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to leave my 8 yo in the playground for 25 mins before school?

122 replies

FishFace99 · 07/09/2015 00:16

DD (3) starts nursery school on Tuesday. Its a 10 minute walk from DD (8) school and nursery school starts 20 mins before school. I can't work out the logistics of drop offs. 3 yo has some issues which mean she may take a while to drop off so if I keep 8 yo with me then she's likely tobe late for school. The other options I have are either to drop DD first which means she's alone in the playground for 25/30 mins or to let her walk from the nursery school alone if it looks like her sister will take a while to settle. It's a safe routewith only one road which has a lollipop lady. What would you do?

OP posts:

Fatmomma99 · 07/09/2015 00:27

No breakfast club?

I'm really sorry, but I think age 8 is WAY too young to leave a child alone for 25/30 mins, and I also think it's WAY too young to make the journey alone.

I'm sorry to be unsupportive, but I think both of those would be safegaurding issues and 100 miles away from "is this reasonable or not". To me, this is a long, long way from being reasonable. Other MN-ers may think differently.

I assume you have to be at work or similar? You NEED to find another parent who'll take your older child to school. Or pay someone.

Sorry to be telling you something you don't want to hear. 10 yrs old, with a responsible child = ok. 8 yrs old, def not! Flowers


EnthusiasmDisturbed · 07/09/2015 00:27

Is there breakfast club at school

That is too long up leave your dd in the playground by herself and not sure the school would allow it


BobbyGentry · 07/09/2015 00:28

Neither. Is there an early birds breakfast club? Or can you have a quiet word with the Headteacher & ask if there's a safe zone (library perhaps) where little one can be dropped off?


Fatmomma99 · 07/09/2015 00:29

having said that, you know your child!

BTW, at 8, I MIGHT have left DD alone at home for 25 mins in front of the telly, but it's a different thing to be in the school playground.

Any families you know get to school early and hang around? That could be a solution.


EnthusiasmDisturbed · 07/09/2015 00:29

And I agree she is too young to be walking from the nursery to school by herself


TheRealAmyLee · 07/09/2015 00:30

Drop and run the 3 year old. The longer you stick around the worse they are. I've done a tighter drop off with no issues. It should not take more than 10 mins to drop off. I'm not a hanger around. My DS went through a crying when being dropped stage. I was informed that it lasted longer afterwards the longer I stayed to placate him.


OneDay103 · 07/09/2015 00:32

No ways are you serious? That's far too young. Drop off shouldn't be longer than 10min and if you stick to it your 8yo will still be on time.


TheRealAmyLee · 07/09/2015 00:32

If there are sn issues and you cant drop and run either:

Get another parent to take older one.
Talk to the school and see if they can give you a safe place to drop earlier.


BackforGood · 07/09/2015 00:33

I agree with the drop and run too.

If you really think it's going to be an issue, then isn't there a friend you could ask to walk your dd up to school for a week whilst you settle the little one off? IME, parents are usually willing to help each other out over the short term like that - longer term, it's not an issue with the time, it's just the settling bit.


TheRealAmyLee · 07/09/2015 00:33

No to walking alone at 8 and no to unattended in yard for so long to me.


AimlesslyPurposeful · 07/09/2015 00:34

No, I wouldn't leave my 9yr old DS in the playground 25 minutes before school starts. Neither would I like him walking alone to school.

As PPs have said - No breakfast club? Or are there other Parents that drop a child off at the nursery that then go on to drop off a sibling at school? If so, could you explain the problem and ask if, on the odd occasion, they'd mind taking your DD to school?

Or, as your DD going to nursery has issues that may mean drop off takes a longer than it should, could you ask the nursery if you could bring her in a little earlier?


BackforGood · 07/09/2015 00:34

Meant to say YWBU to leave her in the playground for 25mins, yes.


FishFace99 · 07/09/2015 00:34

3 yo is under assessment for ASC so drop and run isn't going to work for her. There's no breakfast club. There'll be other parents in the playground and a teacher 5 mins after I'd dropped off.

OP posts:

madwomanbackintheattic · 07/09/2015 00:36

Drop and run the 3yo. Even with sn issues it is the best way to do it. It just becomes part of the routine and then you don't have to set up one routine and change it once they are settled. The 3yo will get used to it. And it's better for the key worker to learn how to settle anyway, than the child getting used to you staying and doing it. You still have a ten minute window of opportunity anyway.

