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Late Arrivals At Pre-school


bubblejack
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I have some parents who constantly bring their children late to pre-school. They don't have to take older siblings to school I often make a joke of it but this doesn't help. I was talking to one of these childrens teacher about other issues concerning the child and she mentioned that he has turned up late for all of the child's school visits so far. She commented that the pattern has been set now so I'm wondering if I should "nip this habit in the bud" in the future. I find it is disruptive and time consuming to let children in after the usual arrival times.i.e. 9.00-9.10. It also upsets younger children who have just settled. I would be grateful to know how others deal with this situation tactfully.

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I think being late is appalling wherever and I would certainly point it out when parents arrived late for my nursery class. We did have the whole school policy and the admin support to back it up though and latecomers got letters and unauthorised absence marks!! (It also helped that I was responsible for attendance and punctuality in the school). However, I do think it sets the tone for many children's attitudes to school. I remember one parent being mortified when, after years of turning up when she fancied, the class had gone on their trip without her child because she was SO late. (I think she had to take the day off work and take the child along herself) Punctuality is an important attitude for future life skills, getting to work, getting to appointments etc and i think it is never too early to value it.!

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It's not a problem we have bubblejack. Collecting is though, and without an appology! We write the time in the register for those who arrive late or collect late/early and I was thinking of getting the parent to sign on these occassions. It might make them realise. Like you we have tried the jokey method and it just doesnt work xD:o

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we dont start until 9.15 and we have just had to remind parents to be on time.we have register at the beginning of the session so late arrivals cause a constant distraction.

 

the number that arrive late was increasing daily, some were always late one mum said the child would not get up!!! (if you cannot get a 3 year old up what will they be like as teenagers!!!) One parent was always late because she stopped to chat to the mothers leaving rather than bring her child into pre-school!

 

I added a reminder to the last newsletter I sent so everyone had it and no one was singled out.

it went something like this:

(having once again reminded parents to collect on time!)

 

"I would also like to take this opportunity to ask you to bring your children on time for the beginning of the sessions. The children lose a lot of valuable learning by not being present for register and some find it very difficult to settle into the sessions without a regular routine. It is also unfair on the children who do arrive on time as the constant coming and goings while they are trying to concentrate is very distracting.

We know sometimes there are times when you cannot control the times of buses etc. but some children are regularly arriving late for the sessions. Many of your children will be moving on to schools , it is a good idea to get used to a routine of arriving on time now. "

 

 

It seems to have had an effect with no one arriving late for the last week!!

 

Inge

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Rea,

we sorted out late collections by introducing late collection fees. They have to pay £5.00 per child if they are late and do not telephone to let us know. we usually give a bit of grace as the car park is impossible at these times, but if I have to telephone to find out where they are they have to pay and we send a bill.

 

by reminding them of this every newsletter it had worked this year with only one instance this year!! (Comminication breakdown- Each thought the other parent was collecting!!)

 

Inge

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Yes I've heard of other people charging, but our committee wouldnt go for that because it's not them who are left hanging around. And I'm a softy, the main offender has just split from her partner and has 2 other children and has had a horrible time so I'd feel mean. She's probably laughing at me but I really am soft. xD:o

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We offer morning and afternoon places - The offer of a morning place is made on the understanding that parents will arrive on time or the place will be withdrawn.

I have warned some parents that late collection ie:- more than 10 minutes should be reported to Social Services. this usually has some effect.

Being part of a school we can also use the services of the Educational Welfare Officer who will make a home visit to see parents.

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I very rarely have a problem with late collection because I address the situation immediately but I have been a lax in addressing the late arrivals, probably because it doesn't affect the afternoon sessions. The comment the teacher made to me made me realise that I am promoting bad habits that may continue in the future. It also bothers me that I am claiming the cost of 2.5 hours of nursery education for these children and cannot provide it if the child is continuously late.

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Yes I've heard of other people charging, but our committee wouldnt go for that because it's not them who are left hanging around. And I'm a softy, the main offender has just split from her partner and has 2 other children and has had a horrible time so I'd feel mean. She's probably laughing at me but I really am soft.  xD  :o

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Thats fine but what about the child in this.... going through the upset of family split etc and aslo being left on their own waiting for a parent to arrive? how must it feel to them? she may be having a difficult time but so are the children.

 

as to the commitee... as we never leave a child with 1 member of staff to be collected I asked one of them to stay at the end of each session until all children had been collected to allow the staff to go for lunch or collect thier own children from school....... luckily or was it unluckily for them one parent was half hour late one day and no aplology given when they strolled in. meeting the next week and system in place immediately!! wonder why?

 

Inge

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I very rarely have a problem with late collection because I address the situation immediately but I have been a lax in addressing the late arrivals, probably because it doesn't affect the afternoon sessions. The comment the teacher made to me made me realise that I am promoting bad habits that may continue in the future. It also bothers me that I am claiming the cost of 2.5 hours of nursery education for these children and cannot provide it if the child is continuously late.

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Surely, If the parent fails to arrive on time or does not bring the child at all it is their choice not to take up the full 2.5 session not you failing to provide it. They have the opportunity to take it up but fail to do so, and therefore nothing to worry about.

