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!

extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 11:45:39

Actually, there is a generally more Euro approach - the couple who run it are Danish and said full days are the norm there...

extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 11:46:27

Oh also yes they get a nap (Whether DS would comply is another matter entirely!)

ksrwr Fri 27-Sep-13 11:53:58

personally i would say try it. it obviously works for some children, so maybe it will work for yours?
try a month and see how you get on.

i wouldn't feel guilty about sending him there, you're doing him a great service by giving him access to lots of little friends and new experiences. he may well absolutely love it, and come home utterly exhausted and full of stories about what he's been up to.

daimbardiva Fri 27-Sep-13 12:20:47

My 2 year old goes to nursery 3 days a week for 9 hours while I'm at work. She is happy there and has fun but the principal reason she's there is for childcare not education. My son went to nursery at the same age for 2 full days ecen though I was on maternity leave at the time, because he loved it and it gave me some time with the baby. But the decisions were always made for our family reasons - nursery has always been arranged around our needs. Even when the funded places start at3 it's common for children to only attend in mornings or afternoons so what your prospective nursery is suggesting is unusual.

If you don't feel comfortable and it's not what you want or need don't do it.

Fwiw our nursery were happy for us to start w one day a week or whatever suited - both our kids started on obe day a week and were fine

magicstars Fri 27-Sep-13 12:29:46

Why not give it a go. Could you drop him off an hour late and pick him up an hour early? That way you aren't missing out on a whole half day's money but he's not having such a super long day there.

PetiteRaleuse Fri 27-Sep-13 12:54:01

They aren't going to be etaching his the times tables and how to read and write. What they mean by curriculum is that the day will include structured activities as well as free play. For example, in my toddler's group the day goes like this:

8h30 she arrives and has a snack.
8h45 she goes into the soft play area where they are either let loose on the slide or in the ball pool or music is put on for dancing
This is followed by free play until 10h. At 10h there are structured activities for one hour. Examples in the last month are messing about with musical instruments, learning songs, various messy art work, gym type activities in the garden, story time. A lot of the time the art or stories or songs will be based on a theme, such as autumn. Learning through play about the seasons for example is curriculum. It is planned, structured but is age specific.
At 11h15 they eat, then free play, then nap. After nap they are divided into groups and there are more structured activities, often outside at the moment. A walk in the fields or woods, gardening. Or on rainy days more of the same type done in the morning. When I arrive at 5pm they have moved on to free play again.

Curriculum is a good thing. It means they're not just left to play all day, but instead are encouraged gently to be curious about the world around them, that the staff plan activities for the year ahead. Structure is good as it instils a sense of discipline. We're not talking strict classroom tasks.

I'd give it a go. I didn't need to put DD1 in nursery but it was a great break for both of us. She got and now gets again so much from the whole experience.

juneau Fri 27-Sep-13 13:04:56

I put both my DSs in two full days at nursery from the age of two and it's worked very well. Nurseries tend to offer a nap to DC under about three (and older, if they can sleep while others play), so it shouldn't be too exhausting. They've both benefited hugely from the blend of three days at home with me, two days at nursery, and two days as a family each week. Once your new baby arrives you'll be very grateful for the time to a) focus on her and b) have a bit of a rest yourself. Don't underestimate the exhaustion of a newborn baby and a toddler. Your DS will cope and he'll get lots of attention and stimulating activities at nursery - which you will probably struggle to provide once you're juggling two.

Hanginggardenofboobylon Fri 27-Sep-13 13:05:32

The curriculum will also include the Early Years letters and sounds program, which is based on learning through play.
My DS (3.5) goes 4 days a week 8-5 because I work, he has done so since he was 1. The day is similar to the one Petite outlines with free play alternating with structured activities.
Whilst I have little choice but to send him for so many hours, I do feel it has done him good.
Most 'day care' settings require a full day as you would struggle to fill certain sessions if sessional and they are commercial organisations. Pre-schools tend to be sessional but you would usually have to wait till he is three as that's when the funding kicks in that allows them to do so.

okthen Fri 27-Sep-13 13:10:49

I'd look for a childminder if you're not happy with two full days at nursery. Seems like a happy medium to me- and cheaper probably.

Oh and find one that can provide his 15 hours free once he turns 3. Not all CMs can.

