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Settling In Child


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

We had a child started new today and he was very vocal in expressing what he was going to play with and in his thoughts and feelings! However we noticed a "determined" streak - when he didn't want to do something he made sure he didn't do it! This came to light at the end of our session. We had had a lovely half hour outside playing and came in to sit down for a rhyme session before the mums came. This particular child refused to sit down with the other children and started to move towards the construction toys. We tried repeatedly to say that now was not the time to be playing with toys but everyone was waiting on him to join them in the rhymes. Eventually he came back but refused to sit with the other children preferring to lie on the floor - full stretch! We carried on with the rhymes but he repeatedly moved away from the area and we had to reinforce the rules. One of the leaders sat down on the floor with him but he did not join in with the rhyme time.

 

Are we doing this correctly? I know it was his first day and we didn't want to appear to come down hard but it does have a knock on effect with the other children. I noticed one of the other children refused to stand up and sing the rhyme with us - a direct result I think of watching this "problem" child.

 

How would we handle this when he returns on Friday - unfortunately he is a part timer and comes only 3 days a week Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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terrydoo73

 

to be honest i would be a little lenient on your settler as it was his first day and u probably have so many new experiences that he doesnt no wat to do with himself and he does have to find his feet and get used to his new environment!!!

 

how long is your settling period?

 

does he have nursery experience prior to yours as this could be some factors too!

 

on fri i would find out wat his interests are and at the end of yr session let him go and do this, or see if he could tidy up at the other end of the room (with an adult) OF COURSE, sweeping, washing toys at a sink then he may not disturb the other children.

 

then in time you can introduce the singing time and reading time!!!

 

not sure if this helps you, but this is wat i have done in my nursery before!!!

 

louisa51

 

:oxD:(

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We have one or two like that at playgroup. We tend to leave the child to their own devises as long as they're not being disruptive. We explain to the settled children that this child is new and doesnt undertsand the rules yet and how we play together.

I certainly wouldnt be too strict on him following the rules yet, its his first day and with everything so new he'll be trying out his new environment and testing the boundaries. In cases like this I'd normally wait for at least half a term before I started expeting certain behaviour.

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As I have a mix od 2 to 5 year olds all in the same room mine are used to children not always listening and following instructions.

 

However, if a child does not want to join in we don't force them. I have some who love singing, some who prefer just doing actions and some who enjoy just listening ( these ones tend to go home and repeat the songs at home) Also we never make the children sit down either, as an adult I find it uncomfortable so they have a choice if the want to sit, stand, lie down etc. We just ask them to make themselves comfy

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I think you need to give him a settling in time.

 

Please don't label him as 'determined' or 'problem'

 

We would never expect a child to join in with group activities or story on a first day, however if they are being disruptive or distracting then have a member of staff read a story or do a quiet activity elsewhere out of sight of the other children.

 

Hope he settles in!

 

Rachel

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children are very accepting of other children and we have always found that the majority will follow the rules even when others may be distracted. My advice would be to leave him alone to meander and explore ....make what you are doing on the carpet fun and exciting and he will probably choose to join in (when he does don'tmake a big fuss!) praise the other children for being brill and listening (maybe give out a sticker or two?) i have two children in my afternoon group who have additional needs ...they rarely choose to join in circle time,if they are quiet they stay in the main area if they get really disruptive we go to another area with them and do something that motivates them there...good luck dont feel you need to be in charge of him or you will have a power struggle on your hands :o

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Give him time, its so new and daunting for new children, even if he appears strong willed. He has probably never had to do this. The fact that he has had some good moments during his very first morning is good progress.

 

If he needs to play then let him, your other children are settled and sit ok, so a small explanation to them about him being new and not understanding . Usually works for me and given a lttle time he will come into the singing session.

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My setting is only teensy, but I recently had a two year old start and he made me doubt if I could, or should, continue to have him. He absolutely only wanted to do his own thing. He was very unsettled and cried A LOT. It's taken two months of two days a week, but he now trusts me and is happy all day. I could be very flexible, which helped, but in time I hope you child learns to go with the flow.

 

Good luck,

 

Honey

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maybe a little ray of hope here :( one of the children with sen that i was talking about managed to sit on the carpet for story today :( (with the help of an adult re-narrating and explaining) and believe me if he can do it so can everyone else...given time :(xD:o

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Guest terrydoo73

OK so day 3 of this particular child and things are getting worse instead of better - he has both me and my deputy at loggerheads! We just do not know how to deal with him! My deputy pulled me up today for my attitude and handling of the situation today - in front of the other children which made me feel so humiliated. I know she was correct but it just made the situation so much worse.

