Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Staff Code of Conduct?


narnia
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a prospective new parent, who is especially nervous about her child starting at a setting......she likes ours as it is small, and isn't, as she puts it, 'one of those settings with 17 children, all on their own agenda and some with extra needs'!! Her child is 3.5 years old, is still carried everywhere and has never been left anywhere.not even alone with her father. She has been attending another setting for 2 terms, but mum won't leave her, even for a few minutes.

So, initial look round seems to make her happy......mum as well......................and i have had an email from mum asking to see:

Staff Code of Conduct

Staff qualifications

Behaviour policy..specifically, do we use 'time out'

Nappy policy

 

All and any information about Staff backgrounds..............personal and work..........

 

Go on then what would you say?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oooooo dear good luck with this!

All of the above policies are on our website and copies are available on request so I'd give her them apart from staff one as this is in the staff handbook I would dig abit deeper in what she wants staff policy for as staff conduct is spread through many policies?

As for qualifications I would inform her of who has what I.e qualified / level 2 / non qualified and inform her of who has first aid and then a general stance of that everyone does safeguarding with exception of DSL as they do further training addition and other courses staff have attended in relation to additional needs etc. Would I provide copies or get out my staff file for qualifications No I wouldn't as it contains personal details, I would however point her in the direction of the eyfs where it says what we have to have as a minimum and that all that is in place. :) x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Staff Code of Conduct

Staff qualifications

Behaviour policy..specifically, do we use 'time out'

Nappy policy

 

All and any information about Staff backgrounds..............personal and work..........

 

Go on then what would you say?

Code of conduct, qualifications and policies all fine

Info regarding staff backgrounds other than length of service with your setting - Absolutely no way - staff have the right to a private life and this is not the sort of info I would happily give to any parent - I think I would have to ask myself what she particularly wanted that information for. Surely if you have employed these people you have confidence in your employment decisions and as such the parent should respect that. What would you do if you gave her this information and she came back to you and said that she didn't want person X, Y or Z having any interaction with her child because they sank too many G&Ts one Friday back in the mists of time?

Mum seems "somewhat over cautious" and whilst it would be lovely to be the setting to help the child (escape from this parent's strangle hold) in this instance I think I would have to ask myself - do I really want the hassle that comes with this one and when it quite probably goes t***s up do I want the Ofsted complaint process aggro !!!!!

Re-reading your post I see the child is 3.5 years old - still in nappies? and why such a keen interest in whether you do time out? Has this child been exhibiting certain "behaviour traits" at its current setting?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow good one!

Narnia you know you have all your policies in place be confident about sharing them.

You would be better talking with her about her need to know staff code of conduct and use of time out. You might be able to gain a sense of what her anxiety is.

We are all in this job because of our sense of wanting children to achieve in a way that is appropriate to them as an individual. I would express this to her and explain that staff backgrounds have been taken into account when you have employed them. Take a look around see how happy and engaged the children are this is only achievable by having a great staff team that has the value of trust added. Your working practice does not allow harm by an adult to happen.

I would tell her that her requests are unusual and you want to understand what she is really looking for.

I do think it could be a risk that she may go elsewhere but it may also that by being straight with her she may open up and express her anxiety about leaving her baby and not wanting him to grow up. There are all sorts of reasons for her being so anxious, having read your posts before you could be the right person at the right time to give her some badly needed confidence.

Good luck

Keep us posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Policies.. not an issue.. point her where to find them.. and let her search through for the ones she wants..

Staff code of conduct.. is part of their contract and as such could come under data protection, depends on how you view this, most of it is in the other policies, could say that is where it is all found and to read the policies..

Any details on staff.. data protection would certainly cover all this and prevent you from disclosure, other than the basics.. we had these displayed for all to see, names, qualifications, and roles of staff.. no more..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Am I the only person to think something is a bit amiss?

Good advice from everyone.

I would be very wary - certainly start how you mean to go on with her.

