September 16, 2019
My son is about to ‘settle in’ at nursery – and it’s taking forever. 
Nursery Settle Ins May Work For Kids, But What About Us Parents?
It’s not that I’m impatient to get rid of him. On the contrary, I haven’t even been able to bring myself to put him in his new uniform, yet, because it seems impossibly grown up, and he so little. But logistically? It’s a nightmare. 
We’ve already had six weeks of summer holidays to get through, with the predictable juggling of work, childcare and tag-team parenting. And now it’s almost the third week of September... and he’s still not started. 
His older sister (like most children over the age of four) went back to school weeks ago, on 4 September. But for some unfathomable reason in our area, pre-school nursery kids (those below reception age) don’t begin until 16 September.
Yes – twowholeweeks later. And even then, it’s not plain sailing. Understandably, they want to ease the kids in gently. They’re little, and some haven’t ever been away from their parents before. But whilst I understand the need to introduce them to the classroom in bite-sized chunks, for the love of all that is holy: could those chunks not be just a little longer than 45 minutes a day, FOR THE WHOLE OF THE FIRST WEEK?
That’s 45 minutes total, Monday through Friday – and an absolute disaster for working parents. 
If you’re lucky enough to work from home, like I am, it’s not so bad. But the reality is: I still have to arrange childcare for those hours at home, while I squirrel myself away in the spare room with my laptop. It’s impossible to do any work at all with a three-year-old in the room, especially a three-year-old like mine, whose new passion is quacking as loudly as possible. Related... 'We're Gritting Our Teeth And Hoping We Make It Through'– What Childcare Actually Costs And if I ask him to be quiet, or to stop laying on the floor, or to stop trying to chop the cat in half with a plastic saw, he responds in one way only: “NO, BECAUSE I AM A DUCK”. 
And it’s not just working parents or carers who are affected by such a staggered start. Stay-at-home parents who have study, volunteering or part-time work commitments will be struggling to cope just as much as I am. 
We love our kids dearly. But we love them even more when we can get rid of them for a bit during the daytime (for longer than 45 minutes). Related... 9 Ways To Teach Young Boys To Be Feminists I Can Totally Relate To This Mum Throwing A Party To Celebrate Her Kids Going Back To School My Toddler Has Been Quarantined For Suspected Measles – Here's Why
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