Preschoolers - August Discussion

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion


    I just realized that your daughter only goes to childcare 2 days/week?  THAT's what is having her transition to preschool take so long, because she only practices it 2 days/week.  Hang in, it'll keep getting better, as she has more and more time with the children, larger group, busier class, etc.  If she left a toddler group, she would have had only 9 children in her class, while the preschool could have 16 to 20 children!  That's MANY more children, which means a larger classroom, busier classroom, louder classroom, with more cubbies, more kids at circle, etc.  Combine that with her having been the oldest in her class (and therefore very confident with what's going on, the routine, how to do stuff, she was perhaps even the helper in the room if there were quite a few younger kids, and now she's suddenly the youngest - so the way they do stuff is totally different like morning meeting/circle, snack, lunch, making choices, even taking walks with such a large group is different. 

    Give her time, I'd forgotten that she is part time at school not all 5 days. 

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    RE veggies-for the longest time DS would only eat raw veggies, if I cooked them he'd gag and that was the end of it. Now at 4.5 he's coming around. I also got him to start to eat onions (purple only) telling him his favorite cousin likes them-now he loves them. :) In the phase when he would only eat raw I'd have him cook with me and he'd much away on all the raw pepper, and tomato, and whatever else I cooked. I still can't get him to eat eggplant-though I haven't tried to crisp it up. he's huge into sweet potato!

    DS has never been into ketchup! even with a hot dog he'll just eat it plain. DD on the other hand, loves her mustard.

    Poppy-late I know. but on days I have both kids we try and check out a new play ground. Boston has a good listing by locations. I've done story time at the library in a surrouding town, we'd hit up DQ (amazing how kids will sit still for ice cream). We'd visit a local farm, play in the garden (the kids love weeding! though dd starts to pull the grass we want to keep).

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    cwag, I just saw your post. My younger one (DS) is also a little garbage disposal and like you, sometimes it helps his big sister trust whatever green/red/yellow item we put on their plates at dinner!

    Speaking of meals, something that I found somewhat alarming happened the other night and I wonder if you've all encountered this. I was (as usual) trying to persuade DD to eat something on her plate. It wasn't even a NEW something, it was chicken or something that she's had, and liked, other times recently. So she finally put it in her mouth, then turned her whole body away so that she was crouched in the corner of the chair with her back to us (we were eating outside in our deck armchairs). For a minute I thought she was spitting out the food onto the floor. Then when I asked what she was doing she said, "I don't want you to see me." And ate more chicken, turning around like that. And when DH asked if she liked it she didn't say anything (which meant she did but didn't want to tell us). It was like some little psychological game. It made me feel terrible! I feel like I caused the beginning of some sort of eating disorder by constantly trying to get her to eat what we give her. So now I am keeping quiet during dinner. I will put the food on her plate, but not say much more about it.

    ETA: Thanks, KAM. We ended up going to a sprinkler park with a playground attached, and brought a picnic. Both kids seemed to have fun. While DS is still crawling, though, I hate playgrounds with woodchips. Right in the mouth.

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Poppy - don't beat yourself up that you caused some sort of disorder!  I'm sure she will be fine.  I think you are 100% right on, though, to just put the food on her plate and not say much more about it.  Ignore whatever game is happening.  If I were to guess (from afar, maybe I'm way off!) it sounds like she wanted to eat chicken, but wanted to have the control of whether or not to eat chicken, so she hid because she didn't want you to know that she was doing what you wanted.  :)

    CT - thanks!  Yes, she's just there 2 days/week.  Actually, daycare/preschool is going much, much better.  Her teacher said when she started, she appeared tense about 50% of the time and melted down a couple of times per day, but now she only seems tense if there is a major or unexpected transition, and rarely melts down unless something actually happens (e.g. someone pulls her hair or something).  The other day when I dropped her off, her "best" teacher was busy comforting another girl who was crying and crying (is having drop off troubles lately), but DD seemed fine so I just left, but as I did I saw a really big girl go up and start poking her.  But her teacher says DD didn't get tense and just walked away!  And when her teacher praised that, she was just like, "yeah, I needed some space so I moved away."  Great!  Still having a harder time in other contexts (playground, beach, playdates, parties), but those seem to be slowly improving as well.  Her new technique is to hide her eyes, and I think this is a fine intermediate step if it prevents her from getting really upset.

