State preschool or private nursery?

(16 Posts)
TallDarkandUgly Tue 20-May-14 20:07:57

DS3 is at a brilliant private nursery at the moment but I'm considering changing him to a State Nursery when he becomes preschool. They both apply the Early Years curriculum but the state nursery is much bigger and perhaps more stimulating. Equally he my get less attention in a large preschool than where he is currently which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending how you look at it!
Does anyone have any views on whether 3 year olds thrive more in a good private nursery or a good large preschool environment?
I suppose I'm very lucky to have this issue in the first place. smile

Littlefish Tue 20-May-14 20:28:12

A state school pre-school will have a qualified teacher in charge. Personally, that is important to me.

insancerre Wed 21-May-14 19:48:18

Some private nurseries have teachers too who have training in early years child development that a primary school teacher doesn't

HSMMaCM Thu 22-May-14 07:33:32

Depends on the nursery and pre school. Personally I would stay with the one you know is brilliant. Some CMs have teachers too smile

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Thu 22-May-14 07:35:33

I wouldn't change him.

3bunnies Thu 22-May-14 07:48:56

If you are in England you need to consider that most school based preschools don't give any priority for children in the nursery. Look carefully at the admissions criteria for the school - how far away was the last child admitted in your category - take some distance off for increasing birthrate. Consider whether there have been bulge classes which might have increased siblings and if they are continuing or stopping. Would you mind if they had to change for primary school again?

I think it also for me depends on the nature of the private nursery. Will there be age appropriate groups? We moved ds from a mixed age range setting (2-school) to a slightly narrower one (3-school) which has been great as the children are more independent. Not as important at 3 but certainly when 4/starting school.

Nocomet Thu 22-May-14 08:06:35

DD2 did 3 days state preschool, 1 day nursery - she much preferred nursery.

Do you need preschool as child care? State preschool hours are very short. (Hence DD's whole day at nursery).

Floundering Thu 22-May-14 08:16:30

3year old children don''t need teaching, they need to be learning through play in a loving stimulating but homely environment.

They are in the school system far too early as it is, compared to many other countries. let your baby enjoy the lovely nursery & maybe consider PS the term before starting reception to get to know the environment & routine.

PS generally don't do as long hours either so that might be a factor if you work.

Only1scoop Thu 22-May-14 08:23:36

I was in exactly the same dilemma....my dd stayed at her private nursery and did her 15 hours there plus a few extra per week. She thrives there ....always has I didn't want to move her particularly....and if I'm super honest the 2.5 hours a day offered at the pre school hardly seemed worth the fuss. Dd nursery has qualified teaching staff and is outstanding last 3 inspections. Seemed like a no brainer to us.

Good luck with your choice.

Geraldthegiraffe Thu 22-May-14 08:25:37

Have a look at them. I didn't want a school based nursery year as it is a much higher number of children to adults. A trained teacher has also only done a pgce year and may mainly have experience of older children.

The kindergarten of the private school had lovely facilities, but was focussing on getting them sat at tables, "working" far too young rather than the important learning through play and exploration.

The pre-school we chose has staff that are dedicated pre-school workers, have worked in the same place for years (as opposed to teachers rotating around the age groups). I'm a teacher and decided our pre-school setting was far better than the school based one ;)

There's a huge variety of settings though. The private nursery near us was a money making huge thing (ofsted outstanding... but that doesn't tell you anything) and mainly very young (cheap) inexperienced staff.

We went with the community based not-for-profit pre-school. Dedicated staff that had been there for years and years. Lots of mature staff, with some young ones too but a lot more experience.

It really does depend on the settings near you - visit them and see what you think, ask around etc.

Only1scoop Thu 22-May-14 08:35:05

I also viewed around 6 private nurseries when dd first started at 10 months. We chose the one with experienced staff.... who had all been there a number of years.

I think the outstanding one did seem to shine from the rest and a few were just awful.

jacketpotatowithtuna Thu 22-May-14 11:24:28

I am having the same dilemma. A private nursery where DS2 has been since he was 1.5yo (now 3.5yo) or a state pre-school with double pre-school hours (for full-time) and afterschool club in the same premises (DS1 goes there after school).

I was sure that I want pre-school when I applied, because my DS2 is one of the older children, so for him to mix with the same age group, more experience staff, more stimulation, an amazing garden and pick-up of my both DC from the same place. Downsides: I would have to provide packed lunch every day and holidays will have to be arrange separately.

Private nursery - children of all ages (they are in separate rooms but also mix together), young staff, miniscule garden, sometimes looks very chaotic and disorganized. There used to be high staff turnover, but not anymore. But... DS2 is happy here, it has a family atmosphere and it feels as the staff is making an effort. Plus it is open 8-6 51 week a year. Plus easy parking.

I don't know what I am going to do. I will probably still move him to the pre-school, though as the time passes, I am increasingly unsure. I know a child that has been moved to the same pre-school last year and he is thriving.

Any experiences welcome.

TallDarkandUgly Thu 22-May-14 18:43:19

The preschool I'm considering (the State nursery) does extended hours (8 to 4) which is what I need and what he does at the moment in the nursery. It is not linked to a primary school and they serve hot dinners which is really important to me because he doesn't like cold food.
During the holidays, though, the preschool operate a holiday club where he would need to have a packed lunch.
I don't want a place where he's pushed to learn at an early age. Equally I'm a bit worried that nursery may become boring for a very active preschool boy.
Price wise, they would be about the same.
My ideal is somewhere full of creative fun activities with nurturing staff and good nutritious food. I'm not asking for much am I? grin

Geraldthegiraffe Thu 22-May-14 19:14:51

Ah I didn't know there were any state nurseries not attached to schools. IT sounds like they might have dedicated Early Years professionals? ?Have you visited it? You probably know where is best smile

gamescompendium Thu 22-May-14 19:29:58

If the nursery is good then they'll cater as well for the older children as the younger ones. Although I know when DD1 was in her final year before nurserey by the summer term a lot of the autumn born very capable girls were ready to move on which is as it should be, the same is true in the last years of school as well.

Our private nursery have staff with qualified teacher status that are in the preschool and the after school groups. I would think the pastoral care that is given in a good private nursery would be better than in a larger state preschool, it's certainly obvious in the difference between our nursery and the (outstanding) school they go to.

josuk Mon 26-May-14 12:19:13

If your DS is well adjusted in hir nursery it might be best to leave him there. Why make him get used to a new place, make new friends and change again in a year's time?

Nurseries know how to deal with pre-school children, they do it every year! And smaller staff/child ratio in a private setting is normally better for children.

Good luck

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