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To think that as pre school is not compulsory...

(299 Posts)
cantsleep Sat 16-Nov-13 22:09:54

That it should not matter if dd is late every day ?

My other dcs get to actual school on time but due to various health problems and the fact I don't drive dd is always about half an hour late.

I've explained time and time again to the pre school that iam doing my best but I got a letter today regarding a meeting they'd had citing one of the main problems as being that dd is late each day.

I get up at 6 am each day and get myself ready, then it takes over an hour to get dd1 up and sometimes ds1 needs help too as both have to do physio each morning. Dd2 and ds2 are only little and need to be dressed etc and dd2 has significant health needs. We get the oldest two to school on time but by then I'm already exhausted and usually have my breakfast and a cup of tea and then get dcs ready to walk down to pre school.

Dd hates it so screams and takes shoes off numerous times etc and it just takes ages as I'm tired.

I just feel that given the circumstances the pre school should just accept that we will never be on time rather than make such a big issue out of half an hour. Rather than putting pressure on me I would like them to just make the best of the situation and accomodate the fact that dd arrives at a different time.


wickedwithofthenorth Wed 20-Nov-13 19:36:37

Just another thought, one I really hope you don't need. But if you do find it too much to try and get things sorted with the pre school, look at the nurseries that you'd be able to get to. Book appointments to view and be honest about the problems you're having and ask what support they could provide. If they feel able to cope they may take dd as an exceptional circumstance allowing her to bypass any waiting list. The nursery I worked in did this several times when there was medical need or a 'behaviour' issue. It's how I encountered the first diabetic child I worked with.

But I hope you do get into a situation you're happy with the pre school. It sounds like none of you need any more upheaval in your life.

cantsleep Wed 20-Nov-13 18:47:57


Thankyou so much, reading your post has really helped me and given me some good ideas to take with me when I speak to pre school.

Really appreciate the advice everybody has given.

quirkychick Wed 20-Nov-13 17:09:36

wickedwith what a helpful post.

Lots of really good ideas for to take to pre-school. I think you need to bring lots of alternatives to pre-school rather than feel they are telling you off.

I do know what it's like to not feel safe leaving your child, but I think coming with lots of possible solutions will shift any meeting towards a win-win situation.

wickedwithofthenorth Wed 20-Nov-13 16:54:33

Op it sounds to me like your pre-school really don't want to help. Yes, it's unsettling for the adults to have to do something differently and not follow a routine that's comfortable for them but a child's medical needs need to come first. It may mean a change in routine for the whole setting for the sessions your dd is. Sometimes things are going to need to be done in a different way so that all children can be included instead of excluded.

The staff aren't inspiring your confidence in their ability to properly care for your dd's needs so it's not at all surprising you're feeling anxious and needing to check on her while she's in their care. It will disrupt the session but you need to know you can trust them to monitor dd's condition correctly and react as needed. They have been trained and are responsible for a little girl who could become very unwell very quickly, so should understand what needs to be done without checking with you.

If they wanted to they could easily accommodated dd's needs without it being detrimental to the other children's development and care but it would mean change for them on a big scale. Currently it sounds like they are trying to fit dd into what they have always done, not ensure she is able to access their core provision and have her needs met. She is becoming a problem to them because they are making her the problem.

I started work in a nursery that had done things the same way for 14 years. The routine was pinned on the wall and everything about it was done the same way as when it first opened. Children's snacks, lunches, free play, creative, physical, sleep ect was all approached in the same way. When new children started with us they were conditioned to fit in with the nursery routine. Because of this the staff who had done things the same way all their working life and liked having lunch at the exact same time, getting their coffee at x point past each hour and doing things the way they always had. It worked fine until a child was enrolled in the nursery who couldn't function within the established routine. Things had to be done difirently for that child to be able to access the provision.

Sometimes it isn't just a case of changing what is done slightly. Things might need overhauling completely. This is what had to happen in the nursery I was in. Snack time had to change and run for 90% of the session. Time had to be made to do medication or testing at a set time. Staff had to take breaks and lunch on a rota, not all together. Children's lunches were approached diffrently. Extra trips were made to the toilet. The children were still doing the activities and using the equipment as they had always done but what the staff did was different. All the children were happy, learning and well cared for as they'd always been. But the adults had to adapt and for lots of them it was uncomfortable.

So yes the staff at the pre-school have other children to look after as well as dd. But with a little more flexabilty it can all be done. If I was looking after your dd I'd personally be greatful for the chance to get the full handover from you without feeling like I needed to rush you to talk with other parents, I would just need to make sure I was able to manage my time and work load to be free at your regular drop off time.

