A mum has sparked a debate after revealing that her child’s nursery school has asked parents to only buy shoes from certain brands.
The mum revealed the school’s request on a popular parenting forum, writing: ‘Have had an letter from DC’s Nursery telling parents we shouldn’t be buying any shoes for our children unless they are Start Rite or Clark’s. The tone of the message is very condescending, talking about how “sparkly shoes may look pretty but they don’t support a child’s growing feet properly” and “if you don’t have your children’s feet properly measured at a shoe shop you will cause them issues later in life.
‘The thing is, I do by and large agree with them that when children are very small and just learning to walk you should pay the money for Clarks etc, and the cost isn’t that different to shoes from Mothercare off the peg. But I’ve just checked the Start Rite website and shoes in my 4 year old’s size are £50+. That’s probably £150 a year in shoes at the rate they grow. I get DC’s feet measured, then buy whatever shoes I feel are suitable. Last time they were measured in John Lewis and I bought Nike trainers in the appropriate size for about £25. £30 less than Start Rite ones.’
While making the comment on Mumsnet, the mother then pondered if she was being unreasonable or not, asking others if they agreed with her stance.
She concluded: ‘I’m wondering if it’s hit a nerve or whether you all think the Nursery are unreasonable? To be honest it is the tone of the email that has bothered me rather than the point they are trying to convey.’
Replying to the query, one forum user was quick to state that she thought the mum had every right to be annoyed.
‘I think it is quite disgusting actually, for the nursery to take it upon themselves to tell struggling parents that they are damaging their children’s development if they can’t afford to shell out £50 for a pair of overrated shoes’, they quipped.
Another agreed: ‘Totally inappropriate to be sending that to the parents – and I say that as a nursery manager. I’m normally the one defending nurseries on threads. I think they have overstepped the mark. It’s none of their business where you buy your child’s shoes.’
One Mumsnet member, however, revealed that she thought the nursery’s decision to send the email was correct.
‘The nursery is right though. Ds’s godmother is a podiatrist and she made the point that if you screw up their feet, you have created a problem which will last the dc the rest of their lives,’ they said.
A further commenter analysed the reason why the school decided to send the letter to parents, musing: ‘To get to that stage a lot of parents mustn’t be sending their children in in sensible fitted shoes. Sandals / trainers / wellies are fine for short periods but if there all day then they do need decent fitted footwear as their little feet are delicate and need proper care.’