Preschool wanting me to collect DS early

(64 Posts)
insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 17:30:10

I was hoping to get some advice/suggestions regarding DS2 who is 3. He started at a new preschool after Easter (having previously attended a day nursery 2 days a week).

He has settled really well into the preschool and seems very happy to attend, only just manages to say bye to me as he's so busy getting stuck into the activities etc!grin So far, for me, this is the only positive.....(albeit a very significant one).

He is an outgoing, confident character, spirited at times! (I am under no illusion that when the mood takes him, he can be a handful, eg he sometimes likes to think the rules don't apply to him, he has also been a biter although he has tended to bite out of excitement and when playing happily with a favourite playmate, rather than biting out of anger). At the same time, he is a very rewarding child, full of fun, cheeky (in a good way!), affectionate etc.

Although he is over 3, he has struggled a bit with dropping his nap. I haven't put him for a nap since well before Easter as I know he won't settle, but he struggles to get through the day without a cat nap of some sort. If we are out and about he will often drop off in the car, but since starting preschool he doesn't really have the opportunity as I have to make sure he's had lunch before he goes and the session starts at 1245 (it finishes at 345pm).

He has fallen asleep at the end of preschool on a few occasions (quite happily it would seem!), and because of this and the fact that they have indicated that his behaviour can tail off towards the end of the session, they suggested that I pick him up early.

I have to pick DS1 (aged 4) up from school at 3pm, so I explained that getting to preschool early would be tricky. They did suggest getting DS2 before the school run, but this would mean collecting him by 240pm at the latest, which hardly seemed worth the trouble of taking him. So I compromised by collecting him straight after the school run and collected him at 315-320pm for a period before half term. This was not ideal for DS1 as it meant we had to leave school the moment he came out, and he loves to have a 10min run around with his friends after school. It also means I can't walk DS1 home from school, which is important to me (we love really near school but 10-15min drive from preschool).

I've suggested going back to picking DS2 up at normal finish time (345pm) after half term as I am not sure collecting him early is the knot answer here. I feel we (me and the teachers) should be exploring some strategies to help DS2 cope with feeling tired, rather than just defaulting to me getting him early. We are only talking a difference of 20mins here, given that the school next door to preschool is finishing as I collect him early so it's chaos outside trying to park, get in etc, so even if I rush straight from school I tend not to get DS2 till 320ish. And preschool seem to like to chuck out early, so kids are getting picked up from 335-340pm (when I was arriving at 340-345pm - NEVER late though) they made comments to the effect of can you get here a bit earlier please!

I picked up at 345 today but was called in for a "chat" as DS2 did not have a great afternoon behaviour wise (despite being pretty good overall during half term) and they asked again about picking up early.

I think what I am looking for is:
1. AIBU to push back on picking up early and asking to discuss strategies to help DS2 cope with tiredness, the full session (given that the main reason for sending him is to prepare him for school and the future)?
2. What strategies would you suggest I discuss? I'm wondering about quiet time (eg he LOVES books and I wondered about sitting him in the cubby hole with some books for the last 15mins?) If he drops off, so be it?
3. AIBU to feel like the preschool are copping out a bit by resorting to telling me to collect him early, rather than exploring other options first? I do feel like his old nursery would be doing the latter....I feel like he's missing out on part of his entitlement, all for the sake of saving the staff the trouble of dealing with him for the last 20mins of the session.

I'd be grateful for any comments/advice anyone might have here smile

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 17:32:21

The only answer, not the knot answer!

BigArea Tue 03-Jun-14 17:35:45

I'm sure you'll have considered this, but could you switch him to the morning session?

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 17:37:55

Thanks Big, I have yes. Initially I had opted for afternoon as he had a friend who was already there in the pm so I felt it would help him settle. They also didn't have a space on the morning session this term anyway.

But I have requested mornings from September, so it's only really for this half term.

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 03-Jun-14 17:44:39

Morning session if poss.

Or go back to nursery (unclear why you have changed?)

This phase is likely to be short-lived, if it is simply tired-ness related.
After summer hols need for nap is likely to be thing of the past.

Surprised preschool are not better able to deal with tired kids so can only conclude that tiredness must be extreme or his behaviour is pretty terrible grin, though again I would have thought they should be able to deal with that.

Suddengeekgirl Tue 03-Jun-14 17:46:50

What about an earlier bedtime?

Or lazier/ quieter mornings so he's not burnt out by afternoon preschool?

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 03-Jun-14 17:50:09

I actually think I would just say "no" early pick up is not possible
(because it's not really, for the reasons you mention).

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 03-Jun-14 17:57:11

I would also say "no, sorry, it's not possible but hopefully the morning sessions from September will help a lot".

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:09:15

TheRealMary - mornings not possible until sept (when some kids have left to go to school).

