Nursery sent dirty nappies home with three-year-old


Mechelle and Derek Carlin with daughter Miya


By Andrea McCallum

A YOUNG mum has spoken of her disgust after her three-year-old daughter returned home from nursery with a bag of dirty nappies.

Mechelle Carlin, 26, discovered the soiled plastic bag next her daughter’s lunchbox when Miya was brought home from Dunbar Primary School Nursery by her dad Derek.

The mum of four has since removed little Miya from the council owned childcare centre after what the local authority called an “honest, unfortunate mistake”.

“Don’t have a clue”

She said: “My husband assumed she had got wet or something and they had changed her, and that’s what the bag was.

“I don’t know if it’s worse that they have been cheeky sending home nappies or that they don’t have a clue what a nappy is.

“We were prepared for some kind of explanation but we thought it would be better than that.

“It’s just ridiculous to get a three-year-old girl, who is trying to make friends, to sit with dirty nappies – it’s not right.

“And Miya said a couple of time that she had been told to tell her daddy that she needs to start wearing pants.

“I think it’s a bad that they have got her to come and tell her dad about it.”

Change their own children

The family, who live in Dunbar, East Lothian, filed a complaint against the nursery through East Lothian Council, who investigated the incident.

The couple had previously received a letter from headteacher Helen Gillanders, saying that the nursery was spending “an enormous time changing children” and that parents were being urged to “look” at their children’s toilet changing arrangements.

It also said that parents should provide a phone number for them to be contacted so they could come down and change their own children.

Dad Derek, 29, said that only days prior to the incident staff at the nursery had asked him how Miya was doing with her potty training and he explained she was struggling.

And he told staff that he didn’t think she was ready for pants.

“Hammer home”

He said: “I saw the bag with her and opened it up thinking it was clothes but I discovered it was two dirty nappies.

“I just couldn’t believe it that they had just sent me a bag of dirty nappies and thought ‘why would they do that’.

“I think they were trying to hammer home the point about Miya wearing nappies.

“To me it was them having a wee dig”

While investigations were underway Mechelle and Derek – who have three other children – spoke to the nursery’s head teacher, who apologised.


Mechelle said: “They said they were profusely sorry and that the nursery teacher was very upset by it.

“They asked if Miya would be staying there, but we’ve moved her to a different nursery.

“It’s not great as it takes up more time, but the new place have been great with Miya and have not made any issue, with her not being toilet trained.”

Mechelle had asked for advice on Miya’s progress as she was born prematurely and has taken longer to become potty trained.

Her two-year-old son Logan suffers from cerebral palsy and is worried if he had gone to the nursery he would have been treated the same.


She added: “The nursery needs to reassess its practices and check out individuals’ circumstances.

“I can imagine parents sitting at home now who are worried they will have to go up to the nursery and change their children.

“It’s not fair to put people through that.”

A spokesperson for East Lothian council said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, I can confirm that we are aware of the incident and are looking into it.

“East Lothian Council nursery staff and staff in our partnership nurseries support children with a wide range of personal needs.

“We would always advocate dealing with each case on its own merits.

“Both our training programmes and policies try to ensure that nursery staff work sensitively with parents to ensure that each child’s needs and best interests are met.”

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