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Leaving a child to scream is the best way of settling a child in nursery?

(61 Posts)
nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 19:29:25

So what is the best way to settle a child in nursery?

Aibu to think a screaming 2 year old who is in her 3rd week of settling (half term in the middle) should be given a lot of attention, cuddles, etc by the staff, while her mum waits outside, and that the mum shouldn't be told to just leave her, and she would get used to the routine eventually.

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 20:46:57

my ds, is very confident and independent, in fact too much so! and he seems to make sure he gets noticed and gets attention.

I tried to take a back seat and let him bond with the staff a bit, I am going to stay another few days probably, and see how it goes. Watch some more.

AnaisB Thu 15-Nov-12 20:47:09


To not comfort a distressed 2 year old, and particularly to say "stop crying then your mum will come" is awful.

When I went to visit DD's nursery the staff member talking to me excused herself to comfort children who needed some attention - as it should be.

RyleDup Thu 15-Nov-12 20:51:47

Sounds like a shite nursery.

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 20:52:57

the ofsted is good...

LingDiLong Thu 15-Nov-12 20:54:30

What is the ratio meant to be in that age group at nursery then? Isn't it meant to be 4:1? If so, surely some comfort could have been offered to this poor child? I'm a childminder with 3 to look after and have had one who was terribly difficult to settle (an 18 month old), he has had lots of cuddles and distraction. Yes, there were times when he had to cry for a period if I was doing something but these were brief. And I would never tell a child to 'stop crying' in that scenario - how could that possibly help?!

Does the nursery not offer a proper settling in period?

I have to say it sounds awful and I'm not sure I'd want to leave my child there.

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 21:09:23

there is only about 3or4 two year old, the rest are three or four, about 20-25 all together (I didnt count) and about 4/5 members of staff.

But one seemed to be permanently taking kids to the toilet, so was hardly in the rooms, one doing photocopying a lot, I actually saw one talking on her phone in the garden while kids were in circle time (except mine wasn't he couldnt sit that long).

I'd rather stay and offer constructive criticism as long as I don't see a negative impact on my child.

Also there is no keyworker system, and I don't feel my child is greeted properly on entry.

Maybe I am used to something different and comparing it too much to my dds state nursery.

PurpleGentian Thu 15-Nov-12 21:21:59

YANBU - from what you describe, it doesn't sound like the staff were handling it well at all. Leaving a child to scream all day isn't right. If the child's still in a settling in period, and the staff can't calm her with cuddles or distraction, why don't the staff ask the mum to come in with the child until the child's a bit more used to it?

mamamibbo Thu 15-Nov-12 21:25:29

yanbu, i (used to be a nursery nurse) and i wouldnt have just left the little one to cry sad

Goldenbear Thu 15-Nov-12 21:30:03

The nursery sounds awful but why are people so conformist. If I was the mother I'd go and get my child/baby and tell them that their 'professional' opinion seems pretty poor and neglectful!

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 21:32:21

i am in shock that this is aibu and everyone is in agreement!

the mother had been staying with the child for a few weeks, I think it may have been too long and the girl got too used to her mum being there with her.

The mum said she stayed so long as she was just waiting for the staff to tell her when to leave!

I think maybe this is the first time they are taking 2 year olds...

JollyJock Thu 15-Nov-12 21:35:25

I don't understand why the mother is still staying. 3 weeks seems an awful long time for the mother to be standing outside while the child cries. Maybe they've already tried gradually withdrawing?

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 21:50:41

I have only been there 2 days, and can just go on what she said!

choceyes Thu 15-Nov-12 21:54:31

Sounds like a crap nursery to me, regardless of the osted rating. I've had 2 DCs in nursery and when they occassionally cried when I left, they were always comforted, distracted, whatever it took to calm them down. If a DC cried when I left, then I would hang around outside the nursery for a min or two that takes them to stop crying, to make sure they are alright by the time I leave for work. My DD was a bit more difficult to settle in than my DS (breastfed, never left without me for more than an hour or so by the time she started nursery at 12 months), and everytime I visited nursery at pick up time and at random times, she was on her keyworkers lap or arms. I've never seen any children left to cry without the staff trying to distract or comfort them (although some children cry regardless). And this nursery had a "satisfactory" rating till recently, now a "good" - so can't really go on ratings.

