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In private nurseries are you unable to send children home ill?? My son is 18 months old (I teach full time in a Reception class) and there is a child in his room at nursery who seems to be always ill. I picked Jonah up tonight and all the staff were complaining about this child (as they usually are) as she had been difficult and ill all day. I asked what was wrong with her and was told she had an ear infection and that there was gunge actually coming out of her ear! They said they had tried to ring the mother (once) today but had no answer. Can't believe her mum actually sent her in like that and if she had no other choice she could've easily made sure she had her phone accessible at all times (she is a school teacher too, however the staff said she wasn't even back at school today).

Sorry about the rant but I'm not looking forward to Jonah catching it and me being up all night with him on my own. Been back at school today so am feeling sorry for myself. :o

Anyway, I have complained over the phone about this parent once before however the manager said she sympathised with me however she was unable to tell the mother that she could not send her in. Just wanted someone more in the know to tell me how it works in nurseries - in my school we send children home if they are genuinely unwell.

Thanks

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Hi, I know my sister was asked to collect her son from his private DN when he was ill, but whether this is at the discretion of each nursery, I don't know. As for mum being unavailable this unfortunately does happen I've been at pre school and school when they've tried to contact parents of sick children only to get no answer from any numbers given. The worst was when one mum refused to give up her day off to collect her sick child early from school. That left me gob-smacked as that day I collected my own child and my friends children who were also ill and felt really guilty about this poor little soul being left there.

Karrie

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Every setting should have policies/procedures for excluding children who are ill or infectious. This was stated clearly in the Standards and is also featured in the Every Child Matters stuff. Certainly Ofsted are interested in what we do in the event of staff deciding a child is not fit to be at nursery, and we explained our procedures carefully. Last term, we telephoned three parents to come and collect their children because we felt they were too ill to be there. We explained initially that the child him/herself was not benefitting from nursery because they were too spaced out/in pain because of earache/constantly coughing and spluttering, and the parents came......(some not too willingly because their Christmas shopping was cut short!) Then we tell them that it's not a good idea for poorly children to attend nursery because other children catch bugs easily and also that the staff are not immune....we get ill too. Funnily enough, some parents are really surprised by this :D

I think it's appalling that the little girl with an ear infection was allowed to remain at nursery, and I think you're right to complain about it. I'd do it again! I don't understand why the manager thinks she can't refuse entry to the child?

The parent also needs tackling about contact numbers....... :o

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Day Nursery's, Preschools etc should follow their health / hygiene policies and consider Every Child Matters outcome 'Well being'. These are requirements of National Standards / registration.

 

Risk of transferable infection and the poorly child should be paramount above 'fitting in with parents needs' whatever they may be. I wonder also if this child is getting adequate medication for the infection if he/she is in a Day Nursery for too long.

 

If I am unable to contact a parent I will contact all other adults with permission for collection, failing that I phone the parent consistently, if I get answer machine I say your child is unwell and needs to be taken home.

 

I have discovered that quite a few of my preschool children were ill over the Christmas period, quite a few were off and missed our Christmas party, why?, because a parent had bought her child in without having the 48 hr break following sickness and tummy bug :oxD ( we found out after he had attended on a Monday after a weekend illness) I am sure he had a fine Christmas but because of him ( or should I say, his parent), many others didn't. :(

 

I am not sure how infectious ear infections are with regard to needs of other children in the setting, maybe a chat with a pharmacist or doctor or NHS direct could clarify this, but this aside it must be awful for the child not to be home when feeling ill.

 

 

Peggy

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well, i think this begs two responses:

first of all, of course the child could and in this instance, SHOULD have been sent home, though I don't think my child would catch an ear infection from her;

secondly, what on earth were the staff doing discussing the child (and you say they often do??) and her family circumstances with you??This should all be confidential information and i'd be mighty cross if i thought my family were being discussed like this.I'd have thought Ofsted would also be extremely unhappy about this?

