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What to expect from nursery care?(6 Posts)
I posted here a few weeks back with my concerns about dd's nursery - she's now done 2 proper sessions and my concerns are now even stronger.
We saw the Early years woman (not sure of official title) in the holidays and she did the 'CAF'. She also suggested that dd would benefit from going to nursery to help her socialise more with her peers. She is extremely friendly and chatty but does get freaked by children running round her at high speed.
Early years woman suggested the local Surestart nursery which has had great Ofsted reports. We visited it and it seemed nice, quite quiet, plenty of space for dd to use her walking frame. I explained about her needs and told them she would need one-to-one. They said that wouldn't be a problem and they do seem to have been giving her one-to-one but not through having any more staff. Lsst week they had about 10 children and 2 staff but as one was engaged with Heather the whole time it then left the other 10 with one member of staff. Surely that isn't right?
DD cries for ages when we arrive - and up to 25 mins after I've left. I expected that as she finds change very hard to deal with and often cries during the day over random things like 'the wrong socks'. But what has alarmed me more is that both times she has been she has also been crying when I picked up her up - 2.5 hours later.
She last went yesterday afternoon - when I arrived to pick her up I saw my lovely sweet little girl sitting on a chair in the book corner all by herself sobbing her heart out. There was one of the nursery workers in the room but not with DD and all of the other children were in the outside play area with the other member of staff. When I walked in I picked her up and she was shaking and sobbing in my arms for a good while. Now this is the bit that made me really concerned.. I was told that she was crying because she had been taken in from the outside play area and didn't want to come in. Why was she brought in and no other child? "Because she needed some chill-out time as she was getting upset by all the other children running around her and moving fast".
My poor lovely girly, it's all just wrong isn't it? I know she is 'difficult', I know she cries a lot and gets upset over things other children don't cry over but she is the sweetest little thing and deserves the same opportunities as any other child in the nursery.
On Thursday this week we have the 'meeting around the child' - following on from the CAF. Physio and OT can't come but we will have EArly years woman, community paed and the manager of the nursery. It is my opportunity to speak but I'm not sure what to ask for or what I'm entitled to. Can I ask that DD has official one-to-one with someone trained to deal with DD specifically? I'm also thinking of asking for an assessment by an Ed Psych as have been told that they won't consider starting the statmenting process as she is 'not known by the ED psych'. I also want to see about getting a stair rail fitted on DD's left side so she can try to walk up the stairs.
About the nursery - I don't know what to do. I don't want her to be so unhappy but I do need her to get used to her peers and also if I'm honest I need some time out too.
I would be very displeased at the member of staff just ignoring your DD when distressed, having brought her in for her to chill out!
ratios - for day nurseries it's 1 to 4 for 2 year olds, 1 to 8 for 3 plus. I suppose if the 1-1 is in the same room as the other children it might be a bit of a grey area. for nursery schools and school nurseries it's 1 to 13 oddly....
it's hard as it does take time for them to settle in, so some crying when you leave them is par for the course - but equally I think if you have misgivings, then you should respect your instincts. how many sessions a week does your DD do?
there may well be other nurseries that are more suitable; do you have portage as they should be clued up on nurseries that are good with kids with similar needs to your DD.
btw at DS (m/s school but excellent nursery) nursery today, a young child was upset - I saw him being picked up and cuddled and calmed down by nursery head, who has a very "firm but fair" manner iyswim.
You should be able to get some one-to-one support from the Pre-School Learning Alliance. The Team Around the Child should be able to access thins for you.
In my experience do not wait for them to come to you but phone constantly until somebody does something. The Early Years woman would be the one to target.
BTW we tried three different nursies/pre-school before finding one DD1 liked and was happy. It's a small village pre-school and the 2 staff are lovely, very maternal and DD1 loves it.
I really feel for you - it's so hard isn't it? My dd2 is starting preschool on her own this Fri and am pretty jittery, but at least I know the staff as dd1 was there and I know they'll give her the biggest cuddle if she's upset at all.
You should be able to access financial support for 1:1 through your preschool services - dd2 has a preschool advisory teacher, do you have an equivalent? She gets 1:1 support paid for for 5 hrs per week.
As for applying for a statment, you do not have to wait for the ed psych - as parents, you can request a statement and then the LEA has to gather info from relevant professionals, which would include getting an ed psych to see her.
I think you and your DD deserve better from this nursery. One to one support should mean that your DD's keyworker is with her all the time, concentrating on her and helping her to enjoy the same activities as the other children, with modifications appropriate to her level of needs--that's what happens at DD's nursery. Obviously there are times when her keyworker needs to briefly help with the other children when one of the other staff goes to the loo, for example, but everyone knows her main job is DD.
Do you have a portage worker or is that the Early Years person? You could ask them to observe DD in the nursery and advise them accordingly.
And finally, whether your DD is 'known to the ed psych' is irrelevant when applying for a statement. My DD wasn't known to them either--no problem. All it meant was the ed psych came to nursery and did a report based on his observations and a meeting with me.
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