DS was 3 in November, and has a big sister currently in year 2. Her school has no pre-school nursery. He currently attends local private nursery 4 days a week from 9-3:30 which allows me to work school hours and pick them up in turn (lucky to have very flexible job). We've always been happy with nursery, but less keen on the pre-school room. He's getting bored with it there, and keeps saying he wants to go to school with his sister.
DD attended pre-school at another local primary, really enjoyed it, and progressed to reception in current school with no problems without knowing many of the other children. It was easy to do as I was on maternity leave for the whole year and considerably saved our childcare costs. So, we could get a nursery place at that same pre-school, but it would involve them being in after school club for a day each as pick up for both is 3:15 and I can't be both places at once, DS having wraparound for half a day (provision is two full days and a half day) and probably mean a change to childminder (who he already knows well) for the remaining day.
Is all this change worth it for pre-school place? DS is behind his sister in social skills but chatty and active. Less keen on the whole painting and drawing thing, more interested in playing with cars and trains for hours on end. He does love a story though, and to chat to new people. Not sure how I'd sell to him, 'yes, we're off to school, but not to your sister's school"!
Any advice folks? Thanks if you've read this far...
Thanks very much for bump and replies. Still musing. I think the nursery was great for when he was younger but I think the pre-school room lacking something. Difficult to say what... although one member of staff always looks bored out of her mind. To be honest, he'll be happy with trains, and snacks and stories. But he's showing signs of being bored at nursery, and worried by the end of the year I'll be dragging him there kicking and screaming.
My 3.5 year old goes to both pre-school and a small private nursery due to childcare/work arrangements.He is young for his year and will start school in September.At the private nursery he is in a room with his 22 month old brother and other 2 year olds.At pre-school he is with much older children (some were 4 in September).He MUCH prefers the pre-school environment and it seems to be a lot more productive & stimulating,he comes home with songs he has learnt,they go on days out on the bus etc and he enjoys the interaction with older children.If he had another whole year before starting school as your DS does I think I would do what I could to let him attend pre-school as in my case it is much more interesting and appropriate.However,it depends on your private nursery:if it is big enough to have a separate pre-school room with just 3-4 year olds it might not be that different but in my case,I can see a huge step between the private nursery experience and the stimulation DS1 gets by being in a more school-like environment.He still mainly plays with cars & trains and seems to do v little art/drawing,pre-school seems to be about letting them follow their interests but as it is part of a school they get a lot of added things on top.
Thank you Beatrix, you've summed up some of the reasons I would like the change. I've since found a local pre-school based in a church hall that runs morning sessions every day, until 2pm three days a week. I've also found a childminder who can pick him up from September and bring him to the school yard for when I pick up his sister. So we'd have one drop off (as it's next to school), and one pick up. Seems like the perfect solution. Cheaper too!