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nursery declines naps for 3 to 4 year olds

(75 Posts)
sisteroutlaw Wed 26-Jun-13 16:12:25

My DS just turned 3 and started at nursery 8am to 6pm 4 days a week (previously with a childminder). He has always been a good sleeper [lucky] and settles in under 10 mins for a daytime sleep for anything up to 1.5 hours and at night for 11 hours. NHS choices recommend 1 hour daytime and 11 hour night time for 3-4 year olds so it's not excessive against this.

The nursery are anti-nap for this age-group saying it's not good to take him away from the other children to have a sleep; he won't get to integrate so well with the afternoon slot kids who arrive after lunch; that it is part of the preparation for going to reception class. Then it comes down to staffing and getting a "special service" and they're worried if he has a sleep then every parent will want their kid to have one. Sigh. There is a room where the younger toddlers nap. When I signed him up there was talk of slowly phasing out the nap -in my mind this was over the year- but they seem to have implemented this instantly despite my asking for him to have one every day.

I am most concerned about his behaviour and development as an individual and that he needs a nap to function. The crankiness and meltdowns over these last two weeks when I get him home are distressing us both. I'd rather not have to rush bedtime to put him down for 7pm. 8pm bedtime seems to give enough time for snack, play/telly, bath, stories, bed. Having to do all that in 45 mins sets my head spinning.

My options are: new nursery without the amazing outdoor space and general fab facilities (in London) or just ride out the no-nap schedule and forgo what I think he needs developmentally. Wise women of mumsnet, what would you do/what have you done in similar situations?

maja00 Wed 26-Jun-13 16:14:22

Is it an Ofsted registered nursery? I'd call Ofsted and ask them on their opinions of nurseries providing for individual children's need to sleep, and then go to the nursery armed with that.

sisteroutlaw Wed 26-Jun-13 16:30:31

Oo maja00 that sounds like a good idea if potentially dropping the nursery in it. Had an overly long convo with the person in charge going round in circles about this napping thing.

I suppose I'm worried in general about this overly-stimulating environment. Ofsted require so much of early years providers that there seems to be little chance for rest/repose scheduled into the day. There are places where the kids can seek out quiet time, but I didn't understand my need for this until my mid-twenties so don't expect a 3 year old to identify when take himself off somewhere quiet! On the one hand I see him thriving with the extra input but the next moment we have meltdown.

Going to look at Ofsted now and see if there is a general number...

Kyrptonite Wed 26-Jun-13 16:32:19


SofiaAmes Wed 26-Jun-13 16:38:28

That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while. Not allowing 3-4 year olds a nap time to "prepare" them for reception. I think that borders on abuse. My ds is 12 and still often takes a mid day nap, because he needs it. Dd gave up her midday nap at 2, but she's quite the exception. Why don't you look into child minders instead. They are a wonderful alternative to nurseries and will give your child all the individual attention he needs (not that napping at midday should constitute "individual" attention)

Poledra Wed 26-Jun-13 16:38:38

Really? My youngest child had a nap until she was 4 (though it wasn't every day by the end. My oldest child dropped her daytime naps at 2.5. Every child is different, and I would expect the nursery to work with this. Bloody hell, I had the school call me one day to say my youngest had fallen asleep in the book corner during her first year in reception - they said they would have just left her to sleep it out but she was rather hot and feverish so could someone please come and get her?

sisteroutlaw Wed 26-Jun-13 16:49:15

Yes it does seem ridiculous the more I think about it, yet they seem to be quite fixed on this point.

Sofia He was with a lovely childminder but we had an under-stimulation issue there - too much telly and she was spoon-feeding him for convenience when he could do it himself. I suppose we could find a new one. It's a good option.

Poledra that's my point - every child is different! Some drop naps earlier, some cling on. I also used to fall asleep in the book corner in reception class! grin 30 years ago the teacher was fine with it just told my mother it was no problem! And I'd stopped by the summer term.

I'll try to get through to Ofsted and reiterate my points to the one in charge.

StitchAteMySleep Wed 26-Jun-13 16:52:35

My dd1's new Reception teacher (starting in September) told me that they let their Reception kids have a nap if they need it. Completely ridiculous.

sisteroutlaw Wed 26-Jun-13 16:57:51

Thanks for posting everybody - it does help to see that I'm not just being a fussy parent.

