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To send dd to preschool if I don't need the child care

(44 Posts)
mollysmum82 Tue 25-Sep-12 21:33:30

Dd is 3 and September born, so wouldn't be starting school for another 2 years. We weren't anticipating sending her to preschool till the year before she starts school but a place has just come up in a seemingly lovely preschool attached to the school we want to send her to.

The school is oversubscribed but being at the attached nursery gives you a much better chance in the admissions criteria. Dd has been with me 24-7 since she was born and hasn't had any other child care so this would be a really big thing. We're having a lovely time at home, seeing friends and doing preschool classes like gymnastics. So part of me feels no need to change the status quo. But the other part of me thinks it may be good for her independence to be without me for 2.5 hours a day and I do worry that all her peers have experienced some kind of nursery when she hasn't. I've got a 3 month old ds who gets a tenth of the time with me dd does, as she's the more demanding one, so her being at preschool might benefit him too.

She just seems so little still though and she's quite clingy with me so it would be really tough at first.

When did your dcs go to preschool? Did you feel they benefited from it? Aibu in considering it?

mungojerrie Tue 25-Sep-12 21:37:02

My dd is at preschool for 2 mornings a week despite me being on maternity leave with dd2 (3 months). I think that it will do her the world of good to get used to the environment and have some social parent-free time. She loves it and is increasingly confident from going. I get to spend 1-2-1 time with dd2 which is so difficult when dd1 is around. All in all - it works for us and I would recommend. Even if its just for a couple of mornings, doesn't have to be full time. hth.

firawla Tue 25-Sep-12 21:37:14

no yanbu, most of them go from 3 and generally its good for them. if it doesn't go well you could always take her out again if you think best?

cinnamongreyhound Tue 25-Sep-12 21:42:02

I think most people use preschool once they get free sessions. I'm a childminder so ds1 was well socialised but he went and it gave him a little bit of his own life. He started in the January and I had ds2 in the September. Ds2 won't get free sessions until January but when he does he will go two sessions to start with and then 3. I won't send him every day but then the preschool won't mind, once you sign all the paper work they get funding whether your child is actually there every session and its not like school you don't have to send her, so if there's some meet up or group you want to go to with her you're free to smile

vodkaanddietirnbru Tue 25-Sep-12 21:45:08

both mine went when they got their free hours at age 3 - both went for 5 x 2½ hours per week. I was/am a sahm mum and it gave me time to shop in peace and to go to fitness classes.

vodkaanddietirnbru Tue 25-Sep-12 21:45:53

p.s. they also enjoyed going too and got to paint, bake, play to their hearts content

CollieEye Tue 25-Sep-12 21:47:10

I sent DS to nursery 3 full days a week when I was on maternity leave with DD. We kept the routine exactly the same as he was used to. I loved the 1-2-1 time I got with DD, and am only getting some more now 2 years on as he's just started primary school.

Nursery really brings kids on. It socialises them with other kids their age. This is a really important skill to learn / adapt to.

In your position I would send my DC. The fact it may assist you getting a place at the school is an added bonus.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 25-Sep-12 21:50:18

I'm biased as I've worked in pre schools, but there is so much more to a good pre school than childcare and some separation from the parent. Send her, more than likely she will love it.

Have you been for a proper visit yet and heard about everything they can offer your child?

mrsscoob Tue 25-Sep-12 21:54:22

I did but didn't use the full 15hours the first year, he just went two mornings sessions so only 5 hours then the following year I increased it to two full days which was 12 hours.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 25-Sep-12 21:55:23

What Outraged said and what I said in the other thread!

Plus, to put things into perspective, pre-schools here in Italy are free and they are from 9 to 3.45, the vast majority of children start going when they are in their 3rd yr.

mollysmum82 Tue 25-Sep-12 22:02:09

Aw thanks everyone. Yeah I've visited and it does seem really nice, the staff are friendly and there looks to be a good variety of activities.

They've said that you have to attend 5 sessions (morning or afternoon) so I don't know if you'd get into trouble if your attendance was consistently lower than that? There are a few village hall/scout hut preschools which have 2 mornings a week instead but I think I preferred the school one? Part of me thinks once they're in the school system you've 'lost them' though, which I know is really silly! I feel so guilty when dd is watching me doing mundane house tasks though when she could be having fun with her peers at preschool!

crackcrackcrak Tue 25-Sep-12 22:02:56

Yanbu why would you be?
Im keeping dd (3) at nursery 2 days a week whilst I'm on mat leave. I ou k her up earlier and take her in later sometimes but I'm not messing up her routine when she's been settled there for 2 years. I know - diff situation to op and I work part time but.....she gets so much out of it and has a great attachment with her nursery nurses - its home from home.
I also think part of patenting is taking a break now and then for yourself. 2.5 hours a day sounds like a fan happy medium and it will give you a bit of time to yourself back. Nothing selfish about it - too long away from dd and I miss her like mad but short periods do us the world of good.