 

Scenario - child A playing with skittles and bowling ball, has got a couple down and is ready to roll the ball again to knock some more down. This particular child comes running up and kicks the remaining balls down - now how would you deal with that!!

 

Scenario - all the children are seated in the quiet corner ready to listen to a story but this particular child decides he doen't want to listen to a story from myself. He lifts another book and starts looking through it - is this acceptable behaviour as all the other children starting helping themselves to books too.

 

Scenario - all the children are lined up ready to go and wash their hands before snack time. We have just had tidy up time and all the children have with some help cleared up toys they were playing with. This particular child decides he wants to play with a keyboard and when asked to stop and come to the bathroom he says "no I don't want to". What should we do in this situation?

 

Believe me these are just 3 examples of what we have had to deal with today - it seems that we were only dealing with this child and no-one else.

 

Also how would you handle observations on this child - I know we are supposed to be positive and upbeat but we cannot ignore his behaviour can we?

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Well here goes, I am no genius or by no means have answers for everything but this is only his third session. I would -

 

Skittles scenario, see if he could be coaxed into standing the skittles up and encourage with adult support the children to play together and take turns.

 

children listening to a story - if he remained quiet and was looking through the book I would leave him and allow him to do this, even if other children began to do this also. You could have 1 member of staff reading to the group and another member of staff supporting those who want to look at books independently.

 

not wanting to wash hands - He was probably having so much fun that he didnt want to stop!

 

Don't get into a fluster because he doesn't seem to conform immediately, he will get there but also have a look at your own settings procedures to see if you could change any of them to enable his settling.

 

Believe me I know exactly how you feel, have been there, done that and got the t-shirt. I had to throw our entire routine up in the air and change the way we ran so that the child is allowed to be more independent and can choose when he wants to have snack or if he wants to listen to a story.

 

As for "can we ignore this behaviour "- yes you can.

 

I bet this little chap will provide you with endless observations.

 

Good Luck

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Sorry if it is not what you want to hear but the scenarios you describe sound like a typically developing child finding their feet in their new environment - day three is hardly any time at all.

 

As for how to deal with the given situations I really don't think there is a 'one size fits all' answer. WIth the skittle example I might explain to the new child that the other child was playing and get him to help you stand the skittle up - but it is of course dependant on the child's level of understanding. I wouldn't have a problem with him looking at another book at story time. In your previous post I think you said he wouldn't come and sit at circle time for rhymes and today he has sat with the group at story time and I think that is progress. I find that explaining to other children that a new child 'doesn't understand yet' or 'is still learning too..' and that they can help by 'showing him how you can sit nicely/listen to the story etc often works but again there is no one (or easy!) answer.

 

As for the keyboard, I bet that was far more interesting than going to the bathroom, maybe he spotted it for the first time and just had to have a go. Maybe compromise, 'a little go on the keyboard' and then wash hands would work but without knowing the child it is a bit difficult to answer.

 

With observations I would do them exactly the same as I do for other children - no I don't think you should ignore the behaviour you find unacceptable but really feel it is very early days for this child.

 

THe only general comment I think may be of help is to try to use positive language with the child, even if you want to say something 'negative' to him. We find things like 'I wonder if you can walk nicely?' is far more effective than 'don't run or stop running'.

 

Please don't think I am criticising you as that is not my intention and if it makes you feel better we are celebrating a child who managed to sit around the circle for almost 3 whole minutes last week. He is just three years old, attends twice a week and joined in in September 2010.

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terrydoo73 I think whatever the challenges this little chap poses you and your deputy need to agree a way of handling this situation effectively.

 

It sounds to me as if there is disagreement within your team about suitable strategies to use, but this is not the child's fault and he needs the adults around him to provide consistency so that he knows what the behavioural expectations of your setting are. With sensitive support he will soon learn how things work, what he is expected to do and when. In the meantime, perhaps you need to have a team discussion to get everyone's points of view about the behaviour management strategies you are currently using. You could raise the various scenarios you have experienced with this little boy and agree between yourselves whether they describe 'problem' behaviours or just those of a normally developing child. From here you can then agree strategies to use to support him to promote a smoothe transition into your setting.

 

Whatever else happens, no practitioner should be made to feel humiliated, especially not in front of the children who very quickly pick up on atmospheres and difficulties between practitioners.

 

Good luck terrydoo73: hang on in there and keep at it. I'm sure with your support he'll get there in the end, but you need support too and I hope you find some from within your team.

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I think in situations like this you have to step back and ask yourself 'whats the worst that could happen?' Its certainly not worth a conflict amongst staff. If no-ones getting hurt and property is undamaged or repairable, I'd ignore him to be honest.

