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Old 10.05.2011, 08:51
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How to complain to daycare?

It may sound like a stupid question but I am really struggling to write an email of complaint to my daughter's daycare and hope that someone on EF will kick start my brain into working. Also I feel like I'm going to get fobbed off with a "this stuff happens" response and this is affecting my confidence.

The situation is this: There is a little boy at mini mimi's daycare who seems to have taken a dislike to her from day one. At least once a week she comes home with bites from this boy and if he actually pierces the skin she gets an infection.

Yesterday she was bitten on her arm again. Daycare informed me of the bite but their attitude seems to be that kids will be kids and this is nothing unusual As we walked to get the tram she kept grabbing her leg and saying "ow". I thought she was just playing up as she didn't want to be in the pushchair so I ignored it. However, once we got home I noticed that she had several large red scratches on the back of her thigh, all running in different directions. It looks like someone has scratched her on purpose and doesn't look merely like she has scraped against something.

I can't be sure it is the same child that bites her but I am pretty sure it is as she seems to get on fine with the rest.

I have two issues now that I would like to address. Firstly I want the biting and scratching to stop as I don't like her being hurt and secondly I want it to stop as she is learning from this boy and has started to do it to me when she doesn't get her own way.

My daughter is not an angel and I am under no illusions that she doesn't provoke him sometimes but I am at a loss as to how to phrase myself correctly with the daycare team.

Some people have said that the child should be excluded as he is one day going to become a real problem for the other kids and others have mentioned that I should insist that they are split up.

Another bit of background: Her daycare split one group into two, one English/German and one German group. The mother of said boy remarked that her son would attend the German only group so I purposely chose the English/German group for my daughter in order to seperate them but lo and behold the little brat attends the English/German group. I could move mini mimi to another class but all of her friends (children of my friends) are in her group now and I feel that she shouldn't have to be moved when it is this other kid who has the behavioural problems.

Any advice? Can anyone kick start an example email for me to work from as I really don't know where to start and every draft I have come up with so far has been too emotional. Basically I want to lodge a complaint and request a meeting to discuss further with the hope of finding an agreeable solution.

Would it be so wrong of me to bite the little sh*t back when nobody is looking???
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:02
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Hello Mimi

Sorry to hear this. From my side I can tell you that this is something I would never tolerate. Hurting some other kid in a daycare where staff is supposed to be professional enough. I completely understand that kids will be kids, but this has some kind of a scheme behind it, as it's always the same boy.

I would call up the head of the team, explain the incident and directly ask her what she is planning to do as you are clearly not going to tolerate or accept this longer.

I'm sure such incidents happened in the past as well, involving other children, so they must have a plan to handle this.

And also inform her that you can as well as pass this up the ladder to a senior staff or the authority that is looking over this day care.



Good Luck.
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:09
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Do it in writing, and keep a copy. Make sure you disentangle fact and opinion before you start. If you remember specific incidents and dates, list them. Explain that you are dissatisfied with the day care's handling of the situation so far and ask what they are going to do about it.

As a last resort, mention the possibility of withdrawing your daughter from the day care unit. Money really does talk in these situations, but don't drop that bomb unless you are sure you could carry it through.

Good luck!
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:22
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

I wish I could help you with this letter Mimi. Like you, I am too emotional in this kind of situation and I couldn't sleep well thinking of you and mini-mimi. I can imagine how angry and revolted you must feel.

It is unacceptable from the daycare to let something like this happening. I can't put my head on how this can happen under their ''supervision''. And since the boy is been a problem for a while already, I am shocked that nothing have been done to stop this behavior.

What I am also concerned is the long term repercussions on mini-mimi. She may begin to be scared of him and it may get to something bigger (the fear) and like you said, she is now copying the boy's behavior which will bring more trouble to her and you.

I would also be concerned of what kind of people are taking care of the kids to let something like this happen and not ''seeing'' it (the leg part).

Best of luck Honey. If you need anything, you know we are there for you! Anytime!

Huges hugs to both of you!
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:23
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Quote:
Make sure you disentangle fact and opinion before you start
This is the part I am struggling with the most Everytime I draft the email and read it back I realise that it is too emotional and not factual enough. As for dates of incidents, I can honestly say that it happens at least once a week and despite discussing it with them they have always taken the attitude of "these things are normal" and that somehow mini mimi has provoked it (by stealing a toy for example) and so deserves it
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:24
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Hi Mimi
I'm drafting something that you might be able to use - I'll get back to you when it's sort of done
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:26
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

As well as the above, start documenting with photos - digital cameras are a boon in this respect.

