Many carers cannot easily recognise if their child is unhappy at their preschool. Many assume it is normal to see the child not happy about going to childcare since he or she is leaving the comfort zone of being around familiar people. But shouldn’t the childcare educators become ‘familiar’ to them after a while?
As a leading childcare group in NSW with many awarded centres, we have put together tips and hints that will help carers recognise the signs that their child is feeling unhappy.
Crying Out Loud
If your little one is consistently crying before they are dropped off at childcare or as they walk in, this can be a sign. This might sound normal for the first few weeks, but beyond that point could be a sign.
Hesitant to Go
If the child is resistant or hesitant every day to go to preschool, this is another sign. Each child will need an adjustment period, but this should never be accepted as normal behaviour after a few months.
If your child behaves oppositely at the childcare, this is a red flag. If you have never seen your child always unhappy or throwing temper tantrums but are told this is their behaviour consistently at preschool, you should question it.
If you suddenly find that your child is acting clingy and becoming more attached to you. If this behaviour continues to become more of a problem and he or she will not let go until it is bedtime (or even wanting you to sleep with them), that is a sign there is something wrong.
If your child reaches a milestone but then goes backward, this is a red flag. For instance, if you find your little one having many accidents after being potty trained or if they restart thumb-sucking after stopping.
Bad Habits Development
This could be things like biting their nails, scratching the skin too hard or twisting hair. This is the behaviour of someone who is not happy or too stressed with their environment and could be their way of letting you know that they are not happy at their preschool.
Many childcare and preschools include meal preparation within their fees, like all our Little Zak’s childcare centres. Some children choose not to eat well because they are not feeling comfortable where they are. If you notice this, you should query what is going on.
Bad Dreams or Sleeplessness
While we could all experience bad dreams that wake us up in the middle of the night, this is usually a sign of being stressed or unhappy. If you notice this or your child complains of bad dreams, try to find out the reason behind this. This could also be manifested in sleeplessness in some children.
Getting Sick Often
While it is quite common for children to be ill frequently, it is wise to watch out for the reason causing it, especially if your child complains about it, he or she wants you to notice it.
Talk to your little one about what they like or dislike about their childcare or preschool to decide if you need to make a school change. Start researching other local childcare centres or even ask in your neighbourhood about the best local childcare centre near you.