A frustrated mum fears her four year old son is missing out on education after his nursery reportedly told her they can no longer meet his additional needs. Operations manager, Nicola Leivers, says the news was unexpected and that the nursery have “disadvantaged” her son Harry who has sensory educational needs, as nursery places are extremely limited due to it being mid-term.
The family moved from Cotgrave to Bingham last year, where Harry had attended Serendipity’s in Cotgrave from six months old. As Serendipity’s also run a nursery in Bingham, Harry was able to move from one nursery to the other in September 2022, where he was able to meet children that he would be starting school with.
Nicola explained: “At Cotgrave we filled in an assessment form for special needs, as he does have some behavioural issues. He started hiding things, he is not the best at paying attention.
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“He is really clever, but he has to have ear defenders on, he struggles with noise and he struggles with eating, he doesn’t like his foods touching. When we moved him across to Bingham they were fully aware of his additional needs and obviously Cotgrave did a full report.”
However, Nicola feels the nursery “has stopped working” her child, stating: “Every week I get an email from nursery and it’s always very positive, but that’s not to say that sometimes they tell me he has struggled or I have to fill in a form if he has been naughty. Out of nowhere on Monday (January 9) they sent me an email to say ‘you need to attend a meeting on Tuesday night at 6 o’clock as we are struggling to cope with your child’s needs.”
“There was nothing before this, there was no kind of run up to it, there was no kind of we are going to check a plan or your child needs a little bit of extra help lets look at funding, nothing like that.” Nicola was originally paying around £1200 a month for nursery, but when Harry turned three the 30 hours free childcare and 12 additional free hours due to his additional needs decreased the bill to around £600 a month.
Nicola claims the nursery manager rang her on Tuesday, January 10, and told her that from Friday, January 13 Harry, was going to be excluded from the nursery as they felt they were not able to keep him safe and manage his additional needs. She explained that this was something they have never had to do before, and that she felt the nursery just saw her son as a problem they wanted to remove.
Nicola stated: “They have never had to do this before so they have no policy in place. I would understand if there had been a full investigation, so step one, step two, step three, we’re really sorry we can’t manage him, but they have now isolated a child with special education needs at a time when he needs to be around his peers getting ready to go to primary school.”
“This has completely come out of the blue and there has been no plan put in place to help my son. My son is the most important person in this and they have just failed him at a key point in his life. Having been with that company for nearly 4 years, I just feel so let down by the system and I don’t know what to do next.”
A spokesperson of the nursery has disputed these claims. They stated: “This is a very sensitive situation and that we are working with a family to help them access all the help and support they need.
“We are working with various bodies to ensure this happens as quickly as possible.” Nicola explained that she feels “frustrated” as the nursery were aware of Harry’s additional needs when they started, and as she put him on the waiting list for the nursery around six months before the move, they had plenty of time to prepare.
Nicola also explained that although there are other nurseries out there,. she feels its important for her son to stay in Bingham. She said: “The main reason for wanting to keep him in a nursery in Bingham is because I know that he does have special needs and I wanted him to have a few familiar faces when he goes to school, so I can definitely look further afield at other nurseries but he’s not going to know anybody.
“They had ample time to read about him and understand his requirements from Cotgrave before he came across.”
Nicola has described the whole situation as stressful, and hopes she can find her child a local baby room that can support him and prepare him for beginning institution later on this year.