Two-year-old rejected by 10 nurseries because ‘he’s a burden’

Despondent parents of a nonverbal child have spoken out about their difficulty to get their son into a nursery after various centres turned down their applications.

Lucy and James Ellis sought 25 nurseries for a space for infant Jacob, but 10 of them flatly refused. The youngster, who has soy, egg, and grass allergies and requires an EpiPen, is presently on a nine-month waiting list for speech and language therapy.

He encountered the issues when he was just six months old, and his parents now say that the obstacles, along with “a lack of EpiPen training,” have hampered their efforts to locate Jacob a nursery.

James, 34, expressed that they’re disappointed and outraged. They’re being informed that their young kid is a problem, that he’s a burden that these agencies are unwilling to cooperate with.

He is sad that he’s losing out on this time when he might be socialising with kids his age and developing important social skills like sharing, personal space, and limits. He plays with him as if he was his little pal, letting him lead the way and experimenting with new activities and play spaces.

It’s extremely fulfilling and so special, but it aches his heart that he doesn’t have other kids his age to play with and learn from, or a secure atmosphere to get used to being away from him and his mother and having that little bit of independent time.

The family from Oldham, Greater Manchester, claims that their child care applications were either neglected or declined after visiting the facilities to look around.

James, a driving teacher, added that even when he volunteered to have the EpiPen training arranged for free from community nurses in Oldham, he had a nursery claim they didn’t have the resources to pay workers to perform overtime to take the course. Even when he promised to pay for the overtime, he was sacked.

They’ve also been informed a couple times that since he’s nonverbal, they can’t assist, even though he hasn’t been diagnosed with any learning disabilities yet and might very well be a late bloomer.

A few places have provided unrealistic hours, such as two hours a day, two days a week, which is not enough.

Lucy, a primary school teacher, and James take their son to a community centre several times a week to interact with other kids, but they believe he will benefit greatly from regular attendance at a nursery.

The council stated that it always encourages all of its private settings to “obtain EpiPen training via an independent training provider” and emphasises that “every child is involved and encouraged” in early education settings.

They are sad to hear Lucy has been disappointed in her journey of trying to locate a nursery space for her kid, said Councillor Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Oldham Council. While they have no authority over the admissions process for privately owned early years settings, they highly advise Lucy to contact their Family Information Service (FIS) so that they may assist her in locating an appropriate childcare location.

The 0-25 SEND Code of Practice must be followed by all early years settings that are registered with Ofsted and receive local authority funding. As a result, they would expect all early childhood providers to take appropriate care to ensure that kids with medical issues receive the necessary support to fulfil their requirements, ensuring that every kid is included and encouraged.

As part of its training programme, the council provides an Ofsted-approved Paediatric First Aid training course to all Early Years establishments, comprising local childminders, nursery staff, play workers, and teachers.  This course covers Anaphylaxis as well as the theory and practice of using an Auto-Injector (Epi Pen). They would urge providers to receive this training if they haven’t already done so by emailing them at [email protected].

Alternatively, they would highly urge all private settings to get EpiPen training from an independent training provider if they do not already have it, to ensure staff are prepared to handle similar admissions in the future and they can prevent these situations in the future.

Through the Right Start and School Nursing Services, the council also offers a series of assistance to Early Years settings to enable them achieve high quality inclusive practice and satisfy the requirements of all individual children. Exposure to a comprehensive professional development training programme is included.

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