And don't feel guilty whatever you choose!

extracrunchy Fri 27-Sep-13 13:11:38

You petite and hanging - those are the things I feel he's lacking at his current setting, and he would definitely benefit.

I've asked the new place for an outline of an average day's routine so I can gauge when would be reasonable to drop off and pick up without missing structured activities and outings. I guess we'll take it from there!

Hanginggardenofboobylon Fri 27-Sep-13 13:34:00

Often the kids have breakfast between 8-9 and then 'tea' at about 4:20 so perhaps you could drop him off at 9 (lots of parents drop off after the school run) and then pick up before tea which would be more like pre-school hours.
Even when I could pick up my DS early I don't because I like him to have his 'tea' there and don't want to upset the lovely routine he is in and frankly he moans when I pick him up as he wants to stay with his friends.

NotCitrus Fri 27-Sep-13 13:52:00

I think it would be fine, but would wonder about a rigid attitude. Ds went 3 days a week, 8.15 to 6, and loved it - having 'home day' or 'nursery day' prevented complaints of having to go home while still having fun (partly...) But the key thing for nursery was that I was paying for 8-6 - if I wanted to drop him off after breakfast instead of before, or collect early, that was fine too - though main activity went on till 4, then another till 5, so they suggested getting there just after 4 or after 5.

Really helped when dc2 was born!

TreeFuMom Fri 27-Sep-13 14:00:30

You say that their motivation for insisting on 8 hour days is not financial, but I would question that.

The cynic in me says that they are insisting on 8 hour days not for the benefit of the child, but to maximise the revenue that they are getting from each child.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 27-Sep-13 14:03:47

petite basically described my DD's nursery day. I think another reason not to pick up and drop off at random times is that the child might feel like they've missed out on some fun? Like if they are having a story, or bouncing on the bouncy castle?

MissStrawberry Fri 27-Sep-13 14:05:50

He won't miss out if he doesn't go at all.

When DD had to move from playschool to a nursery she had to do three sessions even though I wanted just two. She did 8-1pm.

She didn't need to go at all as I wasn't working.

I appreciated her going as I had a baby at home so got an easier time, no doubt about it, but when I realised she hadn't settled at playschool I removed her and when nursery had too many changes I removed her from there again.

In my opinion there is only a problem with sending your child somewhere more than you need the care for when they are not happy, safe, settled or thriving.

jessieagain Fri 27-Sep-13 23:11:02

Hi op
My son started 2 days a week at nursery when he was 2 and he has been going a couple of months now. He settled in well and we are really happy with it smile It was the first time he was away from me and dp ever and we didnt find he struggled with full days at all. He eats and naps really well there.

His nursery strongly encourages all parents send their children (at least) between 9 and 3 to minimise disruption to the routine. And I agree with this, as I think having parents dropping off/picking up all through the day would be disruptive and unsettling.

When he first started I was just a sahm and used to pick him up at 3. He usually had just woken up from his nap and had just had a snack/milk so hadn't had much of a chance to play in the afternoon. Now I'm doing some temp work so pick him up later and I haven't noticed a difference in him being there longer days.

My DD goes to nursery for 4 x 8 hour days and 1 x 4.5 hour days. She used to do 4 x 9.5 hours. 8 hours works really well for us. There is time for us to go to the playground before dinner and have a comfortable end to the day rather than a rush home and then to bed. 8 hours doesn't seem like a long day to me and the mixture of activities they do means that it probably flies by for the children too. At DD's nursery they encourage you not to collect before 3 pm as it interrupts their planned afternoon activities (not sure what they are, but the day has a very clear structure).

You may find that they also like to have 8 hour days as they want to be able to employ staff for 8 hours each day. I think that DD's current nursery is able to get great staff as a result of them not having to work shifts to cover longer days and also not being open in the holidays, so staff with school aged children are attracted to the nursery. So they get the pick of the staff locally.

I'd split the days so as not to leave such a long gap between nursery sessions and to give your DS time to rest between them.

He will have fun at nursery - so you really don't need to feel guilty. And if it doesn't work out you can just take him back out again. Will he have time to settle in before your DD arrives?

jessieagain Fri 27-Sep-13 23:36:07

Ds also goes 2 days in a row and I can see the benefits. The second day flows easily on from the first. I can see how it would be more disruptive splitting the days. Also I think it would take longer to settle and get to know the routine, carers and other children if he was just going one day a week.

