Is Mornings the preferred Nursey slot and if so, why?

(43 Posts)
MortifiedAdams Sat 30-Mar-13 19:39:19

just picking a slot for dd and I tend to work lates a few days a week (in addition to a few full days), so think PM nursery is preferable so we can spend time together in the mornings.

However, everyone I speak to advocates Earlies and is of the impression that Lates are just full of kids who either didnt get the AM slot they wanted or have lazy parents who dont want to get out of the house early.

I wanted mornings so that we had the rest of the day to do what we wanted. It also got them used to being up early for when they started school. It's down to your own preference though so if you want afternoons choose them.

Kyrptonite Sat 30-Mar-13 19:41:50

Our PM children are often ratty and tired. Not all of them but a big difference to the ones we have in the morning sessions.

motherofvikings Sat 30-Mar-13 19:43:36

I would have preferred mornings but when we moved during ds' preschool-ing the closest (an probably best) was full in am. I went with pm and its been great.

We still do stuff in the morning, or laze about in pjs sometimes. And best of all so far dd naps while ds is at preschool so I get an hour a day to get stuff done or chill! smile

Afternoons are no bad thing for us! smile

cakebar Sat 30-Mar-13 19:52:51

I wanted mornings for DD because she still napped in the afternoon until she went to school.......I am going to choose afternoons for DD2 because she doesn't need as much sleep and the place is quieter in the afternoons so she should get more attention.

squiby2004 Sat 30-Mar-13 20:07:21

As a teacher you are fresh first thing and so is the classroom. I have never felt the pm session children get such a good deal as I have already done 4.5 hours at school and the classroom is never as clean tidy and inviting. All of my nursery staff agree we wouldn't want our children in pm sessions. Behaviour is always much worse in the afternoon too, the children tend to be more ratty with each other.

Cybbo Sat 30-Mar-13 20:11:20

Our afternoon contingent are better this year than before

But I agree about the setting being trashed in the morning

Level3at6months Sat 30-Mar-13 20:13:26

We always find the afternoon sessions much harder going. The children are tired, tend to be younger and often still really need that nap they are missing. Morning sessions tend to be calmer and much more productive.

GW297 Sat 30-Mar-13 20:14:03

Mornings are preferable as children have better concentration. Agree with other comments too. If you are going to do fun enriching activities with your child in the mornings, then opt for afternoons if it would suit your family better. There may be smaller numbers in the afternoon which will be a plus.

I wanted mornings but got afternoons and it worked out great.

Almost all the playgroups were in the morning so we did a playgroup then lunch then they went to nursery.

Got so much more out of the day.
I went to playgroup with all 3 then dropped the eldest two into nursery then dd3 would have a nap.
As I was pregnant with ds then it worked perfectly.

Now all out at 830 for school run no more taking our time!

MortifiedAdams Sat 30-Mar-13 20:32:14

oh no maybe I should change it? i figured it would be better to have her with me in the mornings but if ots more beneficial for her to be at school as she is freshest then maybe I should swap?

MortifiedAdams Sat 30-Mar-13 20:33:26

although girls makes me think otherwise grin

dd has her biggest nap in the morning but she is only 16mo so that could change. We also do do toddler groups etc.

GW297 Sat 30-Mar-13 20:41:27

Do what's right for you and your child. If you do not need to be up and out every weekday morning from nursery, it may be nice to have more relaxed starts to the morning. As an infant teacher, I would always go for the morning nursery slot, however, for educational reasons.

AndiRee Sat 30-Mar-13 20:41:54

We started off with afternoons but it didn't work for us so transferred to mornings when a space became available. PM nursery started at 12.15 meaning lunch had to be 11.30am as DD a slow eater. She was still full from breakfast so never really ate much. It worked much better for us in the morning.

MortifiedAdams Sat 30-Mar-13 20:47:07

Hmmm... I want to do the best for her amd hear what you are saying about AMs being best.

This is so hard.