 

 

Inge

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, I too get cross with the time wasted with parents arriving late for sessions, I work in a large nursery with 3 rooms and am in the room nearest the front door. For safety reasons someone has to let parents in and out and our parents can still be arriving 30/even 40 minutes into a session. No obvious reasons for some of them, although others have to take older siblings to school 10 minutes away. Late collection is not too much of a problem and we have a policy of charging parents if the constantly collect later than 15 minutes. Only happens once. The time spent standing by the door means less time to interact and play with the children. I think I might get my Manager to address the issue in the next newsletter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

late arrival is a problem I have which drives me mad but theres not really anything i can do about it. We have a constant stream of parents arriving for the first 20-30 mins and we have some that arrive later than that. We start at 9 which means they are all dropping off their older kids at school and quite a few have to travel quite far.

I would love to have a register time at the begining of the session, but this just would not happen, mu manager said there is no way we would get all the parents in on time, even if we asked them

This also means, as we have a security code, that i have to stand on door duty for ages and even when i do sit down i'm up and down like a yo yo answering the door :o

anyway rant over :D

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  • 1 month later...

hi all,

 

just coming back to this previous post, as something has just cropped up!

 

had a parent ring up today, has a little girl just turned 2, (we take from 2) who she has currently been taking to work with her. (not sure what mum does)

well anyway, she thinks it will be good for the child to attend our playgroup which is in the village she works. problem is we start at 9.30am and she said she wouldnt be able to get the child to us until about 9.45-9.50.

 

this would be very disruptive as we have lots of new young children this term as well as all the usual reasons

 

but then again, should i support this parent in the interests of the childs wellbeing, hate to think of her stuck at work with her mum. she is not complaining about paying the full amount or anything, im just thinking about the distruption.

 

should i support this family or would i be setting a bad example for future life experiences?

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To save any disruption to the group could the parent arrive with the child at the correct time and stay with her child untill she needs to leave to go to work. We often have parents staying a short while but they all know they must leave after 15 minutes when we formally do the register.If the parent doesn't wish to do this could she leave at 9.15 and arrive at work early etc etc.

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This wouldnt be a problem for us as we have an hour free play in the morn and like you I would be inclined to support hte parent on the other hand sometimes the parent has to decide that on occasions they should fit their work around the childs best interest and if she is taking the child to work suggests she perhaps has more lea way then some?

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I think this has to be something which only you can decide, because it would be difficult to judge without knowing your individual circumstances. My own personal feeling would be that I could work around it, but like Andrea we have free play for the first hour of the session. I don't think it is generally good for children to arrive late, but again this depends on the child. Really rubbish reply - sorry Ruthie! :o

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I partly agree with you Beau, It is the individual situation. I would ask/consider;

 

1/ Who are we to judge a parents decisions on their work/life balance?

2/ Does late arrival really affect the child - How? when? (every session/sometimes)

3/ Is late arrival really disruptive for the children or adults or both? How?

4/ Preschool is not yet "compulsory" education, it is a "service" to all it's "customers"

 

In my experience I had a child of Asian culture who always arrived at 10am onward, the reason being she was kept up late (midnight) to see her father when he finished his work shift, so she needed to sleep later in the morning.

Another family, whose parents were seperated, when dad had his daughter on a week night, he would always arrive late the following morning because he wanted to spend more time with his daughter.

When this child came in late, the other children always greeted her with enthusiasm, happy to see her - when she arrived at normal time the response to her was less enthusiastic because she was "lost" in the crowd ( if you know what I mean). So at a time when she was feeling a bit insecure ( parent seperation) the children boosted her self esteem by their enthusiastic welcome.

 

peggy

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We had a little girl for a year who was always late arriving because Mum had to drop an older brother off in a different town first. They had tried this child in a Pre-school in that town but she didn't settle so they tried us as we were a smaller group in a nearby village. It worked fine although we sometimes felt she missed out on some activities but she was a bright happy child. The family have now moved to France.

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Sorry to disagree but does it really matter if a child comes late? We are only a preschool!I had a policy that children could arrive between 8.45 and 9.30 to allow for taking older children to school,new baby to feed etc ,maybe chld slept late etc.Children will have years to have to be on time at school etc .

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I agree oldtimer - some children sleep late, there's a baby to feed, traffic, etc. When parents apologise, I tell them that it's not a problem, at least they have arrived safely. It's when they are late collecting their child without a genuine reason, I get annoyed. :o

 

Sue J

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I agree oldtimer - some children sleep late, there's a baby to feed, traffic, etc. When parents apologise, I tell them that it's not a problem, at least they have arrived safely. It's when they are late collecting their child without a genuine reason, I get annoyed. xD

 

Sue J

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I have to say, it is a pain when parents arrive late when dropping off their child, but I'd rather they arrived late than not at all.I do sometimes make a jokey comment to parents, but not the child,as it isn't the child's fault that they're late.I DO get annoyed when parents collect late, we have three families who persist in this, so we have now introduced a late collection fee,but the ones who are usually late can well afford it, so aren't bothered.The worst one lives right next door to us!!! :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I agree i nip it in the bud after the first couple of times. If not they are reminded that we charge for extra time. that soon seems to stop it. I always think that Pre-schools are there to educate parents as well as the children and get them in to good habits

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