Human bites, as you've already noted with the infections in your post, are extremely dirty and usually if the skin is broken, a trip to A&E is actually warranted/the correct thing to do. (In the UK at least .) It also helps to have hospital reports if you are going to track this kind of "abuse".

Talk to other daycare centres about a potential place so that if you have to threaten removing mini-mimi (my, that's a tongue twister), you have options and it is not just an empty threat.

Scratching/fighting is one thing, but most parents I've ever spoken to agree that biting is one step over the line and needs to be dealt with.

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This is the part I am struggling with the most Everytime I draft the email and read it back I realise that it is too emotional and not factual enough. As for dates of incidents, I can honestly say that it happens at least once a week and despite discussing it with them they have always taken the attitude of "these things are normal" and that somehow mini mimi has provoked it (by stealing a toy for example) and so deserves it
Fairly simple:

Dear X

Intro about why you are writing

On days
X - this mark
Y - this mark, with blood + treatment
Z - that mark
A - this... etc.

I believe this is due to X/Y/Z.

This is not acceptable and something that I have raised verbally with your staff on xdate. Based on the events above it appears that there has been no improvement in the care of my child, with which you are entrusted.

I want X(list actions that you deem necessary/appropriate) by Y(date).

If this problem is not resolved to my satisfaction, I will be withdrawing my child from your care and reporting your nursery to A(state appropriate regulatory body).

I look forward your response in writing etc. etc.
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:26
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Hello there!

Completely understand you as we had a similar situation (albeit not so frequent and with such strong incidents)

I think the thing to remember is that kids bite and fight incredibly quickly and even in the best supervised situations it is sometimes impossible to prevent (I have been with my daughter in 1-1 play dates with 2 mothers present and nothing could be done)

So I would try to focus on asking them what their protocol is to deal with these situations and how they plan to deal with it in the long term since it is no isolated incident.

I would stay really positive in the letter and not make accusation, maybe even stating you know how difficult these situations are etc etc

Something like:

Dear Krippe X,

I am writing to you today as I am concerned about some events which have occurred in the past weeks/months.

My daughter, Y, has been coming home recently several times with bite/scratch marks (put details in, dates etc)

Whilst I know kids are kids and coming home with a few scrapes and bumps is totally normal, I am concerned at the frequency and severity that these incidents are occurring.

As such, I would like to request a meeting to discuss how these situations are dealt with, with a specific focus on what the plans are should this situation continue in time as this does not seem to be isolated incidents.

I look forward to a productive discussion with you on this topic which I am sure will benefit the children and other parents too.

Pls let me know when it will be convenient to discuss this.

Regards,

Signed


What thikn?

Cheers,
K
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:29
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Mimi if you are not happy ask for a meeting with the teacher and manager. I know the daycare and the management from past experience and I can tell you they will take it very seriously. Maybe do not hear it from the staff or the staff are so used to it they do not really register. When you bring it to their attention the frequency and severity they will have to do something about it.

I would indeed as others have said send an email to the manager stating all of your concerns in a very factual non accusative way, mentioning actual examples and if possible dates and asking for a meeting to discuss the situation and possible solutions.

Do not threaten removing your child unless you mean it, they are successful enough and well known that they will easily replace so it just a waste of smoke.

Also if they are saying it is because your daughter is doing something first, ask them how they and you can help your daughter to learn different behaviour. If they can see this happening they should be stepping in and teaching both parties to deal with the situation in a way that this does not happen.