I moved him from nursery because it was a full day nursery, costing £470 per month for 2 days a week, and I don't need the full day care now that I'm a SAHM (he and DS1 both went there when I was working PT).

Now that he is eligible for the 15hrs funding I thought preschool would suit him better, short sessions but every day to get him in a daily routine, better prep for school than 2 long days at nursery.

Part of me does wish I hadn't moved him as this has all made me realise how amazing his nursery was. They never made me feel like DS2 was a problem or anything other than a normal 2 yr old child. They also never made me feel like they didn't much like my son. Preschool have made me feel both already (a lot). I put this partly down to pregnancy hormones! but also comments that have been made and the way I observe some of the staff interacting with DS2.

superram Tue 03-Jun-14 18:10:04

Nap before he goes?

Uptheanty Tue 03-Jun-14 18:10:59

Is this a daycare or is it a nursery attached to a school?

If its the latter then switch to mornings.

It seems to me you are doing what suits you & your other ds but what about the child sleeping in the classroom?

It is not acceptable to leave him sleeping, do they have sleep facilities? What about ratio, he will have to be watched & pick up is really busy and quite frantic.

If i was you, i would compromise, proffessionals who work in childcare do not want to make it difficult for you but there main concern is always ( if they are good) the dc.

I have seen this many times, but i assure you if you collect him early for a while it will not be long before his resilience builds up and he is able to do the full session.

It would be good to try to resolve it positively for you and both your dc.

irgmama Tue 03-Jun-14 18:11:10

thats ridiculous if he becomes a handful at junior and high school will they tell u to collect him earlier so avoid a tantrum no this is just a case of lazy nursery teachers who at the end of the day dont want any hassle. at 3 it is compulsory that he be in nursery so why are they suggesting he miss almost an hour a day

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:14:41

I also agree wholeheartedly with your comment re why they are not equipped/able/prepared to deal with a tired child or one who is misbehaving. They have not said his behaviour is extremely bad at the end of the session but I am going in to speak to them tomorrow about it all and will investigate further. My impression so far is that misbehaviour has happened throughout the session (by which I mean not just at the end, rather than constantly all the way through!) and that they are looking to offload a child they find a bit more difficult to deal with than some of the others.

I am wary of excusing my child's behaviour, and do want feedback on any major incidents and to discuss ways to address these, but eg "we had to tell him off for pushing a child" said as if this is was unusual for 3 year olds/dreadfully serious seems a bit excessive to me.

tumbletumble Tue 03-Jun-14 18:18:50

Tbh I would pick him up early (at 3.20 that is, not 2.40). If he is really struggling towards the end of the session (3.45 is late for a 3yo) then that seems to me more important than walking home with DS1, especially as only for 6 weeks. I get what you are saying about the staff finding other methods of dealing with this, but IME there's not a lot you can do with an over tired 3yo!

Any chance of getting him into a preschool attached to DS1's school, so everyone can be picked up at the same time?
Sorry if thats so obvious there is a reason it can't happen

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 03-Jun-14 18:20:44

You now what OP, I would look around for an alternative preschool or nursery place to begin in September.

I don't think the daily routine is a necessary prep for school, also if you are pg then two whole days (cost permitting) might be better for you in later pregnancy and with a newborn.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:23:13

SuddenGeekGirl - he already goes to bed by 7pm (and settles v quickly). His main problem is waking too early in the morning! He wakes usually between 6-7am, often nearer 6am than I'd like! We use a gro clock to encourage him to stay in his bed/room till a certain time, but cannot work out how to encourage him to actually sleep longer....

We go to a toddler group on a mon and a fri. The mon one is a drive away and it's the oNe day he does usually get chance to have a 20min sleep on the way home. I've tried going for a drive after the fri one for him to have a quick nap but he often doesn't drop off and I don't have time to drive long enough to allow time for lunch before preschool.

On the other days we play at home or pop to a friend's house, nothing too energetic. Occasionally pop to the park which is obviously more energetic but again he does then have chance for 40winks in the car on the way home!

I do take on board your suggestion re mornings though and will see what else we can do.

Oh also I didn't mention earlier that I let him catch up a bit on sleep at the weekend, so will happily let him sleep for an hour in the car or on the sofa those days. He used to have an hour nap each of the 2 days he went to nursery, but only had quick catnaps on any other days, so I figured letting him catch up at the weekend now amounted to the same thing.....

I know from experience that his behaviour is not as good when he is tired, eg he doesn't co-operate as well, but I have to admit it's not exactly dreadful, so either there is something they are not telling me and he is particularly bad for them, or they are just being a bit lazy about managing minor disruption?

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:23:55

Thanks also for the messages of support re putting my foot down a bit and saying early pick up just isn't possible!

