15 May 2014

Children's Centre Staff

[Disclaimer: This is a rant. I obviously haven't been to ALL Children's Centres and met ALL the staff. But I have been to about 7 different ones and had similar experiences, to varying degrees. I'm sorry if you're a nice staff member in a nice Children's Centre.]


Kindly never speak to me again, you patronising, jobsworthy, holier-than-thou witches.

Children's Centres are an AMAZING resource. Or they would be, if you weren't all so stuck up and irritating.

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the stay-and-play sessions. We had great fun painting the playground with water and paint brushes today. Good call on the gooey messy play station last week. I like the way you give cucumber and tomatoes at snack time as well as the toddler superfoods of banana and grapes. Thanks for doing messy stuff so I don't have to. The 'washing clothes and hanging them up to dry' game was a big hit. When my toddler was a baby we loved our free baby yoga sessions. You guys have great bikes that the boy can actually ride.

But would you PLEASE shut the hell up and stop with the unsolicited parenting advice? (We all know how I feel about that). Why do you insist on treating me like a wayward teenager who got knocked up and is on drugs and has no idea how to raise a baby?

No I do NOT wish to attend lessons in healthy eating in which my toddler "will be introduced to a range of fruit and vegetables". He is well acquainted with food thank you, we have a bizarre habit of eating it every day.

It's none of your business if my baby "has a nice relaxing bedtime routine yet" or not. (Oh how I'd love to see your face if I told you he sleeps in my bed!)

Don't wipe my son's nose!!! It's MINE. I will wipe it as many times as I see fit. If snotty noses offend you, you're in the wrong sodding job love.

Why are there rules written on the walls for the parents? We are not primary school children. We are fully grown adults.

Stop judging everyone. You are supposed to exist to support parents, not make them feel like naughty school kids!

To the family support worker who told me that toddlers can get lost very easily and when I'm out and about I need to keep a very close eye on him: NO SHIT SHERLOCK. Thanks so much for helping me out, on this, my very first day of leaving the house with these kids I happened to acquire today.

To the busybody centre manager who loudly commented "oh! your Mummy isn't playing with you?" when he trotted off to play with the sand: No. I wasn't playing with him. I play with him ALL DAY LONG. I came to a play group so he could play with other children, develop independence and so I could have one hour of the day in which I don't have to be a one man circus. 

To the "helper" who firstly told me to 'come and play' and secondly SHOWED me how to pretend to wash dolly clothes(!) and then to really drive the message home,  gave me a patronising pat on the shoulder: I have a degree in child development and another one in children's nursing, I did not sign up to your imaginary "parenting lessons for dummies".

Also. Kids fall over. When you came across my son crying, he had been tripped over. I was 2 seconds away, coming to comfort him. You did not need to yell "oh dear! Has your mummy left you all alone again?" 

In short, children's centre staff, shut the hell up! But keep the messy play and free cucumber coming...

Yours sincerely,

A better educated, more experienced childcare expert than you.



  1. Amen. Having successfully got my toddler to her second birthday, I angrily refused a home visit from my children's centre when Lowen was born where they were going to talk to me about baby safety and give me a safety pack. A) my child has never electrocuted herself and b) I can feel if the bath is too warm by touching and c) I can read about what you offer in the booklet you sent with the letter. Urg.

  2. I've never actually been to a Children's Centre (other than to register which was fairly pointless but the HV was adamant that I do so!!) but ......

    A friend of mine used to go to a stay & play type of thing at her local Sure Start and in conversation with other mums she learned that she was the only one out of them who worked. The others were all unemployed; not in a lovely "hubby's a hedge fund manager" yummy stay at home mummy kind of way, rather a "can't be arsed" kind of way.

    When I was pregnant and went for midwife appointments at my GP which is a three/four minute walk from that centre (and I went weekly from 30 weeks + thanks to labile blood pressure), I was usually the oldest woman there by about 10 years, and I was only 30!

    So, I do understand why you as mum and a nurse get frustrated by overbearing staff, I would imagine that, where I live anyway, they HAVE to be condescending because their patrons probably aren't as clued up as we are, and don't adhere to the most recent NHS advice. I know of people who still give babies sugar water to "help them" with their teething!

    Like I said, I can't stick up for Children's Centre staff because I've never visited one. Just playing devil's advocate I suppose!!


  3. I have only ever been to a children's centre because they moved our weigh in clinic there and to get weighed you had to register at the centre, crafty eh?! With that one and only experience I will never, ever visit again. Scarred for life x

  4. hahahahahaha not to mention the other parents who look at you in awe because your child is crying-their kids obviously NEVER cry. Fab post :-)

  5. omg she showed you how to wash doll clothes...that actually made me cry a bit laughing...sorry.
    I must admit our local outreach worker at our local centre is an absolute star, so I promise it's not this bad everywhere.

  6. OMG! How annoying! I haven't run into that yet, but I wonder how well I would do with hiding my irritation. I'd like to think I could share what I'm thinking, but more likely I would just roll my eyes and never go back.