The nursery will sort out settling - you have another child to get to school on time.


EmeraldKitten · 07/09/2015 00:37

YABU, that's far too young.

Personally, I wouldn't relax all day if they'd walked themselves to school alone either, i'd be on edge and probably have to phone every day to check they'd arrived.

I also agree that 10 minutes should be more than enough to drop the 3 year old off, even if she's difficult to leave.


madwomanbackintheattic · 07/09/2015 00:41

And if the 3yo is under assessment, then you need the nursery to be understanding what they are dealing with, and writing accurate reports which bolster the need for a 1-1 key worker.
Drop and run. (Not that run is even accurate - you have ten minutes to piss about, but tbh that will probably make it worse. Start the routine how you intend it to work out. Walk in, shoes off, coat off, bag on peg, kiss, hand over hand to hand with key worker, bye bye see you later, out of the door. If you are going to need to leave information on handover to the staff, ie something that might affect the day, start a home to school book. The staff can do the same in reverse in the evenings if something happened at nursery that you will need to know about.)

Kids with sn often have siblings, and they all have to be incorporated into the routine. You can always go back again if there is a problem (although I would guard against it as far as possible). It would only be twenty minutes you were away, and in that time they may have managed to distract and gather the 3 yo into the activities of the day.


madwomanbackintheattic · 07/09/2015 00:44

I am assuming that the nursery has already had a transition meeting with you prior to starting - you can agree in advance what your intentions are, and emphasize that they will be coping, as you will be leaving to drop off the 8yo. They will probably be relieved - there is nothing worse than having to juggle parents when they are trying to settle kids into a routine, sn or not.


angelicagreen · 07/09/2015 00:48

No to dropping off in playground or walking alone. My usually neglectful mother, even back in the 80s, made sure somebody else took my sibling to school rather than have her left in the playground for so long.

It's simply not on and I can't believe you're contemplating it.


Canyouforgiveher · 07/09/2015 01:09

Can you negotiate with the nursery school to have your 3 year old start later than until she settles in - so for the first week you drop the 8 year old and then the 3 year old. Is nursery really strict about start times (where I am playschool/preK would generally have been very flexible for morning starts)


sleeponeday · 07/09/2015 01:21

You can't lower the care the non-disabled child needs by that degree in order to support the needs of the potentially disabled one. It's storing up a world of trouble for both, in all sorts of ways. It's an incredibly hard balancing act, but this is clearly an unbalanced suggestion. Please don't. Both girls need you, and the younger needs the older not to resent her, too.

Your options are:

  1. Hand over to the key worker, and depart rapidly to take your elder girl to school.

  2. Drop the elder girl off 10 minutes early, and accept nursery will be a late start.

MammaTJ · 07/09/2015 04:47

I used to be in the playground early and I would have reported you for leaving your 8 year old unsupervised.

In fact, I have done this. I ended up being the default supervisor and it annoyed me. The child would come to me to sort any petty arguments and when they fell. It was not my job, it was the job of the parents who could not be bothered to sort their life out enough to stay!

The school newsletter repeatedly points out that the playground is unsupervised until the bell goes to start school and that parents must do it.


Mermaidhair · 07/09/2015 04:57

Leaving your 8 year old alone is neglectful. Dropping your 3 year old off quickly in the care of trained professionals is not neglectful. Which one do you think will be more safe?


Toffeelatteplease · 07/09/2015 05:02

It would be fine at DD'S school. Like yours teacher is in the playground 20-25 mins before and office staff are in. If she had a problem she would know to go into there and the gates are already busy with children (many unaccompanied) and mums DD likes playing in the playground.

Personally I would at least at he start hang on uni the gates were open and then go over to nursery. Worst case scenario your 10 mins late. Not a big deal


WhereTheFuckIsMyFuckingCoat · 07/09/2015 05:03

Well you've said there will be a teacher in the playground five minutes after you drop the 8yr old, is that right? At our school, which starts at 09:10, it is in the school rules that children must not be left in playground unattended before 08:40, but from that time there will be teacher supervision.

So couldn't you just drop at the time the teachers start in the playground and be five minutes late to preschool?


JoandMax · 07/09/2015 05:03

Can you see if your 3 year old can start nursery later to start with until the dropping off process settles? Then you can do school first, that's too long for an 8 year old to be alone and I wouldn't be comfortable with them walking alone

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