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Our Son’s Insertion

Insertion? Insertion into what, I hear you ask.  Although it may sound painful, and in a sense it is, our son is not suffering physically, you will be pleased to note.  The insertion, or rather ‘inserimento’ is a system employed by certain day nurseries and nursery schools here.  In simple terms it is a period that allows young children to become used to being at school.

This may sound like a good idea, and it probably is for kids who have passed the last 3 years in the company of their mothers, but for our little lad, who has been attending some form of nursery since he was about 8 months old, it is not that necessary.  Indeed, he was suffering during the initial part of the process which involved his being at school for one and a quarter hours, from 10am to 11:15am over a period of a week and a half.  Initially one of us had to be there, and then we did not need to be there, but still had to collect him at 11:15am.  Now he is doing a 9:30am to 1:45pm session, alone, well, without a parent.  He’s doing fine and from Monday he can even stay until 3:45pm.  It may sound like a long day, but was he does mainly is play, with toys and other children and he loves it, being a sociable little soul.

The only other problem with this ‘ever-so-gentle’ entry into nursery school is that someone has to interrupt their work day to pick the little fellow up.  Sometimes this someone is me, other times it is a babysitter.

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A friend of ours, who also has a young son actually raised the subject of this requirement to pick up kids with someone at his son’s nursery school, because he was finding that it was disrupting his work day.  The ‘educator’, as they now call themselves, looked at him blankly, as if to say ‘Problem, what problem?’.  You see it is assumed here that either the child’s grandparents will collect the child from school or a babysitter will.  If both parents work, very common nowadays, and they do not have grandparents nearby or cannot afford the cost of a babysitter, they have a bit of a problem.

Does the Italian system take this into account?  Does it fiddle.  If affected, you just have to live with it.  It seems inconceivable to the powers that be that families do not have, strong healthy, grandparents on call.  I find this a bit odd coming from a country where most people live miles away from their grandparents, but it’s not at all odd here.

The truth of the matter is that if a woman wants to stay at home, and fewer do nowadays I believe, then her partner needs to be earning a damned high salary, but not everyone has jobs which bring in enough to allow a parent to stay at home.  In Italy this is just not taken into account.  No wonder the birth rate is so low here, they do nothing to encourage having kids, apart for the Roman Catholic church which persists in its opposition to the use of contraception and thus, indirectly, attempts to influence the birth rate, although Italians have been ignoring the RC church’s silly rule for a long time now.

If you are going to encourage people to have children, then you need to give them an infrastructure that allows them to do this.  Politicians, incidentally, are paid more than enough to allow their wives to stay at home, or pay a full time nanny.  This is possibly why their feet are nowhere near the ground.  Such is quirky Italy.

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