Dd lives nursery so much that she often doesn't want up leave and I had to send her back early when I took her out for a month because she pleaded to go back! She was 2.5 then grin

Glittertwins Tue 25-Sep-12 22:03:53

It's not just childcare, it's a whole new learning environment for her.

purpleroses Tue 25-Sep-12 22:07:13

Do they insist on 5 sessions a week right from the start? Most preschools at least let you phase them in with a bit less at first.

I think they get their funding based on you being registered for 5 sessions a week - there's no reason at that age why they should actually care if you take them all up though - I'd have thought you'd be fine to give her a quiet day or a full day out with you and DS once in a while. Talk to the staff and see what they say. Pre-schools don't have to report attendance figures the same way schoos do.

But yes, I'd say it would be good for her to have time in preschool at that age.

Goldmandra Tue 25-Sep-12 22:08:15

Being quite clingy to you might mean she's not ready to go off and be more independent but it doesn't necessarily follow. Some children are able to develop a similar close relationship with one or two members of staff and thrive on those and the stability of the routine in such settings.

Give it a try. If she enjoys it and wants to be there great. If she doesn't enjoy herself take her out and wait until she's more mature and you feel that she's ready to enjoy it. Don't put you and her through hell for months on end just because you don't feel able to stop once you've started.

There's no reason for her to be there if she isn't having fun and there is no harm in pulling her out despite what some people might say about it impacting on her ability to settle when she starts again. It won't because she'll enjoy it when she's ready for it.

marquesas Tue 25-Sep-12 22:09:37

I didn't realise that people use a pre school as child care ime they hours they are open don't really fit with any job and you would need at least a cm as well.

A good pre school is a fantastic way for young children to make friends, have fun and get ready for school. If they were only used by those who needed child care they'd go out of business pretty quickly.

ReallyTired Tue 25-Sep-12 22:09:50

Plenty of people send their children to pre school from the age of two even if the parent doesn't work. Children gain a lot from nursery.

BlueSkySinking Tue 25-Sep-12 22:10:45

aged 2 and 9 months. Preschool was very enriching for my boys - added a whole new aspect to their lives. It rolled nicely into school as it was in the school grounds and with her school year group. Seemed a very natural step and also gave me one to one time with the younger ones

Vagaceratops Tue 25-Sep-12 22:11:35

DD has been going for a year now (she starts school next September) despite me being a SAHM. She loves it and would much rather be at school than at home.

YANBU. Give it a try.

marquesas Tue 25-Sep-12 22:12:28

purpleroses - if you have a funded place I'm pretty sure you do have to attend. At my DCs preschool this was picked up by Ofsted and attendence was closely monitored.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 25-Sep-12 22:14:29

Totally normal to be clingy to your mother, at 3 yrs old, when you don't know any different, though.
It doesn't mean a child is not ready to do something different. See how it goes and be positive for her. And bear in mind that it takes a little while to get used to new things.

Hassled Tue 25-Sep-12 22:15:05

It will be so good for her in terms of developing social skills and getting ready for the inevitable, i.e. school. And she'll have a lot of fun smile. They'll do activities that with the best will in the world no parent can really replicate at home. And I know that the children who struggle to settle the most in Reception tend to be the children who have had no pre-school experience. Go for it.

Pochemuchka Tue 25-Sep-12 22:15:07

I agree with comments above.
I'll be putting DD (3) into preschool 3-5 mornings a week while I'm on maternity leave.
The preschool also takes 2 year olds so when DS turns 2 one month after DC3 is born he will go there 2-3 mornings a week.
It is different from a nursery and I'm sure DD will thrive there. I'll be keeping a close eye on DS as obviously he's younger but he already goes to nursery 2 days a week while I work so I'm sure he'll be fine.

It'll also ensure I get some time with each of them on their own and time with new DC as well as all together.

WelshMaenad Tue 25-Sep-12 22:17:17

My DS is 2.6 and goes to a playgroup 2 mornings a week for 4 hours per morning. He absolutely adores it, his speech and vocabulary and imaginative play has come on so much since he started in April, it's been really good for him. I think you should jump at the chance. At the end if the day, if she really hates it, you can take her out, but I honestly think she'll love it once she settles in!

gabsid Tue 25-Sep-12 22:27:01

In our house there is always someone home but DD (almost 4) goes 2 mornings per week and after Xmas we will send her 3 mornings.

I send her so she has some more opportunity to play with other children, meet other people and to give us a break. I don't expect her to 'learn' a huge amount apart from socialising, as I think most other things are best learned by just doing stuff with them and chatting about everything - individual attention.

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