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Preschool wanting me to collect DS early

(64 Posts)
insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 17:30:10

I was hoping to get some advice/suggestions regarding DS2 who is 3. He started at a new preschool after Easter (having previously attended a day nursery 2 days a week).

He has settled really well into the preschool and seems very happy to attend, only just manages to say bye to me as he's so busy getting stuck into the activities etc!grin So far, for me, this is the only positive.....(albeit a very significant one).

He is an outgoing, confident character, spirited at times! (I am under no illusion that when the mood takes him, he can be a handful, eg he sometimes likes to think the rules don't apply to him, he has also been a biter although he has tended to bite out of excitement and when playing happily with a favourite playmate, rather than biting out of anger). At the same time, he is a very rewarding child, full of fun, cheeky (in a good way!), affectionate etc.

Although he is over 3, he has struggled a bit with dropping his nap. I haven't put him for a nap since well before Easter as I know he won't settle, but he struggles to get through the day without a cat nap of some sort. If we are out and about he will often drop off in the car, but since starting preschool he doesn't really have the opportunity as I have to make sure he's had lunch before he goes and the session starts at 1245 (it finishes at 345pm).

He has fallen asleep at the end of preschool on a few occasions (quite happily it would seem!), and because of this and the fact that they have indicated that his behaviour can tail off towards the end of the session, they suggested that I pick him up early.

I have to pick DS1 (aged 4) up from school at 3pm, so I explained that getting to preschool early would be tricky. They did suggest getting DS2 before the school run, but this would mean collecting him by 240pm at the latest, which hardly seemed worth the trouble of taking him. So I compromised by collecting him straight after the school run and collected him at 315-320pm for a period before half term. This was not ideal for DS1 as it meant we had to leave school the moment he came out, and he loves to have a 10min run around with his friends after school. It also means I can't walk DS1 home from school, which is important to me (we love really near school but 10-15min drive from preschool).

I've suggested going back to picking DS2 up at normal finish time (345pm) after half term as I am not sure collecting him early is the knot answer here. I feel we (me and the teachers) should be exploring some strategies to help DS2 cope with feeling tired, rather than just defaulting to me getting him early. We are only talking a difference of 20mins here, given that the school next door to preschool is finishing as I collect him early so it's chaos outside trying to park, get in etc, so even if I rush straight from school I tend not to get DS2 till 320ish. And preschool seem to like to chuck out early, so kids are getting picked up from 335-340pm (when I was arriving at 340-345pm - NEVER late though) they made comments to the effect of can you get here a bit earlier please!

I picked up at 345 today but was called in for a "chat" as DS2 did not have a great afternoon behaviour wise (despite being pretty good overall during half term) and they asked again about picking up early.

I think what I am looking for is:
1. AIBU to push back on picking up early and asking to discuss strategies to help DS2 cope with tiredness, the full session (given that the main reason for sending him is to prepare him for school and the future)?
2. What strategies would you suggest I discuss? I'm wondering about quiet time (eg he LOVES books and I wondered about sitting him in the cubby hole with some books for the last 15mins?) If he drops off, so be it?
3. AIBU to feel like the preschool are copping out a bit by resorting to telling me to collect him early, rather than exploring other options first? I do feel like his old nursery would be doing the latter....I feel like he's missing out on part of his entitlement, all for the sake of saving the staff the trouble of dealing with him for the last 20mins of the session.

I'd be grateful for any comments/advice anyone might have here smile

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 17:32:21

The only answer, not the knot answer!

BigArea Tue 03-Jun-14 17:35:45

I'm sure you'll have considered this, but could you switch him to the morning session?

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 17:37:55

Thanks Big, I have yes. Initially I had opted for afternoon as he had a friend who was already there in the pm so I felt it would help him settle. They also didn't have a space on the morning session this term anyway.

But I have requested mornings from September, so it's only really for this half term.

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 03-Jun-14 17:44:39

Morning session if poss.

Or go back to nursery (unclear why you have changed?)

This phase is likely to be short-lived, if it is simply tired-ness related.
After summer hols need for nap is likely to be thing of the past.