I can understand everyone's frustration here, but if this child is often poorly and mum can't be contacted, what about her other emergency numbers...............and if that fails, and the staff know where this parent works, then phone her place of work and say they need to speak to her urgently, as it's a family emergency, which will surely get a response from her??

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Good point on the confidentiality issue Narnia, must admit the thought did cross my mind with the bracketed info re complaints.........(as they usually are).

 

Peggy

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Thanks for your replies. I personally couldn't believe that the mother could send her knowing she had an ear infection and then vanish all day so that nursery couldn't contact her. The nursery staff are not happy about this and as one of them said to me tonight, the other children in the room have been overlooked all day as this girl has demanded 1:1 attention.

I will def complain again but am wary of how I do so as I do not want to be brushed off again. From the last time I complained the manager did seem to think that she was unable to refuse entry an ill child however now I know better I will attempt to tackle her about this. Any suggestions as to how to do this would be greatly appreaciated. Was thinking about either a phone call or letter maybe or should I just ask to see illness policy/procedure?

PS I am a parent and a teacher so I am well aware that there are some days when it is almost impossible to stay off work to look after a poorly child but I feel it is very irresponsible for the mum to leave the child without a contact number for the day. On the few occasions I have sent Jonah to nursery ill (normally bribe his nana to look after him), I have always arranged to ring up at dinner to see if he is ok/ had a sleep, etc. Personally I couldn't bear to leave him if I knew he was distressed/in pain. Maybe I have him too soft?

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Poor little girl!!! Gunge and yukky stuff coming out of an ear can mean a perforated ear drum!!! I know this as my niece had that happen when I was looking after her!! It causes great distress!!

 

I work in a pre-school but we do exactly as Peggy does and phone all contacts and keep on trying until we get through!!

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I had a child like that in school and phoned his mother who took him home grudgingly then brought him back after lunch with cotton wool in his ears to stop them weeping.

 

We often have difficulty contacting parents because theyve changed numbers without informing us as they are meant to do.

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In our DN we contact parents when a child is ill and they will usually collect. However, once they have been seen by a doctor and are receiving medication, if they are not seriously infectious, they are allowed back and we will administer medication as necessary - with all necessary paperwork etc.

 

Sue

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I was amazed and appauld at the fact that staff had broken confidentiality, im so shocked... As a manager i would go absoloutly mad if i heard my staff discussing another parent and child with another parent..it is just so wrong..... would make me wonder what staff were saying about my child, if they are that lapse on confidentiality.... those staff need a firm talking too.

 

Regards the child that is poorly,

There may be more to it, we had a little one who had gungy ears but he was not infectious (doctor confirmed) it was an illness he had that was something to do with his ears himself... sometimes in my experience ( i work in Private day nursery) some staff can be too eager to send children hone / judge circumstances without knowing the full picture.

 

Just my thoughts anyway

 

Dawn

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Guest DeborahF

I've nothing new to add really - every setting should have a Sick Children and Medication Policy and it's up to the setting how they deal with a child who is clearly not well enough to be at nursery. We had a statement in ours about Calpol saying that we did not administer it at the nursery becuase we felt that a child who needed to have their temperature controlled in this way should not be at nursery. We did have one exception though - the parents of a child who was prone to febrile convulsions asked if we would keep a bottle of Calpol on the premises and give it to him if he BECAME unwell during the day as it was extremely important to prevent his temperature rising quickly. I did a special medication consent form for that which all staff were aware of and which the parents had signed and kept a copy of.

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That was the first thing that struck me! :o

sorry but I think it is terrible that they were discussing it with you!

Altho i agree with everything said unfortunatly for what ever reason some parents do take the michael at times!