I would be interested to talk to the other setting too!

After all it is supposed to be a two way relationship between parents and settings.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basically, any info that is public domain (contained in Ofsted report, on your website/facebook page etc) is fair game as she could find that out for herself.

I would probably tell her staff qualifications or generalise - 80% have level 3 and above, manager has degree blah blah...

Certainly wouldn't disclose any staff personal info or contractual details and code of conduct forms part of contract, so I'd politely decline that request.

I wouldn't necessarily tell her that the requests are unusual as if she is so nervous of leaving her little one, you wouldn't want to give the impression that she is being over protective or making unreasonable requests on you; I'd say something like "It was lovely to have you and your daughter in the setting today. Thank you for your email requesting further information. Please find attached copies of the policies you requested/if you'd like to pop in again, I will gladly sit down with you and show you the policy file and you can ask me any further questions.... Unfortunately, staff details and their contractual obligations remain private and confidential, so I am unable to share this information with you, but rest assured that they are all suitably qualified, undergo regular in house and external training and are all DBS checked in accordance with Ofsted regulations.

That should do it!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you ladies...........................sound advice as usual. This child will not be going to school next year either, I assumed then that mum is going to home school?/ Nope.......she's looking for premises to set up her own school with some friends. I shall proceed with caution

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having had 2 very hard to please parents last year who made unfounded complaints, I'm not so sure I would want this Mum. If she isn't prepared to leave the child with her Father, what hope is there she will ever leave her with you? How do you feel about Mum staying with you for 2 months or longer? That's a long time to be observed!

I personally think you need to go with your instinct and if you sense a red flag as I do, I would be very nice and I would be trying to put her off. I would say we have a settling in period of (whatever yours is and I would be putting one in the policy if you don't have one) and after that time we need you to leave her etc. Reassure her you will ring if there is a problem etc. See what her reaction is to this.

I also feel she is a little 'narrow' in her thinking. Does she know you might have a child with 'extra needs' join your setting next week or the week after? Maybe her child has 'extra needs' as she calls them and is pleased there won't be any distractions from her child? Wonder what Mum is going to do when the child goes to school and there are 30 in the class, some with behavioural problems, some will 'extra needs,' some who are aggressive etc.

I sense trouble ahead here, sorry, and I agree with SueJ, I think there will be a lot of hassle (already you are getting e-mails) and you will be constantly jumping hoops to make her happy. I think you will be scrutinised in all you do - which is very trying when you do everything correctly and by the book. I'm not sure I would want this and I certainly wouldn't want an unfounded complaint, because you won't be able please this Mum 100% all the time.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a parent like this and we did our best to secure the place as we felt it was in the child's best interest to 'escape' the claustrophobia of the apron strings.

Child thrived and as a result the mum constantly fault picked and had the team a nervous wreck. We eventually had the 'this obviously isn't the nursery for you' conversation and she left after a very long meeting where we proved we'd met her every wish and her child was doing well and she could no longer argue her point

Looking back over our 'niggly' parents it's always been the ones we've double over backwards for so now we are getting tough for our sanity's sake!

Proceed with caution and stand your ground in case you empower her too much :-/

Is anybody else feeling the expectations of parents are soaring constantly?

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This mum sounds like someone who has a disabling level of anxiety. She must find life very hard to cope with.

She's chosen your setting because something you have said or done has made her feel relatively safe about leaving her child with you. For a start, that is a huge compliment, especially as she has no plans to leave him in a school in the future.

I think you have to be very clear about the fact that you cannot share certain information with her and that, if her son is going to thrive in your setting, she has to be willing to trust that you will do your job properly and keep her child as safe as possible.

If you can acknowledge (even just to yourself) her enormously high anxiety levels and work with her to build a trusting relationship, you will probably be doing the child a great favour. To try to discourage her from sending him to you would be a shame as it might be his only opportunity to develop a little independence for quite some time.

