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How much do you know about DC's day at nursery?

(7 Posts)
Montifer Mon 21-Sep-09 21:51:37

DS (16 months) started nursery last week, he's going for 2 days each week.
It's probably too early to tell if he's settled there yet, he runs in enthusiastically but has a bit of melt down when he realises that I've gone. I do say goodbye but he's been too busy playing!

The carers keep a record of his eating, sleeping and nappy changing and might say if he's played outside but no other details. I'm not sure what is 'normal' for nursery diary reports.

On the settling in days when we stayed together for an hour I saw a couple of children who were clearly unhappy and they were "given space" to wander about intermittently crying and then being distracted by toys for a while. I didn't see any picking up and cuddling going on which surprised me.
There are 9 babies (and 3 carers) and the babies just seem to roam about playing with the toys. I think I expected more structured play but again am not sure what's normal for the under 2s. The preschool room children and staff do seem to be more involved.

I think I also feel a bit twitched because I seem to be getting slightly mixed reports about how happy he has been, both days when I collected him one carer has said "He's been quite tearful" or "He has been crying today" whilst the baby room manager has said he's been "fine" but had a couple of "outbursts". He has been playing happily when we've arrived both days.

Sorry for the long, rambling whinge, I suppose I am essentially asking:

What are usual nursery activities for under 2s / how much structured play can I reasonably expect?

How much detail should I expect in his diary?

How much hands on cuddling / reassurance of tearful little ones is usual or are they generally left to find their feet?

I know it's early days still and they can take a few weeks to settle in and I'm only getting a snapshot of his day and am also probably being very PFB about it all grin

nurseryvoice Tue 22-Sep-09 14:46:45

Hello. Some staff interpret the EYFS as just letting the children do what they want.
This might be or might not be the case, you need to ask what goes on and if there is any routine.

The EYFS is ambiguous and is open to interpretation by the nursery manager who is the key to providing good quality care for babies and children.
I ensure that my staff interact with babies and children and that they go outside twice a day.

Our babies have a few set activities such as painting and playdough they have music time at the same time every day.
there are other things such as colouring, chalking and lots of toys it depends on the childs age and needs.

It is supposed to be a bit like home.

Just ask.... let us know how you get on.

Ewe Tue 22-Sep-09 14:55:03

At my DD's nursery they get in, have breakfast, structured play in the morning and some outside play, have lunch and then I think it is a bit more free play in the afternoon, some more outside play, then dinner and after dinner they tend to potter about, read books and listen to music as it gets to pick up times.

I get a sheet every day saying what she ate, slept, nappy changed and what activities she has done. If she has been doing art stuff it is then usually in her pigeon hole type thing.

Lots of cuddling, by the end of the day my DD is normally sat on someones lap and the carers are often on the floor with children draped all over them. Sometimes I go in and it seems like utter chaos though, with so many little ones around I think the atmosphere can be quite changeable but you won't know until you ask! Maybe do some surprise drop ins if you are nearby?

lynniep Tue 22-Sep-09 14:56:02

well, our nursery diaries are a bit hit and miss. normally they have the standard 'eat, nappy change, sleep' notes and then a bit about the toys he has played with and if he's been happy or not. Not much more (hes 2.6)

To be honest it depends on who's there to how much attention they're given and how much feedback I get. Theres one girl who clearly adores the kids and gives me a full verbal report if I see her at the end of the day along with any funny stuff he may have done. the others will just say 'he's been fine'

He's been there since he was about 13months and once he moved up to 'toddlers' (at 18months) it definately beccame more structured - they do messy play, book reading, music time etc etc

In the baby room they didnt do much other than to play with what was out that day.

They do have lots of cuddles though - a crying child is never left alone even if it means the carers sometimes have two children on their knees.

If my son is upset that I'm leaving, I will always pass him to one of the girls for a cuddle before going.

BornToFolk Tue 22-Sep-09 15:04:22

I know what he's eaten, when he's slept and how many nappies. I also get a run down of what he's been doing. This is new and I like it!

DS is nearly 2 and due to move up a room soon. He's been with the 1-2s. They are fairly structured with set times for certain things (like story time before naps) but they also get lots of free play. During the summer, DS has mostly been in the garden when I go to pick him up and the children have free run to play on the slides etc or they have easels to draw with or water trays.

They've recently opened up the messy room so that children can move between that and the normal room as they want to but I think they schedule specific art projects otherwise it wold get chaotic!

He gets a cuddle if he needs one in the morning when I go but that's rare now! If he has a full on meltdown, I've told the staff to leave him for a bit and then try and distract him. He will not be cuddled when he's tantrumming. So, it might look heartless, but it's the best way to get him to calm down and join in again.

Montifer Tue 22-Sep-09 18:38:14

Thanks for all your responses.

It's helped me have a picture of an average day at nursery and the range of reports.

I will go on thursday with some specific questions and might plan a few early finishes from work so I can drop in and stay for a short while in the afternoon.

Interesting to hear your perspective Nurseryvoice, wil let you know how I get on.

atworknotworking Tue 22-Sep-09 19:12:56

Agree with NurseryVoice the EYFS is a bit open to interpretation so different nurserys operate to their own idea of it IYSWIM.

I think ideally a good mix covers both adult led and child initiated play, at 16mths your dc isn't really still at the baby, baby stage so should be starting to do what the older children do but maybe in a more supervised way, with mindees of this age I do exactly the same things but adapt the equipment, so lots of sand,water paint, glueing etc, times for quiet things, independant playing and lots of outdoor fresh air time to explore.

The day sheet you have sounds about right, most of the nurserys I have come accross do a very similar thing, although some do do a write up in a book that you can bring with you each session. It is nice to get the full activities and comments, but this can sometimes be quite hard time wise for staff to do for each child at the end of the day, it is pretty full on working with children and priorities for staff should be caring for the children rather than writing endless notes, however just because you don't get a lot of info on your daily slip their will be observations and notes in your dc's learning Journey which you can look at anytime.

Although usually if a child is new the staff do tend to do the full write up until fully settled, I know I asked for this when my DD started nursery (about same age) and the staff were really accomodating.

Just as an add on it is a sign of a good quality setting if the staff are playing on the floor with children, rather than standing around just watching, even with free play I like to join in and get instructions from the LO on what to do, child initiated play isn't just for the child it means that they take the lead if you like and they make the decisions.

I think it's a good idea to pop in at different times as you suggested to get a better picture of the full day.

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