Or is dh? Preschool issue.(47 Posts)
So it's more of a wwyd actually. My way or dh's?
I've posted about this before.
Ds goes to a very very small and remote preschool. We aren't in the UK.
Due to its small size kid's from the infant toddler program sometimes come over to ds' class when it's not got many kids in. (This is relevant.)
It's come to my attention that the preschool teacher has been taking the class out on trips to the shop or cafe.
I have two issues with this, we're never told beforehand. I did sign an annual permission slip for excursions (now kicking myself) but I assumed we'd be told prior to each trip. In local licensing rules it states guardians must be informed prior to a trip so I think even though we signed permission we should still be told beforehand when and where they're going.
My second issue is that these trips involve a 15 minute walk along a main road (30mph) with no pavement. She 9 times out of 10 goes alone. Last time she had a 2 year old she was carrying and was trusting 5 other kids (one 2.5 the others all 4 years) to walk hand in hand. I think this is insanity. There needs to be at least two adults.
I didn't send him last week while I worked out what to do.
We live in a very small and tight knit community. The teacher is very popular and actually very good friends with three of the other children's parents. It's not quite as simple as just making a complaint to management. (Incidentally, I'm holding management of the preschool responsible for the lack of training she's given rather than her.)
Our issue is, I think we should approach her and tell her we don't want our child going on trips without our prior permission and without two people walking with them.
Dh wants to go to the manager. I feel like this will get her back up and make her dislike us. But I see his point that it's a policy issue and should be taken up higher up in the school. I just don't want her to be blindsided and upset at it coming from someone else when she's kind of a friend.
I'm an outsider here, everyone else has lived here since birth and I've struggled to fit in over the last few years I've lived here. I also suffer hugely from social anxiety so am aware I'm overthinking it hugely and tying myself in knots so no biscuits please .
I think your worries are completely understandable regarding the road. I think you should speak to the teacher first.
a 15 minute walk along a main road with no footpath in charge of a load of under 4's sounds a bit mad to me. I agree there should be at least 1 other adult. Why is she taking a load of toddlers to a shop or a cafe? Does she buy them all lunch? Sounds a bit odd.
Can you talk to the other parents? Are they concerned at all? Is there a possibility that between you, you could come up with a rota to accompany the teacher on these trips?
It's really odd. We live in a very isolated community and people seem to live by their own rules. People in other preschools I know locally(ish) are just as shocked and horrified as me.
One other parent is very upset too and have taken their child out of school also. They also feel like they can't say anything without causing a huge fuss.
Ds is desperate to go back (as am I ) so it looks like I'll have to be the one to say something.
I'd pull him out and send him to a different school but it's not an option due to where we live.
You need to speak to the manager and voice your concerns about the safety of your child
It doesn't have to be a complaint about the teacher but rather about the processes and policies and procedures
Does the preschool have to have risk assessments?
It doesn't @insancerre Bloody bonkers.
I'm in a very rural community in the UK, which seems to have it's own rules and ways of doing things too. While it's been a bit of an adjustment moving here, I have often found that the way things are done seems to work ok.
Our kids go on various excursions without prior knowledge (although we sign a form for consent when they start preschool). While it might not be your first choice, I don't think this is unsafe as such. For us it's generally decided on the day based on the weather and how many kids there are. Ours walk into the village, same sort of distance as yours, along a main road, but there is a pavement and it is not a very busy road. It has always seemed ok to me, and I like that the kids spend time outdoors (exploring woods, or going to a local farm to see a lamb being born, that sort of thing).
That said, I would be concerned about there only being one adult present. I can imagine a lot of scenarios where you would need two adults.
I think I would speak to the teacher first, express that you're worried and ask if there's a risk assessment? Then speak to the manager after.
My children's nursery does this - I signed a general permission slop at the start and they go little trips all the time - to the butchers and fishmongers to learn about 'farm to table', they go to the library and they also to the owners house (she has a lot of land) where they have a "mud kitchen" and big story teepee and wooden obstacle course etc. So they're always off out for walks, and the nursery has win awards for all that extra stuff... But there's always more than one teacher with them and pavements the whole way to everything. We also don't always find out until we've picked them up since it usually depends on weather etc.
