Nursery place

(16 Posts)
chattychattyboomba Wed 26-Mar-14 22:37:57

I have a predicament and will try not to drip feed but need some advice.
DD2 is due to be born in May.
For this reason, we decided to get DD1 into nursery this year so that she will be well and truly settled when new baby arrives (also good for interaction with kids her own age and social development etc)
DD1 is 3 next month.
She attends a private nursery 3 full days per week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. (Day starts anywhere from 8am up to 6pm)
This costs us roughly £750 per month
From the beginning of September we will be entitled to claim 15 hours free per week.
She has made some lovely little friends and really enjoys it. Her 'core worker' says she is coming along very well and participates enthusiastically.
Over a year ago I applied to a local, government funded nursery. This is a free nursery.
I have recently received a letter offering her a place starting September.
The place is part time 5 days a week.
Drop off at 9.30am, pick up at 12.
2.5 hours a day 5 days a week. (12.5 hours a week)

Would you accept the free nursery place?
I would have to move her from her friends.
It's less hours, less time.
It would mean having to be around all week every morning for drop offs and pick ups, meaning I wouldn't be able to go do anything else for at extended amount of time.
It's less than the 15 hours she would receive for free anyway.
It's closer to our home.
It's free.
It's a good nursery.
She's lucky to have a place.

Or would you keep her in the fee paying nursery?
She could stay with her friends.
She wouldn't have to re-settle.
Once September comes the fees will be substantially reduced anyway.
She also gets 3 meals at this nursery.

wherethewildthingis Wed 26-Mar-14 22:46:17

Keep her where she is has my vote.

Snowflakepie Wed 26-Mar-14 22:51:27

I would leave her where she is. The hours at the free nursery are rubbish, by the time you get home and go back out you will have 2 hours tops. Not what you want with a little one as well.

My DD goes 3 days 8.45-3.15. Last year she went mornings only and it was a waste of time in respect of trying to do anything else away from home, with DS, even just the supermarket was impossible. Look at what you need from the nursery, beyond socialisation and good care. There's your answer.

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 26-Mar-14 22:55:55

Sounds like you've already decided what you should do from your op. Keep her where she is if you can afford it grin

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 26-Mar-14 23:02:06

Leave her where she is for sure. Even if, at some point in the future, the extra hours become unaffordable for you I would still stay in the same setting but cut down to the free 15 hours there.

The only exception to this would be if the other nursery was actually the nursery class of the primary school where DD will definitely be going the following year. In that scenario, it could be worth moving her so that she gets to know her future classmates before starting school properly.

chattychattyboomba Wed 26-Mar-14 23:04:28

Thanks for the replies so far- Evees I definitely have a preference! I suppose you could tell wink but I just wondered if I was being a bit unwise or other people might think I was silly not to jump at the opportunity of free childcare.
I think you are all right. She is happy where she is and although technically right now everything is a stretch financially, I think this has to come as a priority.
Another reason why she's going to nursery is to give me a break- we have no family in the UK and no one else willing to take her to the park or to her ballet classes etc when I'm feeling like a whale... And certainly it will become more of a juggle when number 2 arrives, so the full days appeal to me in particular.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 26-Mar-14 23:09:43

Also, my DD will be starting nursery in September too (she turns 3 this summer). She will be going to the local pre-school, which is actually part of a private nursery but run in close connection with the village primary school. We have been offered either 5 x 3 hour sessions a week (so 9-12 or 1-4 every day) or 2 whole days (9-3) plus one morning. We have gone for the 2 whole days & a morning option - partly because it gives me time 2 days a week to actually do something & partly because it will prepare DD better for the length of the school days the following year.

chattychattyboomba Wed 26-Mar-14 23:10:23

It's just a shame the hours are so rubbish! i might be more inclined if they spread the 12.5 hours over 3 days instead of 5, but they are priority assessed and although I have put in a request, I was told it's highly unlikely as these places are so much in demand.
It's not a feeder nursery btw. The only nursery to the state school I would have even considered applying for, I have just been told by another local mum, she had to pull her son out because the kids were swearing and hitting him...yes...3 year olds. confused

chattychattyboomba Wed 26-Mar-14 23:14:15

Good point about getting used to school days santas.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 26-Mar-14 23:15:16

Oh dear! If that's your catchment primary school, I hope they have a good record of ironing out any problems before the start of Reception year smile.

K8Middleton Wed 26-Mar-14 23:20:05

It really won't matter either way. There are pros and cons to both. The free one will probably be a better preparation for reception, but the other has her friends.

Whichever you pick there will be challenges and advantages, so if you afford the fees and the schlepping about you can afford to make an emotional decision.

What other parents say would make a huge difference to my opinion and consequent decision.

Littlefish Wed 26-Mar-14 23:20:50

Before you make a final decision, speak to your dd's current nursery and check whether you will actually get the 15 hours completely free. Many nurseries simply deduct the amount they get from the local authority, from their normal fees. This means that you get a reduction, but you certainly don't get the 15 hours free, as they are intended to be.

chattychattyboomba Wed 26-Mar-14 23:21:40

Santas- Fairly Central London.
It has outstanding facilities. Excellent ofsted... But apparently some of the parents tend to... Display some aggressive approaches to conflict resolution? Shall we put it that way?not really the school's fault. its a shame. There are about 4 we would fall into but that was my only real option due to the others being simply crap. Failing that we have applied to several preps. Now all I need to do is win the lottery!

chattychattyboomba Wed 26-Mar-14 23:24:32

Little fish I will do as I suspected as much, but I suppose we should look at it as- we accepted paying the full amount when we put her in, any reduction should be a bonus.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 26-Mar-14 23:43:08

It sounds like it is still a good school though chatty. You can get poor behaviour from children at any school (and even worse behaviour from parents) but it is more down to how the school handle that. DS2 went to a fabulous primary school, although it was in what is considered to be a 'rough area'. We witnessed a couple of incidences of parental fisticuffs in the playground (both mothers concerned wearing pyjamas at the time hmm) and there were definitely children who had the vocabulary and attitude of their parents in bucket loads (in a bad way). The school were just really good at managing bad behaviour & getting the most from their pupils though - so it was actually a lovely school with a lovely happy, safe, atmosphere.

I would maybe try to speak to parents of children higher up in the school, and see what their experiences have been?

chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Mar-14 06:51:55

You're right santas, definitely how the school handle it. Probably being a little pfb about my pfb grin but it just really put me off.
Anyway thanks for all the advice. I think we are going to keep her where she is....still feel it's a shame but hopefully her place getting freed up will be given to someone who really needs it.

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