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Thread: Sending a very attached child , from non english speaking background to daycare ?

  1. #1

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    Default Sending a very attached child , from non english speaking background to daycare ?

    Our little terrorist is 17mths old now , I want to get back to work and send her to daycare , but i have 2 concerns

    1) she is VERY attached to us , especially me , we have been with her non stop since she was born , only left her with grandparents for a few hours a few times

    2) we speak polish at home , and my husband doesnt speak any english. We want Aneta to learn english , but we dont want this to effect her polish ( which she is slowly learning to speak now)

    has anyone had a similar situation? is it wise to send her to daycare yet? is there a chance she'll learn only english and not speak polish?
    We plan to have a rule of only polish when speaking at home ( like i had when i was growing up ) but im still worried the english at daycare, and polish at home might confuse her enough to stop her talking


  2. #2
    Jodie259 Guest

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    I'm impressed that Aneta is talking Polish already!!
    My son was born in May 06 - and he only gets a few basic words out.

    We have a bilingal home. I speak English, and my husband speaks Hebrew. I can't speak Hebrew (much)... so he has two languages at home. Although he doesn't speak many words... he certainly understands a lot - in which ever language he is spoken to.

    I don't think you should worry about the English/Polish confusion. She may struggle a little bit at day care as she will be spoken to in English for the first time... but I don't think they expect too much from 17mo kids anyway. I am sure it will not affect her language skills at home. Just remain consistant with your polish at home.

    We were told (by a hospital) that bilingual kids are slower to develop speaking initially - but advance much more then single language kids when they get to school.
    Eventually Aneta will go to school... where they will only speak English... so it's probably good if she can get some English skills at Day care. If she got no English... her education may be delayed a bit.


    As for sending her to day care... It will probably be harder on you then her. But if she's been with you 24/7 for 17 months - she may suffer "separation anxiety" initially. The day care centre can give you some information on how to deal with that. Or you might be able to google it (?). If possible - you should try to send her for an hour at first... then a couple of hours... then a day... etc. Just build it up. The day care centres are used to that sort of situation. When I sent my son to Family Day Care recently... the lady gave me an information sheet about separation anxiety. I laughed, and said that my son wouldn't know what that meant.

    My son has been going to part time day care since he was quite young... and he absolutely loves it. He loves the new environment, the other kids to play with, the new toys, the outdoor adventures.

    I hope that Aneta settles into day care... and I wouldn't worry too much about the language. Certainly don't worry about her polish. It may be a little tough for the day care centre as she won't understand what they are telling her. There are some Asian kids at my day care centre, who don't know any english either. But the day care centre cope. And so do the kids.

    Good luck.

  3. #3

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    Thanks
    i made it sound like she speaks sentences in polish hehe she has just started to put 2 and 3 words together .. bu she understands most things we say to her... i feel kind of sad thinking she will be isolated when suddenly strangers are speaking to her in a language she doesnt understand
    but then i tell myself better sooner than later.... *sigh* i dont know

  4. #4

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    Hi

    I worked in a daycare before i left to have my bub and we had a few non english speaking children come who also had only been with there parents.

    One little girl was vietnamese and she didn't speak any english, it was difficult to begin with as her parents only spoke minimal amount of english. I asked her parents, as best i could and we wrote the basic words ie; hungry/food, thirsty/drink, toilet/nappy, hurt, play, tired, help and a few others that she knew in vietnamese and we learnt them so for the first few weeks we could make sure she got what she needed and was happy, once we were able to understand and she was comfortable with us, we started to help her learn some english (as per parents request) She now speaks both, english at school and other places where needed and still speaks vietnamese with the family. She was very shy and it took 2 months before she really came out of her shell, but she is a beautiful little girl and is now coping wonderfully with school and both languages, now at the childcare we encourage children to be respective of other cultures and have days where we focus on other countries, introduce them to languages, foods and tradition, schooling etc without confusing them too much. Sorry i rambled a bit But maybe if you just ask if you can write a few of the main words down so they know it and then aneta may feel a little more comfortable with them, and not so alone IYKWIM. I hope all goes well. Goodluck

  5. #5

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    I have had a lot of experience working with children from non english speaking backgrounds. Quiet often the grandparents would drop the children off and it would be very hard to try and explain to them that their grand child will be better off if they left. (we would then see them lingering around the back fence) It can be a little more challenging for children who cannot speak english when they are left at daycare where most children and all the staff are speaking english. I highly recommend that which ever day care you choose that you go on numerous visits to the centre prior to Aneta starting. This way Aneta will become familiar with the staff and the environment. She will see you speaking to the staff and if you are lucky enough a staff member may speak polish too. As a carer it is our responsibility to ensure the childrens needs are met so you dont have to worry if she cant ask for things like food, drink e.t.c. If she is unhappy im sure they will do whatever they can to find out what it is. I would often pick up many objects or point to many children to find out what is wrong. You will be amazed at how quickly she will pick up english and if you speak Polish at home she will know how to speak both. Sometimes the children who speak another language one day suddenlystart speaking english and we are amazed at how well they can speak. It may take her a while to settle but if you and your husband are confident about the decision you both made then she will see this and come to realise you are dropping her off at a place where she is welcome, a place with a lot of toys and equipment, children to play with, caring adults, somewhere where she wont be hungry or thirsty and that at the end of the day you and your husband will be there to take her home where she will continue to be loved. Have you thought about family Day care? It is where the children are cared for in someone's home and there is a maximum of 7 children (2 under the age of 2, 3 aged between 3-5 and 2 over 5) This may be less daunting as there are less children and one carer. Goodluck

  6. #6

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    enigma - i think she will pick english up very quickly and not forget polish.
    I grew up in Malaysia speaking 3 different languages. My parents spoke Tamil and English at home and we learnt Malay in school as the main medium.
    Along the way, somehow my brother and I ended up speaking more English at home than Tamil though our parents still speak to us in both languages and we can read and write and watch Tamil programs. I think that's what you don't want to happen to your daughter.
    My parents kinda let go but when they wanted us to speak more Tamil we were at the stage where English was more comfortable and being teenagers didn't want to change. This I really regret now. My spoken Tamil can be better.

