Thank you to all the parents who completed our quarterly questionnaire. As a management team, we spend a lot of time discussing your feedback and as a result, we reflect on our policies and processes.
We had some questions on our medicine policy.
Why we can’t administer infant paracetamol if there is no temperature?
Our regulatory framework from Ofsted (Sept 2012) is quite clear on this: “medicines should not usually be administered unless they have been prescribed for that child by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist. Medicine containing aspirin should only be given if prescribed by a doctor”. The reason for this is that giving any child any form of medication is a serious business and nurseries don’t have the medical knowledge to decide whether a child needs any form of drug. All responsibility for this should be with trained medical professionals or with the parents.
As a result, we will only administer medication if a child has a temperature of over 38.5 degrees Celsius and when we have used other methods of temperature reduction. If a child is just not themselves, but has no temperature, we will not administer any medication. We will always continue to care for children, even when they are off colour, providing they are well enough to be at nursery. We have had lots of instances where children just aren’t themselves, are a bit teary and need lots of cuddles. The team will always care for these children, but with ratio restrictions, it will have an impact on the level of care and attention we can give the rest of the children in that room, which isn’t really fair on those children. We know, as parents, that when children are feeling under the weather they just want cuddles with mummy or daddy. It is for these reasons that the best place for poorly children is at home.
Your child always seems to get sick at the most inconvenient time, whether it is an important meeting at work, or something planned socially. That’s why we take the decision to send a child home very seriously. We will only send a child home if they aren’t well enough to be at nursery, and this will be based on our experience of your child at nursery. We also know, and I have experienced this myself, that when your child gets home they often appear to be perfectly fine, which can be frustrating. This is only natural, since when children are under the weather, they will always be more relaxed and soothed when they are with their parents and in their home environment.
Why isn’t there a reduction in fees when children are absent from nursery due to sickness?
On a practical level, when a child is off nursery, our costs remain pretty much the same. Wages account for the vast majority of our costs. Due to legal ratio requirements, even with one child absent, there will still be the same number of team required, so there is little difference for us. It can be frustrating, when your child is not at nursery and you are still paying for their place, but in the reverse, you wouldn’t expect to have money deducted from your salary for every day you took off work due to sickness.
I hope this has answered your questions on our medicine policy. If it hasn’t, please feel free to have a chat with Nicole.