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Parents not wanting their children to go outside in the rain!


RaceFace03
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Hi All,

 

I really don't understand some parents not wanting their child to go out in the cold or rain! A parent collected her child today, and is not happy that he was playing outside in the rain. (He had wellies and his coat on). However she requested that he stays in when its raining. We do not have a system of free flow play for our outdoor area, so all the children go out at set times. Plus we have not got enough staffing to supervise that child indoors.

 

I explained to her that she is welcome to read our outdoor play policy and we state that child go out in all weather conditions. She then started moaning about how her child will catch a cold and she will then have to take time off work. Finally she has put in a complaint about her child going out in the rain and how he was soaking wet when she arrived. I informed the parent that he had been kicking in puddles and get rather wet (we change all the children when they come inside anyway).

 

Any suggestions on how to go about this ???

THANKS

 

 

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Ha ha that sounds like some of mine! That could have been me writting that ...... I do same as you have done, I will not stop a child going outside unless it's a medical condition (we had one whose circulation was poor and went blue etc) I did a full piece in newsletter about outdoor play and it got great feedback. I seem to find that as I'm a happy bubbly person anyway when parents say things like 'oh god look at you'' expressing their child's covering in paint etc I laugh outloud and say I know it's great isn't it! It was my fault but I do love a mucky child! And either wait for a reaction or walk away, I do this for outdoor play too, 'why has she been out in the rain' again laughing I say things like 'oh because it's fantastic, we jumped in puddles, caught rain in our mouths, carnt believe how much fun we've had' I do this loudly as it drives home a message to all parents that we love muck and outdoors it also makes parents think before moaning as they know I'll just laugh and say it's great!

They have even stopped complaining about marks on clothes as all staff take it on board, so when they come in new coats etc we make a point of laughing oh dear that's not good you know we will get that mucky!

I think it's very powerful to counteract negativity with positive energy. However no one has put in a complaint about their child being outside or mucky. Sorry long post and probably not very useful lol xx

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Smile and suggest you welcome volunteers and that perhaps she would like to come in on rainy days to help!! Then she could deal with the fallout of her child wanting to go outside and being denied the opportunity. (Sorry, had a bad day today)

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It is a worry to parents having to take time off work for ill children and does cause anxiety.

 

However as long as the child has wellies, raincoat and is changed if too wet, she is not going to get very far complaining.

 

As you said it's in your policy and you can't leave them 'home alone' while you all go out.

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I used to advise parents that the policy was available when they chose our setting and that by sending the child to us we took as an agreement to all our policies. It was also stated clearly in newsletters and prospectus, so plenty of places to find and ask about it.

I also used to say that if a child was not well enough to go outside to play then they are npt well enough to be in the setting so should be at home.. this was also stated in our outdoor policy.

As to catching a cold from being outside and getting wet I used to have a myth busting leaflet hat I had made to cover that.. use the internet and research it and then do a poster if needed and a letter/ leaflet for all parents ..

The truth is, the flu and the common cold and flu are caused by viruses. People get sick more often in the winter because they are exposed to each other more in the winter than in the summer. When it is cold outside, people tend to stay inside and are more likely to spread germs to one another. Also, because school is in session, children are around each other all day and are not afraid to share their germs. With so many people in such close contact, the likelihood of passing germs is much higher when it is cold outside than when it is warm and people are outdoors. There is also evidence now that viruses spread more easily through dry air. When it is cold outside, the air is drier both outdoors and inside (where people have their heaters on) which may make it easier for germs to pass from one person to another. But it is not the cold weather that causes the cold, it just might make it easier to spread the virus. So in fact by staying indoors there is more chance of getting a cold than there is going outside..

That used to stop most parents in their tracks...better to go out than stay in !

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We have a few parents (mainly the Eastern Europeans) who come in when they've got a cold asking if we can keep them inside and we say that it's nursery policy for them to go outside in all weathers, but we will ensure that they have all of their outdoor wear on and that they're well wrapped up.

 

We have had the odd occasion where that hasn't been good enough for the parent until, that is, we mention that if they're not well enough to go outside then they're not well enough to be at nursery and we have to send them home. You'd be amazed how quickly the tune changes then haha.

 

But a display on the benefits of outdoor play in all weathers might help. I did 1 about 2 and a half years ago and the parents reacted very well to it.

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Just to add another pov, when we had an inspection recently OFSTED commented on how we were going to handle one parent who had asked for their child to not go outside today as they had a cough. We said we would respect the parents wish whilst explaining that it is free flow and we would encourage her child to stay inside. Mrs O was happy that we respected the parent request first and foremost over and above our freeflow

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Just to add another pov, when we had an inspection recently OFSTED commented on how we were going to handle one parent who had asked for their child to not go outside today as they had a cough. We said we would respect the parents wish whilst explaining that it is free flow and we would encourage her child to stay inside. Mrs O was happy that we respected the parent request first and foremost over and above our freeflow

I think I would do as you did

But what would you have done if that child HAD asked to go outside, would you have said "no, because mummy doesn't want you to"?

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if you have freeflow that is fine... but if the child chose to go out???

Not all of us have free flow available.... it was all out or none out...

 

We would stick by the policy in place ... would not be happy to stop all others from going out for one child...set a precedent and it could be one child everyday , so no outdoor play at all...

this is why the policies are there.. to show parents the way you operate...Ofsted often checked a policy when we had complaints and if it was stated in there and it was how we had dealt with it.. then all was good.. but if we had not followed what was in the policy that was when the issues arose..

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So what if the parent asked that their child did not take part in singing (as they had a sore throat) or playing with water (they had a cold) both of which we have had. Would we have to respect the parents request then? Or no painting or playing with the sand?

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I was going to reiterate that it is not weather that causes Iill health. Some parents are not aware of this!

I also, on days that I think parents might object, by greeting parents telling them that we have been outside and saying how fantastic their child was a counting the rain drops and singing and making the sound of the drips in the puddles and how this shows how smart their child is at knowing numbers, science and sounds. That usually works.

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