Ds is 3.5 and has only ever been left with my mum other than us. We have found a preschool that we like which he can start at next week, but Im worried. I think its partly my motherly concern that Im leaving him for the first time somewhere unfamiliar, and also guilty because I know he is going to be v v upset. The school say they find it best for the parent to just dump him off and disappear from the off, but I know hes going to go nuts and i think I would too if I was him. Also, he seems to have a bit of seperation anxiety, he follows me around the house every day.
I feel v guilty and Im not sure whether to start him there next week or not. Can anyone advise?
I'm a pre-school teacher and have to say that I disagree with their "dump and run" policy. We encourage parents to make their own decision about whether they should stay with their child for the whole 2 weeks of settling in sessions, stay for part of each session, or drop them off. Every child is different and I simply don't believe it's appropriate to have a single policy for every child over such an inportant issue.
I have one family where there is separation anxiety and 6 weeks after the child started, they are still be accompanied by a parent at each session. I can see this continuing for at least another month. This is an unusual situation though, and almost all children manage to be at nursery unaccompanied after 3 - 5 settling in sessions.
I think there has to be some sort of halfway house about this. I would not be at all happy with any setting that insisted on drop and run from the very first day - that just seems cruel if the child has literally never been there before and is unused to childcare. Equally, I can't see how months of accompanied visits can be helpful unless a child has very very severe separation anxiety.
apermanentheadache - you're absolutely right! The case I outlined of accompanied visits for a couple of months is definitely the first time I've had to do it. Almost all children settle within a couple of weeks. Some settle on the first day, without a known adult being present.