My DD is 2yrs now and in her room (actually the main hall in her nursery) there are only 2-3yr olds. I don't think lumping together 2-4yr olds really work tbh. 2-3yr olds are still babies and need a lot of attention. It's only after 3yr they generally become more independant and play with each other so need less emotional imput (i.e comforting etc) by the nursery staff.

i woudn't be happy with sending my DCs to the nursery you describe OP.

FeckOffWithYourXmasBollocks Thu 15-Nov-12 22:00:54

Screw that! I gave dd a couple of weeks to sort herself out, and then took her out. She didn't need to be in nursery that badly!

pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 22:05:21

My two were in nursery from 6 months (no 39 weeks of paid mat leave back then...) and they had their periods of separation anxiety. They were always cuddled, distracted, comforted and never, ever left to cry. A good nursery should do this, it's part of their job. My DDs' nursery was always good, never outstanding, because their premises were old and somewhat shabby, but the love and care just shone through. My DDs had the same keyworker from the day they started there to the day they left to start school.

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 22:10:15


so what should I do, should I wirte an email to manager? what shall I say?

I want to ask about clarification of settling policy (I was told different things by different staff, still not sure how long they want me to stay for/how many hours) and keyworkers and how they record child's ability on entry.

pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 22:15:18

I wouldn't write, I'd request a face to face meeting and just discuss it in the mildest of terms - I think mentioning the other child is possibly counterproductive, and it's really up to the child's mother to deal with this. But I would definitely want clarification on their settling policy in very, very concrete detail. If that isn't forthcoming, I'd be looking for somewhere else. (Not easy, I know - have been there with sudden nursery close-down and desperate search for something else, fortunately it turned out to to be the silver lining rather than the cloud!)

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 22:19:05

do i need to talk to manager, or can I talk to the teacher in charge of the session?

btw do private nurseries have committees and governing bodies and that sort of stufF?

RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock Thu 15-Nov-12 22:21:46

Oh god, I really wish I hadn't read this thread. My DS isn't settling in pre-school and we have tried all sorts of techniques to help him settle but nothing is working. This story makes me feel sad sad

dikkertjedap Thu 15-Nov-12 22:25:35

To clarify, at our school this particular child which would not settle all through reception was never, ever left alone. At all times there was a member of staff trying to distract through reading stories, playing games, walking round, going on a sound hunt, flower hunt, etc etc, we tried different personalities, male staff, female staff, nothing worked.

The Head decided that the parents should only be told if they specifically asked, as both worked full-time and our Head did not want them to get upset and worried.

pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 22:34:10

OP, my DDs' private nursery did not have committees and governing bodies, just the owners and the staff running it as a business. Didn't stop them from being utterly amazing, though.

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 22:35:24

rock I don't know, maybe this is what is happening here, I am only seeing a bit of it,

how long have you been trying for? how old is ds?

dikker that is amazing that you could facilitate that! Sounds like a good school. When dd1 was in reception, the TA was so wonderful and friendly and approachable, I had confidence in them and leaving my dd there.

Woozley Thu 15-Nov-12 22:38:25

DD2 took longer to settle than DD1 (who was just like, "Yeah, see ya!") but the nursery staff always gave her loads of cuddles, as she does love a cuddle and it really helps. Only one time I had to get her early as she wasn't settling.

RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock Thu 15-Nov-12 22:50:26

DS has just turned 3 and started in September. He only goes twice a week for three hours a session on a Monday and Friday, which we (being the teachers and I) have decided is a factor in him not settling as the two days are too far apart. I spend a lot of time there as part of the settling in process and see how they handle each child and I have no concerns what so ever, they are brilliant with all the different personalities. They have told me there is usually one or two who do not settle for a long time and it's not unusual given their young ages. I'm already dreading tomorrow sad

nailak Thu 15-Nov-12 23:17:11


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