Surprised preschool are not better able to deal with tired kids so can only conclude that tiredness must be extreme or his behaviour is pretty terrible grin, though again I would have thought they should be able to deal with that.

Suddengeekgirl Tue 03-Jun-14 17:46:50

What about an earlier bedtime?

Or lazier/ quieter mornings so he's not burnt out by afternoon preschool?

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 03-Jun-14 17:50:09

I actually think I would just say "no" early pick up is not possible
(because it's not really, for the reasons you mention).

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 03-Jun-14 17:57:11

I would also say "no, sorry, it's not possible but hopefully the morning sessions from September will help a lot".

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:09:15

TheRealMary - mornings not possible until sept (when some kids have left to go to school).

I moved him from nursery because it was a full day nursery, costing £470 per month for 2 days a week, and I don't need the full day care now that I'm a SAHM (he and DS1 both went there when I was working PT).

Now that he is eligible for the 15hrs funding I thought preschool would suit him better, short sessions but every day to get him in a daily routine, better prep for school than 2 long days at nursery.

Part of me does wish I hadn't moved him as this has all made me realise how amazing his nursery was. They never made me feel like DS2 was a problem or anything other than a normal 2 yr old child. They also never made me feel like they didn't much like my son. Preschool have made me feel both already (a lot). I put this partly down to pregnancy hormones! but also comments that have been made and the way I observe some of the staff interacting with DS2.

superram Tue 03-Jun-14 18:10:04

Nap before he goes?

Uptheanty Tue 03-Jun-14 18:10:59

Is this a daycare or is it a nursery attached to a school?

If its the latter then switch to mornings.

It seems to me you are doing what suits you & your other ds but what about the child sleeping in the classroom?

It is not acceptable to leave him sleeping, do they have sleep facilities? What about ratio, he will have to be watched & pick up is really busy and quite frantic.

If i was you, i would compromise, proffessionals who work in childcare do not want to make it difficult for you but there main concern is always ( if they are good) the dc.

I have seen this many times, but i assure you if you collect him early for a while it will not be long before his resilience builds up and he is able to do the full session.

It would be good to try to resolve it positively for you and both your dc.

irgmama Tue 03-Jun-14 18:11:10

thats ridiculous if he becomes a handful at junior and high school will they tell u to collect him earlier so avoid a tantrum no this is just a case of lazy nursery teachers who at the end of the day dont want any hassle. at 3 it is compulsory that he be in nursery so why are they suggesting he miss almost an hour a day

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:14:41

I also agree wholeheartedly with your comment re why they are not equipped/able/prepared to deal with a tired child or one who is misbehaving. They have not said his behaviour is extremely bad at the end of the session but I am going in to speak to them tomorrow about it all and will investigate further. My impression so far is that misbehaviour has happened throughout the session (by which I mean not just at the end, rather than constantly all the way through!) and that they are looking to offload a child they find a bit more difficult to deal with than some of the others.

I am wary of excusing my child's behaviour, and do want feedback on any major incidents and to discuss ways to address these, but eg "we had to tell him off for pushing a child" said as if this is was unusual for 3 year olds/dreadfully serious seems a bit excessive to me.

tumbletumble Tue 03-Jun-14 18:18:50

Tbh I would pick him up early (at 3.20 that is, not 2.40). If he is really struggling towards the end of the session (3.45 is late for a 3yo) then that seems to me more important than walking home with DS1, especially as only for 6 weeks. I get what you are saying about the staff finding other methods of dealing with this, but IME there's not a lot you can do with an over tired 3yo!

addictedtosugar Tue 03-Jun-14 18:19:07

Any chance of getting him into a preschool attached to DS1's school, so everyone can be picked up at the same time?
Sorry if thats so obvious there is a reason it can't happen

TheRealMaryMillington Tue 03-Jun-14 18:20:44

You now what OP, I would look around for an alternative preschool or nursery place to begin in September.