I don't think there's anything wrong with ad hoc walking trips, but they need to be properly supervised and kept safe. Your nursery isn't doing that so request a wee meeting with management an the teacher then explain it all from a safety aspect. They can't be annoyed at that.
There should be at least 2 adults, if not 3 on a trip like that.
Does that mean she's normally alone with the kids in the preschool class or is it just that she's only taking some of the kids out?
If you want to badge it as a concern rather than the "WTF are you thinking" it deserves then you could approach it as a "What if something happens to you? Surely there should be another adult just in case..." type thing.
Tbh I'd pull mine out of a setting like that. I realise in a small place there might not be much choice of places, but if that's their level of risk assessment on a trip with two 2yo's then wtf else are they doing?
Your permission slip will cover any local trip. We use slips like that with the afterschool care and playscheme because it covers "it's a nice day, lets get out" type local trips.
The issue with your trip is the insanity of her doing it alone with 6 tinies.
My dd is in a preschool and they regularly go out into the community as part of their learning they have scheduled visits to the local butcher, hair dressers (no ones hair is cut), cafe, market etc and meet the owners and they get a little demo of what the business does
We're never informed so that part wouldn't bother me as a parent however I would not be happy about walking in the road and only one member of staff it's seems crazy to me
I agree that ad hoc trips are not an issue
We do it all the time in my nursery but it's always risk assessed and my staff are never on their own
It's a major safeguarding issue as well as a health and safety issue
We have moved a lot, even from one country to another. I have found that each community has different "rules". For instance, the nursery we are at now, they gave everyone (other parents) my email address without my permission and just said "There's no privacy here!". Coming from a city to an isolated place, I noticed that people just walk down the non-pavements (grass verge or road side) in a blase manner with their toddlers! Scares the hell out of me, you'd never do that in the busy place we came from.
So, some of this could be a you are new to the area problem... but safety is safety countrywide and rules is rules. If they are being unsafe you have to say something. I don't think would start to dislike you, though you may be tarred with the "panicking parent" brush (so what).
I wouldn't be happy about the road and only one teacher going.
Madness. What on earth would she do if one of the children hurt themselves/was ill on the trip? 2 adults needed at least.
I agree with your dh
You have 2 concerns:
1. The annual permission slip covering these trips without consent being asked on each occasion;
2. The road safety issue.
I think you should approach the school about the 2nd issue as your concerns are absolutely justified - such tiny children with only one adult is an accident waiting to happen. At a later stage you can broach the 1st issue. Something has gone wrong if you feel your only option is to keep your child at home and the preschool must be made aware.
Thank you all. We will tackle the lack of supervision first.
Dh has left a message for the director. I'm in tears ffs. I've tried so hard to fit in here and was just feeling like I had a little.
I've got PMS which always escalates my anxiety to ridiculous levels.
Is there a way to "unsign" the consent form?
So he can go but can't leave the building.
In a similar situation myself (although not as extreme)
Signed permission slip but like yourself assumed I would be made aware of trips beforehand. I haven't been.
More than one teacher does attend but one teacher will have three children each - so one holding teachers hand and then the next holding child's hand etc I don't like this as I don't feel comfortable that DD can reliably hold onto another child's hand (she doesn't do as she's told very often) I know they can't have 1:1 adult/child but it does still worry me.
I offered to take her reins backpack thingy in and they looked at me like I was bonkers
I thought of withdrawing my permission but that seems a little hostile and avoiding the situation iyswim?
I've never seen anyone with a backpack harness thing here. I think we'd get arrested haha. (Very hippy area, hence kids running around in roads being cool.)
You really need to raise this, whether it causes a fuss or not.
Goodness, anything could happen and you wouldn't forgive yourself for not speaking up.
Ours take kids out in similar circumstances (3 and 4 yr olds in pairs/threes) but there are generally a lot of other adults around (on foot) very few cars, and even though the rds are 50km I've never seen anyone drive much above 25km (slower near schools etc). It worries me sometimes but they seem to know which kids to put together and have good control.
It seems to be a good way to teach the kids to walk sensibly, hand in hand etc and fairly low risk.
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