Coveredinweetabix Fri 27-Sep-13 23:38:20

8 hours is probably more for their convenience than yours as it means all of the children will turn up around the same time and be collected during the same time. In between this, they will have some structure to the day. Yes, there will be a lot of free play but there will also be times when they are hoping the DC will do X or Y activity (often making something) and they won't want you turning up in the middle of it. It also means its less disruptive for the other children (and easier for the staff) as they won't see your DC go home at lunchtime and start asking when their mum/dad is coming to collect them.
DD was 2.7 when DS was born and was doing 2 days in a nursery which was open from 8 - 6 (she actually did 8.30 - 4.30ish) and 2 mornings in a playgroup which was open from 9 - 12. I have to say I loved the days she was in nursery as I could actually do something whether it was go to the supermarket, to a baby group with DS or out to meet friends. With the 9 - 12 one, by the time I'd dropped her off and walked home it was almost 9.30, then DS would want a feed which would take at least 30 mins in the early days and then there was the great game of trying to get him to nap as, if he wasn't down by 10.15, he would be a nightmare as I had to wake him by 11.15 to change his nappy etc before walking to playgroup again. When I started weaning him, I actually arranged for DD to stay at playgroup for an actual hour as I just couldn't fit getting lunch into DS in the time allowed yet if I waited until I was home from having collected DD, DS would have worked himself into a right tizz as he was so hungry! I can defiitely see some avantages to an 8hr session.

BackforGood Fri 27-Sep-13 23:44:32

Obviously different if it were childcare for you to be able to work, but as you are looking for what's best for him, not what you have to do, for you, then I'd say 8 hours is too long.
Think about it, schools have the children for just over 6hrs and school children are a lot older than your little one.
I'd keep looking.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 28-Sep-13 00:26:43

So what if 8 hours suits them? That's because they plan activities? I'd worry more if they didn't worry about pick up and drop off times.

I a. Not allowed to drop mine off after about 9.30 without warning, can pick them up at lunch time if need be but they respectfully request that after the lunch break I leave it til 16h30. So that the children can make the most of the availabe activities.

If you go get your kid at 3m and they are in the middle of a painting group or gardening group, that's not great either. Today I went and got DD1 at 5 and waited until they had finished their races on the outside terrace.

I should just add here, OP, after all my posts, at the moment I am not working. Yes, my children are in almost ft (9-5 min) nursery care and I am at home . They are thriving far more than they were a few weeks ago. Does that make me a failure as a mum? Maybe, according to some on the thread, but I have chosen to give them the best opportunities i can.

I was crap when they were bith at home. Either one or the other with me would be fine, but bth drove us all up the walls. If you want to put onenin care, even for two days, even if some say you don't need to, if you think you do, or he does, then do it. You can't lose. If it doesn't work out then take him out. Bt give him a chance.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 28-Sep-13 00:28:06

backforgood schools do lessons. Nurseries do much more free play.

Splatt34 Sat 28-Sep-13 07:40:01

Not read the whole thread, sorry.

DD1 has done 2 full days at nursery (8-6) since she was 9 months old. She is nearly 3. She loves it. I normally work full time but I am currently on mat leave with DD2 (4 months). I am loving having the extra time with DD1 but I also love my Tuesday & Thursday for my sanity & so I can do things with DD2 without the demanding whirlwind which is DD1.

TiredyCustards Sat 28-Sep-13 07:43:34

Goodness I hear this kind of thing so much. Why do nurseries think it's ok to insist on dc going for longer than their parents are comfortable with?

Dd is 3.1 and loves a 6 hour session, but I think 8 wouldbe too much.

Snog Sat 28-Sep-13 07:48:55

The nursery argument for 8 hours is very obviously a purely financial one from their point of view dressed up as an educational one.
Their business is more profitable if they only book care for full days.
They are taking you for a mug to spin you this line imo shock

MrsBennetsEldest Sat 28-Sep-13 07:49:09

Lovesewingbee.....excellent post.

It's a huge cop out and you know it issad

FairyPenguin Sat 28-Sep-13 07:51:35

Sounds like you won't be missing out by just giving it a go, especially if you don't like where he is at the moment. If he finds it too tiring then you can pick him up early, you're his mum and the customer.

