Long days at nursery?

(78 Posts)
extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 00:33:37

So DS is going to start a new nursery in the next few weeks as he's 2.5 and would benefit developmentally and I'm expecting DD very soon.

He currently goes 3 mornings a week to a (turns out) crappy playgroup where he just hangs around doing the same stuff till I pick him up and I want him to actually get something out of being there or he may as well be at home doing boring stuff with knackered me!

Anyway, new place is amazing, lovely staff, lots of attention to individual kids and development, getting them to try new things - basically everything lacking at the old one BUT policy is they have to attend full days, 8 hours, apparently to get the most out of the curriculum (and the owner actively encouraged me to try elsewhere if I was uncomfortable, so I don't think it's a money making thing).

I'm a bit sad at the prospect of him going elsewhere for entire days (probably 2 a week) when all I really wanted was a bit of time with DD and some rest. But I know lots of kids go 5 days a week very happily! I guess I feel a bit guilty when really I could just have him at home, but he would almost definitely have less fun if I did...

Someone reassure me I wouldn't be doing something unnecessary by opting in! I mean he would benefit, right..? And is an 8 hour day (maybe 7 at a push) when I don't need him looked after by someone else for the whole day just copping out as a parent??? And how do you think 2 full days, probably thurs and fri (so big chunk away and big chunk at home) will impact in terms of settling in/adjusting longterm?

Thanks smile

BlackberrySeason Fri 27-Sep-13 00:38:10

I think that's quite long personally! 8 x 5 is 40 hours a week - like a full time job. If he can be with you why not go for more of a half way house - I wouldn't want DS going for more than 15 hours at that age.

BlackberrySeason Fri 27-Sep-13 00:38:55

Sorry misread - is it 16 hours a week then?

CharlotteWasBoth Fri 27-Sep-13 00:42:51

Sounds like it's not what you were looking for and you've been politely pressurised in to it.

Why not look for a place which is good but can accommodate shorter days? Anyone who talks about an 8-hour curriculum for a 2-year-old is talking rubbish IMHO. You don't even do 8 hour days at secondary school!

I'm not slagging off nurseries per se, but pretending that it's all super-educational sounds a bit dubious to me.

extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 00:43:18

Yep 16 a week - 2 days. They say (and I think I agree) 1 would be more difficult for him because of the big gap in between, but we can do 1 if we want to.

Absolutely no way 40 hours a week when I'm at home! I'd miss him so much grin

extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 00:47:24

I do feel a bit pressured into it... They made out like he'd be missing out on curriculum if he did fewer hours (he's "allowed" but we'd be paying 8 either way) and I was sort of convinced but actually you're totally right - they don't even do that at secondary school!

Annoyingly, all the other good options near us are waiting list till next September, except similar non-structured playgroups like his current one.

LittleBearPad Fri 27-Sep-13 00:51:14

I wouldn't put the two days together otherwise it's a long gap away from nursery. Otherwise give it a go - you can always take him out.

CharlotteWasBoth Fri 27-Sep-13 00:55:10

2.5 is still quite little. It sounds like what you need is a bit of one to one with the baby and you want a nice group for your son. Some playgroups can be great so maybe you should investigate some other ones. Or even a CM who attends local groups? Personally I wouldn't do two long days. But it's up to you. Good luck.

ZenNudist Fri 27-Sep-13 01:04:47

Each to their own. I think 2x 8 hour days is fine but then ds (3) does 4x 10 hour days. IMHO 2 full days is a good amount to get the benefit of nursery 'education'.

When I go on mat leave ds will do minimum of 2 full days, 3 if I can afford it. He needs the activity and would go crazy at home whilst I tend to new baby. Plus i think its only fair for dc2 to get some of the dedicated time alone with me that ds got.

Even on my days off I need to get ds out of the house & keeping active. Each child has different needs and you know your dc best.

Ds has picked up loads at nursery it's lovely and they have great activities and he is very gregarious always asking to see his friends at weekends etc.

That said, if you only want a couple of mornings a week then keep looking. Plenty of places will offer that. In which case it might be best to find a school nursery that does half day sessions for everyone. Then your ds would do the same hours as his peers.

extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 01:29:51

I can't sleep - lying here stressing about what to do! Bah...

LoveSewingBee Fri 27-Sep-13 01:38:23

I think that it is way too long for such a young child. Clearly, if you have to, you, and the child, will make do. However, if it is not necessay I wouldn't do it. At this age, your child will learn considerably more from you than at nursery where adult to child ratio is lower than at your home. At this age it is the one to one time with a caring, interested, responsive adult that matters.

When working with four year olds I found that the kids who had spent a lot of time in childcare were far less advanced, both in cognitive terms and social-emotionally.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 27-Sep-13 01:46:53

It is complete rubbish that a 2.5 year old needs to attend nursery for 8 hours at a time. Rubbish.

Don't be bullied into sending him for more hours than you want to.

From a routine/settling point of view he would be better going somewhere for a few hours 4/5 days a week. Are there any other pre-schools you could look at? Maybe 9am-12pm or similar.