Uptheanty Tue 03-Jun-14 18:37:19


Why pretend to want advice and opinions op

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:41:25

Uptheanty - my posts crossed with others so I hadn't actually seen the other comments! Just doing bath time here but will reply to others once boys are in bed! I honestly do welcome all suggestions!!

Uptheanty Tue 03-Jun-14 18:51:51

Sleeping in the classroom is a very temporary issue for pre-schoolers if managed well.

I have many years experience in schools and have come across this issue many times. It can be resolved,it is more difficult to resolve and have a positive experience in any facility if you regard the staff as "lazy".
Maybe they are, some people are...but it wouldn't be my first thought as i agree with them....your ds should not be left sleeping regularly at pick up.

It is very natural for dc of all ages to exhibit challenging behaviour at some point in their life and shouldn't define them.

With respect op... You sound like you are minimising & quite defensive of your ds's behaviour.

Littlefish Tue 03-Jun-14 19:02:07

I think you need to take the nursery's advice and consider picking him up straight after ds's school. If he is so tired that he is falling asleep on a regular basis, or it is affecting his behaviour, then he is really not getting the most out of being there.

I think your younger ds's needs should outweigh your older ds's desire to play at school for 10 minutes. It's only for a few weeks.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 19:09:25

Superram -this is what I try to do, but as session starts at 1245 and he needs to have lunch before he goes, it isn't often manageable (he is not great at being woken from a nap so not ideal to have him sleep on the way to preschool and be woken to go in, but v hard to get him to have a nap earlier than that as he's not tired enough).

Suddengeekgirl Tue 03-Jun-14 19:26:37

insanelycheerful - it might all be a early waking related problem?

Wakes too early, needs a nap, if no nap then tired and grouchy/ challenging.

I would try to address the early waking and possibly go to bed earlier in the evening too (just till he's used to not napping). I'd also be inclined to cut the naps out - which will mean lots of angst in the short term.
I know if my dd was napping at that age it would have a knock on effect on early waking/ late bedtime.

Does he have a black out blind?
What do you do when he wakes at night/ in the morning?

I can often persuade dd (3.3) to go back to sleep after 6am if I tell her it's still night time but I'll come and get her when it's morning.

ikeaismylocal Tue 03-Jun-14 19:38:00

What about dropping him off later, make sure he has a nap in the car and drop him off 30-45 mins later.

I think that your ds's behavior must be beyond that of an average 3 year old, otherwise all parents would be kept behind to talk about pushing incidents.

When is your baby due? Would 2 full days not suit you better? It seems like you will spend all day dragging a newborn around dropping off and picking up it's siblings.

ContinentalKat Tue 03-Jun-14 19:42:00

This is exactly why I had to decline a nursery afternoon place. Aged 3, dd would never have coped with an afternoon session without a nap.
I think you have to do what is right for your small child here and not send him for afternoon sessions. Just because he is entitled to the free hours doesn't mean you have to take them at all cost.
I wouldn't make him attend unless you can send him in the morning.

MissOtisRegretsMadam Tue 03-Jun-14 19:54:57

Hi I work in a setting with similar session times but with 2 year olds... One child's behaviour is quite aggressive towards the other children I think mainly due to tiredness at end of session. We sit down for a little group time at the end of session it's very informal but it makes it hard to staff with the child who is tired as one person has to take him to another area if he is struggling. This leaves one person to deal with parents and one to lead the group time alone.

Could this be the case? That logistically it's hard for them to cater your child's needs as well as staffing for the all the others? As they are not one to one ratio but a challenging tired child can need one to one for that short end of session time.
What did they say about his behaviour? Is he not listening, hurting others, distrupting the group time?
I would ask a bit more about what he is doing that's such a challenge.
Settings tend to play it down to a parent as you don't want to be negative and for the child to be told off again for something that has been dealt with during the session. I'm guessing if it's a good setting they have tried lots of tactics and asking you to collect early is a last resort for the benefit of your child and all the others.

Hopefully you can switch to mornings as soon as possible.

CharlesRyder Tue 03-Jun-14 20:08:51

My DS went through a phase of negative behaviours at pre-school just after Christmas (when he was 3.5). The pre-school were so incredibly supportive and through the whole thing, although telling me about the behaviour in black and white, they made me feel as though my DS was incredibly valued as an individual.

I don't think they would ever have suggested me taking him for less time (he goes 8.30am - 3.15pm). Actually one of their suggestions was that he stay for afterschool club when they have less children so could have worked on his social skills in a smaller group.

I went in regularly and had email contact during that time to ensure we were matching strategies at school and home.

He is pretty much completely through it now at 3.10 which I think the pre-school's approach can be largely credited for. They definitely saw his behaviours as their challenge and something they wanted to take on and solve for his sake.