    I don't remember how we picked up Malay, my parents spoke little with the neighbours etc. But we must have picked it up before we went to school from the kids in the neighbourhood.
    And because Malaysia is a multicultural country, we also picked up other languages like Mandarin and Cantonese from our school friends.

    So, I'm pretty sure Aneta will pick up English in no time, but yeah, if she has constant Polish at home, it will be no problem. She will be thinking in different languages.
    When I speak different languages I think in those languages, because they are so inherent.
    But now when I try to learn a new language, I'm translating them in my head from English.

    Hope this helps

  7. #7

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    I loved it when my daughter used to come home from daycare singing songs in Japanese, German and Italian. They used to have exchange students come in and help, I was amazed at how quickly she picked it up.

    I think there are some books on bi-lingual kids, some of the others girls might know of them.

    HOw was Poland?? Have you been back long?

    xoxoxoxo

  8. #8

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    Enigma,

    It is a pretty common thing for childcare workers to deal with having children who speak very little or no english. And to deal with children who are (quite understandably) very attached to their mumma. As the other girls have said it is a great idea if you could take her to the centre for a few visits before she actually starts, and then when she does begin if you can leave her fo short days and slowly increase them. Try to build a relationship between her and the carers who will be with her all day while you are there. And as for her not being able to speak english, she will pick it up very quickly. Make up a list with some common easy to use phrases on it for the carers, like 'sit down, stop crying, toilet, drink, eat, come here, mummy/daddy will be back soon, sleep time, etc....) Occaisionally with young children, they will get a bit mixed up with the two languages, but they will get the hang of it very quickly. Perhaps you could talk to her in english when it is just the two of you, like when you're in the car, or when your'e shopping or something before she starts childcare, so that it isn't completely foreign to her. When she does start though it is s good idea to only talk polish to her at home though, because then she will learn that childcare is for english and home is for polish.
    Good luck.

  9. #9

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    Enigma, kids up to about the age of 3 or 4 are sponges and can take so much in. It is the ideal time to teach languages and those that learn at that age tend to have it with them for life. I know of many kids who were bi or even tri-lingual by the time they started school. The earlier they start the better, and unlike us adults, kids don't tend to get confused by different languages. I would get her started on English right away.

    I have also experienced a non-English speaking child at Jack's day care. The first few weeks were a little hard on her, she was also very attached to her parents, but the carers spent a lot of extra time with her. I loved watching her progression - each time I picked Jack up and she was there she would come up and wave to me, then before long she was talking to me. It was so sweet. So it can be done, maybe it's one of those things that you have to try and see how it goes. If it doesn't work out then you can always reassess. GL.

  10. #10

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    my sister only spoke polish until she went to school - she was/is very well adjusted, however i have to say that unfortunately i think our polish has suffered.

    I too am bi-lingual (polish and english) and was born here in Australia along with my siblings - but our parents chose to speak to us in polish - although mum was brought up here in Australia (came post war at age of 3) but dad was pretty fresh off the boat so had very little english.

    Long story short - don't know if it will effect Aneta to go to Pre-school or not - but I think that if you want to ensure that she doesn't lose her polish I would continue to do what you're doing at home. My son is also living a bi-lingual life but I have to admit I tend to speak more english than polish to him as DH is Irish - but when i want to talk about him to DS - i speak in polish -

    Either way all the best with your decision making process - it's tough, I'm struggling with the day care thing here also and DS will be 2 in January - oh well go with your gut feeling is pretty much the only advice i can offer - all the best

  11. #11

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    Ooh there are a few Polish girls on BB!

    My mum is Polish and speaks fluently, but my sister and I can only manage a few words. I think Mum's dog understands better Polish than us (she speaks to him in Polish!). My parents worked when I was young so our Babcia looked after us. Mum regrets Babcia not talking to us in Polish.

    Mum will def be talking to my baby in Polish when he/she arrives.

    Sorry, I know this doesn't answer your question but I think DiannaQ's recommendation is pretty good.

    Good luck.

  12. #12

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    LOL - I bet we can all say Pierogi?? - Yum bring on Xmas

    PS - Shoegal - Babcia looked after us too and this Babcia (ie my mum) speaks to my son in Polish also - funny thing is that he really listens to her and when he wants milk - he calls it Mleko - he's never ever called it Milk - funny hey

  13. #13

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    Thanks everyone

    Lulu - yeah we FINALLY made it back to Oz , for good now , and lets hope we never have to live in Poland again - thats all i'll say on that matter

    We have decided we are sending Aneta to daycare , as soon as im happy with one that i find , ive realized she isnt the first or last child in this situation - and im sure she will be ok .. (its probably me whos going to stress and worry more than anything! )

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