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to expect my son to be acknowledged on his first day of preschool?

(40 Posts)
MamaFi Mon 07-Sep-09 13:11:46

My husband took our almost 4 year old to preschool for an hour starter session this morning. On arrival a woman didn't speak to son, just told husband to just go and play with son ... so they did some arty stuff for half an hour meanwhile no one introduced themselves. He doesn't know who the key worker is, who the assistants are... the woman who seemed to be the leader talked to the mums and asked them questions about their kids, but nobody even said hello to my son, let alone ask anything about him.

The one time he was acknowledged was when he and another child were playing with a fire engine and woman came over and said to my husband, "oh we don't play with THOSE toys, only the ones that are already out... then "now don't play with that boys" - this toy apparently was already out... Five minutes later she wrapped up the session. My husband was really shocked he'd pretty much told off, and son was really enjoying himself then was berated in his first half hour of being there and being made to leave straight after being told off upset him. I'm miffed that there was no interaction, no welcome.

Our son had a great time anyway, apart from the fire engine incident. This new place is a purpose built preschool with fantastic resources and all my friend's kids are going there this term. I have no worries that it's a great place for him, but am really disappointed about this morning. I am taking him tomorrow while husband looks after other son - should I say something about today?

Am I being unreasonable and expecting too much in hoping that the key worker would say "Oh hello there, what's your name, lovely to meet you _ " or at the end explain to husband that they'll get round everyone else tomorrow, or say sorry we didn't get a chance to have a chat..."?

llareggub Mon 07-Sep-09 13:13:40

It doesn't sound like a great place, TBH. Our pre-school is not a brand new shiny building with great resources, but it is full of lovely, caring keyworkers who all interact well with the children.

Go with your gut and find somewhere else, I say.

Meglet Mon 07-Sep-09 13:16:47

Doesn't sound too great. Agree that you should go with your instinct.

I avoided our local pre-school as I thought it was, frankly, shit compared to ds's fab nursery. So he's staying at nursery until reception.

MamaFi Mon 07-Sep-09 13:18:55

The preschool he went to last year was a village hall set up, and take children from age 2. He was getting bored and complaining about the 'babies' when we decided to look around for another setting for him to attend. Friends with little ones there already at new place rave about it, but I'm feeling a bit confused now with the previously homely set up he enjoyed and the key worker at the last place who adored him. So far chalk and cheese.

Will see how tomorrow goes I suppose, we've been talking about big boy playschool for ages now and I've been dead excited about this new chapter... will be watching like a hawk tomorrow and will say something if necessary.

carelesswhispers Mon 07-Sep-09 13:21:31

wow that sounds terrible , my dd started preschool last week & loves it & the workers are fantastic , the minute we arrive with dd they kneel down eye level with dd to speak to her & take her coat & bag etc , when you take your ds in tomorrow i would make a simple comment like " OH THIS IS X I BELIEVE YOU DIDN'T GET A CHANCE YESTERDAY TO MEET HIM PROPERLY " hmm they seem very rude imo

HarlotOTara Mon 07-Sep-09 13:24:40

Did you not have a home visit by your keyworker? I did for both of mine when they started at nursery attached to the infant school and they are 12 and 19 now. We also gave them a drawing and photograph that were already on display on their first day. I think what you are describing is pretty bad and would certainly be asking some questions tomorrow.

MamaFi Mon 07-Sep-09 13:25:03

Careless, I will say that tomorrow, I can't let it go to be honest, if there is little interest tomorrow and Wed, I'll have to have a big chat with husband about what to do. I was so upset when husband relayed how the morning had gone... he said there was another dad there with two new boys, and he was also ignored!

We then thought we were perhaps expecting too much as there were 7 other new children there today, maybe there wasn't enough time to go round them all to say hello in an hour...

But it doesn't take much to make a child feel welcome does it? Gulp, may have made a massive mistake with this place.

MamaFi Mon 07-Sep-09 13:28:00

No home visit! There was a new children parents meeting when we were on holiday in June. We asked if we could come in to meet the head on an alternative date, but school secretary said she'd give our paperwork to my friend to pass on, and my friend relaying the info about the trial days etc.

There was a 'getting to know me" sheet which we filled in with lots of info about our son, which came home in his schoolbag today. No one asked for it...

hmc Mon 07-Sep-09 13:30:41


Of course children should be acknowledged, greeted and settled in when new to Pre-School

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 07-Sep-09 13:33:01

OOOOHHH that would really get my back up. Your children are your most precious possesions/items and if someone is rude to them it's the end of the world. What lesson is it sending out to the rest of the class.
Careless whispers has the best approach IMO>
Good luck, and for what it's worth, what is the point of having toys if they aren't played with?

LovelyTinOfSpam Mon 07-Sep-09 13:33:37

not sure home visits are the norm?

but this place sounds not good, agree with others to go with instincts

Roomfor2 Mon 07-Sep-09 13:34:19

Don't want to be alarmist, but personally I would not take my child there after that.

