WHILE some parents have slowly started to prepare their nursery children for ''big school'', there are plenty of kids who still have a few more years to go.
And while Early Year practitioners look forward to spending time with children they have developed a close bond with, there are certain habits some parents share that only make the teachers' day more difficult.
Lauren* and Anna*, who have worked in the childcare sector for several years, revealed the most common annoying things parents do.
LATE DROP-OFF TIMES
Like most institutions, nurseries work around a certain schedule with set timings – from breakfast to circle time, garden play to nap time, everything has to follow a strict routine to make sure the children make the most of their day.
One small mistake and everything can be delayed – either the meal time will have to be rushed, which increases the risk of choking, or the length of the nap will have to be shortened.
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For this reason, it is important the day and the activities are started promptly.
With most nurseries opening between 7am and 8am, the breakfast time will also be set – in the North London-based nursery where the two work the first meal of the day is served until 8.45am.
''But, of course,'' said Lauren, ''There will always be that one parent buzzing at the door half an hour after breakfast time who will expect us to feed the kid.
''We will still serve someting but it does get annoying, especially if it becomes a habit.''
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Almost nothing compares to the excitement both parents and teachers have when they realise the kid is finally ready for potty training.
However this process, which can sometimes take months, also comes with a lot of frustration.
And there's nothing quite as stressful as seeing the bag that was meant to be full of spare nappies, knickers, socks, trousers and leggings completely empty.
The practitioners pointed out that not only does this mean that teachers will now have to run around to find a spare set of clothes, but it will also significantly impact the child's journey towards potty training.
This, they explained, is because nurseries don't keep stacks of knickers, and the child will be put back into pull-ups for the day.
''The poor kid will be confused,'' said Lauren, who added that she's seen a lot of nursery children go ''back and forward, back and forward'' with their potty training.
''Some of them take forever – the nappy will be all dry and the second they're put back in knickers, they will wet themselves.
''You're just making your life more difficult.''
Sending off your child for their first day in nursery can be very stressful – it's probably the very first time you've not been around them for more than a few hours.
But although the nursery workers understand the emotional rollercoaster and tension, calling every five minutes to check up isn't particularly helpful either.
The teachers said that not only will this interrupt the activities but will also leave the child in tears.
''Kids realise it's mummy or daddy on the phone,'' Anna said. ''Of course, they will want to go back home.''
Another habit that the two have observed is parents dropping off the child even when they are unwell: ''They'll say, 'Oh no, he's been absolutely fine, just a little teary cause he didn't want to go to nursery today'.''
''We can see the kid's not feeling great,'' Lauren said, ''and after 15 minutes we'll probably call you to pick him up.''
While for many ''eyLog'' appears like a random combination of letters, those whose kids still attend nursery know what this stands for.
This education portal allows parents to track everything, from what their child has eaten to the daily activities the offspring has taken part of.
''There is a reason why eyLog exists – it's for you to check it!'' said Anna, who explained it's frustrating when parents don't bother logging into their account.
''Why did I spend 15 minutes writing a nice observation when no one's even going to read it?''
''And then they come up to me asking, 'Oh, how is my child doing? What has he done today?!'
'BUT MY CHILD…'
With dozens of other kids in the same group, it's only natural to compare your offspring to others – whether done subconsciously or not, this is a human trait that's difficult to avoid.
But, the two practitioners pointed out, this custom should be dropped immediately.
While there is a rough guideline of patterns for each age group, Anna reminded that each child develops at a different rate and in most cases, there is no reason for concern.
''Just because his friend can read at the age of three, shouldn't mean you should rush into buying books.
''It's all about time – it will come.''
Those who work set hours will be familiar with the aggravation when you're all ready to leave and call it a day but something, an important email you're waiting on, for example, still hasn't arrived.
Nursery staff isn't an exception – the second it hits 6pm, the teachers are packed up and ready to dash home.
''We understand there might be a traffic jam or something but some parents really show up late almost every day,'' revealed Anna.
Lauren agreed, adding that it's even more ''annoying'' when the mum and dad ask for a detailed summary of the day, which takes up extra time.
''Let me go! I want to go home!''
*Names have been changed.
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