My son is also not an angel and has had and caused many bruises scratches and bites in his time at the krippe you are talking about and his current place but he was always spoken to and told how to correctly behave (didn't always make him listen and follow). but they must act if it is getting so severe.

hope this helps

Last edited by TJ45; 10.05.2011 at 09:37. Reason: more to say
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:40
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

o.k. - here's my suggestion for an email or letter:

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren
Liebe(r) ….. (depends on how well you know the person in charge)

Ich möchte Sie hiermit um einen Gesprächstermin bitten, um die Situation zwischen meiner Tochter (Name) und XXYYZZ zu klären. Wie Sie wissen, wird meine Tochter regelmässig von XXYYZZ gebissen, letztmals gestern, 9. Mai 2011 – Sie haben mich ja selber darüber informiert. Das ist meines Erachtens eine absolut unhaltbare Situation und ich bin doch sehr überrascht, dass die Aufsichtsperson(en) bislang nichts dagegen unternommen haben. Es kann doch nicht sein, dass meine Tochter regelmässig mit Bisswunden von einem Mitschüler nach Hause kommt, und die vermeintlich professionelle Tagespflege hierin kein Problem erkennt!
Ich bin sicher, dass wir in einem gemeinsamen Gespräch, eventuell zusammen mit den Eltern von XXYYZZ und/oder der zuständigen Aufsichtsbehörde, eine Lösung finden können und würde mich freuen, baldmöglichst von Ihnen einen Terminvorschlag zu erhalten. Sie können mich auch telefonisch erreichen unter (Tel.-Nr.).

Mit freundlichen Grüssen
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:43
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

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This is the part I am struggling with the most Everytime I draft the email and read it back I realise that it is too emotional and not factual enough.
Perhaps it would help to sit with someone else and recount what has happened? Co-writing with another person who is somewhat removed from the situation might help maintain the right tone of dispassionate assertiveness.

Quote:
As for dates of incidents, I can honestly say that it happens at least once a week and despite discussing it with them they have always taken the attitude of "these things are normal" and that somehow mini mimi has provoked it (by stealing a toy for example) and so deserves it
I have no doubt that mini mimi may have provoked something (she is a child, after all!), but persistent biting is unacceptable, and certainly not "normal" in my experience. Even if you can't recall specific dates, at least try to make reference to specific incidents. Compare the following:

Quote:
"This child bites my daughter all the time. Every week she comes home with a bite or a scratch from him. What are you going to do about it?"
Quote:
"The first incident took place two months ago. My daughter came home with a bite on her left arm. She told me that **** had done it. When I spoke to a member of staff, she told me that my daughter had provoked **** by snatching his toy.

The following week, my daughter came home with another bite on her lower right leg. Once again, she told me that **** had done it. The wound got infected and required medical treatment. I was told by a member of staff that these kind of things are quite normal...
Your last paragraph could be something along the lines of:

Quote:
I understand that minor scrapes and injuries are part of growing up, and that some children may bite occasionally. I am, however, deeply concerned to observe that this child has taken to biting my daughter on a regular basis, as explained above. This is unacceptable, and I would be grateful if you could explain what measures you intend to take to prevent this situation from escalating.
(written in a hurry, but you get the gist of it)

If you want to send a draft to me by PM, I could have a look over it later this evening if you like?
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:46
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

A bite here and there, once in a while can happen.

In this situation, the amount of scratches, the size and directions of them let me think the boy (if it's him) had quite a bit of time to do them. It isn't a scartch here and there but a big amount of them all over the back of her thigh.

How this can happen if they were being under supervision? A scratch or two, maybe three and someone would have intervene. But this amount?

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Old 10.05.2011, 10:02
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Hi Mimi,
Just to give you some context we had the same problem with our child coming back with bite marks and the creche said something similiar but it only happened 3 times and the 3rd time the creche themselves were very upset about it (they basically explained that they nearly stopped the child but he/she got a bite in before they could).

A couple of things to note
- They wouldnt tell us who the child was
- They asked us to let them deal with it (same reason as you have above - as it is normal child behaviour)
- When it happened a 3 rd time they were very upset (I think they believed they had made progress and were disappointed in the set back)
- It never happened again.

In retrospect I believe they dealt with it correctly. 2 bites were sufficient to stop the behaviour (ie the 3rd shouldnt have happened by the creche^s own standards). Therefore if your child is coming back repeatedly with scratches and bites and the situation hasnt improved then I feel you have every right to step in and write a firm letter about you not tolerating this any longer. 2 incidents is enough for you to let the creche deal with it.

Hope that makes sense - hope they come back with a satisfactory resolution for you.

IM.
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Old 10.05.2011, 10:03
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Whether you do it in writing or orally, it is your choice. If you havent' raised it before, I would probably do it orally, otherwise it looks like you are coming with a lot of ammunition and it often will backfire.

