More than one in 10 nursery staff often hear young children swearing, survey finds


Nursery staff say they often hear young children swearing. Image: PA

Monday, November 26, 2018

More than one in 10 nursery staff claim they hear young children swearing more often, a survey has found.

In a survey of 1,125 nursery owners, managers and staff, 13 per cent said they had seen an increase in the number of children swearing in nurseries, and 12 per cent claimed to have often heard children using profanities.

Sue Learner, editor of, which conducted the poll, said the findings were "not a surprise".



"Swearing seems to have become more socially acceptable, and if young children do not hear it at home, they can hear it in pop songs or on YouTube," she said.

"However, despite it becoming more prevalent in society, it is still shocking and incongruous to hear profanities coming from the lips of a young child.

"There is a real power to swearing and when a small, seemingly innocent child swears, the words have even more resonance."


'Bring back the innocence'

Responding to the findings, John Warren, who worked in the childcare industry for over 30 years before becoming an Ofsted inspector, said it was important to bring "back the innocence" in children's lives.

"This language is not reserved for less affluent families it is also quite happily used on giant billboards for children to view such as the 'B*****ks to Brexit' campaign," he said.



"We need to bring back the innocence in children's lives, awe and wonder, the tooth fairy, Father Christmas, unicorns and fairies.

"Let them have fun with language, invent new words and don't be so quick to jump on the child who says 'poo, fart and bum' and then giggles."