In addition to teaching your child some academic skills, preschool helps your child develop their social and emotional skills.

Preschool allows children the perfect opportunity to learn how to socialise with others as they learn about sharing and taking turns.

Most importantly, preschool is a place where children have fun in a safe and loving environment.

But, what happens when your little one isn’t having fun because they are being bullied?

This is the case for one Bounty Parents community member’s child and she called for for help on our Facebook group.

Reaching out for advice, the mum told the group, “My son is 3yo and has recently started complaining every morning about going to daycare because another boy is mean and calls him names. I’ve brought it up with the daycare staff who say they haven’t noticed any bullying but that they will keep an eye on it.”

With the situation not improving, the worried mum is now considering moving her son to a new preschool.

“It’s been going on for a few weeks and I’m not sure what else to do. Due to covid restrictions, I’m not allowed to go into the daycare, I just drop my son off at the door which I feel is making it difficult for me to get an understanding of what’s going on each day. Would you look at moving daycares?”

“My son is 3yo and has recently started complaining every morning about going to daycare…”

One commenter advised the mum to put her worries about her son about the bullying in black and white.

“I’d be looking at putting your concerns in writing. Because that way they’ll have to investigate it and also when your child does eventually slot the other kid, you’ll at least be able to prove a history,” she advised.

Another community member implored the mum to escalate the issue to management.

“If I was you I would just escalate my concerns both to his educators and also to the management and ask if anything is actively being done about the bullying because if your son is still talking about it that would (to me) indicate that it probably is still happening. Try that first,” said the mum.

“If it was our son I would also try and come up with some practical solutions that he could use to stand up for himself or remove himself from the other kid when they are being mean, try to teach coping mechanisms from a young age too.”

If your child is being bullied at preschool, they need a lot of love and support, both at home and at preschool. Your child also needs to know that you’ll take action to prevent any further bullying.

Raising Children has the following tips for dealing with preschool bullying:

  • If your child is being bullied, you need to get help from preschool staff as quickly as you can.
  • Bullying is a serious issue, and most preschools will have policies and procedures for managing it. Your child’s teachers should also be trained in spotting and handling bullying. They can work with you to stop it.
  • It takes time to change behaviour, so you might not see overnight results. But you should feel that your child is safe and being cared for while the preschool teacher is working on the problem behaviour.
  • It’s best for your child’s wellbeing and development to be in an environment where they feel safe, respected and valued. If you’ve tried to address the issue and it’s not getting better, you might want to think about moving preschools.

Raising Children also says not all aggression is bullying at this age. “Some preschoolers are aggressive because they haven’t yet learned the right language and social skills. Your child’s teacher is trained to know the best approach to take if another child is behaving aggressively towards your child.”