What is the difference

(10 Posts)
Angeliqueinquest Sun 16-Oct-16 23:14:51

Between a nursery attached to a school and a regular nursery? Or are they both the same?
And when do you put applications in for nursery (attached to school)
I have no idea, my ds is 2.5 and wanting him to start in September, to get him ready for school when he turns 4. And (sorry I am absolutely useless) do they have to start in reception when they are 4 or can you hold out till they are 5? He was June born btw.

BackforGood Sun 16-Oct-16 23:39:50

You need to check out each individual establishment, as some places use different words to describe the same thing, or the same word to describe different things, so don't assume all "Nurseries" or all "Pre-schools" etc., are the same as each other.

As a rule, a school with a Nursery class, or a stand alone Nursery school (but heed the warning anyone can call themselves a Nursery school - I'm talking about those maintained by the Local Authority), will have a qualified teacher in charge - which people tend to like. This does mean, however, that they will have a ratio of 1 adult : 13 children.
A PVI (Private, Voluntary or Independent) Nursery usually won't have a teacher, but will usually be staffed by NVQ qualified Level 3 staff (+ level 2s and apprentices), however, there will be a ratio of 1 adult : 8 children.

School Nurseries tend to be a bit more dictotorial on the hours you can have - so they will usually operate only within school hours, and many will dictate that they either split mornings and afternoons, or that all the dc do 2.5 days each. This may, or may not suit the rest of your life. PVIs can often be a lot more flexible about which days and hours you have.

Both ought to be following the same curriculum (EYFS)

Going to a school Nursery or not, has absolutely no bearing on if you will get a place at that school in Reception.

Some schools have Nursery groups on site, which are actually registered as PVIs.

Some schools have started confusing the issue still further over recent years, by registering to be able to take 2 yr olds as well.

It really is a mindfield grin So the best advice is to find out a 'shortlist' (probably those you can get to easily) then go and look round and ask them the questions. If you are not sure where to find out where they are, then contact the Family Information service at your local authority (Google FIS + wherever you live) and they will let you have a list of local Nurseries. Children's Centres will also have a list of settings in their locality.

Akire Sun 16-Oct-16 23:45:36

Go on your council school pages it will tell you cut off to apply for places next September, tends to be around Dec-Jan then let you know around Easter.

School nurseries are free but private do offer some free hours too, mostly used by parents who need childcare and pay fortune. But school nurserys only good if you only need 3h a day term time only.

HSMMaCM Mon 17-Oct-16 08:53:03

In our small area, nurseries, pre schools and childminders offer a wide range of different set ups. The pre schools / school nurseries tend to be 3 hours a day, term time only, as mentioned above. Most nurseries and CMs offer all day care, many with the free 15 hours. All follow the EYFS curriculum.

Find a few you like the sound of and visit.

Your child doesn't have to start school until they're 5, but most start in reception age 4, as it's largely play based and a great preparation for year 1.

user1471507699 Mon 17-Oct-16 09:03:28

You generally apply to nurseries individually and they will offer tours etc so I'd get a list of ones near you (your council website should have a list) and contact them. If their hours etc work for you then I'd go visit and put your DS's name down. This is very different from how you apply for reception by the way! That is one application listing your preferred schools.

Nurseries vary greatly in how they do things although they are all following the same curriculum. They are also massively different in size. Therefore different settings suit different children better.

Angeliqueinquest Mon 17-Oct-16 11:36:26

Wow thanks everyone that's a lot of information shock been googling for ages and never found anything as helpful! I have an application form for a pre school I really like the sound of, it offers 2 and a half days a week and I have his application form that they sent out to me, do I just hand that in at the school? I'm blushing because I am so embarrassed that I don't know any of this! I wasn't going to send him to nursery or anything and just wait till he had to go when he was 4/5 so I'm just trying to get my head around it all now.

BackforGood Mon 17-Oct-16 12:48:08

No reason to be embarrassed - there's no reason why you would know any of this stuff, until you need to start finding out for your own dc smile

I'm not sure about that specific application form, as not sure what sort of Nursery it is / what their arrangements are - just ask them, it's fine.

Do go and look round 2 or 3 though - they vary greatly in what they offer, and also, in the quality of what they offer, and also what it might cost you. From the term after a child turns 3, they can get 15 hours 'Early Education Funding' which means 3 hours when they have your dc where you don't have to pay. However the amount the Government pay in a lot of local authorities, doesn't cover the cost of the place, so some Nurseries start getting creative about charging you for other things - meals, snacks, 'lunch time supervision', and other things. Some don't. Just good to find out the facts first.

Be aware, you WILL have to apply for a Reception place via the Local Authority, in the Autumn before he is due to start school (someone will come and correct me about the date in a minute - when mine were little it was by early December, but I have a feeling it might be January now), however, the point is that DOES need to be done in advance (next year for you). Places a Nurseries and Pre-schools can sometimes be available from when you walk in, but other places will have names down some time in advance - that's why you need to speak to the individual nurseries about that place.

So - Nurseries handle their own admissions, and Reception places are allocated by the local authority.

HSMMaCM Mon 17-Oct-16 17:45:37

You definitely don't need to be embarrassed. Those of us who work with children every day don't understand all of it

user1471507699 Mon 17-Oct-16 19:06:40

I'm pretty sure you just hand in the application to the pre-school. Just pop along one day (ideally mid morning or mid afternoon when there aren't children being dropped off/picked up). The system is complicated and I work with under 5's!

Angeliqueinquest Tue 18-Oct-16 12:21:50

Thank you so much everyone, I have a much better understanding now smile

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