Thanks Random - yes writing this down does make it sound as though its worth taking the chance, particularly as the daycare nursery pre-school is pretty decent, and the LEA rules here for this year's primarily admissions make clear that the pre-school attendance doesn't make any difference to places at this infants. I'll also be one of those awkward b*ggers who can only use certain pre-school sessions due to my working pattern so may just have to see what I can get anyway.
Thanks Random: I think they do accept vouchers (I'll ask), but I'd need to fund extra (those during my mat leave cover the day I already use but no more). That would indeed reduce the cost by 25% if I could cover it though.
I do plan to go back to work, and don't want to loose the place at the other nursery as the longer hours suit us much better: I don't work locally and the 2/3 hour pre-school sessions would be impossible on my working days (family are not close enough by to ask them to cover the shortfall). I can (do) still walk to the other nursery but its 20mins rather than 3 mins, reducing the benefit of the "free time" for me/DC2.
I'm trying to get my thoughts in order here so please forgive me if this is rambling. I'm hoping by the end of typing this ill have worked out what my question is .
DS will be 2 in a week. He is already in private nursery for 1 day per week as I work part time, except at the moment I'm on maternity leave for DC2, due in a few weeks.
I've just been to visit the pre-school round the corner with a view to getting DS's name down so he can start on my non-working days when he turns 3 next spring and the 15hrs funding kicks in. They expect a large intake of (funded) 2 year olds come September.
I'm happy with the other nursery DS is already in, but hadn't anticipated upping his hours there on my non-working days as it's the other side of town, closer for the station. The pre-school round the corner is both that and associated with the (good) local infant school I'm currently in catchment for (I recognise things can change) so DS would be with other children he's likely to go to school with.
The pre-school leader piled on how I'm taking a big chance if i dont take a place for DS this September, as the 2yos already there will likely already be using them and I've less chance of getting one later in the year. Thing is:
A) I'm not in a massive rush to send him to be looked after elsewhere: yes, a few more hours childcare will be helpful with DC2 around but whilst DS is still napping and I have the other nursery day I'd barely see him. The pre-school seems fine, but not stellar, and I enjoy the activities we do together, I still want to have the freedom for a while to do our thing.
B) I'd have to pay - £10 per session which whilst less than the private nursery (funded by my employer through childcare vouchers whilst on mat leave) not a small amount from SMP.
So I think I'm leaning towards chancing it for May 2014. Can anyone share any experience that might be helpful here?