Your child can not catch an ear infection however ,they are secondry infections usually from a cold which is catching but obviously very contaguios (sorry about spelling)

If its any consolation and i know it probably isnt!children who are exposed to lots of infections early on build up a really good immunity later on! :)

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This really has been a sore point this term. A child was seen by one of my helpers being sick on the way to pre-school. She obviously alerted me and we kept a watchful eye on her. The child run out to the toilet stuck her head right in the toilet. She was laying on toilet with hands arms all around bowl being sick. Couldn't get in touch wth mum till end of session.

 

Another child got very distressed looked unwell. I asked him what was wrong and he said *well i was sick on setteee before I came." Made the call to mum who was in a very noisy shopping mall. When she arrived I asked her if he had been unwell.She said not really the little boy piped up "Yes I WAS this morning"Mum said which day was you sick and the 2 year old said Thursday and mum replies"see you are lying its Monday today". She then told me that she WAS in two minds whether to bring him.

 

On the last day of term we asked all children to be in at 9 so we could have a dress rehearsal before the nativity play on that day. A parent bought a little girl just at the start of the play because she was too ill to come to the rehearsal and could she sit next to me because she had a streaming cold and would need her nose wiped. It may be co-incidence but I was on holiday 3 days later and came down with a really bad cold and still feel grotty.

 

I know it must be awkward for parents who work but I don't its fair on other children and adults.

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Thanks for your replies. I personally couldn't believe that the mother could send her knowing she had an ear infection and then vanish all day so that nursery couldn't contact her. The nursery staff are not happy about this and as one of them said to me tonight, the other children in the room have been overlooked all day as this girl has demanded 1:1 attention.

I will def complain again but am wary of how I do so as I do not want to be brushed off again. From the last time I complained the manager did seem to think that she was unable to refuse entry an ill child however now I know better I will attempt to tackle her about this. Any suggestions as to how to do this would be greatly appreaciated. Was thinking about either a phone call or letter maybe or should I just ask to see illness policy/procedure?

PS I am a parent and a teacher so I am well aware that there are some days when it is almost impossible to stay off work to look after a poorly child but I feel it is very irresponsible for the mum to leave the child without a contact number for the day. On the few occasions I have sent Jonah to nursery ill (normally bribe his nana to look after him), I have always arranged to ring up at dinner to see if he is ok/ had a sleep, etc. Personally I couldn't bear to leave him if I knew he was distressed/in pain. Maybe I have him too soft?

 

 

 

Every setting should have a written Complaints procedure, although it is best if complaints can first be handled through professional 'informal' discussion with the manager/owner, have in mind what actual action you require from the setting.

If you feel you want to make a formal complaint the attached Ofsted publication should help. Ofsted also provide (through their website) proforma forms for settings to record complaints on, ( can't access my copy at the moment) although the forms are not mandatory, they are well laid out.

 

 

Peggy

compchild_revfinal.pdf

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How awful! In the run up to Christmas we had the majority of our babies and toddlers coming down with all sorts of horrible bugs. One child was so poorly one evening that the parents took him to hospital but then returned him to us the following day. Trying to administer the medication to this child was a two person job, which resulted in the child having to be physically restrained by one, and the medication forced into him by another. The poor child was laying on the floor, almost choking on the medication because it was literally being forced and obviously he was screaming and crying.

 

Cue a complaint from me to my manager about it.

 

I cannot stand parents who are quite willing to allow somebody else to care for their child when they are poorly. It makes me so mad and in this case, I actually cried when I saw what the staff were being made to do.

 

The parents, in my opinion should have had more sense than to send their sick child to nursery the day following his hospital visit. The management should have had more sense than to allow the child to attend on this day, but even more so it should have been made clear to the parents that force feeding medication, whilst using physical restraint was definately not going to happen.

 

Unfortunately not. I agree to a point with you Dawn about some staff members being too keen to send children home. Yes, it does happen in some cases, but at the same time, I think some managers are too relaxed about illness and medication (certianly in my setting) and would allow staff members to force feed medicine and use physical restraint to do so.

