To ask for advice after my child was bitten by another child

(45 Posts)
citruslemon Fri 13-Sep-13 21:59:09

My daughter is currently at primary school.
She is then picked up my someone from a privately run after-school club. My daughter and a childcare worker walk down to the club and she is there until I pick her up.

The school has no after care. I can't find a childminder in the area.
I was so happy when I located this club.

I was worried when I saw the Ofsted report because it says "The inspection took place following a concern about an accident involving a child who had fallen off a chair.

Children's safety is not consistently awarded the highest priority. In an isolated incident, practitioners were not vigilant enough and this resulted in a child sustaining an injury."

But the report acknowledged that as a result of this risk assessments had been done and procedures about safety being put in place.

Today when I went to pick her up the nursery worker seemed really quiet and on edge. All the other workers turned their backs to me and didn't look at me. Usually they are chatty and around me. The nursery worker started whispering to the other and pointing to the back of her hand, and she just turned around and ignored her.

My daughter was sat far away from all the other kids, really quietly drawing, looking withdrawn.

Then the worker told me that another child had bitten my daughter's hand and hurt her. She still had bite marks in her hand and looked upset.

I could feel myself getting really emotional so I picked her up and left. It was so obvious the other staff were ignoring me. I had a meeting with the manager to sign some paperwork and even she ignored me and let me go.

When I got into the car I asked my daughter what happened. She said the teachers were standing talking to another adult with their backs to her and the other kids. One kid bit her hand and held onto her hand with it in his mouth.

It was only when she started around that the teachers turned around.

Even now I am feeling upset, angry, sad, annoyed - all sorts.
What would you all advise?!

citruslemon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:00:57

It was only when she started crying that the teachers turned around.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 13-Sep-13 22:02:32

You're going to be told that some biting is to be expected with younger children....and it is...but you need also to listen to your instincts. It sounds like you had reservations about this club alreadt and now you feel they've been cemented.

To be honest, a child being bitten is "normal" in clubs and where there are small kids...it's not great though and needs dealing with....how old is the boy who bit her do you know?

Also, their attitude sounds bad...but you should not panic...did they comfort DD?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 13-Sep-13 22:03:19

And they cannot watch ALL the children ALL the time....if they turned when they heard her crying, that is good....your DDs impression was that they all were ignoring her...it's possible that they were engaged with other children.

Ezio Fri 13-Sep-13 22:03:21

Get in contact with OFSTED would be a good start.

WorraLiberty Fri 13-Sep-13 22:04:54

Well as emotional as I'm sure you were, you really need to talk to the staff first and find out exactly what happened.

How old is your child?

citruslemon Fri 13-Sep-13 22:06:49

She is 5, the other kids look as though they are 2.
And I know what you mean, kids do bite, push and hurt each other. I just wish that the teachers had been paying more attention. I know they can't have eyes in the back of their head, but there are never more than 4 kids there at any one time anyway.

How old is your DD?

BellEndTent Fri 13-Sep-13 22:07:51

My son gets hit / bitten occasionally at nursery and has also done similar to others himself and I have never been concerned about the supervision there. Children are unpredictable and in the short time it take for an adult to spot what is going on / try to prevent it, an injury can be sustained. However, different age groups I admit so I might see it differently in a few years...

They seem to have overreacted in their avoiding you etc at home time, that was really weird. My nursery workers are straight over with a smile and an incident form - do you think they are on edge because of this report too?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 13-Sep-13 22:09:06

I think the most important thing here is not the details of the incident but the fact that you do not feel happy leaving her there....you need to listen to your instincts as a Mother and find an alternative. Could you speak to other parents at school and see if there's anything else?

My DD was bitten several times at nursery when she was about 2. I went in the first time all guns blazing, but had a long chat with the room manager and started to understand why it happens. To be honest, I would be more worried about the staff's unprofessional response to the biting than the incident itself.

thebody Fri 13-Sep-13 22:09:41

your poor dd. biting is horrible but sadly it does happen between children quite frequently.

the strangest thing here is the attitude of the staff to an incident that needs reporting to you properly and dealing with regards the other child and parents.

where are the procedures here? why were they embarrassed?

alarm Bells ringing.

Smartiepants79 Fri 13-Sep-13 22:10:37

Well firstly, biting incidents with young children are not uncommon. How old was the other child?
What did the worker say had happened? What triggered the biting?
In a busy after school club environment I would be astonished if the adults saw every incident that occurred.
Even with the best child care in the world these things do happen.
You wil know it is impossible to watch a child at all times.
However if you have serious concerns about the quality/safety of this childcare you need to seriously rethink your childcare arrangements.

intitgrand Fri 13-Sep-13 22:13:11

Occasional biting is horrid but sadly does happen even sometimes with children of 4 and 5.To be fair it happens so quickly that it makes no difference whether staff are watching or not.
The chair-standing incident is just plain daft IMHO.I mean what primary schoolaged child has never stoodo n a chair.You don't expect them to fall off!!

