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School Age Child Joining Preschool.


Andrea*
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I have a child who should be in a reception class joining my setting in January. The family have just moved to the area and the sibling has obtained a place in our feeder school but there is no place for this child.

We have already had this in September where a child stayed with us until a place became available which fortunately was only a few weeks.

School transfer in my area has been a nightmare this year with many children waiting for spaces at their favoured school, so the likelihood of the child obtaining a place is quite slim.

The child came for a taster session and the child has seperation issues and a history of severe temper tantrums, so transition is going to be very hard especially if the child settles with us then moves on when a place becomes available.

I have also been told that we will need to assess him on the Foundation Stage Profile which I have no experience of.

 

I am posting this really to see if anyone else is in a similiar situation and for words of wisdom.

 

Thanks

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I have no experience of settling a school-aged child into pre-school - I'm assuming he isn't statutory school age yet? Presumably if he was the LA would have to find him a place at school? Are there funding implications for the family - can you access nursery education grant funding for him whilst he's with you?

 

I would probably make plans with the parent now about how you are going to handle the separation anxieties he may experience when his mum leaves him with you, and how she would like you to handle it. This will take the guesswork out of things - you'll know exactly what she expects you to do. In the past we have made another adult available to support our early morning procedures to cope with a child who gets particularly upset - it is much easier to remain calm when you can focus your attention on the child and not have to deal with everyone and everything else at the same time. Of course I don't know what your ratios are like, or whether this will be possible!

 

As for the Profile, I would contact your profile moderation team urgently for support. They should be able to offer you help to complete his Profile, especially given that you are not normally expected to do this and will presumably not have received any training.

 

In the past I have been concerned about how children will settle, especially when they come to us never having been cared for by anyone other than mum before. However, when those children come to us five sessions a week from the outset, I have been surprised at how quickly they settle, and how quickly the anxiety and upset dissipate, once they are aware of how things run and what is expected (and of course, that mum always comes back to pick them up at the end of the morning!).

 

I'd definitely talk to your early years team to get as much support as they can muster - and perhaps talk to the local school to see how they settle older children with severe separation anxiety. I appreciate that settling a five year old may be very different to settling a nearly three year old, and they may be able to suggest some strategies to use in conjunction with what you already know about good practice in supporting children's transition into your setting.

 

Good luck!

 

Maz

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Certainly my LEA is very good at guiding those unfamiliar with the EYP through the system. Speak to your Early Years Advisor asap, and find out the support that is available. What are the aprents planning to do when the child reaches school age yet school still has no availability?

 

I appreciate the desire (almost desperation) of parents to get their child into preferred schools, but for any child the process of not starting with their peers can be very socially damaging.....it's a sad world

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Thanks for the replies.

 

We are going to offer 2 sessions to start the child gradually with the view to increase. These sessions are on the quieter side which allows him 1:1 support. I have spoken to the school and the chances of him getting a place are very slim. There is another child in the same position who is 1st on the list. So we will have to wait and see.

 

I have spoken to our children's centre teacher to get all the help I can with the Foundation Stage Profile. I am a qualified teacher but not under the EYFS so I will definately need training up, all good for my setting and professional development.

 

This child bothers me and another professional said to me once " the child that bothers you the most is the one who needs you most"

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