My dd is 2.7 and has been at nursery since 10 mths, and even now, I don't hand her over in the morning without someone coming to greet her with a warm smile and proper welcome, always her keyworker unless she is on holiday, in which case, another familiar worker. And all of the carers know what she has been doing during the day when I pick her up, so they are all interacting with her. I would not leave her somewhere where she got ignored! These people are surrogate parents during the school day - they should be paying attention! shock

I truely believe that you get what you settle for in life, and it will be hard for you to move your DS later if he makes friends there - I would strongly consider looking elsewhere if it were me.

MamaFi Mon 07-Sep-09 13:36:45

kreecher... I was gobsmacked they were told not to play with something that was already out on the floor. The other boy has been there for 3 terms and knew my son and probably didn't think the fire engine was out of bounds either! There were other kids there asking my husband to help them with aprons, finding paper, putting apron on etc... he was helping this other little boy we know instead of the preschool staff helping him. I'm eager to see what tomorrow will be like.

Thanks for your replies, really really helpful.

motherbeyond Mon 07-Sep-09 13:38:59

def say something..if you're happy with it other than that,you must say.
i liked our local pre-school and signed up dd.but the security of the outside play area troubled me (low wall).if you chat tomorow and are not heartened by what they say to explain,then find somewhere else,or you'll spend all day worrying about dd goes to nursery and has just moved up into the big girl class ,which is a seperate annex..she loves it,and although the local pre-school would have been closer,less expensive,and have more kids that will go to same school...i just wouldn't have been happy

MamaFi Mon 07-Sep-09 13:39:07

Would calling the head today be a good idea or a rather stupid thing to do? Don't want to be a troublesome parent, but I also don't want my lovely boy who needs encouragement, enthusiasm and attention to be ignored...

norksinmywaistband Mon 07-Sep-09 13:39:53


It sounds like a poorly staffed preschool imo.

I am chair of the local preschool, and have spent the first 15 mins of each session speaking and introducing myself to the parents and explaining how we run, while the staff meet and greet the DC and help them settle. this has given the parents the opportunity to see their DC are well cared for and feel as settled as the DC.

in the next week every parent has a 5 min session with the childs keyworker to discuss how the first week has gone.

Shiney surroundings is the least important factor in creating a nurturing, successful preschool.

carelesswhispers Mon 07-Sep-09 13:39:59

definitely mamafi , i would not let it go either tbh , its hard enough spending the summer building the little ones up getting them excited about going to preschool only for your lo to be ignored , i would be furious if i were you ,
i used to be a Montessori teacher myself pre dc's & there is no way i would have spoken to some children & not others , children pick up on these things , & as for telling him off over the fire engine hmm i really do hope she has a better attitude tomorrow , give it a week or so & see how it goes ,

claw3 Mon 07-Sep-09 13:41:42

Before my ds started nursery (school nursery) we had a home visit prior to him starting.

Also in the classroom, there was a teacher and TA. One always stood on the door greeting children as they entered.

I thought this was the norm.

pigletmania Mon 07-Sep-09 13:45:32

Sounds awful, your husband could have approached the leader and explained the situation.I would find another pre school if possible or see the headteacher. My goodness hope that when our dd goes to nursery next year, they wont be like that. However i heard from other mums that dds future nursery is great so thats good.

danthe4th Mon 07-Sep-09 13:46:50

ALL toys should be accessible as children should be able to choose what they want to do.Sounds like they aren't very organised and not very knowledgeable about eyfs. I agree I would give it a week and see how it goes but you should be told fairly soon about the keyworker.

pigletmania Mon 07-Sep-09 13:49:01

No Mammafi yanbu, call the head ask for a meeting, this is dreadful communication absoulely unprofessional. At the end of the day you are entrusting in their care one of your most precious things and want to be confident that they will be up to the job. No you need to talk to the head and tell them that there was a lack of communication.

PrettyCandles Mon 07-Sep-09 14:01:16

I wouldn't damn the pre-school on account of one morning. When my ds1 started nursery, I was not happy with the way staff were relating to him. I spoke to the Head the following day, and within days the staff were behaving differently to ds. He (and subsequently dd) throve at that nursery.

So do give them a chance. Certainly talk to the staff, because what happened should not have happened.

I wonder whether it was anything to do with the fact that your ds was with his father, rather than with a woman. You mentioned that another dad and child found themselves in the same situation. Some people are so unused to fathers being primary carers, that they are uncomfortable and behave in a prejudiced manner. Of course that should not be the case with a nursery worker! But we are all human.

MamaFi Mon 07-Sep-09 14:02:10

That's interesting to hear from a preschool leader and montessori teacher, thank you. Sounds like a very well organised set up you have there, norks.

I'm concerned that if this mornings events can happen with parents present then I really don't want to leave him there on his own.

PrettyCandles Mon 07-Sep-09 14:02:24

BTW, I have never had any home visits, and sometimes it has taken a week or more before we were assigned the keyworker. TBH, those sorts of things are not critical IMO.

MamaFi Mon 07-Sep-09 14:06:27

Prettycandles, thank you... reassuring. I'm not writing them off for one morning which could have been pretty hectic for the staff, but will say something nonetheless.

As for the dads thing - husband has had the same treatment at last preschool! Nothing new there - it's terrible though, what about all these men bringing up kids on their own for whatever reason. Husband said to me that I'll probably find it's wonderful tomorrow because he'll be with me!

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