When a child starts nursery or daycare, it’s likely just as much of an adjustment on the parent as it is on them.
It comes with a new routine, as well as a new set of rules and checklists to follow.
However, some parents may be unknowingly putting daycare workers at a disadvantage, making their working day more difficult and even hampering the learning of children.
One nursery staff member has shared some of the most annoying things parents can do when dropping their little ones off.
Speaking to The Sun, Sharon Birch, the owner and founder of Footprints Learning for Life nursery in Hartlepool, UK, outlined some of the distracting and annoying parental habits which should be avoided.
Wearing Pyjamas at Drop-Off
Sharon firstly acknowledges that sometimes getting the kids dressed and out the door takes precedence over a parent getting ready.
However, she says this can actually have a negative impact for both parents and children.
“It’s not a good look and not a good habit, and [wearing pjs] does nothing for self-respect and self-esteem.
“We do understand that everyone’s circumstances are different, so we’d rather your child attended nursery than not.”
She adds that ‘organisation’ is key, and having clothes ready for the morning for all parties should be a priority.
“If you’re in too much of a rush to change your clothes, provide daytime clothing and we’ll change your child the minute they are through the door.”
This one kind of comes hand-in-hand with organisation. Being late is just part of life at times, something which Sharon recognises.
However, it impacts staff and the child who arrives late to the point where they may spend the rest of the day playing catch-up.
“If your child is late they miss part of the session and it puts them out for the rest of the day if they feel they’ve been rushed or have missed something,” she says.
Not Providing a Spare Change of Clothes
While it’s likely that most parents provide copious amounts of spare clothing, as well as nappies, wipes, formula milk, and so on, some may not be aware that this responsibility falls on them.
“Nursery is all about messy play, enjoying activities like painting, gloop, mud, sand, water, and going outside in all weathers – no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing,” Sharon says.
“Please don’t forget comforters like dummies and blankies, those important things that help soothe your child, especially at sleep time.”
Not Checking Your Child’s Bag
This one follows on from not providing a spare change of clothes. Similarly, not checking your child’s bag can result in inconvenience and stress for staff – especially if the contents are wet or dirty.
Things from home can also often make their way into the bags of kids and failure to check before their day in nursery can make for awkward, stressful, and even embarrassing outcomes for staff.
It’s understandable that a parent may have a hard time pulling away from their child when they start nursery or daycare. However, lingering around is one of the most annoying things parents can do after dropping their child off.
Sharon stresses that parents should leave right away to avoid upsetting their child.
“Separation anxiety is a normal part of child development,” she says. “But if your child is to attend a childcare provider you must leave.”
“Be brief, be positive, be firm and kind, be reassuring – ultimately, it’s for you to be resilient – and then to leave. Long goodbyes don’t help you or your child,” Sharon stresses.
Staying to Gossip
Similarly, hanging around to have a gossip with other parents, or even nursery staff, is also something Sharon strongly urges against.
Instead, if a parent has a concern or something that’s sensitive, they should talk to the manager about them.
“We are compassionate, sensitive and understanding. We can help. But we won’t gossip.”