 

I am a parent, and if my little girl is unwell, you can guarantee that I'll be the one doing the looking after. I'm her mother and it is my role to care for my baby. I personally couldn't face the thought of someone else doing the looking after, especially when you consider that in times of illness, the majority of children want their mum's. I know that this isn't always the case too.

 

Sorry, my comments are not aimed at anyone specifically. It really makes me mad.

 

We had a similar situation to yours Mookie in that the child had conjunctivitis and needed treatment. He was suffering with a cold too but as all the children had been excluded pending treatment, we felt it was the right thing to do for this child. His mother had actually given us a fax number to contact her on. So basically she was uncontactable. We called other registered people to collect him and eventually, some four hours after the initial call was made she came to collect him.

 

She huffed and puffed, swore at me and threatened to make all sorts of complaints to Ofsted about me (I wrote my full name and job title down for her so she didn't get it wrong :o ). She stomped off to the doctors and came back with a clearly forged letter telling us the child did not have conjunctivitis but if the eyes continued to gunge up, we could treat him with salt water. In his eyes!!!

 

Sorry. I'll stop now. It's one of those issues that really winds me up. I would definately complain.

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Just to add my bit, whilst I agree that there is a confidentiality issue here, maybe the staff in question felt that by telling another parent, they could then make the complaint as it seems to have fallen on deaf ears with the manager, who afterall doesn't have to directly manage the situation!

My parents are becoming a bit lax too, but some still remember the time when they arrived to see an ambulance with lights flashing blocking their entrance to nursery - you can imagine their hearts did a turn. One child had had a febrile convulsion. I had spent all morning trying to contact the parents, all the emergency numbers trying to get someone to pick the child up as he was not well ahough his temperature was not overly high. At the point of febrile convulsion I felt that really I needed to seek extra help. This was his first. The ambulance arrived within a few minutes, were absolutely fantastic, adminstered oxygen and generally took over.

If we suspect a child is ill, we continually monitor their temperature now and if it is rising then we contact the parents for collection. Most of them are quite happy to come back and collect them.

But seriously I think there ought to be in place a sick child policy which everyone should agree to because afterall they are at the sharp end.

Nikki

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Thank you all for your replies and support. I am going to get out of school one time (for once) today and going to have a chat with the manager tonight. I do want to try to solve this amicably (if that's how you spell it!) however if necessary I will make a formal complaint - hope it doesn't come to that tho.

I think Nicola has hit the nail on the head re the staff thing - my feeling is that the staff are completely fed up with the situation as this girl does seem to be constantly poorly and the manager and owners seem reluctant to tackle her mother over this. However, there is obviously still an issue over confidentiality. The owner and manager seem to have an attitude of children get all their illnesses here and then they are ok when they get to school, which I understand to a point (minor coughs and colds, etc) but I do feel that when children are infectious and distressed they should not be in nursery.

I do feel really sorry for the poor little girl who seems to be crying and ill every time I collect my son. She does attend very long hours (7.30 - 5.30) and if her mother is sending her into nursery with an ear infection when she is not even at work then she's never going to get the time she needs to recover. It is so frustrating as a parent who does keep their child off when he is ill to recover and sends him back fit and well only for him to have caught something else the week later from the same girl who still hasn't had any time off.

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I disagree...................there should never be any instances of staff discussing other families confidential information with them, it sets a very bad example........first you can discuss the child being poorly, then what???It can lead to awful gossip. And,Mookie, you say in one of your posts that you have also sent your own child into the group when he was poorly "on a few occasions"..........my guess is that you would be upset if the staff decided to say to another parent "oh yes, she does send him in when he's unwell, but it's ok, she phones at lunch time"!............and I'm NOT getting at you, but maybe this lady needed to have the time away from her child and though I agree she should have stayed at home with her, I can see that sometimes, things all get a bit too much?? :o If staff are unhappy about the managers way of doing things, then they should say so, immediately, or at the very least, at the next staff meeting, in writing if necessary, and perhaps agree an illness policy?.

