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Change to different Kinder?


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#1 MillyM

Posted 18 February 2018 - 06:58 AM

My son started Kinder at a sessional kinder this year. He’s been there 3 weeks now and is not settling well. Screaming, crying at drop-off. It’s very stressful for both of us. He tells me there is not much to do there and he is having trouble making friends. This is a kinder that does rotational sessions - so he is with different children everyday except for a few kids from his core group (they are all girls and at this stage he only really wants to play with boys). I’m wondering if this is just not a good fit for him. He took a very long time to make solid friends at childcare and mostly with those kids he saw a lot. I could pull him out and send him to a kinder that doesn’t do rotations. I could also pull him out and just send him to childcare although I did want him to have the sessional kinder experience to prepare him for school but if it’s too stressful for everyone maybe it’s just not worth it.
Has anyone else experienced this? Would you make the change?
Thanks for any advice.

#2 Future-self

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:14 AM

At that age rotational would be a social nightmare! I’d change yes to give him the best shot at making friends and feeling secure .

#3 sarahec

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:23 AM

I would change back to daycare. They actually do a lot of prep for school at daycare. I don't think my son would have done well at preschool. He's started fyos now and he's doing well.

#4 Silly Old Elf

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:31 AM

Does your childcare offer a Kinder program?
I agree that a rotational Kinder would be a nightmare, I would change to something more stable for him.

#5 Jenflea

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:32 AM

I'm a huge fan of preschool.
I'd change him to one that doesn't rotate.

Will the kinder be a feeder for his school? It might be nice to make friend he'll be with next year, harder to do in daycares, they seem to spread out more.

#6 MillyM

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:37 AM

Thanks for the responses. Both the kinder and childcare are feeders for the primary school. There are local non-rotational kinders in the area that might be better. He’s still at the childcare while I work then doing kinder additionally but i’m thinking it’s too much for him. But he’s bored at home and i’m pregnant and not able to do all the physical stuff with him. Am feeling very anxious about the whole thing.

#7 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:41 AM

What do his teachers say? Can you stay with him for a few sessions to help him settle. What leaving routine have you worked out with staff. Are you able to be consistent and leave quickly when he is distressed or is that hard and a couple of times you have agreed to another 5 minutes.  Is there a special activity he can be engaged in when you leave?
I have taught both rotational and traditional and while rotational is not a favourite it can work well.

Is he distressed  for a long time after you have left or is a quickly passing thing? While upset at separation is distressing for everyone, if it is a one minute wonder you could actually view it as a positive. Some children do better getting all that emotion out than internalising it.

In terms of school preparation both sessional kindergarten and LDC should be run by ECT's working to the same curriculum. However if your concern is consistency remember that LDC children come and go at different times - kinder sessions of course arrive and leave together and staff may change more in a LDC than at kindergarten.

If he has made friends with children in a different core group is the kindergarten able to accommodate a change of core group given his particular issues?

Three weeks is pretty short. I would not want to change too quickly because that will reinforce that this behaviour is acceptable and that his concerns were valid.
But the first step is to talk to staff.

Just saw your note about the anxiety. I know it sounds hard but you need to be the confident one for him until he learns to be confident in himself. Acknowledge his concern but definitely give him an "I know you can do this" vibe.

#8 ekbaby

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:43 AM

I would just leave him in childcare if he is happy there. With the early years learning framework daycare should be doing the same stuff as a preschool anyway. In NSW where there are not many stand alone preschools the majority of children spend the year before school in childcare not a kinder/preschool. I don’t think it makes any difference

#9 MillyM

Posted 18 February 2018 - 11:27 AM

View PostAnon100, on 18 February 2018 - 07:41 AM, said:

What do his teachers say? Can you stay with him for a few sessions to help him settle. What leaving routine have you worked out with staff. Are you able to be consistent and leave quickly when he is distressed or is that hard and a couple of times you have agreed to another 5 minutes.  Is there a special activity he can be engaged in when you leave?