If you don't feel your pre-school are being this supportive I would speak to them and consider changing setting.

starlight1234 Tue 03-Jun-14 20:11:24

Can quite make out but is he attending 5 days a week, could you send him 3 days a week so he gets a decent nap.

My DS at that age was an earlier riser no matter what time he went to bed..Could you change things around. do breakfast at 7 and lunch at 11, then quiet lie down on the sofa under blanket with TV, to rest before preschool.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 20:22:12

Uptheanty - v helpful to get the perspective of someone "in the industry" so thank you.

It is a separate preschool really, neither daycare nor properly attached to a school (the head is also the head of a nearby school, but it is not part of that school IYSWIM?) No option to switch to mornings as they have no spaces in the morning session (and didn't when I applied).

I have not actually been doing what suits me and DS1, quite the opposite! As soon as they asked me to pick up early, I did. Even though it totally didn't suit me or DS1. I'd be interested to know what would have happened if I was at work and couldn't pick up early, but that's off topic....

I have now suggested seeing how DS2 goes with staying till 345pm, which was agreed at the end of last half term. But because DS2 didn't have a great session today, they straight away said what about picking up early? It just seems to be the easy default, and I wanted to know if it's reasonable to discuss other options before resorting to this. I get the impression you think not?

My comments re inconvenience to me/it not being ideal for DS1 were designed to illustrate that I am trying to think of this issue "in the round" and I do have to consider both my children. Not me saying it is only what DS1 and i want that counts here.

I do take on board littlefish's view that I should put DS2 before DS1 in this situation, but I find it hard to weigh up preschool having DS2 for an extra 20mins vs rushing DS1 out of school etc. For DS1 "missing out", do preschool really gain much by getting rid of DS2 early?

On that note, it is good to hear what you say re managing a sleeping child etc. This is what I was getting at with my OP, is it very difficult for staff to manage this or a child being disruptive? It is hard for me to know the protocol that they have to follow, and when staff were asked what ratios they have at settling in they were unable to give an answer, so again it's hard for me to understand whether they do have scope for one on one or separate quiet time, for example. These are the things I'd like to understand better before going in tomorrow, or definitely as a result of tomorrow's meeting (I thought best to arm myself with info before I go in as far as possible though).

I think I have been unfair (and lazy!) to use the word lazy to describe the staff. I don't think that of them, but I do feel they have been too quick to instigate early pick up without discussing any other options. Perhaps I am unreasonable to expect that, but it is what I have come to expect from my (very positive) experiences at nursery (over the past almost 4 years).

I did not wish to come across as minimising DS2's behaviour. I do take misbehaviour very seriously and am the first to acknowledge he can be challenging. At the same time, I do not believe he is an overly difficult child or that the misbehaviour he shows is particularly outside the realms of normal for his age, devpt etc. As commented above, however, if he were at school and less well behaved at the end of the day, would they ask me to pick up early?

flippetygibbet Tue 03-Jun-14 20:30:26

Can you not reduce his days...sounds like its a bit much for ds also an early riser and I couldn't do afternoon sessions for this reason, would be too tired and I reduced his mornings down to 3 a week- they are at school so long that a term of less structured time isn't going to do him any harm....much nicer to be at home with mum/going to the park before the baby arrives

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 20:35:47

Sudden he does have a black out blind. His clock is set for the sun to come up at 640am in the week as DH is up and getting ready for work and DS can hear him so it feels unfair to set the clock later when he can hear the house is awake IYSWIM. I set it for 7am at weekends though! He is very good about staying in his bed/bedroom till the sun comes up, will read, play etc nicely. Assuming it's after 6am when he wakes we leave him to it but if it's earlier than that (v occasionally) we will go in and say it's still nighttime, see the stars are still on your clock etc. On the very rare occasion it's say 3 or 4am and he's perhaps woken from a bad dream he will always re-settle. If it's more like 545am he won't re-settle. It is v unusual for him to wake pre 6am though.

Before he started at preschool, he was never ridiculously tired (or badly behaved) if he'd only had a quick catnap in the day, even if we'd had a busy day. So I suppose part of me is a bit sceptical as to exactly how tired he is at preschool, although I acknowledge it can be a tiring environment. And I certainly had no impression based on his tiredness levels/behaviour that he would totally struggle with an afternoon session, hence why I opted for it.

Littlefish Tue 03-Jun-14 20:37:44

If there is a qualified teacher or early years professional in the setting, the ratio could be up to 13 children to one adult. If there is no qualified teacher or early years professional then the ratio can be up to 8 children to one adult.