Both of mine did afternoons. We could either arrange to meet up with friends or do something in the mornings, or opt for a lazy morning.
Also, whilst ds was at nursery dd was a tiny newborn so it took a lot of pressure of the mornings.
Ds still needed an afternoon nap but after a few weeks at nursery he swapped to a morning nap before dropping napping alltogether.
I did ask for a morning slot for him, but was given afternoons and it worked out fine for all the reasons mentioned above.

With dd I chose afternoons as we would be up and out taking ds to school and then head off to the pool or somewhere with friends before taking her to nursery. She is December born and thus a bit older in the school year so for her afternoons was fine and a good preparation for starting full time school the following year.

I never noticed the staff being tired or the children being ratty with one another. smile

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 30-Mar-13 20:55:26

We chose afternoons for DC1 and DC3. They're older in the year, had both long dropped their nap and were able to carry-on with ballet/gym/singing/football/playgroup in the morning and then go to nursery in the afternoon. DC2 is summer born and still needed his nap in the afternoon, so for him we chose mornings.

Mornings are defintely more popular at our school. The reasons seem to be; children less tired, fits better with younger child's routine, get nursery out the way and then have the rest of the day free, child still needs an afternoon nap.

I've worked as a nursery teacher and in pre-schools and I still chose afternoon sessions for my DS as I wanted to be able to carry on going to all our lovely toddler groups in the mornings. I guess other things being equal I'd possibly marginally favour the morning sessions for the reasons several have mentioned. But other things aren't always equal so I think it very much depends on what's going to suit you and your child. DD also went to her maintained school nursery for afternoon sessions as she went to an excellent, small, private nursery for morning sessions. She was tired but happy !

LowLevelWhinging Sat 30-Mar-13 21:05:56


um, this is all news to me (on DC3)

don't you just get what child care fits with your job and family? And as long as it's a good nursery, with good people providing care, then, that's what you do?

does afternoon Vs morning really matter in the bigger picture?

do you, as an adult feel you should have had morning sessions when you were a pre-schooler? REALLY?

MiaowTheCat Sat 30-Mar-13 21:07:26

I did a lot of nursery supply and consistently across the range of schools I went into - the afternoons were more... um... interesting... in terms of behaviour and personalities involved, plus in lots - matching the lunchbreaks of staff with fitting the nursery hour entitlement into the normal school day would mean that staff were in and out and being covered by bods borrowed from all over the school for the first hour of the session or so as well.

I'll be going for mornings ideally when the time comes to make the choices for my two.

tethersend Sat 30-Mar-13 21:08:05

The best is when they give you a full time place <smug>

tri10 Sat 30-Mar-13 21:10:31

I started off with a combination of mornings and afternoon when dd1 was three and dd2 was a new born and at that stage afternoons were definitely better but have now switched to 5 mornings as I work 3 days a week it's nice to be able to do something in the afternoon as with morning you only really have 2 hours from when things open to when they need too be having lunch.

indyandlara Sat 30-Mar-13 21:24:30

We wanted mornings but got pm. So glad now. We will be able to carry on with a relaxed time in the mornings all the way until compulsory education. There is a mix of ages in the afternoon and the kids are not noticeable ratty. I'm a teacher and haven't found pm in nursery to he worse. During change over the room is set up again and is never trashed for the pm kids. Do what seems to fit your family best and don't stress which is best.

MortifiedAdams Sat 30-Mar-13 21:26:30

How do you get a FT place?!

I suppose it doesnt matter in the overall picture but I would like dd to have a good work ethic and attitude to school and wouldnt want to put her in a session that might hinder that.

she is december born, didnt consider how that would make a difference.

orangepudding Sat 30-Mar-13 21:29:36

I preferred mornings with my first as it gave us time to go out later in the day of we wanted to.
My third was the only one who did afternoon nursery. It would have been easier to drop them all off in the morning as by the afternoon he wanted to stay home. Also he had to have lunch around 11.30 due to the afternoon session time!

ReallyTired Sat 30-Mar-13 21:31:33

I wish that school nursery could offer 3 days of five hours rather than 3 hours on five days. Lots of mums just spend their days constantly doing the school run. I also think it would be better for the children who find themselves having to drop of big brother in the morning, come back in the afternoon and then walk back afterwards.

