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EYFS comforting children when back to school

(16 Posts)
Lockdown12 Sun 24-May-20 08:51:14


I work in early years and have been thinking over how to manage the return to school.

If a child is crying and upset or won't come into school I would be prepared to comfort them but I worry that parents might frown on staff still doing this as if the staff member had Coronavirus they could pass it to the child.

Are we in a catch 22 where staff would be happy to provide physical contact to comfort children but are scared to do so because they think parents will be unhappy with it.

Then on other threads parents have said they're worried their child won't be comforted by staff because of social distancing, but then aren't saying this to staff because they feel like it's putting pressure on them to put themselves at risk.

What are your thoughts on this when going back?

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rillette Sun 24-May-20 11:17:10

Government guidance doesn't require social distancing in schools. My school has done everything they possibly can think of, but has told parents that they cannot guarantee social distancing during the school day. Parents not happy will keep their children at home.

thunderthighsohwoe Sun 24-May-20 12:07:23

I fail to see what else you would do in such a situation. I think our headteacher is going to suggest that we ask the parent in that situation, e.g. 'is it ok if I pick him up and bring him in?'.

I'm a Year 3 teacher, so this is waaaaaay out of my comfort zone and I'm praying to be placed with a Year 6 or KW bubble and thus avoid this drama, but sadly I used to teach KS1 so I may be offered up as sacrifice for our one R bubble.

Useruseruserusee Sun 24-May-20 12:24:24

My school have said that we should do everything possible to encourage the child but to stick to social distancing on entry, as parents are not in the bubble. Therefore parents have been told they will need to take their child home if they are too upset to come into school.

roundtable Sun 24-May-20 14:06:18

Our head has told parents that if children are distressed they must take them home. Staff will not take them from their parents at the moment.

Letseatgrandma Sun 24-May-20 16:42:56

Our school has been very clear to parents that if a child is upset coming in, staff will not be able to physically encourage them and they should take them home and try again the next day.

Lockdown12 Sun 24-May-20 19:17:02

It's a really difficult one isn't it.

I just feel terrible that these children who are three years old (so likely to get upset separating from parents normally anyway), who haven't been socialising with anyone for 2 months, who will be coming in to a completely new system where they are dropped off at the gate instead of having their parents come into the classroom to play with them are bound to be upset and need a lot of comfort.

I feel for parents because they will have pressures from work to attend and they can't because their child is understandably upset.

I just feel so sad about it all that usually when my class would come back they would hug you and have that chance to reconnect and instead when they're feeling the most needy I'm being more distant than I have ever been with them.

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drspouse Sun 24-May-20 21:21:07

Parent here, would you be allowed to let the child and parent play in the playground for a few minutes to calm the child down?
Might not work with all children but for those who've forgotten the environment?

longsigh Sun 24-May-20 21:50:50

No, no parents allowed in school, the children have to be dropped at the gate then sent to their classrooms.

ReceptionTA Tue 26-May-20 09:09:19

I share your concerns, OP.

I've been told if children are upset then parents should be told to try again tomorrow. From what I can tell, the children who are likely to be upset won't be coming in though, as their parents want to keep them at home. But they haven't been at school/nursery for such a long time if their short lives, so this could be very tough!

I know my own children at that age, if they fussed and I had taken them home, would have fussed every day for the rest of their school lives to try and get me to take them home!

I think if I am faced with a child who is upset I will ask the parents though if they mind me getting close. Our parents will be coming to the door, only Y6 will be walking in by themselves.

funmummy48 Wed 27-May-20 07:26:02

We’ve been told that if a child refuses to come through the gate, the parent is to take them home. Once in school, anyone who trips, is upset, etc, will get the normal comfort that they’re used to and within their bubble, there’s no need for social distancing. I think the first morning drop off will be the most stressful time for parents and some children.

Lockdown12 Wed 27-May-20 19:34:11

We've decided to try and make it a celebration at the start of the day to distract from any stress. So have got little party bags for the children and balloons so they will see it as a positive rather than something scary.

I don't know if it will work but can only try!

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StrawberryJam200 Wed 27-May-20 23:34:13

Would be good if schools sent out a little advice to parents about importance of hiding any anxiety from their child, wouldn't it?

StaffAssociationRepresentative Thu 28-May-20 08:44:43

Spot on @StrawberryJam200 I think parents need to make it a positive experience by explaining to child what will be happening. Some parents need to change their talk from ‘its a shame that .... you are missing out on ....’ to ‘school/teacher has done xyz, looking forward to seeing you again ..... there are changes but it is to ensure everyone stays safe etc’

Do not say ‘thank god I can go back to work’

LadyPenelope68 Fri 29-May-20 07:57:50

No, children only allowed in the playground. At our school you would have to take your child home if they were too upset to come into the playground on their own, they have to be left at the gate.

Lockdown12 Wed 03-Jun-20 19:00:20

For anyone interested! I was amazed today not one child cried leaving their parents! I don't know how but they all came in straight away! All went well and ran smoothly. Main difficulty is the higher level of structure was a bit of a fun killer by the afternoon!

OP’s posts: |

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