I'd heap loads of praise on the children who are following the rules and make every event fun and upbeat so the children want to be focused on you and what you're doing. It can be very frustrating but after just 3 days I dont think its time yet to worry, at least he's able to seperate from his carer without howling the whole session, thats always worse :o . As to your observations he shows an interest in music, he can hold a book and turn the pages the correct way, he appears to like physical activities.

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I tended to do as Rea has suggested... I wonder how much attention all this negative behaviour is giving him... a good reason to continue?

 

The skittles.. if he was unwilling to help put them back or unable to understand what he was expected to do.. I would them make a bit fuss and lots of attention to those playing the game, help them put them back up, explain the child was new and not understand the rules of the setting.. or something similar, and make it really fun and appealing for them, so the child perhaps wondered why or what was happening.

 

same for story time, we would let him have the book, he was actually sat in the area which was a big plus, and the story would become very animated, props, fuss of those listening, positive comments to those co operating or joining in..

 

keyboard.. all depends on the situation, but we had cafe style snack so never had the situation like this arise.. I do think we would have tidied all away before queuing , which would have included removing or covering the keyboard.. but once he had it would probaly have said a quick play and then come to join us.. turning it off when I felt appropriate.. and making the fuss of those who were doing as asked...

 

 

i can remember one child who constantly said no and all the staff got the message to make a big big fuss of the others when they were playing well, or sitting and joining in.. a visitor thought we had all gone totally mad.. but the child was intrigued and wanted the praise too so eventually joined in some of the time... we could tone it down as he improved..

 

other things we always used were positive instructions... as an example a child climbing on the chairs we would ask to put their feet on the floor... walk when running etc

 

We were taught in our behaviour management that children never listen to the first word you say , so saying 'don't xxx' all they hear is the 'xxxx' so will continue the behaviour... it made us all think about how we would phrase things when giving children instructions.

 

give it time.. 3 days is too soon to be too stressed about him... perhaps ask about behaviour at home... is it the way he gets the attention there by refusing to do something..

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Maybe a good way to deal with this would be to take a big step back from the situation and ask yourself (and maybe the other staff) what is so bad about what he is doing?

 

If you think about the book scenario in a different way you could say that he has seen an adult enjoying exploring a book and chosen to follow the adult's lead by exploring one himself. Why is that less valuable than sitting still simply listening?

 

Could he still have been listening but using the other book to keep his hands busy and help him to concentrate?

 

Perhaps at home he has only experienced books by looking at them himself and listening to someone reading was a new and slightly uncomfortable experience for him so he was trying to add a familiar activity for comfort.

 

Would it not be acceptable for all the children to be allowed to explore the books if that were suddenly more interesting than listening to the one which was being read? Why is it important for them to listen to the whole story? Could you have a separate space for children to take their own books to if they'd rather explore them than be read to?

 

Was the choice of book being read out as appropriate as it might have been if the children were so easily disengaged?

 

Perhaps exploring some of these issues together could help you to find some common ground with your deputy and improve your working relationship around this child or in the setting in general.

Edited by Upsy Daisy
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He is 3 please except him for what he is, he will settle. It really is early days. The children dont come into pre-school with a 'good button', life would be boring if they did

 

As someone has just said does it matter? In the whole scheme of things probably not, he will learn not to knock skittles down learn to enjoy a story in a group and maybe his interest in the keyboard will make him a budding pianist.

 

Work with him, enable your setting to give him time to settle

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I am watching this with interest as I think that the issue has clearly brought up our own different expectations of children.

 

My personal view is that children should be empowered to understand and assert their rights, so part of me is thinking - good for him, why should he conform just because it makes our lives easier. The exeception to this would be the skittles example, but I do not know if he knocled the remaining skittles down to join in or to spoil the game?

 

Children like this also give us the opportunity to assess our systems and routines - is it actually desirable for all children to sit for a group story time? I love stories but I have always struggled with reading to large numbers of "herded" children - I would much rather read with a small group of interested children.

 

And clearly there are issues around working as a team that can be explored and the team strengthened as a result.

 

I think this could be a great experience for you.

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lolo,

Thanks, those are good points - I know that in the past I have experienced situations such as this where my gut instinct is to 'let it ride' and see what happens. In my early days this happened during a Social Services Inspection (oooh! That dates me!!) The child was actively 'encouraged' to remain with the group: in feedback it was remarked that we had plenty of staff, why could this child not be supported in their preferred activity without it disrupting the rest of the group? Imagine how I felt, as an 'assistant' that I hadn't acted on my own reactions!! I have borne this in mind ever since.