With lots of understanding and oodles of really effective communication, you have a chance of making this work and helping her to discover that letting go a little can be a good thing. However, please remember that high levels of anxiety can sometimes be linked to conditions like Asperger's Syndrome and you may come across some very rigid thinking.

You also need to consider that there could be a genetic element to any anxious behaviour displayed by the child so try not to get caught in the trap of blaming the mother if he finds it hard to settle. There is often a tendency to blame parents for creating an anxious child by not letting them go enough when, in fact, the child is naturally anxious and the parent is responding quite appropriately to their needs. I wouldn't expect you to do this Narnia, but I felt it needed saying.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

not sure if this will be fully relevant but it does remind us about confidentiality and how difficult it can be when dealing with parents..

 

http://missnightmutters.com/2014/11/dear-parent-about-that-kid.html

and a follow up..

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/what-i-learned-about-that-kid-and-this-world-from-15-million-blog-hits/article21652240/

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Read this with interest and it is very reassuring to know other settings have 'challenging' parents and I am not the only one who jumps through hoops for no thanks just more complaints!

We have a family whose very close relative make a complaint about us to Ofsted last year asking for a place, my instinct was to say we are full but stupidly mentioned it to our IA who warned me that it would be classed as discrimination - my argument was that it is my business so surely I have the right to refuse a place! She said we were contracted by Council to provide a place, but we are not limited to catchment areas so surely I can?

They were due to visit last week, didn't turn up and didn't ring and have not done so since but I will not be chasing them and just keep my fingers crossed.

With reference to the initial message I would go with your instincts , good luck x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hopeytg - surely as a private business you do have the right to refuse? Fingers crossed they don't ring again! ;)

We currently have the most difficult and 'challenging' set of parents I have ever encountered in my 20 years early years experience. With the gift of hindsight, we would have certainly been full when they enquired about a space - as awful as that sounds. Their son is with us full time (40+hours) but they have no interest in building any kind of relationship with us. Normal questions and problems, such as a missing dummy cap or a change of top due to a spilt drink, triggers a major complaint from them. My staff are nervous wrecks, noone wants to speak to them at the end of the day and they have caused several people to actually cry! They just do not seem to have any social skills despite having very responsible jobs. It is a shame because the little boy is a delight and much loved by his keyworkers. I have actually told them that they need to think about whether or not they trust us to care for him or whether they should think about other arrangements but they then backtracked and said that they are completely happy!

Narnia - For the sake of the child it would be great if you could take him BUT I feel for you - I would consider your options!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

This mum sounds like someone who has a disabling level of anxiety. She must find life very hard to cope with.

 

She's chosen your setting because something you have said or done has made her feel relatively safe about leaving her child with you. For a start, that is a huge compliment, especially as she has no plans to leave him in a school in the future.

 

I think you have to be very clear about the fact that you cannot share certain information with her and that, if her son is going to thrive in your setting, she has to be willing to trust that you will do your job properly and keep her child as safe as possible.

If you can acknowledge (even just to yourself) her enormously high anxiety levels and work with her to build a trusting relationship, you will probably be doing the child a great favour. To try to discourage her from sending him to you would be a shame as it might be his only opportunity to develop a little independence for quite some time.

 

With lots of understanding and oodles of really effective communication, you have a chance of making this work and helping her to discover that letting go a little can be a good thing. However, please remember that high levels of anxiety can sometimes be linked to conditions like Asperger's Syndrome and you may come across some very rigid thinking.

You also need to consider that there could be a genetic element to any anxious behaviour displayed by the child so try not to get caught in the trap of blaming the mother if he finds it hard to settle. There is often a tendency to blame parents for creating an anxious child by not letting them go enough when, in fact, the child is naturally anxious and the parent is responding quite appropriately to their needs. I wouldn't expect you to do this Narnia, but I felt it needed saying.

Wow Upsy Daisy! Just wanted to say I love what you have written alot!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)