If there are 26 children there with 2 adults and one of those adults is needed to support the behaviour of one child, that obviously leaves the other adult dealing with 25 three year olds. Factor in that the final 10 - 15 minutes of the day are easily used up helping all the children put on coats, bags, find water bottles etc. You really do need as many adults as possible.

youwish Tue 03-Jun-14 20:41:46

Could the nursery give him some quiet time and encourage him to sleep?what is so bad if he sleeps at nursery?

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 20:42:54

A couple of people have suggested 2 full days at nursery would suit me better with a new baby. Too right!! My decision to move him to preschool was totally made with DS2's interests at heart. I/we believed it would suit him better doing short sessions than a full day, and also to have something of a daily routine ahead of starting school. I also thought a preschool environment would be better preparation for school than nursery. The fact that the preschool is entirely free of cost was a happy by product!

Hopefully tomorrow's chat will shed a bit more light on the extent of the problem, and whether it is more tiredness or misbehaviour, and indeed how serious any aspects of misbehaviour are.

Starlight he does attend 5 days. I've not asked myself re doing fewer days, but know another mum was looking for her DS to do 3 sessions and she was told they don't really do it. Worth considering/exploring though. Also like your suggestion re bringing lunch forward. Have already started quiet time on sofa before we set off but perhaps can extend this a bit and see if I can snuggle him to sleep on my bump! (He does love a snuggle!)

Littlefish Tue 03-Jun-14 20:45:41

In my local authority we are not allowed to insist on children attending 5 sessions in order to access funding. We do suggest fairly strongly that children do a minimum of 2 sessions in orde to get the most out of nursery. It might be worth you speaking to the local authority funding team to find out if you are entitled to the flexibility to have your ds attend eg. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday in order to give him a day off mid-week in order to catch up on his sleep.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 20:49:50

CharlesRyder that is really interesting that you had such a positive experience with your setting. I think you have touched on the key issue for me, that I don't really feel that preschool have handled this in a supportive/sensitive way. I can take on board any info about my kids' behaviour (although it can be hard to hear if it's bad behaviour), but I think that making you feel your child is respected/valued/cared for at the same time can make all the difference to how you cope with/react to that information. The old nursery raised issues with me/us as appropriate, but there was always an emphasis on the child, what's best for them, and positive comments about the child's character. It also felt more like a partnership and working together to resolve things, whereas this has felt a bit "we have a problem, you pick him up early".

I think the main focus tomorrow needs to be: what is the extent of the problem, what have you tried/considered so far to alleviate the problem, what have you tried with other children in similar situations, is the problem confined to the end of the session or is there a more general problem to consider/ tackle? Hopefully this discussion will lead to some positive outcomes and better understanding by me of what is actually going on.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 20:51:11

Thanks for that info re funding/sessions littlefish smile

AveryJessup Tue 03-Jun-14 20:56:55

Unless his behavior is truly awful and he is biting or causing disruption, then I can't see why they can't handle it for 30-45 minutes. What if he was just disruptive generally rather than just tired? Do they ask any children who are 'troublesome' to leave rather than working on the behavior with parents?

He can't be the first 3 year old they've had who is tired in the afternoons so ask them how they have tackled this with other children. Seems to me that they are just going to the default 'pick him up early' rather than working on engaging him and managing his behavior for a short time until pickup. My DS was tired starting out in preschool too but got used to it after a while. No-one suggested picking him up early and since you have another child's school hours to consider then surely they could be more considerate.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 03-Jun-14 20:58:28

Could you take him out / drop him down to a couple of afternoons this term and then up him to 5 days once he's doing mornings in Sept? Pre-school may be amenable to this if they are finding him hard to deal with when tired.

ThisBitchIsResting Tue 03-Jun-14 21:02:24

My son is due to start preschool in a few months. I have already discounted a couple of the good ones near me as they would only offer afternoon sessions. I know my son still gets tired in the afternoon if he doesn't get a nap - even if he does tbh, he's a bit past it in the afternoons! And he's the sweetest child, really quiet and sensitive, but morphs into a shouty screamy throwing-things-around out of control nightmare when tired. So I've gone for a place that offers 3 mornings, building up to 5 after a few months.

I appreciate you didn't realise your son would struggle with afternoon sessions - but rather than blaming staff, in your shoes I would pick him up early and be sweetness and light with them. It is as you say only for a few weeks, don't bite your nose off to spite your face. It will be far better for him that way, and moving him elsewhere will just further unsettle him.

I teach Reception and lots of them still want to sleep in the afternoons and are good for nothing learning wise, and need a lot more patience than in the morning grin

I think if you persevere with keeping him there, his experience of a school environment will become one of battle and misery, which is just the worst possible outcome IMO. It's preschool not childcare, so it is different to nursery - if the staff feel he's not getting anything out of it, there isn't much point in him being there and it's detrimental to his and others' experiences.

DeWee Tue 03-Jun-14 21:09:07

Ds tended to act up when tired, and personally I think taking him home before the behaviour deteriorates was actually better for him as well.