I would recommend more a question mode and not accusation mode. Let see how they respond then strenghten the words if necessary. First, I would ask about their 'protocol' or directives when it comes to physical agression between youngsters. If a well established instituion, they should have something. Then, ask how such directives are implmented, especially if a recurring problem, ie. separate kids, talk with other parent, etc. Finally, if you need to get more leverage, I would use strong language regarding safety issues, ie. like 'protection de jeunesse', swiss law/organsation for the protection of children. This tends to get their attention more than anything else. Technially, I think you could bring a case against the parents for the physical harm of your child from their child, irregardless if it happend in daycare or elsewhere. That would get their attention more than withdrawing her in my view. Besides threatening to take her out, is not really a threat here, there is already a likely a long waiting list for her slot. And most institions are not $ driven, they could care less.
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Old 10.05.2011, 10:04
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Thanks for all the comments guys. The daycare on the whole is really good and the people that run it are so helpful and friendly that I don't want to ruin the relationship I have with them. My daughter has thrived since attending here and other than this problem I am really happy with them.

I've attached some pics of the scratches and bite so you can see what I mean. I also drafted something but after reading the suggestions here I think I may have made this draft once again too emotional:

Dear X,

I am sorry to say that I have to make a complaint which I have been delaying with the hope that the situation would resolve itself, however it seems that this is not the case. When I collected (daughter) from daycare yesterday I was informed that once again (insert name of little sh1t) had bitten her on her arm. When I put her in her pushchair she starting holding her leg and saying “ow”. When I checked she had several large scratches on the back of her thigh which do not look like she has got them from simply rubbing against something. They look like somebody has purposely scratched her (could be (insert name of little sh1t)?). I understand that these things can happen occasionally as the children will sometimes be naughty but this problem with (insert name of little sh1t)has been going on for some time now and I am not willing to accept (daughter) being hurt anymore. I understand that sometimes (daughter) can provoke him as she will take a toy away from him but I do not think that justifies her being physically attacked by this boy. I would really like to know what you and the ladies intend to do to stop this situation. I am extremely angry as this happens pretty much every week and nothing is done to stop it. If (insert name of little sh1t) cannot be controlled is it safe to have him in daycare with all those children?

I am really unhappy with how this situation has developed and it is clear to me that this little boy (insert name of little sh1t) is a bully and needs to be disciplined. Every time he bites (daughter) and breaks her skin she ends up contracting thrush (pilz infection) which is horrible and completely unfair not to mention that if the infection spreads to oral thrush then I have to take time off work due to her not being able to come to daycare. This obviously does not reflect well on me at work. The occasional incident is understandable but as I mentioned this is nearly every week and sometimes every day and to see her covered in scratches all up her thigh in such a pattern that it could not be caused by simply climbing on something is horrendous. I took pictures (attached) and showed them to some of my friends who work at schools and they agree that it looks like she has been attacked and that I am not overreacting by demanding that this stops as this is not normal or acceptable at daycare or school.

I entrust (daughter) in your care every day and I need to feel confident that she is safe and well. I attempted to resolve this myself by speaking to (insert name of little sh1t)'s mother to find out what group he would go into when the group split. She said he would stay in the German only group so I put (daughter) in the English/German group mainly to get her away from. I then found that in fact (insert name of little sh1t)(who is German so has no immediate need to be in the English group) also was in the English group. It is clear to me that (insert name of little sh1t) and (daughter) need to be separated and I don’t see why (daughter) should have to move because of this child’s lack of obedience, especially when all of my friends children are in her class at the moment and she has no problems with any of the other children.

I would like to schedule a meeting with yourself and (other manager) to discuss this further and find a way to stop this from continuing. I have spoken to (daughter)’s father who would also like to participate in this meeting as he is also extremely unhappy about the situation.



Too much right?
Attached Thumbnails
how-complain-daycare-scratches.jpg   how-complain-daycare-bite.jpg  
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Old 10.05.2011, 10:15
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Not necessarily too much, just a different approach. I'd be more firm towards the end, instead of "I would like to schedule a meeting" I'd write "I'm sure you agree with me that we should meet as soon as possible to discuss this further...."
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Old 10.05.2011, 10:18
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

I think you have every right to be concerned. A one off incident can easily happen but regular abuse of this kind (even if the perpetrator is a child) should not be tolerated. There is no excuse for biting in my opinion.
We had a similar situation with our son (a fairly long time ago now) being terrorised by a girl and managed to resolve the situation to our satisfaction.
I have read your letter and I think with a bit of tweaking I could come up with something suitable to send them. I will have a look at it a bit later and PM you a copy of my suggestions. It may be easier for somebody who doesn't know any of the people involved to write something suitable as the don't have the emotional involvement.
Hope you get it resolved soon.
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Old 10.05.2011, 10:19
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

A couple of small details:

You need to drop the comments about the boy. While it is quite reasonable to feel angry about him, it isn't your place to comment on which group he is in, or even, for that matter, his general behaviour.