I'd rather not remove him from there as he loves his key worker but fear we might have reached an impasse on the napping issue.

FYI Ofsted general helpline: 0300 123 1231 8am-6.45pm. Will let you know what they say on the matter but fear they're all about charts/provision/stimulation and are behind nurseries getting themselves in to a tizz.

maja00 Wed 26-Jun-13 16:59:59

It's an Ofsted requirement that children have adequate space/time to rest and nap.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Wed 26-Jun-13 17:06:07

If a child needs to sleep then they need to sleep, I would imagine the nursery are skating on thin ice over this as far as Ofsted are concerned.

insancerre Wed 26-Jun-13 17:13:45

You need to have a frank discussion with the nursery. Tell them that you are thinking of taking him out because they are not meeting his needs. I expect they will find a way round it if they think they are going to lose business.
Plenty of children still have a daytime sleep at his age, and in a properly managed nursery that recognises children's individual needs, then this really shouldn't be a problem.
Speak to the nursery first, explain that you would really like him to have a daytime sleep and ask them how they are going to accommodate this.
If you get no further forward, then I would suggest you ring ofsted and ask for their advice.If you do make a complaint against the nursery and it is upheld by ofsted this will be published with their ofsted inspection report and be available for everyone to see on the internet.
The EYFS p24 states "Provision must be made (space or partitioned) for children who wish to relax, play quietly or sleep, equipped with appropriate furniture"

tumbletumble Wed 26-Jun-13 18:21:00

My DD had a 2 hour nap every day until she was 4.3.

Fantail Wed 26-Jun-13 19:20:15

DDs day care has enforced quiet time for all children. Some will go to sleep, others just have a rest.

Surely having a group of tired children causes more problems than letting some sleep.

sisteroutlaw Wed 26-Jun-13 22:48:55

tumbletumble DS can also sleep for 2 hours once under.

Fantail I love the idea of enforced quiet time/sleep optional - your nursery seems to get it. I would like this as the transition for when he's ready to cut out daytime naps.

I'll have another chat with them reiterating the points you've all made. Thanks for giving me some other reasonable arguments so I don't go insane repeating my own language! insancerre <Plenty of children still have a daytime sleep at his age, and in a properly managed nursery that recognises children's individual needs then this really shouldn't be a problem.> EXACTLY! But I fear I might get p24 quoted back to me as they have such provision for quiet play but the child must choose to go there.

As adults, do we choose to go to bed when we are tired or ignore those cues in favour of a bit of mumsnet...? hmm There's a lot placed on the autonomy of a three year old. It irks me that they simply won't put him down gently for a wee nap every day after lunch in the room with the younger toddlers. It simply shouldn't be such a big issue.

Fantail Wed 26-Jun-13 23:02:13

My sister often had a sleep until she was 5 and went to school (we are in NZ).

Little children need sleep in order to process what they have learnt. I thought that the early years curriculum was meant to be child centred? In which case the needs of the child should inform the programme. Your son needs a rest/sleep in order to learn best/cope with the day.

breatheslowly Wed 26-Jun-13 23:18:26

DD's nursery don't do naps generally, but I knew this when I sent her there, if I really wanted her to nap they would sort it out and if she looks like she is asleep on her feet they do sort out somewhere for her to sleep. She mostly doesn't nap and has fallen asleep on my lap at 5.30 a few times as a result. Her nursery makes it clear that they work in partnership with parents and always in the best interests of the child.

Your nursery are crazy to stop a just 3 yo napping on the basis that this prepares him for school. He won't be going to school for ages. This is clearly for their convenience and if the catalyst for making children drop naps is moving them between rooms then it is really not at all child led. I would be worried about a nursery being so unresponsive to a reasonable parental request.