Personally I would encourage you to go straight to the pre school as others have and do what you need to do there. But I'd expect you to be able to do it in the pre school room so your dd has time to settle with you there and you can do blood sugar and eat together. It would probably be very inconvient for the preschool and make them encourage a late drop off or magically make things easier for you. For some children it might ease the separation angsity and make them keen to attend so more willing to eat breakfast/help you leave on time. But only you know what dd is like and what is best for you in your personal situation.

Perhaps ask the manager to surgest things the pre school could do to help you, for example allowing you in early to sort out dd's snacks and blood sugar so she's ready to go as/when other children arrive. Also if you have the strength or time to do so think about what they could do to help you feel less anxious and build trust. Would it help if the manager made time to phone you each morning for a few weeks to let you know that the blood sugar reading has been done. Can you write down circumstances in which you'd like to be phoned if dd has a problem. Or if staff could reflect their understanding back to you in conversation; so if she has low blood sugar I'll make sure she has some juice and someone phones you. Could they create a home school book for your morning handover notes. Talk you through their plans to manage dd's condition. If you can show willingness to trail things for a short period to see if they work for you.

You must feel in some ways this is more trouble than it's worth. But your dd is enjoying activities that she doesn't get the chance to do at home. With the support of the pre school it has the potential to be a really positive place and experience for her. Even without her medical problems it would be perfectly normal for her to get upset when you leave. Helping a child deal with that is part of working in the early years. I do wonder if it would be helpful for dd to have a real clear routine in the pre school because if she could be finding it stressful if testing her sugar levels isn't done in a consistent way.

When I looked after a child her age with diabetes the nurse who trained us all came in a helped to test the blood sugar levels of all the children in the room. It made the management of that child a none event afterwards. Things like short stories were planed around when we needed to do sugar levels in such a way the child could still be involved and given snacks ect as need, sometimes as much as 8 or 9 times on a long day.

cantsleep Wed 20-Nov-13 13:16:42

Managed to get dd2 to pre school at 930 am today, as usual she screamed but I gave her key worker the handover note and mentioned a couple of other things.

Pre school checked her when they said they would and her blood sugars were ok throughout the morning.

The manager was in the office busy so couldn't speak with her today but I will try tomorrow

JustGettingOnWithIt Wed 20-Nov-13 09:32:45

I haven't read your other thread but clearly there's a lot on your plate and I'm sorry life's so tough at the moment.
Personally I think you should get out of there before you get fully labelled and the attention switches from meeting your child's needs, to you.
Because it sounds to me like regardless of the rights and wrongs of you being late, pre-school are doing the classic we think the child looks fine, and we need your child to be the same, and we're the professionals in these matters therefore our opinion overrides parents, care plans, sen statements, and anything else you throw at us that threatens us and our way of doing things, because we know what does and doesn’t matter.

What I did want to let you know for the future (as I doubt you'd please your pre-school with them!) is IKEA are doing vegetarian (so no pork gelatine) harribo and similar veggie sweets. (hopes loads of people will buy them so they become a permanant source)

Thumbwitch Wed 20-Nov-13 05:53:08

Nice to have a crystal ball on hand, is it Womble? So you can tell what will happen with your children?
Have a bit of compassion FGS!

DeepThought Tue 19-Nov-13 21:07:18

Agree with comemulled

wombles fyi lots of health issues don't present during pg, or at birth or even in the early years fgs

comemulledwinewithmoi Tue 19-Nov-13 18:18:23

Womble, that's just meanangry Ffs, ok is having a really hard time without you telling her, she shouldn't of had more.hmm lets just hope, life doesn't bite you hard on the ass.

cantsleep Tue 19-Nov-13 15:37:16

No, it was not always this stressful. We were just coping with the health problems they had but when dd2 was dx with diabetes dc4 was 8 months old so a bit late to send any of them back!

womblesofwestminster Tue 19-Nov-13 14:35:54

Has life always been this stressful? If so, why have 4 kids? I would have stopped at 2 or 3.

The reason I ask is because I have 2 and DH and I are contemplating #3. But if I was as stressed as you sound, there's no way I would stretch to 3 and 4.

kelpeed Tue 19-Nov-13 13:17:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

quirkychick Tue 19-Nov-13 10:43:46

YY you need the diabetes team on your side. If the pre-school are not doing the blood prick tests (?) that they are supposed to and not adjusting her snacks accordingly they are putting her at risk. They are not taking it seriously enough. I think you need the professionals' clout for them to take it seriously.

Is there an advisory teacher from the council who works with the pre-school? Ours was invaluable in getting pre-school to see that they were lacking in their duty of care and I wasn't being paranoid but was concerned about dd's vulnerability without extra support. I also wrote a terse letter to the (then) pre-school manager backed by a meeting with our paediatrician.

