Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Over the Big Hill
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I'm confused about the physical set-up of the pre-school, or perhaps how they do things there. How is it that a child in a room with only 13 other children and two staff people is able to be a "flight risk?" So much so that the teacher is asking your babysitter to stay there for the whole time - am I understanding that right? Or is it just when they are getting the kids settled in?
Although he is on the younger side of the age group for pre-school, most seem to be able to handle kids from age 3 on (here they often take kids at 2.9, which for my ds was way too young - he was 3.9 when he started last year - however other younger kids did just fine). Our previous pre-school grouped young threes and older threes in two separate bunches, but that isn't always possible.
For a recently-turned three year old, some difficulty joining the group for circle time and being more interested in movement seems age-appropriate, especially if you have an active/energetic little boy like I did. So for me a few alarm bells would be going off if the teacher isn't able to handle your son along with a reasonable amount of other kids, without a de facto third staff person - does he really need constant supervision like that? Or is the physical plant not properly set up? No child should be able to easily get out of a schoolroom - that sounds like the environment isn't safely arranged.
Is the director of the pre-school available to discuss the situation with? That might help make some accommodations to resolve this. I'm not sure if given your work situation that you could spend one full pre-school session observing things, but if so this might either reassure you or guide you towards making a switch.
I feel for you! My ds spent last year in a pre-school that turned out to be not a great fit overall, but it was very hard for me to put my finger on my uneasiness, and the situation didn't become clear until right before the end of the school year, in a rather dramatic fashion (they told me he couldn't come back - without any previous discussion about the problems they'd apparently been having with him). As it turned out, they did me a favor as we just started a Montessori pre-school that is far more suited to his personality and needs. So while I wouldn't rush to pull your son out of there without more clarity on why they are having such trouble, I certainly would be exploring more of what is affecting their stance on having the babysitter there.
I'll be interested to hear the opinions of others, and more from you on your observations.