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Need Advice - Not sure what to do re preschool - LONG

(5 Posts)
Ploppymoodypants Mon 21-Mar-16 21:42:10

DD is 3.6 and I am the first to admit I am very PFB over her. I am in a slight dilemma over what to do about preschool. Trying not to drip feed to might be a bit long.

Since I returned to work (3 days a week) she has been cared for by my mum, who was a teacher (foundation class) for 25 years. Occasionally she went to a local private nursery which was excellent. I have been so lucky to have my mum care for her and I know this and really appreciate it. However last summer it became clear DD was ready for preschool and more socialisation, learning to share, wait her turn, have some structure etc (Mum did take her out a lot and to various activities to meet other children as did me and her DH).

Being a PFB only child and grandchild has meant she has had masses of 121 attention, and she is also September baby. Having had all this attention her speech is very good and she has met all relevant milestones. (Sorry I hope this doesn't sound like a stealth boast, just trying to give relevant info).

So she started pre-school in September (Ofstead outstanding) in the village we recently moved too. We moved here because of the excellent primary school, and we wanted her to make friends in the village. We were very rural and isolated previously. I grew up in a small village and wanted to try and replicate that lovely community. Anyway I have a few issues with preschool as listed below and just wanted views on whether I am being waaay too PFB or if I should consider moving her back to the private nursery she was in previously (Although this will mean 15 minute drive each way and settling back in there and then going to school without pre existing friendships).

1) DD has a comforter. A cuddly toy. I explained this when I looked round and for the first term all fine. Now the manager has left and a new one started. All of a sudden no warning, DH was told (in front of DD at collection) that no more comforter as she lost it and got so upset. When DH told me I thought he must be muddled up or something so when I took her the next time she still had it. I was greeted by the manager and in front of DD was told NO comforter today No, no, no. Apparently due to it getting lost and DD being upset and all the staff having to look for it. I wouldn't agree to leaving her without it just suddenly and the conversation got quite tense, until I had to say I didn't think it was appropriate in front of DD. I have a meeting to discus this week.
2) On one of the days she is the only girl. I don't mind about this but DD says she has to play on her own, because one of the boys doesn't like playing with girls and then the other boys wont. When this other boy isn't there the others play with her. I understand that people can play with who they want and its all part of growing up, but surely preschool should be discouraging gender segregation and try to get everyone involved. ( I have asked if there is anything about her behaviour that is putting children off playing with her, but was told no, its just that some boys don't want to play with girls. It breaks my heart that at only 3 she is already getting a message that as a girl she isn't good enough, and now she isn't allowed her comforter to make herself feel better.
3) It seems to be all free play and all ages are together. So for example on a day the boys wont let her play, she ends up alone or with the very young non verbal children and I have now noticed regression in her speech and some very babyish behaviour. Surely some age appropriate activities (lets collect leaves in the play ground, look at their shapes, count them, make a collage and learn their names?) would help with inclusion and also teach basic skills. I feel that she is bored a lot of the time when she hasn't got her friends, as there is nothing to stretch her or engage.

Am I expecting too much from a state preschool? Am I being massively PFB? I am happy to be told if so, as it will help inform my decision. I just feel so sad leaving her there all day, knowing she cant even have her comforter if she gets left out of the fun and games. Thank you for reading all this.

Tallulahoola Mon 21-Mar-16 23:34:51

Your poor DD. I would move her. This nursery sounds awful. Not so much the bit about being excluded by the boys - my DD is 3 and I see a group of boys at her nursery have started doing the "no girls" thing which is a shame but seems to be something they all do. My DD is in a big nursery though so has lots of other girls to play with. If this is only happening to your DD for a little part of the day then it's not the end of the world. But do they really do free play all day? I would have thought they had some sort of early years curriculum to follow. They certainly should be doing lots of structured play activities, starting them on reading etc.

The comforter thing though is unacceptable. She is only 3. If they really are spending hours looking for it then they could broach the subject with you, ask if they can implement a plan where for example she puts it down for certain parts of the day. But that should only be done with your approval. I would be livid at them trying to ban it and having the conversation in front of your DD.

I only have experience of a private nursery but I think that's a bit of a red herring. Staff should be thoughtful and caring no matter if it's private or not. If your old nursery has plenty of children of her age then I'd move her back there now.

PeopleOnTheEdgeOfTheNight Tue 22-Mar-16 00:22:28

The babyish behaviour you mention could indicate that she's not being nurtured there. It could of course be something else, but children sometimes act in babyish ways as a way of asking for care and attention.

The main issue I see is that the nursery don't seem to want to help you or your daughter. It seems a bit "take it or leave it", rather than them working with you or explaining their reasoning or whatever.

I'd move her.

Ploppymoodypants Tue 22-Mar-16 19:42:35

Thank you both for your replies. Has helped to confim my gut instinct.

Littlefish Fri 25-Mar-16 20:08:54

I think if you are not happy, then you should move her.

However, re. the comforter. I work in a pre-school for children aged 3-4 years. We make it clear to parents before the children start at the pre-school that any comforters brought to nursery will need to stay in the children's bags. We have spent hours in the past searching for a child's comforter, or solving arguments between children about playing with a toy or comforter that one of the children has brought from home. Any time spent doing that takes away from our time with the children.

If children are still having a daytime sleep, then they get their comforter out of their bag, but apart from that, they are left alone.

It's unacceptable for your dd to be excluded from the children's games. The staff should be tackling this immediately.

How do you know there is nothing to engage or stretch her? I think that the majority of the children where I work would probably say that they just play all day. It's absolutely true! They do play, but there is usually an adult there with them, guiding their play, supporting their learning, be that counting, reasoning, compromising or whatever.

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