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Are You Allowed To Ask A Parent & Child To Leave A Setting?


hopeytg
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We currently have a parent who is constantly finding something or someone to complain about - it's been going on for nearly a year

and whatever we do to try and please this person, nothing is good enough. The latest complaint is laughable and she has threatened to go to Ofsted if I do not discipline a member of staff for not saying good morning to her son (said member of staff was busy with other children already in the setting and not greeting any children - another member of staff was doing that).

 

I really have had enough and due to have a meeting with the person and really want to suggest that perhaps we are not meeting her

requirements and perhaps she should consider another setting - can I actually do this? or am I just going to make things even worse?

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Yes you can suggest politely as you mentioned that she may be better suited elsewhere but have your meeting first. Sounds like a picky parent but it would be good to get her side first and find out why she finds such actions unacceptable and what she would like you to do about them and what you can do to improve. Document your meeting so if she does decide to go to Ofsted then you can show you were willing and tried to meet her requirements. Sometimes there may be underlying issues involved, sometimes your best is just not good enough for some and they would be better off looking elsewhere for care. Good luck with the meeting!

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Ditto - but have someone else - preferably some one "unbiased" may be LA support worker in meeting if you can as having had similar situation whatever you say is likely to be twisted in "interpretation" so it could be useful to have someone independent recording what was said/done in case you need to refer to it later.

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I would also get her to sign copies of the meeting summary once it is written up, and if she isn't happy to do that I would write on the copies that she has refused, and why. I'm afraid some people are never happy, although this does sound like an extreme case. Record everything to cover your back.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

mmm we have a parent like this and it is very frustrating. No matter what we do it is never good enough. Yesterday she complained to my deputy that we didn't have many up to date WOW moments from parents on the wall, BUT, she has NEVER even given us one for her son!

 

I have in the past suggested to a parent -very very nicely-that if they are not happy to consider moving her child elsewhere. She didn't unfortunately and until her child left us staff were always on edge when she was in the setting. Not a comfortable situation for any of us.

 

I think as long as she thinks you are suggesting the move for her and her child's benefit and not yours you should be OK.

 

Good luck

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often had this... always walking on eggshells.

 

as suggested always 2 people at any meetings, one taking notes as you go, record evrything, get parent to sign if you can, any refusal write on document and say so... timeline and date all you can.

 

as an up side, by keeping her child with you any complaint made to Ofsted etc. have a lot less impact and credence... had one complain who kept her son with us... when talking to Ofsted they said if she was that unhappy why would she leave her child with us? So she must have some faith in what we were doing... and complaining when still having child in our care was a bit pointless really.. if not really happy they would remove the child..

 

i do wonder what this parent will be like when she gets to the school stage where contact and control is reduced a lot against what she is getting now.. feel for anyone in this situation,

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Thanks again for all your advice. The meeting went well (I think) - basically the parent has a problem with one member of staff and is trying to get us to sack her. This will not happen as she is a great member of the team - there is history between the two of them before pre-school which seems to be 'festering'. Basically she was told that we would not be discipling the member of staff and she had a bit of a rant saying we weren't listening to her so why was she bothering. But between myself and the chair we managed to turn it round and she left seemingly happy and asking if her son could come and extra day even after I suggested that perhaps if she was unhappy it may be worth looking at another setting!! Hopefully she will realise that she is not going to get her way and will let things lie now. Fingers crossed

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I sometimes wish we could just look after the children and have no contact with the parents our lives would be so much easier. Last year when talking to new teachers about children going to school most of our conversations was about the parents rather than the children

 

having a meeting will at least show that you are trying to meet her needs

 

buttercup

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I am pleased you have managed to air and listen to eachothers views, let's hope this will be the last of it and your relationship can continue for the benefit of the child. I think the working with parent part of our job can be extremely rewarding as well as times of pure frustration.:)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I knew it was too good to be true!! - Tried to have a well earned day off today but while sat in the hairdressers my phone kept ringing!! Eventually with a fab new hairdo I listened to the ansa phone message - very irate chair asking to speak to me regarding our regular complainant!! - Got home to another message on home phone from complainant - after speaking to Chair and getting the story I went into work and spoke to the member of staff who has once again been accused of 'ignoring' a child. I was happy with her explaination of what had happened so rang the parent to try and resolve the issue. Talk about irate - I am really struggling to comprehend what her problem really is - she accepts that her child is not treated any differently during the session there just seems to be a real issue with this particular staff member greeting her son when he arrives - irrespective of what she is doing at the time - usually supervising other children! I have now been accused of protecting the member of staff as she is a friend - she is a colleague and yes we go out as a team but that is the extent of our friendship. I admitted to the parent that I am at a loss at what to suggest next and suggested that I speak to our early years advisor for advice - unfortunately not available today so hopefully she will ring me tomorrow. I did suggest that if we were not meeting her requirements she should consider another setting - that did not go down well. The member of staff has offered to be out of the room when the parent arrives to avoid any further complaints but why should she?

 

Sorry to rant but have to get it off my chest ;(

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Oh how awful for you and for the poor staff member at the centre of this........

 

Wish I had some words of wisdom to impart - I can't think of anything apart from repeating advice to record everything.........I would be very tempted to have this staff member carrying out 'meet and greet' (if that's something you do) and saying a slightly over the top "Hello xxxxxxxx and how are you today" - but then another part of me is thinking 'why on earth should you pander to this parent' :ph34r:

 

Sorry really not much help - but do always feel free to rant :1b

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thank you Sunnyday - the member of staff has offered to do 'Meet and Greet' which I feel shows that she does not have a problem but have similar thoughts of why change things to pander to this women. We are constantly walking on egg shells and yet she consistently ignores our policies etc - eg we say water only in drinks bottles - but no everyday she brings juice in her sons bottle (which we then throw away, refill with water and he drinks!!). It is so difficult to remain professional - I really just want to tell her to get a life - with the awful happenings in Wales complaining about a member of staff not saying hello to her son seems so petty.

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Some people will never be pleased no matter what you do...never happy unless complaining and I often felt they needed to be the centre of attention like one of the children doing something to get attention..

 

 

As usual, record all, staff and others present if need be and ensure that member of staff is never alone with the parent causing the issues but always had back up and support which I am sure you are doing.. . she is one parent out of many, others are happy with what you are doing, but it is hard to stick to your guns and feel confident about it with someone trying to niggle at any level possible.

 

I have at one time had similar, a parent taking against a member of staff.. was hard work.. and we never did resolve it fully.. we did resort to the staff member not being visible at the start of the session when that parent was there, as we had become so irked by the lack of respect the parent had for the staff member... and it was reflecting on our day.. at least if she was not there we had no complaints about that issue... and we had a much better day!

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I'm inclined to suggest that you call it a day; I don't think anyone should put up with this. As long as you are absolutely confident she has no grounds, I'd suggest she finds somewhere else (but put it better than that!) that she would be pleased with.

It might help to do in the future what we used to do when a new child started. We had a Parents' Charter that we signed and which we had the parent sign. Things like "What you can expect from us" and "What we expect from you", covering polite and courteous interactions, etc. We started this off after a similar problem to yours and we didn't experience anything like it again.

Good luck with this; I know how disheartening it can be. :(

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I agree with the above, it seems your professional relationship has now come to an end. It appears that as a customer your service does not meet her requirements therefore she now needs to find one that does!

 

Just as a precaution, if you do serve notice to her, BEFORE you do this i feel you should contact Ofsted and register the issue with them. They always prefer to hear from the provider first with issues like this rather than an inflated complaint that they may receive from the parent.

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