 

As a team it may be that everyone needs to be reminded you are all responsible - if a child, for whatever reason, has a problem with an aspect then there should be some back up. But please terrydoo, don't think I'm being critical, it's just that I feel if we need to be making all children's experiences enjoyable and positive (every child matters), then we need to be taking their individual needs into account and be seen to be doing so all the time. It can be hard if you're not used to this sort of thing, but I'm sure your new child will settle and possibly more quickly if you take a softly softly approach.

 

Keep us informed and good luck

 

Sue

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Guest terrydoo73

My Deputy and I have decided to take to make an exact note of what happens with this child when he comes into the setting and we find some things that annoy us. We will talk about them in depth after the children leave for the day and try to decide what we maybe can do for the future. It has been a real talking point for us over the past 2 days and causing both of individual stress too. We are due to have an inspection from our Early Years Registration Team next week so we want to have some sort of evidence of what we are doing jointly so think recording it in detail might give us evidence to show.

 

Standing back sometimes does help and we definately have been challenged to think about how we respond in terms of our language. I guess we are just trying to feel our way at present and want things to go too smoothly. We are also going to try and focus on one positive thing that has come out of the daily sessions - that way we will not get bogged down too much and remain upbeat.

 

Today our positive thing was a parachute experience. We only had 3 children turn up today with myself, a Deputy and volunteer so there were 12 handles - one for each hand and because the wind was slightly up today just holding the parachute and watching the wind raising it caused soo much fun. The giggles and shouts of joy from these 3 children alone makes me smile as I type this. We had another positive experience soon after - although the children were tired with being outside and lifting their hands up while holding the parachute we brought them inside and made playdough. They all got the opportunity to measure out the ingredients, mix the dough and watch the colour changing and then the shape developing. Whether it was because they were all girls I don't know but it was wonderful to watch their faces light up too!!

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'evidence' of what, exactly? this child seems to me to be behaving perfectly normally, and from what you say, I think the real 'problem' is that you and your deputy have gotten yourselves in a panic over the inspection and want everything to be 'perfect', including the children? I suspect that if you BOTH relax, so will the child and honestly, if I was an inspector, I'd want to see happy children, who are enjoying being in your setting, doing what makes him happy ( so long as he's not hurting any one else).

Boys enjoy making playdough too.................and bread making is a fantastic activity for releasing pent-up energy........ all that kneading and pushing/pulling!

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Terrydoo it sounds like the approach you are taking is very reflective and you and your deputy are now working together for a common goal. The very fact that you posted about this issue shows that you recognise that there may be a need for change.

 

Sometimes these sorts of challenges turn out to be really good because they make us stand back and re-evaluate our own practice and help us to make progress in our understanding of the children in our care. I hope that you find that this reflection helps you to make adjustments which benefit all of the children and staff in your setting.

 

Please come back and let us know how this little one settles in.

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Just thought I'd share something I was once told, which I find very useful when attempting to handle 'challenging' children:

 

"The child that annoys you the most, is the child that needs you the most" - it always helps me reflect on my own feelings and responses in such situations.

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My Deputy and I have decided to take to make an exact note of what happens with this child when he comes into the setting and we find some things that annoy us. We will talk about them in depth after the children leave for the day and try to decide what we maybe can do for the future. It has been a real talking point for us over the past 2 days and causing both of individual stress too. We are due to have an inspection from our Early Years Registration Team next week so we want to have some sort of evidence of what we are doing jointly so think recording it in detail might give us evidence to show.

 

 

'evidence' of what, exactly? this child seems to me to be behaving perfectly normally, and from what you say, I think the real 'problem' is that you and your deputy have gotten yourselves in a panic over the inspection and want everything to be 'perfect', including the children? I suspect that if you BOTH relax, so will the child and honestly, if I was an inspector, I'd want to see happy children, who are enjoying being in your setting, doing what makes him happy ( so long as he's not hurting any one else).

 

Reading your post , I was thinking much the same as narnia... is it just that he does have his independent streak and you are not yet used to allowing this to show, and develop the joining in over time..

 

I was also a bit concerned about the wording.. 'annoy us' - is it really the way this child makes you feel? just this child which does this.. or is it just the way I am reading it , reading and hearing something can be very different.. may be not what you mean at all.

 

must admit I used to love these independent strong willed children, who all needed a different approach, but once found often became the ones who were there first for everything.. still very independent though.

 

seems from your post he was not in today so you had fun and enjoyed the session.. would you have done the same had be been in? actually sounds like the sort of thing we would do to encourage the reluctant to join in with group things.. fun, interesting and very active..

