Hi Julia, I also live in Hertfordshire, 40 mins drive from St Albans.I have a different situation, my 3.5 years old daughter speaks English, understands russian but does not speak it. Agree with the previous anwer, it would help her to start going to a nursery ( private or not, it does not matter) so that she could improve her English. She will pick this up very quickly, so I would not worry about her English at all. I would worry more about preserving Russian especially when she starts the school. Using a childminder in combination with nursery ( is what I do) can be an other option. Childminders usually have 3-4 kids they look after and this can be a more gentle start to her being in an english speaking environments that nursery with 20-30 kids in a group.
It's a good idea to send her to a nursery now so that she learns English before starting school. Lots of good nurseries (including private ones), accept government funding for the 15 hours p/w, you need to visit a few and find out the details/costs (you should be able to find the list on your council's website). I am sending my 2.3 year old DD to a preschool 3 hours per / day twice a week from Sept, and when I was looking, I found that lot of popular nurseries preferred to take children full time, so you might want to look for a preschool instead, they typically have 3 hour sessions so would suit your requirements, and most of them do free hours for 3+ year olds. You might find that there are limited places available now for September.
We are a Russian speaking family in London and speak Russian at home, but she hears English on TV and playgroups. She understands everything in Russian and probably 50% of English at the moment, but her vocabulary is 50/50, she seems to know as many English words as she does Russian. She's starting preschool in Sept 2 days per week, and I hope her English understanding will catch up quickly. I'm also concerned about her first few weeks in preschool, but was assured that they are used to dealing with bilingual children, so maybe ask the preschools/nurseries when you visit them but I'm sure that most of them will be used to working children whose first language is not English.
In the meantime, you might want to start introducing your DD to more English at home. I think that some children's programmes like Mr Tumble and Maisy are very good and educational and definitely helped DD with her English, she just repeats everything after the characters.
Hi! My name is Julia. We recently moved to St. Albans from London. My daughter is 3,5 year. I want that she start a nursery in September. She doesnt speak english, only russian. I know about free 15-hour week grant for 3 years children. Can somebody help me, whats will be better for us -try to get place in good nursery ( nor free). If we start there, the payment will be for all year or not? I afraid daughter can start crying, that nobody cant understand her and its will be big problem. -get a grant and start in some nursery, where we can use this grant(free). I dont need full day nursery, 3 hour a day its enought. We need nursery that she can contact with children and start speak in english. Now she feel lonely=(