Is he distressed  for a long time after you have left or is a quickly passing thing?

In terms of school preparation both sessional kindergarten and LDC should be run by ECT's working to the same curriculum. However if your concern is consistency remember that LDC children come and go at different times - kinder sessions of course arrive and leave together and staff may change more in a LDC than at kindergarten.

If he has made friends with children in a different core group is the kindergarten able to accommodate a change of core group given his particular issues?

But the first step is to talk to staff.

Just saw your note about the anxiety. I know it sounds hard but you need to be the confident one for him until he learns to be confident in himself. Acknowledge his concern but definitely give him an "I know you can do this" vibe.

Thanks for your response. The staff haven’t said anything about it. They seem really busy. Maybe I should contact them to work out a plan. Me staying makes it worse - he won’t engage with anyone else while I am there. I can’t change to different days because of work.



#10 Lou-bags

Posted 18 February 2018 - 11:38 AM

The systems are different between states so I’m not sure what kinder is? Is it 3yo kindy? Or 4yo?

I think that if he’s 3 I’d go back to just childcare, and if 4 (and therefore doing full time preschool next year) Id probably give making a plan with teachers a go and if no improvement soon (it’s only been a couple of weeks after all) consider changing.

#11 Dianalynch

Posted 18 February 2018 - 11:58 AM

I'd make the change. Either Childcare or a different kinder, whichever you think he feels most comfortable at. Learning happens when kids feel safe and happy. Go with your instinct.

#12 Ellie bean

Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:01 PM

I'd change too

#13 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:05 PM

View PostMillyM, on 18 February 2018 - 11:27 AM, said:

Thanks for your response. The staff haven’t said anything about it. They seem really busy. Maybe I should contact them to work out a plan. Me staying makes it worse - he won’t engage with anyone else while I am there. I can’t change to different days because of work.

At the moment while they are trying to settle everyone all at once they are frantic - we are run off our feet. But please make an appointment to see them ASAP even if it is only to set your mind a rest.

This is what I tell my parents
Children cry for many reasons , it is rare they are truly inconsolable.
If your child is one of the deeply distressed ones I will not let them cry all day or be extremely upset without calling you.
(I call any of my parents to let them know that they have settled anyway - none upset so far this year, touchwood)

So why do they cry?

Children don't like making the transition. Just like you with the ERGH I have to leave home and go to work. Children are exactly the same but they can't verbalise it as well and lack the experience to know they will be OK , hence tears.

Children pick up on parents worries. Every time you wonder if it will be OK, will he cope, will he cry. You are feeding this to him. So act your heart out. "Yes I will miss you too. I know you are a bit sad but that's OK,  you'll be fine I will see you soon." Say Goodbye and go - and don't look back.

Finally and most commonly  is anger. Your child has told you they don't want to go and you are STILL making them attend. How DARE you. That's when I get the loudest crying and screams of rage. It's also the shortest lived as they realise it isn't going to work and go off to play.

The staff may not have discussed it because it is over soon. But certainly make a time to talk.

#14 Jenflea

Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:30 PM

DD cried at pretty much every single drop off for Playschool, preschool,FYOS and half of year 1.

But she settled quickly and I learnt to drop and run. Only twice in those years was I called because she didn't settle at all for over an hour.

#15 MillyM

Posted 18 February 2018 - 06:11 PM

Omg Jenflea, how did you cope?

#16 unicycle

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:18 PM

Rotations? Whoah, yes he needs to build relationships and at that age consistency is important.


I really, really regret not responding to my kids' tears and thinking they would be ok. 12 years later, what was perhaps observed by the teachers as anger at being left has  actually been articulated by my teens as other things. The teachers clearly didn't have the nous/ ability/ training  to work out what those things were. Nor did I.
Sorry, kids.

#17 Gudrun

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:34 PM

No ill-effects from child care only for my kids.

#18 Orangecake

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:41 PM

It can take a few months/term for some kids to settle.