    Do other people's daycares follow the MA rule that lets them be "out of ratio" for the start and end of the day?  I hate this rule.  DD's class combines preschool/pre-K and it is MADNESS.  Same thing for the 2 toddler rooms and the 2 infant rooms, actually, but it didn't seem as nuts because it was not as many kids.  I mean, kids are in the process of getting dropped off and picked up, but especially in the AM it is seriously crazy.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Med-that's great news about DD! Our center absolutely does not allow any room to go out of ratio in the AM/PM. But this can cause major drama/craziness some mornings. Esp if you arrive earlier than normal, a teacher calls out etc.. The other day dropping DS off two teachers called out, people were early, DS had to go to a room he didn't like, so I moved him to another room that he did like and in the process of that they decided they had to send one of the directors to a room to make room for all the kids coming in. In the process of 5 min DS was in 3 different rooms.

    Poppy-I recently thought I had given DS an eating disorder for not wanting to eat so he didn't p00p-it's amazing what these kids say!

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Med - that's great about DD! And WTH with the poking? I give her serious credit for keeping her cool and just moving away calmly. (I also give you props for not showing that other girl how it feels to have someone much bigger start poking you.) Our previous daycare/preschool would combine classes at dropoff and pickup. Drove us crazy. Made an already shaky dropoff even more difficult. I don't think the new preschool we're sending her to does that.

    And I think you hit the nail on my head describing the reasons my DD might have been hiding her chicken consumption. :)

    KAM - has DS been better this week?

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    I know, I was closing the door and saw the poking through the window and was tempted to go right back in and tell the girl that fingers are not for poking.  :)  And since this when they were combined with pre-K for drop off, we're talking about DD being the shortest in preschool and this girl being the tallest in pre-K, so seriously like a foot taller.  The other girl was trying to be friendly, not mean, but still it was not a good technique.

    I hate the combining rooms, but on the other hand I had looked at one center that kept all the teachers from open to close and that seemed like too long of a day for the teachers and kind of unfair.  I like that our center has a lot of assistants to cover breaks and make the teachers' days not so long, but the combining still is tough.

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Late to the party as usual but I will add my 2 cents. I can see no difference between fruit and veggies at this age. So fret not if your LO is eating strawberries and won't touch green beans. my two love fruits of all kinds but only DD will even try a veggies right now - she eats broccoli - but just the very tops - not a bit of stem!

    And....I did it! It took all summer, $2,000 in legal fees and a lot of sleepless nights, but I have FINALLY gotten my kids' preschool to take them both for a full day. Many of you may remember that they wanted to take DS for the full day and DD for only a half day. I got a million excuses and then always seemed to be waiting for someone of other to come back from vacation, but they have finally agreed to let her go full day too. I have to pay for the extra 1/2 day for her - which I offered to do back in June. What a relief! It's going to be a long 13 years with the SPED people if this is any indication! :)

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Hurrah for Lily!!!!!

    Oh,, that's such wonderful news, good for you (and your husband, I'm sure) for sticking with this and doing what's best for both children. 

    I'm so happy for you! 

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    about combining in the AM/PM:

    I don't know anything about MA being allowed to be out of ratio at drop off/pick up - is that really a rule?  I used to teach (a long time ago, I'll admit) in MA as a toddler teacher and a preschool teacher and we weren't allowed to be out of ratio - except during nap time when we would each take time to go get something to eat - but we never had a 1 hour break or anything, just popped out for 30 minutes to get food, then we'd eat in the classroom while we did notes, lesson planning, etc. etc.  (my teachers have it so much better, they work 9 hour days but they get a 1 hour break which I must cover if too many teachers call out) and they have planning time weekly out of the classroom to do lesson planning, researching on the computer, entering info in portfolios, doing observations, etc.

