Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

My personal journey of being involved in my children’s playschool

By: DEBBIE MULLEN

Tuesday 25 October 2016

As the mum of Eoghan and Elliot, now 5, being involved in their preschool year was a wonderful experience. The experience affected my life in so many ways - I got to know my two boys as they became part of a group and developed an identity as pre-schoolers, while seeing their individual interests and skills emerge and develop. At the same time I became involved in a new community of parents that has enriched our lives. This latter came as a lovely surprise and in this blog I want to draw your attention to its importance. I think you need to know how great this network you facilitate is for parents – so that you continue to provide opportunities for get-togethers, from the beginning of the year. The pre-school year is a journey for the group of children but it is also a journey for the group of parents.

One of the highlights of the year was their sports day in May. At this stage I was getting to know the other mammies quite well. The ‘Sports Day’ is a memory we all have from our own school days. As I came around the corner at the preschool I could see the boys’ heads up looking around for me and when they spotted me - a big smile. The races start, I see Eoghan standing at the start line and the educator says go. Eoghan is still standing there. I shout ‘go’ and he runs. Needless to say, he doesn’t win and stamps his foot in frustration – but soon he’s smiling again. Then the dreaded (or joyful!) mammies and daddies race. This is one of the highlights for the children and for some parents…not me. I did my best. We celebrated with a medal ceremony, had a picnic and even the Mr Whippy ice cream van arrived. What a sense of community we experienced that day – a sense of shared parenting!

Another highlight was the end of the year celebrations. I was the proud mum, seeing my boys sing with their friends. I held back my tears as they began to sing all the songs they had learned and we, the parents, had all become familiar with throughout the year. We joined in on the chorus – again bonding through shared experiences and joyful singing. There was a real sense that we had come on a learning journey together.


They bring home their ‘learning journals’ – a record of their experiences in preschool. Dad and I and big brother sit at home with them and listen as they explain the photos, drawings and commentary. It was magical! - photos of them from the beginning, middle and end documented their growth and development. Two very different boys emerged from those journals – Elliot, who loves to paint and draw and Eoghan, who loves to climb and explore. Elliott’s drawings have become so confident and detailed while a photo of Eoghan climbing a tree in the service is accompanied by the educator’s comment that in all her years she had never seen someone climb as high as Eoghan. Her heart was in her mouth, she says, but she stood back because she knew he was able for it. He loves that comment.


There are lots of photos of the boys with their friends building with blocks, digging, making mud pies, caring for an unexpected visitor, a hedgehog, pretending to be daddies, sword fighters and doctors. This is a lovely insight into special moments in the playschool that I get to know about and share and celebrate. And of course it’s all the better because I know the other children in the photos and their parents – so again that feeling of community.


I think you only really come to appreciate the amount of work that educators do when it’s for your child. Eoghan and Elliot read their journals most days and ask can they go back to preschool. It is such a special bond – such a special memory – such a special contribution to their childhood. These journals and the friends we’ve made will be a regular reminder of that wonderful year, both for them and me.


We’d love to hear about your experience and reflections – as parents or educators or from your children. Share these in the comments box below. 

2 comments Comments

2 Responses

  1. Debbie Mullen says:

    Thanks Carole and Debbie

  2. Carole Dee says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience of Giggles Playschool form a parent’s perspective Debbie! It was a wonderful journey for all of us and I as an educator learned so much form Eoghan and Elliot also. We will definitely take on board your suggestion of hosting an event for parents earlier in the year and are planning a Christmas event for families…..watch this space!

