by: Kandy Flip - 30-10-12 10:17
I'd be interested to know what the policy and practice around kissing children is at people's setting. Are you allowed to kiss a child? Are you allowed to receive a kiss? Is it misconduct or just a normal act of human relatedness?
I've worked at settings in the past where staff regularly kissed children, and then the policy was changed that you could only kiss babies in the baby room. The female staff also delighted in blowing raspberries on babies' bellies until that was spoken about at a team meeting. At my current setting, I've occasionally seen older staff give children a peck on the head or cheek - but it's not really been discussed. Would parents freak out if they saw a practitioner kiss their child? Would this double if it was a male worker kissing a young girl?
Anyway, I'd be interested in what your thoughts were.
RE: Kissing - 30-10-12 13:39
I do tell my staff not to kiss children and explain the reasons for it to protect them from any allegations. We don't kiss in front of parents either. Children naturally come to you for a kiss and a cuddle and we always turn to the side so that they can kiss our cheeks. I don't even kiss my own daughter whilst in nursery.
I have to say though, it is not policy.
RE: Kissing - 30-10-12 13:49
We inform parents on admission that we kiss and cuddle babies and toddlers (so long as they do not have colds or infections are going around) but it is a natural progression in pre-school that we no longer carry children or kiss them but hug them and as stated above offer our cheek for a kiss. Our safegaurding is specific and we have an intimate care policy but affection is paramount to building relationships with babies and toddlers isnt it?
RE: Kissing - 30-10-12 16:30
by: Laura Henry
I agree there needs to be clarity for staff on kissing and cuddling children. However, personal relationships between child and practitioner are an essential part to the role of the key person.
Dr Jools Page, makes reference to 'professional love' in her work regarding young children.
I wrote a blog linked to this last year:
RE: Kissing - 30-10-12 18:42
I was concerned reading this as I anticipated many comments against showing children affection how lovely to be proved wrong! Of course we should delight in showering the children in our care with loves and kisses and who doesn't want to blow a raspberry on a tummy or kiss chubby feet :) the key is showing parents the ethos of the nursery. We need to stand up and shout out against being accused of paedophilia whether male or female simply because we want to show natural love and affection for the children in our care - and inded our own children; nothing and no one would have prevented me kissing my own child when he attended the nursery which I owned and managed. If parents do not trust you they shouldn't be leaving their children with you (& this is despite the rare cases where abuse has happened)
RE: Kissing - 30-10-12 21:02
I agree Calypso. It saddens me that the aftermath of the Vanessa George case has left society seeming to think that a nursery worker was a pedophile therefore, by extention, other nursery workers could be pedophiles. It would be more healthy to turn it on its head and think that a pedophile got a job in a nursery, therefore other pedophiles could do the same. The vigilance should be firmly in the screening process - not levied at the normal individuals who are nursery workers, to the detriment of the little ones in our care.
When the medical profession suffered the infiltration of the murderous Harold Shipman and Beverly Allitt, I don't think anybody thought 'OMG no! I had better not seek medical care as the doctor or nurse might be a murderer!'
There are monsters in all walks of life, but to assume that nursery workers have more potential to be monsters than any other profession is just plain witch hunting and has no basis in everyday life.
RE: Kissing - 30-10-12 21:37
by: Laura Henry
Very good points....
RE: Kissing - 31-10-12 16:15
by: kell kell 86
i always let the child come to the adult for a hug if they want and if they want a kiss i give them my cheek they are however allowed to sit on laps and cuddle in if hurt or at story time or when ill.. they need comfort as much as anyone else
RE: Kissing - 31-10-12 16:24
by: Kandy Flip
Surely a child doesn't have to be hurt or ill in order to be entitled to physical affection and closeness? Also, isn't it a slight form of ageism if children in the final year of nursery (in pre-school age) aren't entitled to the same physical warmth that a younger child is? Very interesting to hear everyone's experiences and sensibilities around this.
RE: Kissing - 31-10-12 16:26
by: kell kell 86
well no they can come when ever they like regardless of age
RE: Kissing - 31-10-12 16:46
Hi Kandy Flip I guess your refering to the Pre-School comment I may have made unfortunately in our society slow withdrawel of affection does come with age and regardless of whether it is a popular theory or not when the children leave my day nursery and go to school in the space of 6 weeks not only do they go from sharing a teacher with 8 children to sharing one with 30 children but all physical contact is stopped so no, at 3 years old(or there abouts) my staff don't pick them up or shower them with kisses but hugs and cuddles are abundant.
RE: Kissing - 31-10-12 16:53
Can I add an extra query into this - as a lecturer in early years (& having owned and managed a nursery for several years) I am often left bewildered when students tell me they are not allowed to change nappies. Sometimes this is age related it appears to be ok when they are 18! Now I am clear that students should not be left to be responsible for children alone but what is the message being offered to young people coming into the sector. I also know about key persons and attachment etc etc but still believe that students should be involved in the nappy changing routine why can't students see babies in the nude is the basic question
RE: Kissing - 31-10-12 18:40
Our students change nappies under supervision with the parents permission. Only because usually we try to make sure the child's Key Worker does the intimate cares.
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