 

One thing to think about also is the fact that you are probably the first people who have expectations different to the family, and your ideas and routines will be so different to those he has the rest of the time, it is normal to need time to learn adjust and become happy somewhere which is so new in lots of ways, rules, people, routine, environment, children to name a few. He is still young , give it some time.

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The child that annoys you!.......i think that is so sad, couldnt agree more that the annoying child is the child that needs you the most.

 

we too have smaller groups for story more beneficial to all

 

 

hope you and your deputy have time to reflect but include everyone in that reflection, take time to think and evaluate.

You made the right step by recognising something needed to change.

 

I have high expectations of my children but they are in line with their development, always keep that in mind and all children are different

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Guest terrydoo73

Apologies to everyone - seems I am not using the right terminology with annoyed and determined etc etc. I definately did not mean it to come across as a lot of you have taken it up - thousand apologies.

 

Evidence that we are collecting will be "proof" to the Early Years Inspection team that we are not either simply ignoring the child or are oversensitive to his needs etc. Both can be picked up by Inspectors I believe (am I correct??)

 

This child is very developmentally ahead in our opinion in expressing his needs and desire "don't want to" etc etc. Perhaps being vocal he is given more "attention" so to speak. We were informed by his childminder when she came to collect him on Monday that he was very tired as they had had a number of late nights over the weekend. This child only comes to our setting 3 times a week - I believe he could be with us every day and thereby help him adjust to the setting, other children etc. We do realise that he is not getting the opportunity to play with all the resources and this is perhaps frustrating him. Then when he does get an opportunity to enjoy something really well we seem to be pulling him back.

 

Today we went with him and tried to accommodate his needs rather than our own. It resulted in us not doing any written observations on any other child but focusing entirely on what he wanted to do and how we might ensure he settles. My Deputy spent more time in the bathroom than in the actual playroom today.

 

Please bear in mind these are pre-pre school children we are working with so they do not know yet how to wash hands properly or go to the toilet on their own. They need help to encourage them to be able to learn these skills and we realise it will take time.

 

Perhaps we do have high expectations and our nervous at the Inspection. When you get threatened by an Inspector to be closed down within the first month if things are not as they require them to be then you are on tenderhooks the whole time!

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Apologies to everyone - seems I am not using the right terminology with annoyed and determined etc etc. I definately did not mean it to come across as a lot of you have taken it up - thousand apologies.

 

Perhaps we do have high expectations and our nervous at the Inspection. When you get threatened by an Inspector to be closed down within the first month if things are not as they require them to be then you are on tenderhooks the whole time!

 

Hi terrydoo73 and welcome to the forum :o

 

Really no need to make 'a thousand apologies'........must admit that I read your post and thought that your terminology was a little 'unfortunate' - but understand completely that we all make 'mistakes' in the words that we choose......

 

Who is coming to 'inspect' you.....if an advisor from LA - her (or his) role will be one of support......don't understand why you have been threatened with closure....

 

Wondered if the following would help at all.......this is taken from Individual Plan for one of my Key Children - this has been fully discussed with parents and my staff and all are in agreement....

 

PSED

Monitor and support behaviour, clear and consistent boundaries. Try not to respond to 'attention seeking' behaviour, but heap on praise for 'desirable behaviour'. Observe and record levels of 'Well-being and Involvement'

 

I should, I think, point out that this little boy is not a 'newbie' - he has been with us for 15 months - but, possibly, as a result of some changes in his life, his behaviour had become quite worrying........

 

This strategy has really helped him........

 

Hope that helps

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I think it is easy to misunderstand things when just reading written text. I have no doubt that in a face to face conversation perhaps things would have been a little clearer.

 

I think this little chap is lucky to have you and your staff as you so clearly want him to settle and enjoy and benefit from all you have to offer.

 

I could be guilty of 'reading between the lines' here but kind of get the impression you are worried about your forthcoming inspection visit and understandably so but I would really try and put that issue on the back burner.

 

Spend time with you little man as he finds his feet, if you are relaxed he will pick up on that and I bet he settles before too long.

 

I sometimes try to see a child's view by putting myself in their shoes. Imagine going to outer mongolia and going to college. You find yourself in a whole new environment where things are totally different from where you have been before. You don't know the building, where the loos are, what time you need to be somewhere or what you are supposed to do and all the people around you are people you have never seen before. You have the skills to find out and adjust pretty quickly but your little man doesn't yet but he will in time with your continued support.

 

We have one 'little treasure' who needs alot of adult input but that's what we are there for, to meet all the children's needs and sometimes it can be a bit of a balancing act. A member of staff was recently heard to say 'I hope OFSTED don't turn up on a day xxxxx is in' and I was far from happy to hear it!!!!

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