Hello hello my lovelies! I know it’s been a wee while (my last post was in June eek!) but I hope you are all enjoying the warm September. Now, this is a spur-of-the-moment post which came to my mind earlier today so here goes…
Earlier this year we decided to take the little one out of private nursery, after 3 years (well 2yrs 6months). One major reason – drastic change in behaviour at the nursery. It started off by disrupting circle time at the nursery, then escalated to kicking and pushing other children without reason, spitting, scratching and screaming and when the teachers asked her to stop, she would throw chairs and tables around as it turned into a massive meltdown. On one occasion, they had to leave her in separate room during the meltdown while the other children played in another room! To make matters worse, she started pooping in her underwear after establishing a solid toilet routine.
Oh how disheartening that felt… My princess causing so much havoc and digressing at the same time 😦 and it continued evening after evening, receiving such reports after rushing in from central London to pick up by 6:30pm. Strange thing was she didn’t exhibit any of these behaviours at home except the odd tantrum which is normal…
This got me thinking – was it our hectic routine of wake up at 6am / pickup 6:30pm / dinner and bedtime all lumped in by 7:15pm? How was this affecting her temperament? Or did something happen at the nursery which triggered the behaviour? I spoke to a few friends who suggested getting extra help either in form of a babysitter or childminder, who would pick her up at a decent time. This option meant paying more definitely not good for our pockets but with our child’s wellbeing in mind, we decided to reduce her hours at the nursery to sort of cover for the extra help.
In the meantime, I got the nursery manager onboard and after much reluctance on her part, she decided to investigate – she had also noticed but felt it was just a phase that she would grow out of especially as she had been in the nursery since we moved from Ireland in 2014… As part of her investigation, she reviewed the videos from the classroom and came up with the following theories…
- Change in carer/child ratio from 1:4 to 1:8 once she clocked 3.
- New class meant a new key worker, who was a lot harsher than her previous one. She just always seem impatient with the children and didn’t appear genuinely interested in caring for children. Plus the former girl was so soft-spoken and her daughter was friends with my baby.
- My child was the only full-timer, this meant she saw some children some days and the others either did morning or afternoon session. Before age 3, majority of the children were full-time so she had more stable relationships.
- The nursery had just gone through refurbishments so the 2 years old moved in with her group (more like squeezed in). She could see those ones getting a lot more attention, being carried around and getting changed on the mat. I do remember asking how the move could affect my child and I was assured the teachers were separate blah blah! It looked more lie the nursery didn’t have enough teachers to work or were taking on more children than they could handle.
Anyway, the manager’s suggestion was to first change the key worker to someone she gravitated towards more (Kay was the first name she knew at that nursery), which I was happy with. Plus we came up with a plan to align our discipline tactics, so I became less stern with her at home. I also started spending quality time with her, so after dinner I would give her a massage with aromatic oils while listening to meditation music (see also my post on work/life balance). I did start to work gradually but we had to move away from that area a few months after and invariably, left the nursery.
Now the new area came with its own challenges – there were no available nurseries! We had apparently moved mid-school term in March so everywhere I called up told me to either call back in July (while on the waiting list) or sign up for morning/afternoon sessions. Wait, let me put this in a better perspective – in the UK, children of ages 3+ get free 15hours per week (soon to be 30 hours) at school or private nurseries and based on the month of birth, the child can start to enjoy this from the new term after their birth date.
Some nurseries will offer a full day and take off the govt funding from your monthly fee and some would only offer those hours (either 5hours for 3days or 3hours over 5 days). Issue is not many of the full-day nurseries exist in my new area therefore there are more childminders. Unfortunately many childminders do not sign up for the funding because “it’s just not worth it” and the parents do not get the funding in ‘cash’ as it’s really a subsidy to the childcare provider. We did eventually go for the childminder option before getting a live-in nanny/mothershelp (story for another day!)
As she starts preschool in a couple of days, I am feeling a little anxious and rightfully so! Hopefully she settles well with her friends and we don’t get called into the head teacher’s office for a ‘talk’ haha. My husband says to relax that she will be fine, I know that but can’t help myself… I do get some consolation from the fact that the nursery is attached to a school, they get to use the school facility and it will eventually be where she starts reception next year. Also she gets to be around people with teaching qualification who are not in it for the money (you sure have to love children to be a teacher) or at least have their interests at heart. Their ethos is learning through play and the teachers will encourage independence in them she sure likes to be treated like a big girl! She might also get to see familiar faces since she attended the transition sessions (one day each week, for four weeks) the school ran in July/August and to top it all, it will only be for 3 hours a day…
Are you going through similar experience or have tips to offer? Share your thoughts below in the comment box… Thanks for reading (and scrolling all the way down!)
P.S. video below is of our first day at ballet class, enjoy!☺️