Thursday sees preschoolers last day at nursery. I cannot believe how quickly it has come around. Quite frankly it is scary. He started there last April if i remember correctly. Initially he did 3 mornings a week and so his childminder used to pick him up when I was at college. And then through the summer holidays he carried on with 3 mornings a week. If memory serves correctly he was doing the 3 mornings right up until we changed him to 3 school days a week in February this year after a talk with his key-worker who agreed with me that school days would give him a chance to get used to being away from me for longer periods and for him to get used to eating with other children around.
Prior to the ex manager and his keyworker leaving, the former at xmas and latter in March this year, I had no qualms about the nursery at all. The ex-manager was also the teacher and she made time to make sure that the “older preschoolers” ie the ones going up to school this year had circle time where they did an array of activities. However when she left this stopped. The new manager isn’t a trained teacher as far as I am aware and so that put a spanner in the works. When the new deputy manager eventually arrived, bearing in mind she has a degree, I figured she would take over on this, but no she didn’t.
Recently they had a supply staff member in and one day when I picked him up they told me how much he had enjoyed sitting reading with her. My response? Outwardly was “Yeah he loves books and we read a few a night”, inwardly? “You’ve only just realised?”.
But it hasn’t all been bad. I won’t deny for me sending preschooler to nursery was a huge deal. I was handing my baby over to strangers who I had no idea where they came from, what their backgrounds were, if they could be trusted, but I had to. Preschoolers first key-worker was amazing and the amount of work she did with him on his confidence I will be ever grateful to her for. She really understood that he was an individual and that he is extremely shy etc and she helped to bring him out of his shell slowly and to develop friendships. This was the child that would freak if another child went anywhere near him.
I was gutted when she told me she was leaving as preschooler adored her but since then it hasn’t been all bad. Although the new staff are extremely inexperienced and new to childcare there is no denying that they love the kids and their jobs. Preschooler gradually warmed to them and they learnt the routines he had with his old keyworker.
Part of me is glad he is leaving there and starting school because I know educationally he needs it. He is a bright button and the nursery for a while now haven’t been nurturing that how they should have been and I know at the new school he will thrive in that respect. But I can’t help feeling sad that my little baby is going to be a schoolboy. He’s growing up and is taking his next big steps in the big wide world. I don’t like it. He doesn’t seem to understand.
The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four – of secondary importance is to prepare for being five. ~DS1im Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, 1985