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Sorry, posted too soon: what I mean is you can teach your DD to reject the behaviour without rejecting the child. She can stand up for herself & insist on no hitting, but that doesn't mean they can't be friends other times.
Working with pre-school children if it happens again I would be asking nursery staff how they are dealing with the situation when it occurs , for instance are they asking the girl to apologise. They should also be working with your child to promote her keeping herself 'safe' as such. This actually forms a part of the early years curriculum....I can't think off the top of my head what the actual sentence is.
I feel that in a way it is good that your child is tolerant of others , although not so good that she getting hurt. Rather than encouraging her to play with other children , perhaps talk to her at home explain that if this child does something she doesn't like she is to turn around and say 'NO' in a loud voice and tell the child to stop hitting her. Also encourage her to tell the staff every time something happens. If this was in my setting and there had been a couple of instances the girl that hits would be on closer supervision until they discovered the route of her behaviour and worked on correcting it. It is impossible to watch everything that goes on in settings , children can be very sly. But this isn't acceptable and you shouldn't tolerate it. However if your child is likely to stay in the school and this girl is they are probably going to spend a good few years together and burning bridges now may not help. There is obviously something that your child sees in this girl so I feel the best way forwards is to help your child by teaching her how to stand up for herself in an appropriate way before she gets fed up and retaliates.
DD is 4.1 and her nursery (attached to a school) has logged that she has been hit on the face by another child. DD has also said that this child has kicked her leg leaving a bruise but staff didn't see this. I have seen said child push DD at a party too.
But here's the thing: DD really likes this girl, even asking if she can come for a playdate on the same day that the girl slapped her face.
How can i make DD understand that being pushed around is not acceptable and she should play with nicer children instead (DD seemed upset when I suggested this)?