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Home Corner(1) Universal Design(2) early years learning(1) outdoor play(7) respect(5) family time(1) Women(1) Identity(5) built environments(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) mental health problems(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Counting(1) movement behaviours(1) Europe(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Children's Book Club(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(2) Fantasy play(1) gender bias(1) Loss(1) parents(7) listen(1) DCYA(6) reading(6) Music(3) Winter(1) Inspired Practice Award(6) Family(1) Capable(1) Mud kitchens(1) Investment(2) Trigonometry(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) COVID-19(18) Inspirational(2) Maria Montessori(1) Professionalisation(5) Communications(1) Arithmetic(1) Unesco(1) story time(2) Arts(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) multi-generational community(1) pets(1) value(1) documentation(4) Shoes(1) women in research(1) Recycle(1) New Appointments(1) STEAM(1) INTO(1) learning bias(1) Care-giving routines(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Pedagogy(2) IGL(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Sleep(1) Traditions(2) Dance(1) SAC(1) GoToMeeting app(1) experience(1) Employee(1) Academics(1) Ariana Pucci(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Cork(1) Sessional service(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Educators(2) Arlene Forster(1) Policy(2) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Playdough(1) babies(7) play(37) pablo(1) San Miniato(4) learning hub(2) Kindness(1) Looking Back(1) baby room(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) World Health Organisation(1) listening(1) COVID(3) Wilenski(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) responsive relationships(1) DES Inspection(1) friendships(1) Creative(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Opportunities(1) journey(1) Kindness Challenge(1) Covid response(2) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) National Holiday(1) risky play(2) Fabric(1) Your place(1) children’s learning(1) EM Standing(1) Orla Kenny(1) worries(1) child-centred approach(1) play stories(2) Intention(1) democratic citizens(1) Maths(6) learners(1) routine(2) Book Club(2) TOY Programme(1) Treasure(1) Digital(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Children's Voice(1) dublin(2) Proceedings Journal(1) E.coli(1) Building Resilience(1) Family wall(1) dining experiences(1) Trade Unions(1) Graduate(1) Learning Stories(9) early year’s classrooms(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Whole Group(1) Sustainable(1) Croatia(1) Light table(1) Snack Time(1) Digital Devices(1) Certificate(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Creativity(7) Vietnam(1) Well-Being(10) Potential(1) MECPI(1) bonds(1) dining(1) continual professional development(1) outdoors(4) Irish(1) Online Research Symposium(3) Engineering Ireland(1) curiosity(3) keep in touch(1) collaboration(1) early childhood(1) Vertical grouping(1) UNCRC(2) Budget 2018(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Child mental health(1) Imagination(3) Design(1) Patterns(1) Mo Scéal(1) Montessori(3) Deirdre Rogers(1) under 3's(3) Rich Documentation(1) social media policy(1) Grief(1) Afghanistan(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) School Age Childcare(2) inspiring interactions(1) eating(1) Inclusion(3) ECIAwards20(1) Culture(2) Advocacy(1) Infection Control(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Queues(1) Learning through Storytelling(2) man up(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) education system(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) TRAP(1) InspireMe.ie(1) social media(2) Communicating(1) Anxiety(2) Story(2) risk assessment(1) Early Learning and Care(2) Irish guidelines(1) Stress(2) Small World Play(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Maynooth University(2) Kilkenny(1) Visitors(1) Exploring(1) quarantine(2) TUSLA(1) Empathy(1) Penguins(1) Leadership(1) Awards 2018(3) Exit interview(1) racism(1) Nutrition(1) Exploratory Play(1) AsIAm(2) Anthony Semann(1) presentation skills(1) Halloween(2) UNICEF report(1) Maynooth(1) Summer(2) partnership(1) Funding(1) Bereavement(2) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Flowers(1) Budget 2019(2) Early Childhood Education(1) Growing up Outdoors(2) Infectious diseases(1) Síolta QAP(1) grandchild(1) feisty(1) Frustrations(1) Gratitude(1) Budget 2020(1) Role play(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Malaguzzi(1) Reflective Practice(1) Magnavacchi(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Pen green(1) Party(1) Human Resources(1) SPICE Framework(1) Confidence(1) UK(1) Playschool(1) linc(1) UN(1) Equality(1) Wrapping paper(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Sport(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Thanks(1) Jenga(1) Pobal(1) Mealtimes(1) community(5) conversations(1) Exercise(1) University(1) Mark Twain(1) Brain(1) Mathematicians(1) Mixed age groups(3) creche(1) Snacks(1) mushrooms(1) aistear blog(3) communication(4) overhear(1) play pod(1) Masterclass(2) National Childcare Scheme(1) Maths Week(1) Obesity(1) UK Government(1) Running(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Sculptures(1) Seanchaí(1) Learning Journal(2) Children(8) Recycling(2) Supernanny(1) Exclusion(1) Appreciation(1) Eritrea(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Storytelling(8) Workplace Relations(3) Maths Week Ireland(1) CIT(1) Art(6) Sequins(1) Titles(1) NCCA(4) Margy Whalley(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) Early Childhood Ireland(10) Pretend Play(1) bloom app(1) Decisions(1) research(8) Super Shed Stories(2) child led(1) NAEYC(1) Nonverbal(1) Line-ups(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) role playing(1) Mindfulness(3) meals(3) Italy(1) Inspections(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) developing motor skills(1) annual conference(1) Return to Work(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) partnership with