LePamplemousseMousse Fri 13-Sep-13 22:40:15

If the other kids are about 2 the biting is par for the course. 1 yr old DD was bitten by a 2 yr old while on the childminder's lap! It still took the CM a few seconds to release her from the bite and it left a very bad mark. I wasn't upset as DD got over it quickly and the CM spoke to the biter. These things do happen. The difference is I trust the CM, if I didn't I may have been more upset.

The club workers can't watch the kids every second, and it's not the bite that would worry me as it can happen so fast, but the way they dealt with it. There should have been an explanation to you of what happened and a sense your DD had been comforted.

Did you ask about the OFSTED report when you signed up? If so they may be wary of you as they'll know you'll be watching their safety standards.

If you can't trust them I think every minor incident will prey on your mind, so best try to find another solution for after school.

Smartiepants79 Fri 13-Sep-13 22:46:38

Just to say I've had biters in my class up to the age of at least 6 or 7. It is not uncommon.

RedHelenB Fri 13-Sep-13 23:24:08

Is your child happy there? Does she talk about any of the staff? To be perfectly frank, having policies means diddly squat practically, incidents still occur!

LongTailedTit Sat 14-Sep-13 00:36:01

My 2yo DS is a biter and has just started preschool for a couple of mornings - I've already had long chats with the staff about when/why he bites, what usually precedes it, and my worry that he might bite someone.
(So far he's been fine, but I would far rather my child be bitten than be the biter! IYSWIM)
Some children simply do bite, and it isn't necessarily fixable or caused by anything in particular. Obviously it's more common in toddlers, and I keep my fingers permanently crossed that DS will grow out of it ASAP. We've tried everything, and it gets no easier to cope with/apologise for the 10th time.

I'm sorry your DD is upset, probably the best thing to do (assuming the biter is one of the 2yo's) is to explain to her that it isn't personal, and that little children don't understand how horrible/naughty they're being.
When she goes back, probably best that she avoids that child, and if they grab her hand she pulls it away and/or shout Help straight away.
I hope the bite mark doesn't bruise or stay sore, cake for her.

Biting can be easily missed if there hasn't been a big lead-up, so even if they were facing the group the assistants may not have realised what was going on til she cried. Tho, tbh, their attitude sounds very odd, and rather like they knew they were lacking.

What you really need to find out is if the biter has any 'form', because if so, they should have been watching them like a hawk.
A friend's son has been regularly bitten at nursery by the same (2yo) child each time, almost weekly, and that I see as entirely the fault of the staff. They could move one into a different group if they're not able to watch them properly, but have chosen to keep them together and hope for the best. Not really working...

ghostspirit Sat 14-Sep-13 00:45:44

Biting is not right but its sometime some children do. ans as others said it probably was not personal.

what would concern me more is how the staff acted towards you when you went to get your daughter. its happend to my son on his first day and the staff simply told me. they did not shire away or try to avoid me.

does your daughter seem happy there? do you ask her about her day and what she got up to. who her friends are does she have a favorite memeber of staff ect

stargirl1701 Sat 14-Sep-13 00:52:04

I don't think the bite is your main issue here. You don't seem to have confidence in the staff running the childcare. Could you speak to the LEA?

The bite is meh, it happens. The reaction of the staff is very odd.

I have no confidence that my preschool can prevent every incidence of hitting, biting, pushing because it happens. I have absolute confidence that they will inform me and deal with it professionally and deal with DD with care and compassion.

I wouldn't like how your club dealt with this.

MammaTJ Sat 14-Sep-13 09:04:49

Usually they are chatty and around me.

She said the teachers were standing talking to another adult with their backs to her and the other kids

It sounds to me that they give priority to fussing over the adults who arrive to drop off or collect the kids, rather than the continuing care of the children.

They have realised, through your DD being bitten while they were doing this that they are in the wrong to do this, but I fear that will only be temporary!

Coconutty Sat 14-Sep-13 09:08:58

I wouldn't care about a 2yo biting my DD tbh, but would be very fucked off by the staffs attitude and would be speaking to the manager about this.

They shouldn't be all around the parents when they pick up, it's not appropriate to spend ages chatting either.

MrsWedgeAntilles Sat 14-Sep-13 09:20:20

The staff's response to this is a bit worrying, especially since the manager was also ignoring you. I'd also be concerned that if they have a good carer to child ratio, as your post implies, that someone wasn't engaging with your obviously still upset DD.
My impression from your post is that as a result of the OFSTED investigation the staff are becoming more concerned with process and legislation than the compassion due to the children in the centre and their parents.

MrsWedgeAntilles Sat 14-Sep-13 09:22:06

Good point, MamaTJ

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