On another note, i would NEVER allow any child in my group to be force-fed medication.We have a clear policy where any child who has been put on a new medication cannot attend for 24 hours, which should allow for any reactions/allergies to come to light, plus allowing the child a little time to get used to taking it.if it really tastes awful, then perhaps the doctor can be asked to prescribe one that is more child-friendly??But if the child refused to take it, i'd have to phone the parent/s to seek their advice, or ask them to come in to administer it. Sorry to ramble on!!

Edited by narnia
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Sorry narnia I should have made myself clear - I have sent my child in poorly as in a minor cough/cold on a few ocaasions and on those occasions I always leave the contact number of where I will be that day and ring at dinner to check he's ok. If not I arrange for someone to collect him. I have never sent my child in with an infection or any kind of proper illness requiring calpol or any other medication as my child is one of those who refuses medicine and I can barely bring myself to force it down him, let alone ask a member of the staff to do this. Cannot believe what your staff were made to do Clare!

I do understand sometimes things can get a bit much - I too work full time and have a young child but I think if we are able to send children home who have live headlice then surely children with infectious illnesses should be sent home too. I suppose the issue of wanting to look after your own child when poorly is a personal one but I have to say I agree with Clare. I could not send my child in knowing they were poorly.

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Phew! I had a feeling that I might have been a bit stressy in my post and spent most of last night worrying that I had upset someone here (which is the last thing I wanted to do!)

 

Narnia, the force feeding of the medication was not something that I was aware of until I arrived at work that particular day on the late shift. My colleague had been given all the information, the management were aware of the situation and still they allowed the incident to take place.

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ooh, I do love a 'lively debate' :(

 

just to add............

all last year I had a child at my preschool who was consistently crawling with headlice ( we don't exclude as if we did we would only ever be at about 20% capacity xD ) We do however encourage all parents to treat their children during holidays ( en mass Larry Louse & Nora Nitty strategy)

 

she also had a consistently runny nose. ( she needed ear grommets) However, she was also on the CP at risk register and was actually safer and better cared for at the preschool for 5 days attendence per week. Mother and alcoholic father could only cope with her for a few days at a time ( ie: weekends). Parents were however open to as much support as they could get.

 

I personally have two perforated eardrums and I am constantly getting ear infections and I am almost permanently on antibiotics, even after 2 operations :( My ears have been like this for 4 years now and I certainly couldn't take time off work every bout of infection. Hearing is affected but little if not no pain, just discharge if really bad.

 

I wonder if the child is not handling a full day at nursery and if one of the last to be picked up, may also be crying out of tiredness and waiting for mum. Thus exacerbating her cold symptoms. :o

 

These are obviously very contentious issues, and shows the value and importance of having discussed, agreed and implimented and monitored Nursery policies on Health / illness and confidentiality.

 

Mookie, if you were a parent at my setting, I would hope that you would feel able to come to me as the owner and discuss your concerns, I will certainly have information which i would not divulge relevant to the child, however I would listen, i would acknowledge your concerns and I would review my policy, tell you what action I intend to take, and hope to resolve the situation for all concerned.

 

Hyperthetically, my response may be to you that "there are issues that I cannot and would not divulge and that the child attends after careful review of all our policies, that we are meeting the individual childs needs as well as having consideration to the needs of the group as a whole."

 

 

or hyperthetically, I would give you a copy of my health/illness policy and ask for your comments on how you feel each aspect of the policy is followed, I would follow this up with a full staff meeting to look at the policy, with your comments ( as a service user) and review any necessary changes.

 

I have followed both the above hypothetical examples within the last year at my setting.

 

I have certainly found in my 20+ yrs that it is not, unfortunately, all black & white when dealing with the needs of young children and their families. :(

 

Peggy

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Im not saying this was the case claire as I trust in your judgement but can i just add that SOME children when they have a cold it CAN tend to come from every orrifice!I minded a child for years that used to have cold oozing out of his eyes everytime! :)

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