families(1) STEM(3) Training(3) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) preschool(4) CCTV(1) Awards 2019(1) National Awards 2019(1) conference(1) childcare services(1) Performance Management(1) Self Help Skills(1) Meet the Members(1) play therapy(1) Mental Health(4) Thinking(1) Learning Story(1) Builders(1) environments(1) keezy(1) healthy eating policies(1) Magda Gerber(1) Study Trip(1) ICBN(1) MA(1) EECERA(1) books(5) Cognitive development(1) Kerry(1) Self-Esteem(1) dogs(1) Youtube Series(1) Traffic Lights(1) CPD(1) Buddy Bench(1) Inter-generational learning(2) outdoor environment(1) guardian(1) Children's Rights(3) ECCE(7) Sociodramatic play(1) Qualifications(1) Shapes(2) Lego(2) Adoption(1) Kids Own(1) Snakes(1) playleader(1) Liz Kerrins(1) coronavirus(1) code of ethics(1) Weather(1) science(3) Looking Forward(1) early years research(3) life long learning(1) early years settings(1) Support(1) peer group(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) art of the relationship(1) Inter-generational(2) Touch(1) Siolta blog(8) Twitter(1) Names(1) UD(1) QRF(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Children and families(2) trust(4) Diversity(1) Belonging(3) Breathing(2) Celebrations(4) Japan(1) online training(1) Affordability(1) interacting(2) Performing(1) june29(1) emotional well-being(1) Feeding(1) Awards Night(1) Academic Skills(1) Gardening(1) learning(19) code of professional responsibility(1) Research Seminar(1) stories(3) Treasure Chest(1) Nordic model(1) curriculum(7) ReCreate(2) EECERA 2016(1) social science(1) United Nations(1) Engagement(1) Environment(2) christmas(9) Department of Education and Skills(1) Leargas(1) child safeguarding(1) Leprechauns(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Plastic(1) Challenges(1) education(2) Window(1) Document Learning(1) Settling in(4) COVID-19 crisis(1) homeschool(1) Reopening Childcare(1) ECEC(4) National Awards 2018(2) reopening ireland(1) GDPR(1) budget(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Exploring and Thinking(1) Time Out(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Reading Time(2) Change(1) Socioemotional development(1) awards 2020(1) relationships(18) Wonder(1) child-centric(1) World book day(1) science week(2) Nuturing interactions(1) Santa(2) Educator of the Year Award(3) Giraffe(2) show and tell(1) Childhood(2) Facebook(1) refugees(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Staff Motivation(1) Love(3) AIM(2) Workforce(1) Early Years Education(1) iOS(1) Early Years Educators(3) annual awards(1) Mayo(1) apps for children(1) Primary School(3) Meal time(1) Interaction(1) Regulation 23(1) First 5 strategy(1) Seas Suas(1) Sustainability(3) Sweets(1) animals(2) Consent(1) Degree(1) Magic(1) Relaxation(1) supportive environments(2) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Norway(2) First 5(1) democracy(1) Through the looking glass(1) Laughter(1) Thank you(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) ERASMUS+(3) Scents(1) food(1) Learning journals(1) Reggio(1) reopening(1) RIE philosphy(1) Upcycling(1) educarer(1) Community involvement(1) children development(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Health(2) Administrative Burden(1) Valentine's Day(3) St. Patrick's Day(1) Visual Impairment(1) youdoodle(1) Death(2) Mount Everest(1) Drawing(2) Fire Safety(1) emotions(2) Interactions(3) Decision Making(1) Participation(2) Yoga(1) College(1) lockdown(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Child Care(1) early life(1) preschools(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Covid pandemic(3) Blocks(1) memories(1) National Annual Awards 2020(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Awards(2) scientific and artistic processes(1) Xbox(1) Large Doll Play(1) blog(56) Children's Research Network(2) an post(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Graduation(1) Map(1) staying connected(1) Plants(1) Competent(1) Social Skills(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Reggio Emilia(2) gender stereotype(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Confident(1) Iraq(1) RTE Investigates(1) Engineering(3) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Games(2) The Lullaby Book(1) Technology(3) Covid-19 lockdown(1) Celebrate(1) Aistear(132) Scéalta Blog(106) Little Buddies(1) early childhood ireland research(1) research submissions(1) Buddies(1) The Jelly King(1) transitions(10) early childhood educator(2) Impact(1) Maternity Leave(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) Easter(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Rituals(1) preschool settings(1) natural environment(1) timekeeping skills(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Mantra(1) Laugh(1) Loving Relationships(2) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Skillnet(1) ELC(1) Online(1) International Narratives(1) maternity health(1) worldbookday(1) emotional environment(2) risk(2) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Childcare(3) Book Review(1) behavioural science(1) Craft(1) Trade union(1) European Project(1) Care routines(1) Spiders(1) Early Years(1) outdoor space(3) Frosty the Snowman(1) Return to Work Training(1) Prexit(1) Independence(1) Quality(4) Self-regulation(1) Síolta(139) scéalta(58) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Hand Hygiene(2) Wendy Lee(4) Albert Einstein(1) phone apps(1) Our Little Seed(1) Iceland(2) Horizon 2020(1) educating(1) Ceremony(1) development(9) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Syria(1) Autism(4) Favouritism(1) planning(1) Fee Play(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Teamwork(1) upskilling(1) Elders(1) toddlers(3) Wesco(1) play pods(2) structure(1) Behaviour(3) HR(1) Photographs(1) imotion(1) Routines(2) Workplace well-being(1) ECEC Setting(2) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Limerick(1) Pre-School Services(1) Oireachtas(1) ears(1) Engineers Week(2) purpose(1) Covid19 crisis(1) PIP(1) Biting(1) quarantine kids(1) Painting(1) Body Language(1) primary education(1) Event Guide(1) Positivity(1) Trick or treat(1) Smiles(1) Time(1) Inspiring Practice(1) Glitter(2) Interests(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine