Problem with my DD's nursery, what do you think?

edited 30 November 2009 at 9:22PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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andrealmandrealm Forumite
1.7K Posts
edited 30 November 2009 at 9:22PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
My DD is 3.5 and goes to a school nursery. She has chronic constipation and we have to give her a laxative every few days, so she doesn't have much control over doing a poo.

Before she started we were told and this is on their website "It is our policy that ALL children attending the Nursery Unit MUST be FULLY toilet trained. i.e. they must be able to look after themselves at the toilet."
However when we spoke to the teacher she said that some children had started in pull ups but "if they had too many accidents they would be asked to leave and their place would be kept until Xmas." This was at the open day back in June soon after the nursery places had been allocated.

I knew the school weren't legally allowed to exclude children if they weren't potty trained but we were hoping to train her over the summer. She was reluctant to use the potty but we did get her using the potty and were hopeful she's be more or less trained for starting at the end of Sept. But she's been constipated for months and has no regular pattern of pooing, she tries to hold it in but ends up doing lots of small poos which she can't really control. She was on Lactulose for ages but it wasn't helping.

We explained all this to the school and when she started they said they would call me in if she did a poo, I wasn't entirely happy about this as it takes me 15-20 minutes to get there. They called me in once to change her and I was only a few minutes down the road, then another time she needed changed when I came to pick her up, but otherwise she was fine. She's only there for 2.5 hours.

A couple of weeks ago, my mobile wasn't charged so they called DH. He told them he wouldn't be able to come straight away as he was picking up a prescription and he wasn't in the mood to argue with them. I had gone into get the prescription and he was waiting outside. When I went in to the school, they said "Oh she's been waiting half an hour for you" I was amazed at this as it hadn't been that long since they'd phoned. I said I wasn't happy that they would leave her so long and the teacher tried to back track and say "oh I don't know how long it's been, she could have been sitting like that for a while as she doesn't tell us"

I said we'd signed a consent form to give them permission to change her if she couldn't get hold of us. " But this is a nusery school, we don't change nappies, we don't take children in pull ups."

Then she produced a chart detailing all the times she's needed changing and it even listed on her first day when we were there the whole time and had on it dad changed her, and the time when I went to get her and changed her at the normal home time had beside it" Mum took her home" She was clearly hinted that they might ask her to leave if according to them she had too many accidents. I pointed out that they have to accept children whether they're trained or not. I was so cross at their attitude, they clearly consider any children who aren't potty trained a nuisance, they say its because they don't have many staff and I can see the point but they have time to spend arguing about it with me, which is also time away from the classroom.

On another occasion they phoned and I was at home so I said again that I wasn't very happy about her being left in a dirty nappy for the 20 minutes or more it would take me to get to the school. Just then my DH came home as he had a half day from work so he was able to drive round which only takes a few minutes.

The next day I went to pick her up at the end of the session and the Head of the school was waiting. He said he had spoken to the Education Board and their toilet training was perfectly legal and it was reasonable to call me in. I pointed out that when she needs changed the teacher takes her out of class and sits with her in her office until I arrive which doesn't seem a very good use of her time, as it will take me 20 mins to get there when they could have just spent a few mins changing her.


  • I am a teacher and schools are now not allowed to discriminate against children who are not toilet trained. Schools are also not allowed to ask parents to come in and change a child who has had an accident. I would ask to speak the head and ask for a copy of their 'continence policy' and if you don't get a satisfactory response I would contact the chair of governors.

    This makes interesting reading.

    This is a quote from the above article: Asking parents/carers of a child to come and change a child is likely to be a direct contravention of the DDA and leaving a child in a soiled nappy for any length of time pending the return of the parent is a form of abuse.

    If I can be of anymore help let me know
  • Gingham_RibbonGingham_Ribbon Forumite
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    Is there any way you can move her to a nursery where they are kinder to the children? What an upsetting thing for you all to have to put up with.
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
  • Debt_Free_ChickDebt_Free_Chick Forumite
    13.3K Posts
    OP, what would you like the end result of this to be?
    Warning ..... I'm a peri-menopausal axe-wielding maniac ;)
  • andrealmandrealm Forumite
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    Thanks for the advice and support.

    Bec, thanks for that link. I couldn't believe it when the Head said that their policy was legal, we have asked the Board for their continence policy but are still waiting for a reply.

    Gingham Ribbon, it would be difficult to move her as there may not be any places left at other nurseries (as everyone starts in Sept) and as I don't drive most of the nurseries in town are too far for me to get to. Also, she absolutely loves going to nursery so I don't want to take her out.

    Debt Free Chick, I suppose I just want them to be a bit more understanding of the situation and change her rather than calling me in.
  • As a side issue, have you tried giving her the laxatives every day, rather than every few days, to keep her pooh moving in the right direction?! If you give it every day you may find it helps her become more regular, and softer therefore more pleasant for her (if poohing can ever be described as pleasant?! :rotfl:)
  • edited 30 November 2009 at 7:09PM
    cte1111cte1111 Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2009 at 7:09PM
    This is awful I really feel for you. My DS is 3 and started at the school nursery this September. He too has some problems with toileting and although we have tried our best to help him be toilet trained, he still has accidents fairly often.

    We've had nothing but support from the school in this. His teacher and the classroom assistant have both been really supportive and we are working together to be positive about when he does go to the toilet and not making too much fuss when he has an accident. I was worried before he started that we might get a similar attitude that you have experienced, but was told by a friend that they have to work with the child's own milestones and progress, as part of their 'Birth to Three' program rather than forcing the child to fit into 'their' timetable.

    I would print out everything that you can find on the internet to back up your case and make an appointment to sit down with the Head to air this with them. Good luck and fingers crossed you can sort this out with them.

    My DS teachers were really upset when they realised that some days he had been sitting in dirty pants rather than telling them as he was worried that they would tell him off I think. I think most childcare professionals would react sympathetically so keep fighting your corner.
  • andrealmandrealm Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    SC, she was on Lactulose which we gave her every day but it wasn't really helping, so now she's on sodium picosulfate which is a bit stronger so the doctor said it was probably better to give it every 2 or 3 days, as every day woud probably be too much.
  • pandora205pandora205 Forumite
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    Hi OP.

    I work in schools and nurseries and can tell you that this isn't legal. If this is a local authority school, contact the admissions and/or Early Years team and inform them of what is going on. If it isn't but is a setting that takes LA funding for older pupils, still contact them.

    We have many young children of this age in settings across our area who are not fully toilet trained. This nursery/school should not be taking this approach. You should not be requested to come to change or withdraw your child and they certainly can't exclude on these grounds.
    somewhere between Heaven and Woolworth's
  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    Personally i cant see what all the fuss is about, how can you tell how long a child has been in a soiled nappy, some of them are quite happy to run around with a soled nappy and dont even notice. Do they watch for them grunting then set the clock going. How can they time such a thing.

    And please dont reply by saying 'how would you feel ..........'

    Ask some of your grannies what used to happen in the 'olden' days,
    They could probably make your hair curl.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • Debt_Free_ChickDebt_Free_Chick Forumite
    13.3K Posts
    andrealm wrote: »
    Debt Free Chick, I suppose I just want them to be a bit more understanding of the situation and change her rather than calling me in.

    I like to get to the nub of things :)

    From what others have said, your preferred outcome is not impossible and must be catered for.

    I'd arrange an appointment with the relevant staff and ask them what the options are. See what they say.

    If they don't offer to change her as an option, then I'd speak "higher up" at the LA level. Understand what the LA's stance is first but it seems that they will be sympathetic. They will hopefully give you ammunition to go back to the nursery or may even take it up on your behalf.

    Warning ..... I'm a peri-menopausal axe-wielding maniac ;)
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