You may well find he settles in really well and you will appreciate those days to bond with your baby and some time to yourself when she's asleep.

BrianButterfield Sat 28-Sep-13 08:07:37

DS currently does 5 8-hour days at nursery. He enjoys it and he definitely gets a lot out of it - he's just moves up to the 2-year-old room and was exhausted the first couple of weeks as it was so exciting! They do still nap and he really thrives on the structure - they're big on politeness and table manners and I really noticed how polite he was when he moved. His language has also exploded after going into the toddler room.

One day at pick up I asked him what he'd done and the nursery assistant gave me this massive list of the day's activities - about three times more than I would have done with him! No wonder he enjoys it! So I'm leaving him in for two full days (my choice) when I go on maternity as I think it will benefit us all.

mrscog Sat 28-Sep-13 08:11:47

Pack him off and enjoy time with your Dd plenty of much younger children do 7.30-6 5 days a week!

Lagoonablue Sat 28-Sep-13 08:11:47

2.5 year olds don't need a curriculum.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 28-Sep-13 08:14:31

Lagoonablue I disagree. Structured, well thought out activities are great at that age.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 08:14:35

Plenty of children do 8 hours. Its up to you though but I prefer longer days.

Lagoonablue Sat 28-Sep-13 08:29:38

Structured well thought out activities, yes. Not a cirriculum.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 28-Sep-13 08:53:46

Why not? What's wrong with following a curriculum? It's hardly advanced maths and astrophysics, or even attaining targets and levels of any sort, it's just stimulating their brain cells and curiosity. I don't understand what the problem is.

Inclusionist Sat 28-Sep-13 09:07:46

I think if it's that good you should put him in and see how he does.

My DS is 3.1 and up until now I worked PT mornings only and he went to a lovely childminder which worked really well for him.

He needs the stimulation of a pre-school now and has started at the most amazing Montessori place. He does 4 full days. This is mainly because I work more hours, but even if I didn't I actually would want him to go in the afternoons. They do Montessori stuff in the morning and then 'pre-school' stuff in the afternoons like cooking and making collages out of autumn leaves and gardening. I wouldn't want him to miss out on either part of the 'curriculum'.

BackforGood Sat 28-Sep-13 10:23:27

Petite - Reception children follow the same EYFS curriculum as Nurseries

extracrunchy Sat 28-Sep-13 10:30:40

Thanks for all the input, loads of useful stuff!

I think from preschool and later nursery they start following EYFS, but only aged 3 or just under - and it's not target driven or rigid, just supports future transition to school, which can only be a good thing.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 10:34:41

Most children I know go to private club with tv, the wii, inbuilt soft play area, toys and home cooked meals and home work help.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 10:35:09

wrong thread sorry!

insancerre Sat 28-Sep-13 10:36:54

I think the nursery are spinning you a line.
It is about finanace and not about the child's needs.
A 2 year old (or any child, for that matter) doesn't need an 8 hour structured day to benefit from the curriculum (and yes, 2 year old do have a curriculum, it's called the EYFS and applies from 0-5)
I am an arly years teacher and in our nursery we have children who do hours ranging from 3 a day twice a week to fulltime 8-5.30 and every combination in between.
They all benefit from the time they spend in the setting but don't necessarily miss out because they are not in fulltime.
In fact there is evidence from the EPPE project that it is the quality of the childcare not the quantity that makes the difference to their learning and development.
In our setting we aim for quality interactions, activities and experiences.
We also recognise that children are individuals and they do not need the same activities and expereinces to develop and learn. We plan for individual children, so we match the activities to when the child is in, it doesn't matter if they are not in everyday- they will still get the same high quality tailormade plan.
I would look elsewhere op, maybe look for a more child-centred setting.

LittleMilla Sat 28-Sep-13 12:35:08

Extra - my 2.4 DS goes to nursery. He was there four days a week when I was working and now does two full days.

He loves it and I don't feel guilty.

I personally think that full days are good for them as they get the most out of it and can settle - ours has quite structured days and DS would miss out on lots if he dodn't do a proper day.

