A childcare rant:The Nursery germ breeding ground

It’s just a week into the new year, and Henry has been back to nursery for approximately two point five days when I get the call. The dreaded call. The call that all parents hate to see on their mobiles.

One missed call from nursery.

A call can only mean bad news. He’s ill or hurt. Neither is good, and generally means your working day is about to be cut short.

This time it’s conjunctivitis. Fabulous! That’s half my saved up flexi time used up leaving early to go collect him. Then a doctors trip. And then a week of eye drops four times a day which are probably the worst things ever to have to give to a toddler.

Oh and Henry is on a 48 hour ban from nursery on top of that, which means I’m now in minus figures with my flexible time. Great!

Of course, I knew having kids would put pressure on my working life. And that these things really can’t be helped. But it doesn’t stop the annoyance. Because despite knowing that realistically it isn’t fair to the other children to send Henry back too early, it’s all a financial and work-life pain in the butt. I lose working hours, which just makes my days harder when I am back in the office. And I lose out on money as I still have to pay nursery their fees despite him not being allowed back.

And the real irony… he more than likely picked up the conjunctivitis from nursery in the first place!

Because honestly, Henry has been more ill in the last six months of attending nursery three days a week, than he was the entire first year of his life. And that probably isn’t a coincidence.
I only need to look at my mama bloggers whatsapp chat to see the girls talking weekly about one or the others latest illness picked up from other children. And yes, unfortunately it is just one of the many things us parents just have to deal with.

But sometimes, I do think it would all sting a little bit less if it was totally punishing. Not only do we have a poorly kid, we lose time and money. Now, pretty much none of that can be helped, but perhaps a little extra subsidised childcare could really help with the financials.
Maybe if childcare wasn’t so so expensive, more parents would work, and bring more to the local economy.
And maybe if childcare wasn’t so expensive to parents, they would be less likely to send their ill kids to classes and allow it to spread to all the other kids. Because we’ve all been the parent who has had to weigh up just how ill your kid is versus whether or not they need to go to nursery, or if it is worth the risk.

Unfortunately I don’t think that’s on the cards for us Brits any time soon, but we can hope. And in the meantime, we have whatsapp groups to moan in, and wine/tea for the nights we’ve come home early to another poorly, or somewhat not poorly, child.

And of course I do love Henry’s nursery. They’re a brilliant bunch and he loves it there, so I can’t grumble too much, but I will just a little.

However, whilst he was “poorly” we did get some extra playtime in during daylight hours, so swings and roundabouts, I guess!



  1. Debbie
    January 22, 2018 / 8:16 am

    Eleanor has been ill pretty much since she started in October. I’ve had all the colds too! She’s only missed one day of nursery luckily due to a vomiting bug she probably picked up there but that meant I had to take time off work to look after her. Our nursery doesn’t exclude for conjunctivitis luckily as she had it last week! I cling on to the thought that’s its building her immune system.

    • Rachel Bradford
      January 29, 2018 / 7:55 pm

      Oh bless, you're so lucky. I do get why they have to be so strict, but it really is a pain on the ol' bank account! Yes immune system building! For sure…hopefully!

  2. Tinyfootsteps Blog
    January 23, 2018 / 12:08 pm

    This is exactly what happened when I Jasmine started nursery – ill almost every week for months! I just hope that by the time she starts school she would've built up a fantastic immune system! x

    • Rachel Bradford
      January 29, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      Likewise! Fingers crossed for us both! x

  3. Sarah Humphreys
    January 23, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    Wait until they start school!! I have three children, one at junior school, on in infants and one at the school nursery. I have two off today one with tonsilitis and one feeling sick and headachy thing. There is also the flu and a sick bug going round oh and slapped cheek but we all had that over christmas! Oct-feb is never ending here the amount of stuff they get!

    • Rachel Bradford
      January 29, 2018 / 7:57 pm

      Oh yes slapped cheek seems to be doing the rounds too at the moment! Roll on spring time and less illness!

  4. The Breastest News
    January 23, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    It's a nightmare when this happens. It happened to my son a lot in his first year of nursery but he's practically immune to all sorts now and he's 8! Bugs are a dread!

    • Rachel Bradford
      January 29, 2018 / 7:57 pm

      Well that's good news, and does make me feel a little better! Thank you!

  5. Georgina Clarke
    January 23, 2018 / 11:15 pm

    You know my opinions on this! It's such a rock and a hard place. I suppose it will benefit their immune systems eventually!

    • Rachel Bradford
      January 29, 2018 / 7:58 pm

      Definitely a rock and a hard place! One day they better be super human!

  6. Mum OverRun. Sarah Aslett
    February 6, 2018 / 9:44 am

    Honestly the nursery illness ban can be crippling! I get why they have to do it but jeez I used to lose sooo much of my annual leave because of it and half the time – my son was bloody fine!

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