Parents worry their child won't make friends at school

Children Pre-school can be "daunting" for children with less social experience, said Action for Children

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Parents worry their children will not make friends when they start at school for the first time, says the charity Action for Children.

In a survey of more than 2,200 British parents, 33% said their main worry was their child would not make friends.

This compares with 11% who said their main concern was that their children would struggle with their school work.

And one in ten said they were worried about their child not asking for help when they needed it.

Parents 'overwhelmed'

Carol Iddon, director of childcare at Action for Children, said: "Parents naturally worry about their children but the thing that struck us most is that they think they are doing the right thing by having them read or write without thinking about the social skills they need."

She said that for only children, children who didn't have a lot of contact with others, or were not a member of a playgroup, learning social skills such as sharing, playing and communicating could be hard.

Ms Iddon said children were ending up finding it difficult to mix with others or navigate the "complexity" of ingratiating themselves into a new environment, so they found the experience daunting.

Liz Bayram, chief executive at childcare group Pacey, said: "We know that when it comes to their children starting school parents can also be overwhelmed.

"They are most concerned about their child's overall happiness and ability to settle in well which can feel at odds with early years policy which often focuses more on academic markers."

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