My days with DS2 are heavenly (he's ten weeks) and I can guarabtee your guilt with abate once LO arrives. And it's not like a prison...nurseries are generally fun and loving places!!

brettgirl2 Sat 28-Sep-13 12:56:16

The only thing is that you have a young baby. 2 full days is less to-ing ond fro-ing for you and 2 full days with baby to get more done. DD had 2 full days a week in nursery at that age and it never seemed too much for her! Agree it seems odd they won't do half days though and if you are uncomfortable then there are other nurseries.

LoveSewingBee Sat 28-Sep-13 21:41:09

Children that age learn through play. Play is VERY VERY important. Play enables children to learn at their own pace, it is crucial to their development. They do not need a curriculum, they will get that for years to come at primary school. When your dc starts primary school it is very important he/she is ready for school, it is totally not desirable that he has already covered most of the stuff school is going to do in reception. Chances are he'll get bored, switch off and become disruptive/bored/underperformer. Some children will be naturally ahead, that is absolutely fine as it is their stage of development. Also, many nursery workers don't correctly teach phonics, very annoying for the reception teacher.

LoveSewingBee Sat 28-Sep-13 21:44:21

I totally agree with insancerre.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 28-Sep-13 21:47:35

dd2 is 2.11, and goes to nursery 8.30-5 2 days, and 8.30-1 on a third. She's fine. Works well for all of us.

BUT I am quite weirded out by a nursery insisting on full days. IMO at nursery they should still be tailoring the day more around children as individuals (eg some DC in dd2's room have a sleep in the quiet room at lunch, those that don't need one go downstairs for story time instead).

They only do more formal semi-structured stuff for a relatively short period in the AM and PM, and the rest of the day is child-led, choosing out of 3-4 activities.

extracrunchy Sat 28-Sep-13 22:48:11

Yep I'm starting to feel the long days are less of an issue than the general approach - it does give the impression they're not catering for individuals.

I'm all for early numeracy/literacy (including phonics) - but it is true some nursery teachers put a spanner in the works with literacy. Having worked in a reception class, I've seen evidence!

Lagoonablue Sun 29-Sep-13 06:56:43

In this country they start school at 4. I think that is plenty early enough to start to learn in a structured way. In some other European countries they don't start until much later and school is still largely learning through play.

The system in the Uk just depresses me a bit.

PetiteRaleuse Sun 29-Sep-13 07:50:47

In France they only learn to read and write at 6. They still have a nursery curriculum but it's all through play. I think the use of the word is the issue here.

LittleMilla Sun 29-Sep-13 21:37:49

Just to speak to try and defend the nursery here. At my ds's nursery the majority of children do full days as their parents work ft. I have only seen my son unsettled when he's had shorter days - dropping him off later or picking him up early. It also unsettles the other children as they are wondering where their parents are.

There are real benefits to them having a full day. Curriculum might be a tad clumsy. But I know that they plan a full day that works with the early years foundation.

I might be trying to defend them too much. But having been a ft mum I know that it's more settling not having children flitting in and out. I do believe it's a more stable and secure environment for the children if they're all having a similar day.

UseHerName Sun 29-Sep-13 21:41:42

whatever you think yourself, but lots of children do 40 hours/week from 6 weeks old in private nurseries...

it's up to you...

sweetiepie1979 Tue 01-Oct-13 08:30:20

I agree with littlemilla. If parents collect their little one have way through the day then the others wonder where their parents ate. My daughter gird 2 full days a week to nursery while I work. Now in mat leave and having baby next week definitely keeping my 2 full days I'll need them to do the cleaning and shopping! My dd loves nursery she's 2.3 she does lots of baking there and playing and painting etc she's woodpecker up some really good habits and manners ad the nursery are quite strict. Not having family near by I feel I need it!EExpensive as it is though!

Bumpsadaisie Tue 01-Oct-13 09:35:50

You asked for personal opinions, so hoping it doesn't offend, here is mine:

- two whole days that are longer even than a school day for 4/5 year olds (!) is way too much for a 2.5 year old, in the absence of absolute necessity because of the parents working hours

- 2.5 year olds do not need to follow a "curriculum".

Good luck in deciding what to do and all the best for the safe arrival of DD!

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 01-Oct-13 10:02:56

I think he would be fine 2 full days at nursery. Or if you preferred you could send him to a childminder who will follow the exact same 'curriculum' (EYFS) as a nursery. But in a more homely setting.

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