Because the other children won't label him as "the naughty one" (and they will), he won't feel that the session's been bad because he's finished on a bad note, and it won't become a habit that he's badly behaved at preschool.

As it's only half a term, I'd pick him up early.

Uptheanty Tue 03-Jun-14 21:12:12

There is a difference between wrap around childcare providers and nurseries who model themselves on a school environment.

If your nursery only accept children from 2.8 months who are fully potty trained and keep school hours then they provide a different service than providers who accept children of all ages and abilities, with that comes expected standards that should be made clear to all parents front he offset.

These kind of nurseries do not provide napping facilities and they will expect the children to be alert and receiving the educational and social benefits of nursery attendance.

If your child doesn't meet that criteria they may feel that it is in his best interests not to continue his afternoon session if he's not awake as he is not receiving the benefit of the facility.

Pre school os not a babysitting service but an educational environment in place to stimulate your child.

You are well within your rights to challenge any suggestion they make to you and you as the dc's mother may be right in your evaluation!

There is the possibility they are to quick to implement a solution that is not in your ds's best interest long term, they are not god and may have made a mistake in their evaluation.

As you have had a positive experience so far it can be challenging to come up against difficulties and deal with them effectively.
I know, regardless of my knowledge that I have made many mistakes with my responses over both my dc's education because my response is one of a mother -- emotional!!!

My posts are only written with the aim to try to give you a different perspective upon which to view the situation.
I have had lots of great advice on here and have found it to be helpful to manage my responses to situations with a positive outcome.

Do you want to your ds to stay at this nursery?

If you do, think about the reasons why.

Go in tomorrow with some bullet point responses written down.
Be open to alternative viewpoints and try to understand the reasons why they think an early pick up will help, is this a long term solution? How long do they want it to continue? Will they keep you up to date communicate with you and discuss the matter again in the near future?

If you are still unhappy then maybe look into alternatives.

flowers good luck.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 22:11:29

Thanks uptheanty, appreciate your comments and will take on board your tips re tomorrow. I do take issue with the suggestion I consider preschool to be a babysitting service, however! In fact I think I've made it clear I consider the opposite, ie it is a stimulating educational environment, as that is why I chose to send DS there as preparation for school. His interests have been central to my decision making, and will continue to be so. If this means picking him up a bit early, fine. If it means moving him back to his old nursery, fine. My short-term issue is that the preschool appear to have been quick to ask me to collect him early with no evidence of other avenues being pursued. My long-term issue is whether this is the best setting for DS, given that I have not been impressed with the manner/attitude of a couple of members of staff, and the way I perceive DS to be treated by them.

If I were to move DS it would be because I am not convinced this setting is right for him (weighing up all factors, including upheaval of moving him again) and I would only consider moving him back to his old nursery as I was always so impressed and happy with them. I wouldn't really consider a further new environment. I also have to bear in mind that DS so far seems very happy at preschool, but I am keen to understand more about his behaviour there and whether the setting potentially has an impact on this.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 22:20:32

Couple more quick points, on phone so hard to respond personally...
I am certainly not "blaming staff". I am just wondering if there are other avenues to look at or if collecting early is the only option.
Me picking up early literally saves them 20mins at the end of the session. So no great difference. But I am more than happy to do it if it makes a great difference to his experience and also helps preschool out as I am conscious my child is not the only one there! Will go into tomorrow open minded and take it from there. Been v helpful to read all responses.

SueDNim Tue 03-Jun-14 22:29:21

I'd give him lunch at 11.30 and then go for a drive. But I don't think that is a terrifically practical or cheap solution.

ThisBitchIsResting Tue 03-Jun-14 22:45:10

It's not for long. He'll be fine in Sept, just be careful not to over analyse - he's too tired for preschool so he needs to be picked up.

As an aside - the first two nurseries I looked at only offered funded places from 3-6pm for the preschool room! Not sure how many children benefit from that or are prepared for school, as it is intended for. But the nursery can charge full price for morning sessions as that is what the majority of parents want.

insanelycheerful Wed 04-Jun-14 07:41:29

ThisBitch - you are very wise to say don't over analyse, as I suspect this is what I am doing in some ways. I think I need to try and look at the early pick up/tiredness as an issue in its own right and try to sort that, separate from the other issues I have, such as feeling that DS is not liked/treated particularly nicely by some members of staff (as an example I have witnessed him be reprimanded in a very brusque manner for something that I have seen other children praised for. I let it go at the time but it has played on my mind).

3-6pm sessions for preschoolers seems crazy btw!!

