Dd is 2 years old, I've applied to a couple of preschools all within a ten minute walk from home.
Preschool A has a place for dd in Sept 2016, for two mornings a week. We'd pay for two terms and then it would be completely free. They are open five mornings a week for three hours each session and they eat their packed lunch in this time. The room looks similar to how I remember my reception class, and they have sand pit etc.
Preschool b doesn't currently have a place until September 2017. They open four mornings a week for 3 hours each morning with an additional hour on 3 days a week for lunch club (byo packed lunch) and charge £3 each session even when she'd be eligible for funding (for non-government funded time). It is a pack away setting, so they look a lot more homely.
Preschool c does not have a waiting list so I'd have to wait until 2017 to hear if they'd have a place for dd in September. They want children to do five mornings a week at that age and have the option of paying for longer days and a hot lunch. They are part of a children's centre and do loads of messy play.
I got a good feel at all of them. B and C facilities are better, especially outdoor play at C. The staff all seemed friendly and were reading stories, interacting with children, helping them wash hands etc at every single preschool. I am tempted by preschool a because she can start earlier and when we looked round I just got a feeling like she needs to be there. I'm just concerned that it was a good day and that I'm being swayed by the gorgeous room and garden. We didn't have a good day either when we went to b and I don't want that to sway me. I love preschool c but I'm reluctant for her to do five mornings a week although the option to pay for longer days might enable me to get more hours at work. Please help, what kind of preschools did/does your child go to and when did they start?
I also think daycare is good both for busy but caring parents and for kids themselves. Just have a look what activities some preschools come up with! Not only do they reading or playing with kids, they engage children in activities that help develop sensorial skills, cognitive abilities, social traits! At Kids Collective, for example, they even do yoga, take care of pets, and invite musicians to teach the little ones how to play musical instruments! You can read more about their Montessori and Reggio programs (quite interesting!) and extracurricular activities on their website.