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While looking round a pre school how would you feel if...

(10 Posts)
Lorelli Sat 02-Mar-13 13:29:57

Hi everyone I work at a pre school and we're currently evaluating how we show parents around the setting. This is their first visit and we try to ensure they see the bits we think they'll really care about eg activities on offer, outdoor space, toilet and changing facilities.
In a team meeting we were discussing some things that can happen during a parent being shown round and I wanted to hear from parents' perspective what sort of impression these things would create.

If you were being shown round by a member of staff and a child wanted to get their attention, would you be offended if they stopped talking to you and checked the child was ok then polietly asked them to wait till they'd finished talking. Or would you think it was good they were treating the children with respect and putting their needs first?

If while being shown the outdoor area a child fell off a tricycle, would you be worried about safety or pleased the children were allowed to use a variety of equipment.

If you saw a child crying for their mummy and no one comforting them would you assume the staff were being neglectful or would you consider options such as, that child does not like people near them when they are upset, or that child is being left alone because staff know if they try to interact with them their behavior will escalate etc

If you saw a child hit another child and the child being reminded to be friendly and the other child being comforted would you be concerned about behavior within the nursery or pleased to see the staff were talking to the child who had done the hitting and supporting the one who had been hit.

If you asked the member of staff a question not directly related to their job role (eg does the primary school teacher visit to get to know the children before they go to school) and they had to go and find out the answer would you be concerned that the staff didn't know what they were doing or pleased they were doing their best to find out the most accurate information for you.

And lastly a slightly different one-
If you collected your child from pre school and you had to sign an accident form that said "Bethan's hand was accidently trodden on by another child while they were playing in the tent" and there were no witnesses to the accident, would you be angry no one had seen it or pleased you were being told about it and accept the fact that staff cannot see through the walls of a tent.

Thanks for your time

HobKnob Sat 02-Mar-13 13:33:08

I would be looking for kind and friendly staff primarily who seem to care about and understand the children in their charge. You can't fake that IMO. I don't think I would necessarily notice the situations you describe, but I would pick up on the general feel of the place.

BettySuarez Sat 02-Mar-13 13:38:15

I would want to see kindness, compassion and above all common sense shown from the staff.

This is much more important than just blindly following 'protocol' for example

BackforGood Sat 02-Mar-13 14:00:57

I agree with the others, but I also think you are going to get different answers from different people. You will show around parents who have been used to their child having 1:1 full time attention at home, often dominating what the adults will do, who might be looking for a different response from someone who has ben around children a lot more, who understands a bit more that children do sometimes fall, or do things when you turn away, or whatever.
As an example, As a primary school teacher, I've had parents complain that children have come home with paint on their sweatshirt, whereas when one of mine was in Yr1, in the end I went in to ask when they got the chance to do painting, sticking, whatever, as she never came home with any paint on her, and it made me concerned quite legitimately as it happens that they weren't getting those experiences.

MajaBiene Sat 02-Mar-13 14:06:23

I'd be fine with all those examples except this one:

"If you saw a child crying for their mummy and no one comforting them would you assume the staff were being neglectful or would you consider options such as, that child does not like people near them when they are upset, or that child is being left alone because staff know if they try to interact with them their behavior will escalate etc"

I would worry that staff think it is ok to ignore a distressed child because that is easier (their behaviour won't escalate).

claraschu Sat 02-Mar-13 14:11:51

Not OK to ignore the crying child, good to have children using interesting equipment and getting a few bumps and bruises-

I would worry that staff are thinking about what visiting parents think of these situations, instead of just doing their best for the children-

CokeFan Sat 02-Mar-13 14:44:57

I'd expect the staff to do whatever they normally do for the children and not worry about parents looking around. As long as it didn't look chaotic or like there weren't enough staff on hand then I wouldn't judge negatively.

Barbeasty Sun 03-Mar-13 19:15:21

I was pleased when we looked around DD's nursery that all the children interacted with the manager who showed us around, that she knew all the names and that she explained that one child's particular interest in "the baby" was because his mum was pregnant.

I was happy to see what happened when a baby bit another (iyswim) because it showed what their "discipline" strategy was.

I'd rather someone went to get accurate information than made up any old rubbish or seemed disinterested.

I'm happy to see children using equipment abd understand that accidents happen, and as for the note I would only worry if I was getting a series of similar notes suggesting a problem.

I think with the crying child it would be best to offer an explanation. Then parents can see what's happening and why, and decide whether they would approve of that for their child.

I would far rather see reality, warts and all, than something staged.

Betty5313 Sun 03-Mar-13 19:56:08

I'd rather see a typical day, how the staff generally act with the children.

when we looked around our local supposedly fantastic nursery, we were shocked! in particular one under ttwo signed 'hungry' to the room leader who ignored her. she then came and tugged on my skirt and signed hungry. still ignored by the staff. so I pointed it out and they ignored me! told me rather a lot.....

SavoirFaire Sun 03-Mar-13 22:16:45

I would expect staff to behave as they normally would. However, it would be good IMO for staff to be confident enough to explain to me why they have just done that / not done that. E.g. if there's a genuine reason to not comfort a crying child (and I am struggling with that one to be honest) then you should at least explain that. When we looked around nurseries a few years ago, the one thing that totally put me off one nearby nursery was when I saw a child doing something that I believe to be really potentially dangerous - he (under 2yo) was walking around with a broomstick in his mouth and if he'd have fallen it could have been very serious. No one challenged him and I was shocked and remain so to this day (4 years later). However, I am entirely relaxed about kids runnings around and doing the kids things do and have an expectations that there will be bumps and bruises. Having said that, I have 2 children and my opinion is shaped by that. In my area, the people looking round nurseries are often pregnant with their PFB (waiting lists are that long) and I always have an internal chuckle to myself when friends in this position tell me their concerns about a nursery they are looking around as they seem very trivial to me.

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