ThisBitchIsResting Wed 04-Jun-14 07:53:02

If I had to go to work something like 8pm-2am, I'd probably be tired and ratty. And the people I work with would naturally form an opinion on me based on that. And probably avoid me / treat me less patiently than people who are alert, on the ball and happy. It's not your fault, not your son's fault and not the staff's fault, but I think it's a probably quite common route to disaster. Worst case scenario is as a pp said, your son gets used to being 'the naughty one' and persists with bad behaviour even when not tired. The more I think about it the more important I think it is that you listen to the staff and collect him early. Persistently naughty very young children always have good reason to be so, ime. It's our job as adults and carers to try to steer the behaviour and put them in situations where they will thrive.

insanelycheerful Wed 04-Jun-14 09:20:21

Point taken. It seems the staff have already labelled him to be honest, so anything I can do to alleviate that is a good thing. Not sure I want him in a setting where they are so quick to do that though.

Will me getting him 20mins early really solve the problem? I was doing that for 2-3weeks before half term and it doesn't seem to have created any more positivity that I can see...

Floggingmolly Wed 04-Jun-14 09:29:39

He's obviously not able for the full session, what do you expect the pre school to do? And children do not bite due to "excitement", actually confused

insanelycheerful Wed 04-Jun-14 09:36:44

Floggingmolly are you a biting expert then?? As a parent of a child who bites (and one who doesn't), I have done a fair bit of research and I am fully aware that children bite for a host of different reasons. Some bite out of anger, eg when another child takes a toy. Some bite through excitement and a misplaced display of affection - this is typically the case with my son who I have seen playing happily with another child that he is particularly fond of, hugging together and laughing and then he has bitten them. He usually bites his best friends in situations like this. If you care to research yourself you will see that it is related to sensory issues and a means of releasing an urge which does in fact stem from excitement/affection, albeit it is demonstrated in a very bad way. Many thanks for the patronising and unhelpful comment, anyway.

insanelycheerful Wed 04-Jun-14 09:39:58

Oh and re your Q what do I expect the preschool to do, as I have said SEVERAL times on this thread already (kindly read it), I expect them to discuss/consider other options with me when we have tried picking up early and it has seemingly not changed their view of the situation, or at least to explain to me more clearly why picking up early is the only solution here. So far they have done neither. I have not said I refuse to pick him up early, in fact I have been open to people who have pushed for that here. I just want to understand the situation better rather than just say yes I will get him early without any clear rationale as to why this is the only option.

insanelycheerful Wed 04-Jun-14 09:43:24

To clarify, when I say he usually bites his best friends in situations like this, I don't mean that he often does so in these situations, but that on the (thankfully now rare) occasion he does bite, it is in a situation such as this. And typically with a close friend, while happy/excited, rather than in anger at another child.

Uptheanty Wed 04-Jun-14 09:57:42

I think there are 2 seperate issues here.

You shouldn't make it about the pick up time when you talk to them, this will actually minimise your real concerns.

I would be very unhappy if I felt staff did not like my child & I would be seriously concerned if I witnessed any kind situation that singled my child out.

Questions you need to ask yourself, did they really to this or are you sensitive & defensive?

I would sit down after school & tell them my concerns.

I feel that because of a, b & c that he has been labelled & singled out, is this true?

If you feel that you've made more headway with your relationship & trust in the staff then you will feel more confident & invested in their strategies.

Fwiw I have never worked with a child I didn't like in 25 years. The more challenging children can be very rewarding to watch mature & develop. I wouldn't accept anything less for my dc.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 04-Jun-14 10:16:36

The more I read of this the more it seems like your DS is just not ready for this more formal educational environment. Not surprising really as he's only little. If you think he'll be ready by September, especially with the morning sessions, then take him out for a term and then start afresh in Sept. If you don't think he'll be ready then either it's probably better to go back to a nursery environment where they tend to be a bit more nurturing.

For what it's worth my DS is 4 and due to start school in Sept. I kept him doing two long days at day nursery as I felt that suited his personality and the fact we both enjoyed his non-nursery days. It is more expensive but you can offset the cost with the 15 funded hours. It did also mean that he could nap for as long as he needed to.

You haven't asked for specific advice on the biting issue but I do wonder if this is what the pre-school assistants are finding hard. Biting is a red line in most nursery (if you'll excuse the pun). Other parents hate it and the assistants have to come down hard on it. This is probably what's at the root of the pre-school's concerns I'd say. If you think you will continue with this pre school either now or in September then you need to go it and have a very frank discussion how things can improve going forward.

insanelycheerful Wed 04-Jun-14 10:17:08

Do you mean did they really reprimand him for something they have praised other children for? If so, then yes. No doubt about it.