We got afternoon nursery and it has definate advantages. The pupil to teacher ratio is far smaller and the older school children come and play with the younger children in the nursery during their lunch hour and golden time. Dd is able to do activites like swimming or gymnastics in the morning.

I feel schools should make sure that there is a mixture of families at both the morning and afternoon sessions. Afternoon nursery has a disportionate number of children with special needs, a disportionate number of children from challenging backgrounds and a disportionate number of summer born children.

I think it would help if schools made the home visit before deciding which children were in the afternoon nursery and which children were in the morning nursery. Some children would really benefit from being made to get up in the morning and other (september born) children would benefit from being forced to give up their afternoon nap.

Ie. we know an October born child whose mum lied argued heavily for morning nursery by falsely claiming her daughter needed a nap. My summer born daughter didn't get mornings and last week fell asleep during the nursery session.

WildRumpus Sat 30-Mar-13 22:15:47

I think it really depends on your DC. Round here you don't really get a choice. All nursery slots are filled and you take what you are allocated. Both mine got afternoons. They are both born at the same time of year but v different children. DD was fine - loved it. DS is often asleep by the time we get there (they won't take him asleep - I've had to turn round and take him home again a lot) and v often goes off to sleep in book corner or sometimes just in the middle of the floor. Poor child really isn't getting much out of his year at nursery.

teacherwith2kids Sun 31-Mar-13 10:15:18

Our local pre-school (from 2.5 to starting school) used to keep morning sessions for the younger ones, and then for the year before they started school they went to afternoon sesions.

'Twas brilliant. Completely different activities and ethos in the afternoons, no younger children needing naps, more adult-led stuff, lots of joint work with the Reception class of the school etc.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 10:29:20

The nursery school my children attended did the opposite way teacherwith2kids. Younger children in the afternoons, changing to mornings and staying for lunch to prepare them for starting school.

hels71 Sun 31-Mar-13 10:39:43

Well where I live there are no nurseries attached to schools.If you want a pre school you have to go to one of the privately run ones where mostly it's first come first served on you could have 5 mornings, or 5 afternoons, or 5 full days (9-3) or a couple of mornings etc.....or end up with nothing if you are not quick enough. (There are also two day nurseries offering 8-6 care...)

Our preschool is open monday mornings, tues, weds, thurs all day and Friday mornings. You can choose any amount/combination of sessions you like confused Had no idea that this wasn't the norm! Obviously this is dependant on if each session has enough space, but it's undersubscribed so I don't know anyone who's been refused their choice yet. DS goes two full days and a half day. It's great, I much prefer the full days as it means I can do something more meaningful with dd in a full day and means more days when he doesn't go to preschool at all so can go out for the whole day somewhere smile

StickyProblem Sun 31-Mar-13 10:47:08

We did 1pm till 6 with DD from the age of 3. She got no writing practice because they did that in the mornings, but she spent ages in the garden and had a riot. It fitted better with us as a family. Starting school was a bit of a shock with the early mornings, but the earlier finishes means it soon settles down.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 31-Mar-13 10:48:26

Afternoon slots an be a PITA as they cut across the day and limit what else you can do (how much of an issue this is depends on what else you get up to). But really don't worry about whether am or pm is better educationally - they're at nursery doing finger painting, not PhD nuclear fission

But really don't worry about whether am or pm is better educationally - they're at nursery doing finger painting, not PhD nuclear fission <----THIS

DD was offered a January start at nursery this year because there was an afternoon place available and she was next on the priority list. She will continue on for another year with her year group in September as she was only just 3. Obviously being offered an early place meant we didn't have much choice - we had to just have what was available.

