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Interesting dilemma!


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Hi all

 

Just wondered what others felt about this situation today. We have, as I am sure we all have, a policy that no parent is allowed to be out of our sight when with other peoples children. So on parent help days we make sure we can see them at all times, never let them go outside without a member of staff there and obviously make sure they don't take children to the toilet.

 

Now this has never been a problem and most parents understand and we have managed to make sure we watch without making them feel watched, untrusted or uncomfortable.

 

However we have quite a few children who are all related to each other in the setting at the moment, six children to be exact. Now today I had a parent helper in whose daughter was in the session and whose nephew was in the session. The nephew asked this parent (his aunty) if she would take him to the toilet. Long and the short one of the staff said she couldn't they would have to take him or come in with her. She was furious!!

 

This was out of my hearing but she came and found me to complain saying she was the child's aunt, was authorised to take him home yet she couldn't take him to the toilet, surely this could not be right?

 

I would be interested to see how anyone else would have handled this and what the thoughts are on this situation?

 

Funnily it has never really happened before and the parent did admit she wouldn't want anybody else taking her child to the toilet (although I did not ask if this applied to her child's aunty :ph34r: )

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Oh how interesting - how did staff handle it at the time? Did they make a huge 'song and dance' about needing to accompany Auntie and nephew? Or did they just say "oh of course, but I'll have to come too silly as that may sound" - or somesuch?

 

I wouldn't have 'allowed' auntie to take the child either - child is in my care and so the 'buck' stops with me - but this sort of situation needs handling 'sensitively' in my humble and I can see how auntie may have felt 'offended'

Edited by sunnyday
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I can see auntys point but if its your policy you have to stick to it otherwise every aunty, uncle, grandparent will be taking children to the loo and if that happens it will be more difficult to control. Maybe write her a short note so she can digest it better :)

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Yes we have often had the same or similar situations. But these are the rules of the setting.

What we normally do for any parent helpers kind enough to come in, is to explain on their first time, that mobile phones are not to be used, where the toilets are if needed for them, and to safeguard everybody that they are not to have access to the children's toilets unaccompanied.

This is said in a very upbeat friendly way so parents fully appreciate the rationale behind our procedures.

Has always worked well for us.:)

Can I also just say that although they maybe related other children may also be in that area and this would be inappropriate for them to have access too.

Good luck with this one always tricky.

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We host bring your grown up to school weeks at the nursery and the invite letter has the following as guidelines so that everyone is crystal clear on what they can/can't do - as Sunnyday says the buck stops with the setting manager and whilst keeping a balance it is part of our safeguarding duties to protect everyone - abusers do not come in with T shirts advertising the fact and by the same token if a child were to come out of the loos with said relative and say something that raised a child protection concern you are then in a right old pickle

 

Guidelines
In the interests of Safeguarding and Child Protection please do not enter the porch area on your own to take any children, including your own to the toilets or to help them retrieve any outdoor clothing.
For Safeguarding and Child Protection reasons we do not allow any mobile phones (except the setting mobiles) to be used in the hall. Please either leave your mobile phones at home or be prepared to leave them on the desk, on silent during your visit.
Please don’t wear your “Sunday Best”.
Be prepared to spend some time on the floor and small chairs (please let me know if this is a problem).
Have some outdoor clothes with you for when we go outside.
I regret that we cannot have any other children or babies in during this time.
The Golden Rules and Conflict Resolution procedures apply including when we have visitors.
The children have been encouraged to develop self-sufficiency in respect of dressing themselves, personal hygiene and choosing activities and resources both indoor and outdoor to play with. During our Bring Your Grown Up To School Week we would appreciate your support in encouraging the children’s self-sufficiency skills.
In the unlikely event that you get the offer of a hot drink please ensure that you do not take it near the children.
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Well my staff bless them did me proud and stuck to their guns they didn't make a big fuss just politely explained that they would in this instance have to take her nephew to the toilet at which point I emerged from the kitchen and she made a bee line for me, telling me she was livid!!!

 

However she was fine when I explained the reasons behind why we have rules like this and that we have to apply one rule for everyone. I did say I could see that it may seem ludicrous to her but there are good reasons, that is wasn't personal, nor did it signify that we didn't trust her, of course we did but rules are rules etc...

 

It did make me smile as she asked what happened on parent rota days then how can parents be allowed in the building and I explained that it was because they were always in my sight or the sight of one the staff, never left alone. She sort of blinked and said you mean you have been watching me all morning? I had no idea! :P I couldn't resist small smile lol we do try not to make it obvious or uncomfortable lol

 

She left saying 'its just so much extra work for you all isn't it?' and completely on our side :D

 

I should add that in this instance it was partly my fault as I would normally take them through the 'do's and don'ts' of rota and we have a nice little poster about it on the wall, but it was just one of those days where I had been waylaid by other parents and a visitor that I just hadn't got to her in time before this incident happened. I did apologise for this oversight as well, but she was in the end genuinely fine. I just thought it was an interesting one and I could see quite clearly how from her point of view it seemed mental and in a way I agree with her!! :ph34r:

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Actually I did explain about other children in toilets too.

 

Although we have found certain children get really distressed if their parent isn't allowed to take them to the toilet we do on these occasions ask them to use the disabled toilets which is normally only use for changing children to staff, so no child is ever in there on their own. We have had one occasion where a parent still went into the toilet so I just quietly went in and asked them if they were ok or needed anything and then just struck up a random conversation until they came out. So it wasn't that obvious. Then just quietly said it might be better to take her in there next time, bit more room lol

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I had this happen many moons ago when we were having our social services inspection. We were based in the school in those days and a mum took her son and another boy to the toilet. There was just me, my deputy, the mum and the inspector in at the time. Inspector was talking to me all the time and I couldn't get away! At the end of the inspection, she said to me 'do you realise that that mother took another child to the toilet with her own?' And I said that I was aware, but that she was the aunt of that child and four other children in the room! (Small village and it was back in the day before crb). The inspector rocked backwards a bit and said 'oh my! Well I suppose it must be different in a tiny community' and I agreed with her, but added that I still took child protection seriously, and that even small communities weren't paedophile-proof! I did tell her later that the mum was also a classroom assistant in the school whom I had collared when she brought her son in, when I spotted the inspector was there!

Edited by Cait
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