Hi guys. This is my first post here, but I've been lurking for a little while. I hope you can help me out. And I apologize if it's a little long.
DD will be 3 in mid-September, and Baby Brother is due in late September. DD had been attending a day care for about a year that only accepted toddlers and pre-school kids. Because of baby brother coming, we recently switched her to a new place that goes from infants up to 12 year olds in before/after school care. Obviously, the new place is A LOT bigger. DD was in the toddler room at her old place (about 7 kids), and she was one of the first ones potty trained, and generally a little more mature than a lot of the kids in the class. They had been talking about bumping her up to the pre-school group early because she fit in better with them. At her new school, she started in "pre-school jr" which is for kids 2 years, 10 months (exactly her age now) to 3, as a transition room to help them get ready for the regular preschool. There are 11 kids in the program, but with some being 3 day/week kids, there's usually about 8 or 9 there on any given day. I think they spend about 1/3 of their day with the regular pre-school class. Today is the end of her third week at the new place, so I know it's still early.
The first week at new school was great - DD didn't bat an eye and barely even turned back to say bye to me when I dropped her off. The past two weeks have been a different story. She gets super clingy at drop off and tells me she doesn't want to be there, doesn't want me to go, asking me to pick her up and hold her, etc. She's fine at home, tells me about her day and talks about school like she mostly has fun there (more on that below), and she's fine in the car on the way to school and walking in, it's just when I go to leave. Clingy is really not like her, and she's not shy at all. Her teachers tell me she's doing well, though I'm hoping to really talk to her particular classroom teacher about some of this stuff this afternoon.
She just doesn't seem very happy there. I say she talks about it like she's mostly happy because she has said a couple of things that maybe I'm putting too much weight on, but I feel bad for her. I asked her what are her friends names that she plays with and she said "Adreana. But only her. I only play with her." They were playing play doh when I picked her up yesterday, and she asked if we could play play doh when we got home. I said, but you were just doing that at school, lets do something different at home (I hate play doh), and she said "but I didn't get any play doh, no one would share with me." And she's told me twice that Colin pushed her. I'm planning to talk to her teacher about all this, and maybe I'm overreacting in feeling concerned because it's still early and she's still the new kid and all of that, but I was hoping for some input/reassurance from others that have maybe changed daycares at this stage, or seen reactions like this in kids this age.
DH and I think that maybe it's just that it's a bigger place and she's not the star of her class anymore like she was at her old school. When DH told her old school that we were leaving, one of the teachers said "oh no, now there's going to be no one who actually listens to me!" So I know that she was a little bit of a favorite there, if only because she was one of the more mature kids in the toddler room, and now she's one of the herd, and everyone is on the same level as her. She doesn't get any special treatment like I think she did at her old school. I know I'm also a little more sensitive to it because DH did 95% of the dropping off and picking up at her old school, so I never really had to deal with it before, either. I think I'm going to ask DH to do drop offs next week, and see if she is any different with him. Lately she's generally been in a mommy phase at home, and doesn't really want to hang out with DH much, so I'm curious how she'd react if he was the one dropping her off. And maybe the whole mommy phase is contributing to her behavior at drop off, too. I don't know. Help?
TL; DR: DD seems to be having trouble fitting in at her new (bigger) daycare after 3 weeks, and I feel like she's getting more clingy as time goes on, not less. Please reassure me.