2 year old funding...why?

(21 Posts)
HHH3 Wed 27-Aug-14 21:46:11

DS2 will be eligible for the 2 year funding in January. I'm in two minds about whether to send him to nursery this early and wondered if someone can explain why certain 2 year olds are eligible for this please?

TIA

Lindy2 Wed 27-Aug-14 22:13:52

The eligibility for 2 year olds is dependent on a family receiving certain benefits like income based jobseekers, family income being below a certain level, or the child having special needs.
Some child minders can take 2 year olds with funding which could well be provide more individual and home from home care for a 2 yr old than a nunursery.

HHH3 Wed 27-Aug-14 22:29:45

Thanks Lindy.

He'd definitely be eligible. I guess I just don't quite understand what the thinking behind it is.

ladybirdandsnails Wed 27-Aug-14 22:44:20

It's all about getting early years educational opportunities to less affluent children. It means a more level playing field when they start school.

hollie84 Wed 27-Aug-14 22:49:15

Statistically, children from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve less well at school.

High quality pre-school education has been shown to have a positive impact on children's achievement. Pre-school education from 2 rather than 3 has been shown to increase that impact.

StripyBanana Wed 27-Aug-14 22:53:03

My husband was suddenly made redundant and we were eligible but decided not to take it up. Reading between the lines its due to them thinking low income families may not read to children/give them opportunities or be in a stressed or difficult situation. We werefi e and I was quite able to give a fullfilled childhood at home so we'll be starting at nearly 3, and even then only a few mornings.

I think before 3 (less verbal, more confusing for them) there really needs to be a good reason for me to have considered it ( needing to work, parents health or not able to provide opportunities at home all good reasons!)

StripyBanana Wed 27-Aug-14 22:57:59

Hollie - thats statistically though (and I can see that for many it can be a good thing. There are so many homes where pre achool is the better option). However for a well educated, healthy enough person fallen o hard times but managing (us) we just didnt really fit he target population directly. They have to offer it with a blanket approach to catch everyone. Obviously many parents are just grateful of the break or have a real need (some health problems can be jmproved with a few hours break a day.)

If someone feels they are capable of playing with their child, interacting with them, telling them stories, taking them out,meeting others at playgroups etc I really don't see why they should feelbthey ought to or need to, but rather its an option if they would like it.

StripyBanana Wed 27-Aug-14 22:58:31

Hollie - thats statistically though (and I can see that for many it can be a good thing. There are so many homes where pre achool is the better option). However for a well educated, healthy enough person fallen o hard times but managing (us) we just didnt really fit he target population directly. They have to offer it with a blanket approach to catch everyone. Obviously many parents are just grateful of the break or have a real need (some health problems can be jmproved with a few hours break a day.)

If someone feels they are capable of playing with their child, interacting with them, telling them stories, taking them out,meeting others at playgroups etc I really don't see why they should feelbthey ought to or need to, but rather its an option if they would like it.

hollie84 Wed 27-Aug-14 23:03:31

High quality pre-school has benefits for all children Stripy, but if you aren't interested no one will make you use it.

StripyBanana Wed 27-Aug-14 23:48:33

I just cant see that. I considered it and weighed it up (background as a teacher and psychology degree) and chatted to a preschool owner I know. I'm v pleased with my decision but don't like the idea that 2 yr pre school might become the new "norm" that parents feel they have to justify their decision to go against.

I'm v happy with choice of preschool at nearly 3 (and I visited many. Some of which, although ofsted outstanding, I wouldnt even consider.) And wont use full entitlement until nearly school age, if that.

The op wanted to know why there was 2 yr funding and its that in many cases pre school is a better environment than home. No reason why she sshould feel pressured into taking a place just because she is eligible (and no reason really not to if you want to!) Just spend time chosing the preschool.

hollie84 Wed 27-Aug-14 23:52:45

I don't think the reason is that "pre school is a better environment than home" at all Stripy, and find that quite a dismissive attitude towards lower income families.

dreamcometrue Thu 28-Aug-14 00:01:42

Our lo will be eligible as he is classed as a lac.
Pre school in this case is no better than home but is necessary in order for him to start mixing with other children/adults etc without me there so that he can build up his confidence.