DD has ASD so has an LSA of her own who already works mornings with another child. When I was sent out the form for her September place I did initially think about mornings for her, but then thought again because
1) Mornings would probably mean a change of LSA, and DD is happy with the one she has had so far.
2) I have an older DS. No matter whether she goes morning or afternoon I will have to go to school morning and at 3:30 to drop him off and pick him/them up, plus a drop off or pickup for DD around midday. SO not much difference in how it cuts into our day. This will not be true I know of people who have a younger child or no other children.
3) As teacher myself I know that sometimes the afternoon nursery children were harder at first in reception (perhaps because they were not used to coming in early), but after a few weeks they were indistinguishable.
4) DD goes to a few groups in the morning with me and I get to socialise with her still and then come home and get chores done in the afternoon. Lots of preschool groups and playgroups are mornings. If she goes mornings, my life will just become one big schoolrun interspersed with housework. At least now I can take her straight to a group she loves in the morning, bring her home for lunch and to get changed, then out again for nursery. And I can get housework done in the afternoon when she's not there, but still have had a nice morning with her.

Hope this makes sense, and helps.

AllPurposeNortherner Sun 31-Mar-13 11:30:52

We did afternoons as I wanted to do mornings doing educational stuff at home, but as soon as I could I swapped to two full days instead. I don't like five half days as I found it too tying - we didn't have time to go anywhere, so they were only seeing the nursery, home, and very local things, and obviously museums etc are full of noisy kids at weekends.

RunningAgain Sun 31-Mar-13 12:06:20

At our nursery, there were different staff for the morning and afternoon sessions smile

teacherwith2kids Sun 31-Mar-13 12:20:52

Running, that was the same at our pre-school. 'Core' staff stayed for both, while in the morning there was a nursery nurse who specialised in working with the younger ones, and in the afternoon there was an ex- secondary art teacher who had a special focus on the older ones and preparing them for school.

LittleBairn Sun 31-Mar-13 14:49:45

I was once told by a HV that all the kids from Junkie parents were given afternoon places due to not being able to pull themselves together in the morning, so best avoid. I pointed out it was the parents that were junkies not the kids! He attitude is, would I want to stand beside them each afternoon?

I do believe she was trying to help, my charge had physical developmental problems and she was concerned he wouldn't get the attention he needed in the afternoon class. He went for a year before his parents pulled him out, nothing to do with the kids (who were fine) but everything to do with the NN and teachers who were negligent.

sweetkitty Sun 31-Mar-13 15:00:42

There's a definite split in the mornings and afternoon groups at our nursery. The teachers say the afternoon children do tend to come from more disadvantaged families who can't be bothered getting up in the mornings (don't know what they do at school).

I've actually asked for 2 full days for DS but don't know if ill get them, the 3 DDs were all mornings.

RunningAgain Sun 31-Mar-13 16:12:52

I chose the afternoon session because I was working evenings at that time. Thankfully I'm not a junky! What an odd HV you must have LittleBairn. All the other parents seemed perfectly normal too, in fact a large percentage of them now have children at the school, so have to get up in the morning now anyway. Maybe they've got clean since last year??

TheSecondComing Sun 31-Mar-13 16:18:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleBairn Sun 31-Mar-13 16:58:27

running worryingly she was actually a very senior HV. And while it was clear that some of children (out of 50!) came from chaotic families many just came from normal but poor families.

It was actually the speach therapist that worked out of the nursery that went off record and told us to get him out of there the issue was the staff not the children. But we had already worked that out anyway after catching them out in a lie when they blamed another little boy for lying when he told his parents about a serious violent incident that was hushed up.

The kids I look after now have done both morning and afternoons in a different nursery. I haven't noticed anything different in terms of care and types of families that use it. Maybe it's because the staff have 45 mins before each session and use it for a quick quite lunch and a tidy up there is more of a separation in the sessions and they get a bit of a break.

Personally when looking at a nursery I find the best are always those without high staff turn overs along with a lot of older women with excellent experience working along side younger staff with lots of enthusiasm and new ideas.

I chose mornings for both of mine. I feel that if they were to go in the afternoon we would be waiting all morning to go to nursery, not really having the time to go anywhere.
We wouldn't be able to plan a day out after nursery, when the rest of the day is ours.
I also think it helps with the transition into reception, as at least the time they walk to school will be the same, its just a case of being in a different class.

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