Seb101 Thu 27-Jun-13 08:52:28

I'd be cross about this too. I'd ask nursery to put child to sleep everyday. If they didn't agree and do it, I'd be very direct in my complaint. I'd state that its their job to work in partnership with parents to meet children's individual needs. Your child needs a nap, they must provide it, however inconvenient! If after that frank discussion they still didn't change, I'd make complaint to ofsted and remove my child. I know how it feels to be 'talked at' going over and over old ground! I'd simply say I don't want to go over this again, and that the issue isn't negotiable for you. You'd simply like a yes/no answer. I'd drop in somewhere about it being an ofsted requirements to provide naps for children for as long as they require. I'd be amazed it nursery didn't have a change of heart on this issue. Seems crazy to me! Good luck to you. It must be horrible for your child to be tired and grumpy when all they want is a sleep!

sisteroutlaw Thu 27-Jun-13 10:09:05

Thanks for your responses breatheslowly, fantail and Seb101. The sticky bit is they say they have been asking DS if he wants a nap hmm and only once has he said yes... but they want to phase this asking out. I simply want it as part of his routine when there. I am not on the go from 8am to 6pm frolicking and learning (sadly). I'm stuck behind a desk. It must be so much for them to take in.

He is happy when there as he likes to be the last one at the party (like his dad) but then that has a flip side - meltdowns and eye bags sad

Going to recycle the comments: young children need sleep in order to process what they've learnt/ nursery's job to work in partnership with parents/ not at all child led/ unresponsive to parents' requests. And that I don't want to go over old ground.

Wasn't able to call Ofsted to enquire yesterday but will do shortly after doing a bit of work...

Seb101 Thu 27-Jun-13 13:22:52

Asking a 3 year old if they want a nap is ridiculous! Of course they will say no! 3 year olds aren't mature enough to make a decision like that. If given the choice most kids will refuse sleep. Imagine; saying to a 3 year old ' it's 7.30 now; bedtime; do you want to go to bed or stay up and play??' Most will choose to stay up! That's a silly excuse for the nursery to use! You as the parent decides when your child sleeps and the amount of sleep they need. Not the child or the nursery! My rule of thumb is, keep putting them down for sleep as a part of the routine until they take longer than say 30 mins to fall asleep. If they are still awake after 30 mins, it may be time to drop nap as they may not need it. Hope you get this sorted. Xgrin

sisteroutlaw Thu 27-Jun-13 13:30:52

Cheers Seb101 I hope I get this sorted too! I have the same plan with DS's naps: when he's not falling asleep easily it may be time to phase them out - until then he needs them.

teacher123 Thu 27-Jun-13 14:04:11

My DS is currently 14mo and goes to a lovely childminder, and she is currently slightly pushing to phase out his morning nap, because i think it would make her life slightly easier and sometimes he struggles to settle in the afternoon. However He is going through quite a separation anxiety phase at the moment and he is really struggling without his morning nap if he misses it more than once or if he wakes very early (bloody blackbirds!) so I've said very politely (but firmly) that I want things to stay the same at the moment until I break up for the summer and have time to consistently implement a change of routine. I think that sometimes people forget that they are little people with individual needs. When DS doesn't settle in the afternoon he doesn't cry, he just plays in his cot and babbles away to himself, so it's not like he's disturbing anyone else. Your DS needs the sleep, so carry on making your demands explicit to the staff. They are our children, we know best.

expectingtoomuch Thu 27-Jun-13 14:49:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sisteroutlaw Thu 27-Jun-13 15:29:10

expectingtoomuch did you get the nursery to see sense ever/put your DC down for a nap? You don't want them conking out too close to bedtime - that's a disaster!

I called Ofsted and as I suspected, the provision of quiet places meets their minimum requirements, however, they did say that not putting him down for a nap might not be meeting my child's individual needs if that's what he needs.

Ofsted don't seem to think it hard for a child to take themselves off somewhere when they've had enough. Fine. But I dont want him doing this after 3pm/less than 3 hours before bedtime.

They hammered on about input and kids being like sponges at this age and I repeated they need time to process/absorb the info. Grr [dismayed]

dreamingbohemian Thu 27-Jun-13 15:37:18

I would move him somewhere else, to be honest.

My DS is 3. Every afternoon when we say it's naptime, he screams and says no. Every afternoon. But then he does settle quickly and will sleep for up to 3 hours sometimes. When he misses his nap he's a nightmare in the evening.

I would not at all be impressed with a nursery outright refusing to give him a nap, and I would also think this kind of attitude will potentially carry over into other issues in future.

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