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 01:57:56

This pressure from the nursery all for his own good. I don't believe that for an instance. They should be there to serve your needs otherwise it's a waste of time. On the other hand I don't see anything wrong with eight hour days but if you think it's too long then you shouldn't be bullied into it by them if it isn't what you want.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 27-Sep-13 08:36:34

I considered exactly the same thing when I was pg with dc2 - the nursery i looked at only did full days and it really put me off, it looked great but there was that attitude of they need to do 2 whole days to settle in - well i didn't want her to get used to it, i wanted her to want to go! So anyway, I accepted that i'd have bored 3 year old and newborn on my hands shock And waited for a pre-school place in 6 months time. She has just started every morning and loves it smile . Just my opinion but if i were you i'd persevere with playgroups till you can get a pre-school place.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 27-Sep-13 08:48:56

My feeling is that "curriculum" is bollocks at 2.5. What on earth are they aiming to teach them? confused They can't follow a story in a TV programme at that age, so it's not likely they're going to pick up on the history of castles or the life cycle of a frog in any kind of way that makes sense. It's nice for them to be exposed to lots of opportunities to learn and think about things and ask questions, but to expect them to absorb a curriculum is just bonkers.

He would learn loads going for half days with you engaging with him at home, just doing normal 2 year old things like play doh, train set, colouring, counting the stairs as you go up them, doing everyday things like going to the post office or buying milk etc etc.

I would worry about a nursery talking about a curriculum. Although my ds goes to a preschool 5 mornings a week and has since he was 3 - but he loves it as do I.
If you're not sure then have a look at other options?

I would worry about a nursery talking about a curriculum. Although my ds goes to a preschool 5 mornings a week and has since he was 3 - but he loves it as do I.
If you're not sure then have a look at other options?

PetiteRaleuse Fri 27-Sep-13 09:09:26

My two are full time at nursery aged 11mo and 2.6y. The LO is still settling in but the toddler loves every second of it. Curriculum is a big word but there is one, of sorts. I see a massive difference in her in the short time since she started to the time she spent with me and the baby at home.

One full day a week is too little. I would go for two or three days, enjoy the rest and the time to bond with the new baby safe in the knowledge that your toddler is well looked after, having fun and learning lots.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 27-Sep-13 09:26:39

I'm going to be on the other side of all the other posters and say a full day is fine. DD is at nursery 5 days a week full time. She gets dropped off sometime after 8 and picked up slightly after 5. She is 2.5yo and is still in the toddler group. They all have a nap after lunch. She sleeps for just over an hour. I think if the nursery is sympathetic to the individual needs of the child, it would be fine. Are they allowed to have a nap if they are tired? Do they have to do the activities if they don't want to?

She is very happy to go to nursery. She was ill yesterday and still wanted to put on her shoes to go to nursery. When I drop her off, she went to put her backpack on her hook, take off her jacket and wave me goodbye.

enjolraslove Fri 27-Sep-13 09:47:05

My dd did 3 x 10 hour days at that age and it was great. I think there are bits of the day that they really enjoy (like tea time and the story afterwards) and nurseries have a kind of rhythm which works well.
We didn't have a choice but she really loved her days there.

Both mine ( 4 years and 2.8 years) attend afull - time preschool ( we live in Italy) they do 9 hour days 5 days a week. Because I work I am the breadwinner and there is no other choice. I couldn't stand being at home with them. They like their school and have made friends, got to little birthday parties and are certainly more gregarious than I was at 4. ( in 1975). Its only a good thing.

They play
they nap
they eat
there is a great playground
there are hamsters
bikes .................I could go on!
and it costs 600 euro a month for both, all in.

haloflo Fri 27-Sep-13 11:39:58

I think it's up to you but maybe visit a few more places?

If you anticipate a break from the toddler to rest with your new baby full days are better.

My toddler has just started 2 mornings and by the time I've done drop off, got home, put the washing on, tidied up after breakfast, hoovered and grabbed a brew its almost time for pick up. I'd struggle to go back to bed even though I'm shattered.

PetiteRaleuse Fri 27-Sep-13 11:41:11

silver that's cheaper than mine envy but dd1 will go to state preschool next September which will be free, phew.

I think in Italy, like here in France, the nurseries are more of a common experience as maternity leave is shorter and a lot of women go back when the babies are three months.

extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 11:42:42

Seems like there's quite a divide in opinion. The thing that's niggling most for me is I don't NEED to leave him at all, I just want some quiet bonding time with DD, so it has to be really worth it if I do - which is why I was looking for somewhere with a bit more structure. I mean I'm not sure I believe the "curriculum" spiel, but where he is at the moment he's basically just kept an eye on while he does the same things, day in day out.

At the same time there's a good chance he'd actually really enjoy the stimulation and independence, and I'd feel guilty about him not doing nursery if he didn't go! Haha pregnancy hormones are getting the better of me. I'm usually a sensible decision maker...

There are other options nearby, but nursery/preschools that lay on planned activities etc are waiting list till Sept 2014, which is a long long time for him to continue where he is (and I do think that would impact on development - he would be better off with me). And playgroups nearby are really just dump and run, and someone else keeps an eye for a bit - and like I said I want a bit more if someone else is going to look after him.

This 8 hour place say I can pick him up whenever I want to, but they strongly discouraged it as he'd "miss out", and I'd be paying full days either way...

extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 11:44:15

Haloflo that's a good point - with new baby, I'm not sure how useful a couple of hours would actually be!

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