My son, Harry, has now completed his first full week in school (that is, mornings only) and is blissfully happy, but exhausted! He has a delightful teacher and is in a class with many of his friends from playgroup. He wil be going to school until 12pm for another three weeks, and will then have a week of going until after lunch before starting full time.

Personally, most of the work I do is from home, so the changes in time are not really inconvenient for me. I am pleased to enjoy his company in the afternoons for a few more weeks and he is really shattered when he comes home. I don’t think he would manage staying until three in the afternoon. Yet I have heard so many mums complaining about how their child is “used to being in childcare from 8 until 5pm” so why can’t they just go all day?

Whilst I can’t understand why people want to let someone else look after their children form 8-5 while they work, I do appreciate that some people have to work for one reason or another. It’s not that I don’t understand how hard it can be to organise childcare, but I do think that these mums are losing track of who’s important here. Starting school is a big deal for children – it’s not the same as full-time playgroup. I think that it is great that our school thinks about the children’s wellfare and not the parents’ convenience, but I do feel sorry that teachers and the head have to deal with complaints from people who should just see it as a few weeks in which they have to make different arrangements in the best interest of their own children.