However if he's already at a feeder daycare and enjoying it, I would be tempted to just do the same daycare on those Kinder days.

For our child, I think they would have been better staying at daycare to build their social skills with kids he knew well, rather than swapping and having to build those relationships again. By the time he'd made good friends, it was time to go off to school and quite a few at kinder ended up at another local school.

#19 Hini

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:41 PM

We're just sticking with daycare. Our centre runs a kinder program that is very well regarded in the area.

Some of DS friends are doing both sessional kinder and childcare but we decided moving into school next year was enough upheaval for him and sticking with his friends and routine would serve him best. So I'd just stick with childcare. That much uncertainty with rotations and daycare thrown in would have my son in a state.

As for school readiness if your daycare centre is running a full kinder program your DS will be well prepared. DS is in 3 days a week and he's come along leaps and bounds in just the few weeks since he kinder program commenced.

#20 Lime-Polka-Dot

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:53 PM

I am a Bachelor trained Early Childhood Teacher (Kindergarten / Preschool teacher.)

If a long day care setting is offering a funded Kindergarten program, it is being run by someone who is trained to this level regardless of if it is being run in a sessional / stand alone kindergarten setting or a long day care setting.

We all run programs guided by the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards and are influenced by play based learning environments that focus on each child's strengths, interests and individual needs.

A sessional kindergarten will not ensure he is any more prepared for school than a kindergarten program within a long day care setting. The focus of school readiness is far more on the child's social and emotional development than cognitive / language / literacy skills etc.

I've worked in long day care settings for over 13 years and have commonly found that it can take up to 6 weeks for a child to really settle in to their environment. Having said that, your child is not new to leaving you and going off to child care. There may be bigger issues with this particular kindergarten.

Changing to long day care will not necessarily mean a lower quality learning environment, your child will actually benefit most where they are comfortable and settled.

#21 4lilchicks

Posted 18 February 2018 - 07:57 PM

The others posters have given great advice, I just wanted to give you a hug! Im going through this with my son at 4 year old kinder and it is breaking my heart to walk away from him in distress. I know how you feel, its like we are abandoning them :(

#22 Tender Heart

Posted 18 February 2018 - 08:14 PM

View PostAnon100, on 18 February 2018 - 12:05 PM, said:

At the moment while they are trying to settle everyone all at once they are frantic - we are run off our feet. But please make an appointment to see them ASAP even if it is only to set your mind a rest.

The staff may not have discussed it because it is over soon. But certainly make a time to talk.

Yes, we're busy, but the children who are finding settling a challenge have parents who need reassurance.  A phone call once they've settled, a brief chat at the end of a session, a conversation about what might help to settle him / her in, etc.

I would suggest ringing prior to your son's next session and having a chat, even if you don't meet in person.  Chat about strategies for settling, things he loves to play with or chat about (e.g. trains, Paw Patrol, etc.), how you can both be supported.

#23 Jenflea

Posted 18 February 2018 - 09:52 PM

To be honest, i wasn't too upset after the first few weeks because I knew she was fine once I left and she settled down. I knew she had friends, I knew she wasn't mistreated, I knew she was learning stuff, I knew she needed to learn how to separate from me for both our sakes (she's always been clingy and was a velcro baby) and I knew she didn't have a choice. i wasn't going to homeschool her, it wouldn't have done her any favours!

All her teachers had different strategies to settle her down.
And she grew out of it.

I'm also not that sympathetic  sometimes and don't get that upset just because she's upset. That doesn't help her at all.

I made sure I handed her off to one teacher(if 2 in the room) and they assured me she was fine after a few minutes.

She just MISSED ME even if being at home was dead boring and full of grocery shopping and cleaning lol.

#24 MamaFNW

Posted 19 February 2018 - 01:13 PM

HI Milly that would be stressful for both of u. I would def et and find a kinder that is more suitabke and not rotational I think it will help a lot even if there’s an initial period of adjustment xx good luck!




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