Try to stick to the subject of your own daughter, her wellbeing and her safety. Use the boy's name when listing incidents, where relevant, but apart from that try not to make any comment about him.

Also: don't start your letter with "I am sorry...". You shouldn't be.
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Old 10.05.2011, 10:21
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

Sorry about your problems. I can't really offer you advice on how to solve your immediate problem but can suggest something for long term.

My wife joined the Verein from our kids' Chinderchrippe. This helped out in the following ways:

1. Free Schwiitzerduutsch conversation lessons

2. In a sense, you become one of the bosses of the Chrippe so you are more respected in the eyes of the employees.

3. We noticed preferential treatment of our kids soon after joining the Verein.

4. Integration into the village life

In our Chrippe, it really only entails a nightly meeting once every 6 weeks or so.

Good luck!
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Old 10.05.2011, 10:25
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Re: How to complain to daycare?

I am sorry to say that I have to make a complaint which I have been delaying with the hope that the situation would resolve itself, however it seems that this is not the case.
When I collected (daughter) from daycare yesterday I was informed that once again (insert name of little sh1t) had bitten her on her arm. When I put her in her pushchair she starting holding her leg and saying “ow”. When I checked she had several large scratches on the back of her thigh which do not look like she has got them from simply rubbing against something. They look like somebody has purposely scratched her (could be (insert name of little sh1t)?). I understand that these things can happen occasionally as the children will sometimes be naughty but this problem with (insert name of little sh1t)has been going on for some time now and I am not willing to accept (daughter) being hurt anymore. I understand that sometimes (daughter) can provoke him as she will take a toy away from him but I do not think that justifies her being physically attacked by this boy.
I would really like to know how you and the staffdeal with these situation and what you intend to do to stop this situation. I am extremely concerned as this happens frequently anspretty much every week and nothing appears to be done to stop it. If (insert name of little sh1t) cannot be controlled is it safe to have him in daycare with all those children?

I am really concerned and unhappy with how this situation has developed and it is clear to me that this little boy (insert name of little sh1t) is a bully and needs to be disciplined/taught how to behave. The bites are so serious they sometimes break the skin and (daughter) ends up contracting thrush (pilz infection) this is horrible for herand completely unfair, if the infection spreads to oral thrush then I have to take time off work due to her not being able to come to daycare. This obviously does not reflect well on me at work.
The occasional incident is understandable but as I mentioned this is nearly every week and sometimes every day.To see her covered in scratches all up her thigh in such a pattern that it could not be caused by simply climbing on something is horrendous. I have taken pictures (attached) and showed them to some of my friends who work at schools and they agree that it looks like she has been attacked and that I am not overreacting by demanding that this stops as this is not normal or acceptable at daycare or school.
I attempted to resolve this myself by speaking to (insert name of little sh1t)'s mother to find out what group he would go into when the group split. She said he would stay in the German only group so I put (daughter) in the English/German group mainly to get her away from him. I then found that in fact (insert name of little sh1t)(who is German so has no immediate need to be in the English group) also was in the English group. It is clear to me that (insert name of little sh1t) and (daughter) need to be separated and I don’t see why (daughter) should have to move because of this child’s lack of obedience, especially when all of my friends children are in her class at the moment and she has no problems with any of the other children.


I entrust (daughter) in your care every day and I need to feel confident that she is safe and well, in the past this has always been the case but currently I am worried during the day about (daughter)
I would like to schedule a meeting with yourself and (other manager) to discuss this further and find a way to stop this from continuing. I have spoken to (daughter)’s father who would also like to participate in this meeting as he is also extremely unhappy about the situation.


JUST A FEW TWEAKS TO MAKE IT LESS ACCUSATIVE, WOULD MAYBE LEAVE OUT THE BIT ABOUT THE GROUPS
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