    BUT I do know about trying to maintain ratios in the AM when people call out- I've had parents frustrated about the moving from one room to another to maintain ratios, but if we don't do that when parents pick up late or drop off early, then we'll end up with 12 or 13 toddlers (rather than 8) in a room when our teachers need to go home (or before they come in) and that's not safe, so we do take the 4 extra toddlers and take them to the infant room, or whatever.  But then at 5:30pm you go from your room to your old baby room, then 25 minutes later your parent arrives, or that room closes and everyone goes to the closing room - so that toddler has been in 3 rooms from 5:30pm to 6:15pm.  BUT most kids do a great job at this, andd we know which ones are able to roll with those punches and those are the ones we'll move.

    It's all so hard, I hate doing that, and I try to design teaching schedules around children's schedules, but those early arrivers/late departures kill us!  Right now I have a teacher who does 8:15 to 5:30pm and two more who do 8:30-5:45pm because we simply don't have enopugh children leaving at 5:30pm to get down to one infant room, and yet we have 3 infant rooms open by 8:30am so I need all my infant staff in! And then if 1 or 2 (or worse, 5 like this past Monday) staff call out it's a mess! 

    (ARGH!  someone literally called out 30 minutes AFTER she was supposed to be at work on Monday, saying that she had to call out, that her mother had the baby early, and was coming home from the hospital today, and because not everyone could get to the baby shower, they took gifts to the hospital, so my assistant teacher "had to" get the house ready for her mother to come home, and take the gifts home, etc. etc. from the hospital.  That her mother's boyfriend couldn't do it all.  Now that's a WTF?  I mean, a grown woman is ok with her 19 yr old daughter NOT GOING TO WORK just to get the house organized and bring gifts home????? So much for work ethic, huh?  But in the city, there is NO WORK ethic, so this isn't surprising.  I used to be much more upset than I am now when I get these type of calls - now I'm just resigned. And I think THAT is sad, too.

  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Misslily, that's great, congratulations!  Too bad it took that much to get the same outcome that could have happened in June...unbelievable.  They owe you $2k the way I see it, but of course I know better.

    CT, how frustrating!  But, in a country where in over 30 states (including Massachusetts) you can collect more from welfare than you'd get by working a minimum wage job, the work ethic is being driven to decline.

    Discretion is the better part of valor.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Poppy-thanks, DS is doing better. He finally started to eat again and we don't get any more weird/worrisome comments. It was definitely the comment that worried me the most. I mean, I didn't think I messed the kid up that much THIS early, I figured I had a few years before I realized the extent of "couch time" he'll need for having me as a mom. :)

    Mislilly-that's great news! Common sense prevailed! Sorry you had the spend the $$ to get them to agree that you could spend more $$! the sad fact is you'll probably have quite a few more fights on your hands as the kids get older. But think-you have time now! you could do errands and go to lunch!

    CT-you can tell the staff at the center defintely plans based on when kids normally arrive, we had to shift our schedule by 15 min and the first few days everyone from the front desk person, to each kids teachers were like "whoa, you're in early!" But we don't have to commit to times at our center, so I *could* drop my LOs off at 6:30 when they open and pick them up 10 hours later with no warning. Our center won't even go out of ratio during nap time. And a new teacher isn't allowed to be alone with kids for the first 3-4 months on the job while their background checks/clearances are being processed. So you have enough teachers, but you can't leave some alone, in ratio, with the kids, must be frustrating!

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from KMMZ1012. Show KMMZ1012's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Our rooms are never out of ratio at pick up or drop off. In fact, DS has been sent to another classroom in the afternoons sometimes if ratios shift at all. But I do agree that combining rooms can be chaos. DS' school does buddy rooms and pick up some nights is a nightmare. DH does drop off and he's never said anything. Sometimes, though, if one of DS' teachers isn't the teacher for morning drop off, a message to his teachers doesn't get passed on.