Children have to put their name on the board when they arrive. I have seen other children find their friends' names and give them to them. The children have been praised by staff and parents for being clever at recognising someone else's name and for being helpful. When I saw DS do exactly the same, a teacher snatched the name off him and said "no that isn't your name, find your name" and put it back. The name he had picked up was his best friend, who already attended the preschool before him and this was another reason to send him in the afternoon so he already had a friend. You will have to take my word for it that her tone was not particularly kind/encouraging, but rather snappy and impatient. I left it as I thought she could have been distracted/busy trying to help all the children, get them settled etc and it was an isolated incident. I didn't much like witnessing it though. Add this to a general feeling that this teacher and also one other seem generally impatient/short with DS (I could give more examples) and it's not great.

Another parent has commented she has generally had positive interactions with this particular teacher, but also commented "I think she seems to prefer girls" sad

insanelycheerful Wed 04-Jun-14 10:21:55

Thanks Ghoul. He has only bitten once at preschool (his best friend), so I am not sure this is the key issue.

Perhaps you are right he is just not suited to this setting. DH and I had a good chat last night and are certainly not ruling out moving him back to his old nursery as he loved it there, we were very happy with the staff and the setting, and they never once gave us a moment's qualms about how well cared for he was. Has made me wonder why we moved him, but I honestly thought this would be better for him!

hattytheherald Thu 05-Jun-14 07:36:11

Perhaps he is doing too much? Personally at that age my children did one activity a day. Going to toddler group in the morning then pre school in the afternoon is a very long day for a 3 year old. I would consider only doing toddler groups on those days and pre school on the other days. Also 5 afternoons at pre school is a lot for a 3 year old. They're still babies really and will get tired.

I work in early years and we have asked parents to pick up early if we feel that the child is too tired. However we do mornings only and it would only be for a little one (2 year old) for a little while to enable them to build up their stamina. Having a sleepy child is pretty much 1:1 especially if you're not geared up for sleeping.

RoganJosh Thu 05-Jun-14 07:51:13

I'm guessing you can't use your 15 hours at the old nursery? It sounds like the ideal would be doing a full day and a morning or two there?

insanelycheerful Thu 05-Jun-14 09:28:58

Rogan you do get the funding at the old nursery, but as it's a private day nursery, open all year round, the funding is spread across the year so basically it's about £370 a month for 2 days a week rather than £470 a month (rough figures from memory).

It is not really about cost or the funding though. I was trying to put him in the best/most appropriate environment ahead of starting school next September.

insanelycheerful Thu 05-Jun-14 09:49:02

You might be right Hatty about him doing too much. He is a very active child though, loves to be on the go, very much a typical boy (to go along with the stereotype!) unlike his brother.

I suppose because historically he has had to do 3 full days at nursery (when I was at work), and they were long days due to my commute, and an activity in the morning and often something in the afternoon has been the norm for us (with both boys) and I've not observed any particular problems as a result of that, I hadn't realised 5 afternoons might be too much.

I should perhaps point out that he has only actually fallen asleep at nursery 3 or maybe 4 times. I do understand this is not great, but also it is not like he has been dropping at the end of every session, which is what made me wonder if it was more about his behaviour than him falling asleep, and the falling asleep is a handy reason for the nursery to push for me to get him early?

Having said all this, I dropped him yesterday expecting to have a chat about early pick up etc and instead they have prepared a really lovely good behaviour chart for him. Basically if he does 4 good things (nice sitting, good listening, playing nicely) he goes up the chart and gets a special reward. I was so pleased to see this, as it seemed a really positive thing to me and I have told them before that he responds very well to things like this. They have also personalised it for him to something he is really into, which is fantastic.

They didn't even mention pick up, so I brought it up and they said just pick him up at normal time, that's fine. Like it had never really been an issue! So I said how about we do that for this week and next and review at the end of next week. We have parent consultations at the end of next week so it works perfectly to discuss it more then. I made it clear I was more than happy to get him early if it still seems too much for him as I (like they) want his experience to be positive.

Well he came home at the end of yesterday's session with his special reward and the teacher said he'd been great! I think Tuesday had been a bit of a blip as it was first day back after half term (and he'd been great over half term). He'd also earned a sticker yesterday.

I just feel much happier and more positive generally that the preschool seem to be acting in a supportive manner and had gone to the trouble of the reward chart for him. Also the teacher who spoke to me yesterday and has been a bit off and not given off good vibes to date had a very different manner both with me and DS yesterday, just much nicer overall. I also feel happy that we are just giving it a go for a couple of weeks, but if needs be I will just get him early as I understand that may be the best answer in the short term, and things from September will be quite different. And if all else fails (including discussions next week re my concerns about treatment of DS vs other children - see incident about name labels) we can always consider the old nursery again smile

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sat 07-Jun-14 00:04:53

I'm glad the nursery are taking a more positive approach smile

insanelycheerful Sat 07-Jun-14 11:08:09

Thanks ghoul smile

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