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The global pandemic has completely changed the traditional ways of doing things.

In the case of nursery/kindergarten children arriving at the school gates, a fast drop-off has become one of the ways nurseries have had to adapt, with teachers reporting more independent children as a result.

When travelling in England some years ago, I passed a sign reading ‘Parking is only permitted in the marked area for 5 minutes to drop off or pick up your child – after that you will be fined’.

My heart suddenly felt so sorry for the children of that school.  For me they had somehow got it all wrong.

In England, as in many other countries the concept of a ‘key person’ is central to early childhood practice.  One of the primary features of this practice is the ‘settling-in’ period, where teacher, parent and child work closely together.

A 5 minute stop in the car park would not make this possible.

During the past year, new practices have evolved due to government and health regulations.

One of these has been the ‘kiss and drop-off’, where the child is dropped off at the nursery entrance with parents not being allowed to accompany them in.

Some teachers have reported unexpected benefits, such as an end to ‘anxious’ and ‘lingering’ parents at drop-off time. This has also offered positive impact in the long term: children have gained more independence by carrying their own bags, changing their shoes without help, finding their own cubby box etc.

The ‘kiss and drop-off’ has clearly been welcomed by many – both teachers, parents and children.

Peter Jones
17 May 2021

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