    I am occasionally guilty of dropping DS early at school on days when I have to do drop off. In my defense, I only do drop off when DH is out of town. So I still have to do pick up as well, which means I still have to get to work relatively on time and leave relatively on time to make my pick up. I always arrange early drop off ahead of time - at least two or three days' notice to the office staff. Maybe I should give them a week, though, if they do scheduling that far in advance. I would never just drop DS off early without calling or arranging first - that's not fair to the staff.

    As someone who used to manage a mostly college aged staff of young woman, I am more than familiar with the cavalier attitude some of them had about on time vs late for work.

  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Misslily - Yay!  Good for you for fighting, and even better for winning!

    CT - that must be really frustrating.

    I feel like, to Kar's larger point, if we had a child care system in this country that made it so daycare teachers (and all teachers, really) were paid more as valued professionals, the jobs would become more coveted.  And all CT's problems would go away.  :)

  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Med, can they really be "out" of ratio when they combine at the start/end? I really didn't think they could.  They can combine, but still have to be at the "mixed ratio" levels of protocol, which I believe are based on the youngest in the room?  I know at drop off, you can hear teachers calling the front office stating "I'm at this # and need another teacher" or "I'm at this number - time to send in someone to open the pre-school room."  Or at the end of the day, they combine more rooms or send teachers home based on mixed ration number and you can hear the front office check in every so often to check ratios.  They can also only be in rooms licensed for the youngest age in the room I think.  So if I am super late for pick up at night and it is my DD at 2.5, my DS at 4, and one infant, they can be combined with 1 teacher but they have to be in the infant room.  At least that's how I think it is supposed to be. 

  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    PS - the ratios are based on the state ages, not how each individual daycare divides "pre-school" or "toddlers" or those in-between "pre-toddler" or pre-school prep rooms.  So 6weeks to 15mos is infant, 15mos-until they turn 2.9 needs a toddler ratio, and then 2.9 starts the pre-school ratio.  But some childcare centers don't move them up immediately when they age out of a room, or they have transitional rooms to go into, or they move up in September with the school year.  So, someone could be say in a toddler room still at 2.10, but based on age when the rooms are combined, may only require a pre-school ratio and not a toddler ratio.  So it may be that you are witnessing combined rooms, but hopefully they are not out of ratio technically based on the actual children's ages.  If they are, I think you should bring it up with the director. 

  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    and remember that NH and MA ratios and regulations are different, so we have to be careful that we are comparing apples and apples - do you all live in MA? 

  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    I met my one of my son's preschool teachers this morning and she's a sweetheart!  We're staying in the same daycare center and just moving on up... so transition hopefully shouldn't be too bad.  Right now he's W, Th and Fr, and yesterday they had him spend a good amount of time in the room (thankfully his two "best" friends are also moving up!!).  He came home so excited that he had gone to preschool!  (and he said only had one accident).  He'll start 5 days a week in September (no more MIL... which she's already bummed about I can tell).  But, the rate that they charge for preschool drops quite a bit, and with what we pay her.. just doesn't add up to continue splitting time. 

  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Congrats, Lily! What a relief, too bad it was such an ordeal.

    CT - I was so confused at first, reading the end of your post, picturing your teacher as someone like me, telling you her 60 year old mom just had a baby?! When I read the part about her being 19 it made more sense... but still, how crazy to be 19 and suddenly have a baby sibling? I also can't imagine my kids making it to age 19 and deciding to have another baby. ACK! Anyway, sorry for the stress!

    IPW - so great that you and he both like the preschool teacher!


  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    MM - I think you are right, and then you all had me wondering so I looked it up.  Yes, the rules say that while the "large group" daycare centers have the "fixed age group" rules, during the first and last hours of operation they can use the "multi-age grouping" rules, which seem a bit more flexible.  Our director described it as "out of ratio", but I guess it's really just a different ratio?  It's regulation 606 CMR 7.10(4) if anyone's really interested!  Honestly the multi-age grouping ratios are so complicated I can barely understand them.  I'll probably check in with the director just to make sure I understand.