Good luck.

elliejjtiny Tue 19-Nov-13 09:58:29

I've got 4 children too and 2 of them have additional needs. Is there a breakfast club at any of your DC's schools? My DH started taking our older 2 DC's to breakfast club on his way to work and that has been a big help.

Can you get someone from the diabetes team to talk to the pre-school again. If they are dismissing you as a paranoid mum (although I know you're not) then they might listen to a professional.

hazeyjane Tue 19-Nov-13 09:09:22

I agree that it sounds as though your dd desperately needs a 1-1.

Dayshiftdoris Tue 19-Nov-13 08:04:21

LittleFish they are required to do what CantSleep & the diabetes team is asking....

Because they have previously NOT done it and the consequences are potentially LIFE THREATENING Can'tSleep is a little anxious.

Christ I am like this with my son's ASD and it's not going to make ill, get him excluded possibly but not ill...

CantSleep - that said you need to take ownership of the issue and start coming up with solutions...

* Use the CC for your breakfast stop and settle DD there before her session
* Design and print out a form for you and staff to fill in every day - that way you save time & staff know a) what they are expected to do and b) you know they have done it

Otherwise you are going to continue to alienate them, be at battleheads with them and ultimately DD will suffer.

Take it from someone who has been in a similar situation many, many times... I am more savvy these days but still get warnings about 'your anxiety..,' and I smile sweetly and sort it whilst thinking
'well if you actually got on with what the professionals tell you to do rather than banging on about how he couldn't possibly be autistic because he talks to people then we might get somewhere'

Sorry OP it will get worse at school so you are going to have to find a way to manage it...

And when you do - give me the heads up because there are still days I am shit at it grin

PrimalLass Tue 19-Nov-13 07:05:38

I've been involved with running a pre-school, and yours sounds awful. Are there any alternatives? I'd withdraw her and write a letter of complaint to whoever is the statutory body (am in Scotland so not sure who it is elsewhere). Do you have a copy of their policies?

Littlefish Tue 19-Nov-13 06:32:24

If you want to do a detailed handover every day, and your dd requires additional support throughout the session to monitor her blood sugar levels, and you want someone to respond to the phone 2 or 3 times during a 2.5 hour session, then you need to work with the nursery, the diabetes team and your consultant to apply for 1 to 1 support for your dd. Ratios in nurseries and pre-schools simply do not allow for this level of care for one child. Depending on the qualification levels of the staff, ratios will be either 1 adult to 13 children, or 1 adult to 8 children. I can absolutely see that both you and your dd require extra support so please work speak to your CAF co-ordinator and see if an extra meeting can be called early. This will give everyone a chance to get together and talk through all the issues and look for solutions.

starlight1234 Mon 18-Nov-13 22:42:36

orry realised only read first page didn't realise there was 12

onedev Mon 18-Nov-13 22:35:56

I know it's wrong, but do you really want your DD somewhere that she's not particularly welcome, you don't have faith that they look after her properly & it causes this level of stress?

As stated, it is wrong & they should make reasonable adjustments, but at the same time your mental health is more important.

IsItMeOr Mon 18-Nov-13 22:29:22

Have you contacted the diabetes team to ask what they think about this letter they've received? It does seem pretty wet and whingy to me, but I'm not an expert.

Is this a council-run setting? I may be mis-remembering, but I think there are stronger positive duties on public bodies to include disabled people...

starlight1234 Mon 18-Nov-13 22:28:45

It might be the meeting is to actually help you and help little one...

cantsleep Mon 18-Nov-13 21:40:30

The care plan has not been adjusted to allow for the fact that dd now has no hypo awareness, but even so I don't think they have really grasped the basics. To be fair we didn't know much about diabetes at the beginning but learnt quickly.

I am hoping that if I keep explaining, do detailed handovers etc that they may just get used to it and it will be easier for me to leave dd knowing she is being well looked after.

quirkychick Mon 18-Nov-13 21:29:35

Oh cantsleep you need some wine

I know exactly how you feel, we had dd2's paed start statutory assessment as she was appalled at lack of support. We now have statement, and 1:1. Would your paed or diabetes nurse get on the case of pre-school if they are not following the care plan?

cantsleep Mon 18-Nov-13 20:49:51

I just feel defeated, I know its hard getting dd there and she has separation anxiety and medical needs but I so want her to play and socialise so I'm trying to persevere.

Pre school keep saying how they've had the training etc etc and I don't need to phone as much but then I lose all confidence in them when they try to limit her food not adjust it depending on her blood sugar, ask how to treat a hypo or don't check her when she needs checking as " she looks ok".

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