NancyJones Thu 28-Aug-14 00:25:31

Hollie, high quality childcare has been shown to have benefits over being at home only for children of 3+. That's not to say children under 3 in daycare are disadvantaged but rather that evidence shows that nursery only provides advantage over and above home after a child reaches 3.
Stripy, you are right; you don't fit the demographic but it is the best way to 'catch all'. Financial struggle often goes hand in hand with deprivation but as your circumstances show, that's not always the case.

HHH3 Thu 28-Aug-14 07:23:32

Thanks for all your comments.

I think Stripy has hit the nail on the head for me. I'm a lone parent but he's in no way disadvantaged. We read, play, go to toddler groups etc. it makes me a little sad that people might think he's missing out in some way.

His speech is also very behind due to health issues and at the moment he can only say 1 word (and he's only been able to do that for the last week or so) although he has some signs as well and is able to make his wants/needs understood. But he wouldn't be able to tell me how he's feeling/what he's done etc. And I'm not actually sure he's ready yet.

On the flip side I could really do with the break as I'm doing this 100% on my own and have health problems too. But not sure it'd really be a break for me if I'm constantly worrying about him and don't think my need for a break outweighs the concerns I have.

Obviously a lot can change between now and January (he's due an operation very soon and his speech should hopefully improve after that) but at the moment I'm definitely more inclined to leave it for the time being.

StripyBanana Thu 28-Aug-14 09:30:14

That's the way I read the reports too, Nancy.

I can too that, whatever your background or "parenting ability" financial struggle or health problems can lead to a lot of stress and struggle. I think it's good it's being offered, just shouldn't be assumed to be better!

StripyBanana Thu 28-Aug-14 09:37:26

Oooh didn't see your post HHH3.

Have you visited the preschools? The first few I visited made me doubtfull I'd ever leave my child at one. However then I foind a quieter one run mainly by mums with adult children and it was so calm and happy!

It sounds like you could do with the break and no reason to feel guilty if you do. You may find having a break in the morning gives you energy to play together in the afternoon. I also dont know if you have to use the full 15 hours? Im onky doing a few mornings so I still have my daughter home most of the time.

of course you don't have to send him, but maybe visit some so you can be sure if it's right or wrong for him? And if you decide to leave it (as I did) at least you have an idea in your mind abpit what it would be like.

hollie84 Thu 28-Aug-14 10:05:05

I don't think that's true Nancy - the number of months in pre-school after the age of 2 showed greater gains (though not the number of hours). The EPPE study maybe?

Many higher income families buy his opportunity for their children of course.

petalunicorn Thu 28-Aug-14 10:17:30

I totally echo what stripy says. In general I think preschools are best for children approaching 3/3+. I would only put a younger child in a preschool if they had an under 3s room, and that is rare. A nursery or childminder would cater better for a younger child. I agree there are benefits from 3+ but would question a preschool providing benefits over a good home environment for a younger child. If there is research showing children 2+ are better off with a preschool education I bet they have looked at 2 year olds in a nursery setting and not 2 years olds put into a community preschool alongside 3 and 4 year olds and which has a history of catering to the 3+ age group.

The only caveat I would have in your situation OP is the speech delay. My youngest dc has speech delay and her preschool have been excellent in practicing her exercises 1:1 and supporting her in small group work. If you could find one that was like that it might be helpful.

HHH3 Thu 28-Aug-14 12:19:48

I haven't looked at anywhere yet and I do need to do that. You never know - I may find somewhere that I think he'd be really happy at. But yes, even if I decide not to go ahead it'll give me an idea of what's around.

I'd also have logistical problems. DS1 is about to go into year 6 in a school in the next town (we moved but kept him at the same school). There's no way I can drop off or pick up 1 child in the next town and 1 child in the town we live in at the same time.

Re speech delay. Tbh I'm not exactly sure if he officially has a speech delay. DS1 was so ahead at this age that I'm not even sure what's normalblush The hope is that when he has his op (hopefully within the next month or so) that his speech (and development in general) will really take off.

petalunicorn Thu 28-Aug-14 21:59:08

Also worth looking now as lots of places have waiting lists. Some preschools will have flexibility over drop off (or collection) times, others won't. Worth asking.

Pammie70 Wed 03-Sep-14 21:17:05

Just remember that you don't have to take the full 15 hours so if you want to just send your child one morning or afternoon a week you can. Also although they may be eligible from January you could delay until April or next September if you want.
You could also look at pre-school in the same town as DS1 perhaps one day per week to coincide with school hours. The offer is to help parents so it is about what is right for you and your child.

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