    The combined preschool / pre-K is so bananas at drop off that it seems insane, but I don't think they are generally out of ratio - it just seems insane.  I tried to count the kids this morning but they move too fast.  :)

  21. This post has been removed.

  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion

    Just got a text from DH that my DD got stuck in a similar toy to this that we have at home (top comes off, she likes to climb in):

    He had to take the entire thing apart to get her out. Happy Monday!

  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Preschoolers - August Discussion


    link to complete 2010 MA licensing regs:  7.10 is what you want to look at.

    7.10 (b) and (c)

    so the ratios are still mostly the same as I rememger:  infants 1:3, 2:7, toddlers 1:4, 2:9, 1:10, 2:20 for preschoolers in a full day program (in a half day program you can have 2 teachers with 24 preschoolers for some reason). 

    then for the first 2 and last 2 hours of the day for a full day program (childcare center) you can do the mixed age grouping in that chart. so you can have up to 9 infant/toddlers, but no more than 3 can be infants (I'm assuming that's less than 15 mos of age)and you have to have 2 teachers once you get to the 4th infant/toddler.  In a toddler/preschool mixed group you can have 2 teachers with 9 children, and 1 teacher has to be a toddler teacher and 1 has to be a preschool teacher (probably for continuity and knowledge of age group, that's good).  preschool/school age group has 2:20, so that's no different than the rest of the day.

    My guess? They have the right # of kids with the 2 teachers, but it might be that there are some from 2 preschool rooms, AND the open ended, free play of the morning is making it look, seem, and be chaotic.  That is, we don't plan sit down, teacher directed, activities during drop off/pickup because the teachers need to be available to parents who need to have a quick word - can't do that if I'm up to my eyeballs in paint, or trying to make sure the painting project doesn't get out of hand, or if I'm reading a book at circle time to the kids.  BUT sometimes that goes the other way and it's just plain old CRAZY with kids in all areas of the room, making choices (and dumping stuff), the teachers are spending time with the parents (or at least 1 of the 2 is) and so that leaves only 1 other teacher (or 2 half teachers) supervising the kids, and if it's 1/2 the kids from preschool 1 and 1/2 the kids from preschool 2 (until 9am or whenever when all 4 preschool teachers are there and they can split into their regular rooms with their 2 teachers) then the kids aren't used to working together as a team and in the room and, well, chaos reigns.  Add the fact that some (many) kids need some help to transition from parent to teacher/school, and the teachers have their hands full, and only 2 teachers for 20 kids. (or in a toddler room, 2 teachers and 9 kids, that's hairy when many are 15 mons old, believe me!)

    So. the teachers (with help from the director) need to sit down and discuss how they can make the morning drop off period work better - perhaps have a few areas that are "open" with really fun (and easily supervised) things to do?  Or make sure that they choose specific directed activities at the tables so as to limit the 'dumping' or to start doing opening in the younger preschool room (I hated it when my older preschool was the opening room and the 2.9 yr olds would put their hands in the fish tank, dump the counting bears all over the place, etc.) And perhaps a parent or two is dropping their preschooler off before going to the toddler room with younger sib so the toddler is all over the place, dumping, choking, chewing, etc. on the materials? (THAT was a joy, and it happened daily....) 


    I always liked have puzzles at the table, or playdough, or crayons and paper - something that wasn't too messy but would engage the chlidren, sitting down, and focusing.  If it's rice or something easy in the sensory table, I'd also open that, but not water or flour, those are messy, slippery, and will get out of hand quickly. In the block area, the blocks and animals and cars were open, but not the BIG BLOCKS because we couldn't supervise them properly.  Science (with the itty bitty magnets, magnifying glasses, etc.) wasn't open at that time of day - that was something used when the day was calmer and kids could be more careful.

    I'd ask for a serious discussion with the director, have her flip the page open to the licensing regs, and explain them because you are totally confused by them (I think I understand them, but...).  And tell her you are really concerned about how crazy it seems to be in the mornings and you'd like to see what they can do to get it a bit calmer.  Could they have an earlier snack? Or....