I don't think the daily routine is a necessary prep for school, also if you are pg then two whole days (cost permitting) might be better for you in later pregnancy and with a newborn.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:23:13

SuddenGeekGirl - he already goes to bed by 7pm (and settles v quickly). His main problem is waking too early in the morning! He wakes usually between 6-7am, often nearer 6am than I'd like! We use a gro clock to encourage him to stay in his bed/room till a certain time, but cannot work out how to encourage him to actually sleep longer....

We go to a toddler group on a mon and a fri. The mon one is a drive away and it's the oNe day he does usually get chance to have a 20min sleep on the way home. I've tried going for a drive after the fri one for him to have a quick nap but he often doesn't drop off and I don't have time to drive long enough to allow time for lunch before preschool.

On the other days we play at home or pop to a friend's house, nothing too energetic. Occasionally pop to the park which is obviously more energetic but again he does then have chance for 40winks in the car on the way home!

I do take on board your suggestion re mornings though and will see what else we can do.

Oh also I didn't mention earlier that I let him catch up a bit on sleep at the weekend, so will happily let him sleep for an hour in the car or on the sofa those days. He used to have an hour nap each of the 2 days he went to nursery, but only had quick catnaps on any other days, so I figured letting him catch up at the weekend now amounted to the same thing.....

I know from experience that his behaviour is not as good when he is tired, eg he doesn't co-operate as well, but I have to admit it's not exactly dreadful, so either there is something they are not telling me and he is particularly bad for them, or they are just being a bit lazy about managing minor disruption?

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:23:55

Thanks also for the messages of support re putting my foot down a bit and saying early pick up just isn't possible!

Uptheanty Tue 03-Jun-14 18:37:19


Why pretend to want advice and opinions op

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 18:41:25

Uptheanty - my posts crossed with others so I hadn't actually seen the other comments! Just doing bath time here but will reply to others once boys are in bed! I honestly do welcome all suggestions!!

Uptheanty Tue 03-Jun-14 18:51:51

Sleeping in the classroom is a very temporary issue for pre-schoolers if managed well.

I have many years experience in schools and have come across this issue many times. It can be resolved,it is more difficult to resolve and have a positive experience in any facility if you regard the staff as "lazy".
Maybe they are, some people are...but it wouldn't be my first thought as i agree with them....your ds should not be left sleeping regularly at pick up.

It is very natural for dc of all ages to exhibit challenging behaviour at some point in their life and shouldn't define them.

With respect op... You sound like you are minimising & quite defensive of your ds's behaviour.

Littlefish Tue 03-Jun-14 19:02:07

I think you need to take the nursery's advice and consider picking him up straight after ds's school. If he is so tired that he is falling asleep on a regular basis, or it is affecting his behaviour, then he is really not getting the most out of being there.

I think your younger ds's needs should outweigh your older ds's desire to play at school for 10 minutes. It's only for a few weeks.

insanelycheerful Tue 03-Jun-14 19:09:25

Superram -this is what I try to do, but as session starts at 1245 and he needs to have lunch before he goes, it isn't often manageable (he is not great at being woken from a nap so not ideal to have him sleep on the way to preschool and be woken to go in, but v hard to get him to have a nap earlier than that as he's not tired enough).

Suddengeekgirl Tue 03-Jun-14 19:26:37

insanelycheerful - it might all be a early waking related problem?

Wakes too early, needs a nap, if no nap then tired and grouchy/ challenging.

I would try to address the early waking and possibly go to bed earlier in the evening too (just till he's used to not napping). I'd also be inclined to cut the naps out - which will mean lots of angst in the short term.
I know if my dd was napping at that age it would have a knock on effect on early waking/ late bedtime.

Does he have a black out blind?
What do you do when he wakes at night/ in the morning?

I can often persuade dd (3.3) to go back to sleep after 6am if I tell her it's still night time but I'll come and get her when it's morning.

ikeaismylocal Tue 03-Jun-14 19:38:00

What about dropping him off later, make sure he has a nap in the car and drop him off 30-45 mins later.

I think that your ds's behavior must be beyond that of an average 3 year old, otherwise all parents would be kept behind to talk about pushing incidents.

When is your baby due? Would 2 full days not suit you better? It seems like you will spend all day dragging a newborn around dropping off and picking up it's siblings.

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