss with my manager when I next see her - perhaps it's time for some changes. Watch this space!

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And there's NO WAY a baby would be discouraged from cuddling his mother or even having no access to her and, quite frankly, I'm hurt that you thought this would be the case.

 

Sorry I didn't mean to sound so critical. It's just that this is what I understand the keyworker system to mean; the child forms a secure bond with a particular member of staff who is, as for as possible, that child's main carer in order to give that child consistency and familiarity. If this isn't what keyworker means in your setting I apologise. If it is mainly about paperwork then it might be nice for the mum to have somebody else recording observations etc and having another perspective on the child's development.

 

I still fail to see why anyone would worry about a child being cared for by their own mother, why it could cause confusion or any other problems. I know of no concerns about childminders having these sorts of problems. I know it's the done thing in lots of settings to separate practitioners from their own children but I'm not sure there is good reason to do it when the practitioner isn't happy with the arrangement.

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Hi,

 

I think there is some overlap here between the terms keyWORKER and keyPERSON. If you have keyworkers then yes they might be more objective when observing, etc. but a parent/good friend is probably a keyperson by definition and at my setting if you already know a child/family outside the pre-school then you would have them in your keygroup as you have a headstart on having a close relationship with them.

 

An interesting thread.... :o

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Hello,

 

I would just like to say that I work in my setting as a Pre-school Leader & Manager. I take in my own daughter 5 days a week, she has been coming with me since last September and is leaving this week ;( We are also a pack away setting, so we arrive at 8.50am and leave at 1.45pm.

 

 

What I would like to add is that I have never had any problems, my background is as a childminder also, so she was very used to me sharing my time and affections with other babies and older children. She has caused me no problems at pre-school at all. If she is playing up (which they all do!!) I share a Ahem! and a look with my Deputy and then she deals with it and it always works. :o

 

Many parents tell me she is a credit to me!!!! Sometimes I think I am a bit too tough on her. But she goes to pre-school, joins in and plays in accordance with our boundaries and accepts these. I am also her Keyworker & Key person in one. I work professionally when doing her records and treat her in this way, just as I would any other child. I will give her cuddles and affection in session, again just as I would if another child asked for a cuddle. Her confidence in making relationships and in herself has soared since she arrived. I believe she trusts the staff and the setting because I am there, however she is hardly ever with me during session!!!!

 

 

Considering she has such a long day, there are no problems, in actual fact she could be my Deputy! She always tells the staff to "make sure that the milk is put in the fridge in date order - oldest up top!!!!" Very amusing!

 

My Committee are very supportive and felt that it was very good advertising for our pre-school if a staff member can sen d their child there also.

 

I am treated like any other parent - I pay for her to attend lunch club and any extra sessions and respect this entirely!

 

 

Excuse my long reply, I just wanted to prove that it can work. xD

 

 

x

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There are lots of good points made in this thread for and against having the mum and baby in the same room, however I think it is important to remember that every relationship between a mother and child is different. You don't yet know how this mother is going to be with her child, just because she is a good practitioner with other people's children does not necessarily mean she is going to be that great at leaving the care of her own child to others in the room. How is she going to react if her child gets hurt? What if her child starts crying whilst she is attending to another child? Of course I'm not saying she is going to be unprofessional or that you shouldn't trust her, I'm just looking at it from another possible perspective and thinking about worries your manager might have! On the other hand of course it might work out wonderfully, the child might be more settled and calm as a result of her being available and it is likely your staff member will maintain a positive and professional attitude towards other staff and children as she has done so far.

 

Ultimately you won't know how it's going to work until they are in the room together, there is no reason it shouldn't work, but perhaps you need to be clear in your minds before hand about what is going to happen if you feel it isn't working later on.

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