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to take a free full-time nursery place when I'm not working full-time

(25 Posts)
purplepompoms Fri 26-Apr-13 18:17:12

I found out last week that my youngest DD has been offered a full-time nursery place in September (when she'll be 3.5) at the local primary that her older sister goes to. Full-time places are supposed to be prioritised for cases where families are in need, lone-parent families, both parents working full-time or in full-time education. I only work 12 hours a week at the moment owing to the cost of childcare but once she's started I'll look for something with more hours although I don't really want to work full-time (ie 35+ hours a week) until she's a bit older. AIBU to take this place and potentially deprive a family more in need of a full-time place or should I just consider myself lucky to have got it?

SquinkiesRule Fri 26-Apr-13 18:22:42

If they do prioritize based on what you say then potentially they have already got places for those higher up the list that you and now are offering to those lower down the list. I'd take it, it's not like it's a free babysitter, they are preparing her for school and teaching her skills.

KirjavaTheCat Fri 26-Apr-13 18:24:45

I agree, they wouldn't offer it to you if they had a family more in need of the place. I'd take it.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 26-Apr-13 18:29:07

I don't think YABU to take it if you want to work, but if you don't want to work full time, do you think your dd would rather be there or home with you? Nursery won't teach her more than you can and I know mine would have chosen being at home every time (not that they always had the choice of course!)

purplepompoms Fri 26-Apr-13 18:29:52

I suppose I'm also feeling a bit guilty about effectively putting her into school a year earlier than I had planned. She currently goes to a pre-school 2 mornings a week (which we pay for as she's not eligible for the 15 hours until September) so 5 full days when she's only 3.5 seems quite a lot. I've been getting a few barbed comments from my MIL along the lines of "poor little purplepompoms having to go to nursery all day, you won't know what's hit you". I don't actually know if I'll be able to get work with more hours in September but I've been working very part-time hours for a number of years now and really need to put in more hours to get my career back on track.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 18:36:27

If the nursery know your situation, you have told them that you only work 12 hours, and they have still offered you the place, then it's yours to take if you want it.

I'd only take it if you're sure you can get more hours at work though. Not from the nurseries POV, but from your DDs.

SprinkleLiberally Fri 26-Apr-13 18:39:41

I personally would talk to the nursery and make sure that they knew the deal, and that no one else is in need of the place. If not, and you want it, then up to you.

Finola1step Fri 26-Apr-13 19:07:20

Take the

Finola1step Fri 26-Apr-13 19:09:47

Oops... Posted to soon.
Take the place. Your dc is entitled to 15 hours free nursery provision anyway. I know many children who have been in nursery from 9-3:30 five days a week and its been a great way to prepare them for Reception.

mrsjay Fri 26-Apr-13 19:10:28

take it they have obviously offered to your child which will essentially be a pre school year take it, you are not taking anybodies place if you have given them all the correct info

mrsjay Fri 26-Apr-13 19:10:57

I know a few preschoolers who have nearly full time nursery

catgirl1976 Fri 26-Apr-13 19:15:20


As everyone else has said they would not have offered the place if they had people who needed it more

Plus its nice to have some downtime

I have gone pt now doing 4 days a week and my day off is one where DS is in childcare.

dearth Fri 26-Apr-13 19:15:54

The nursery place is for the benefit of your child. Not for your benefit, or that of your employer.

MortifiedAdams Fri 26-Apr-13 19:19:37

Im confused confused as round my way everybody sends their kids to the nurseries attached to school either the Sept or the Jan after they turn three. Its sort of a given.

I understand why you might not want to send your dc, but these places are for kids - not childcare.

Saying that, most only do MOrnings or Afternoons but I suppose if they were under subscribed they might open a full time slot up.

Jinty64 Fri 26-Apr-13 19:20:37

I would take the the place. If you get more hours at work that's great. If you don't then you can use the time to shop, clean, prepare the evening meal so that it's ready just to cook etc leaving you free to give the girls your full attention when they are home. It should also leave you a little bit of time to Mumsnet yourself.

Ignore your MIL she has had her chance to bring her children up her way. These are your children.

idiuntno57 Fri 26-Apr-13 19:23:22

If I'd been offered this I would have bitten off my hand with excitement at the prospect of a few more child free hours grin

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 26-Apr-13 19:37:56

Makes me a bit sad that three year olds are pushed into fulltime education to 'prepare' for reception, reception was supposed to be so kids could prepare for school.

catgirl1976 Fri 26-Apr-13 19:44:32

Meh. My DS has been in nursery (although not ft) since he was 5 months old.

AThingInYourLife Fri 26-Apr-13 19:49:52

Your decision about whether to take the place should be based on what is best for your DD.

You've been offered the place fair and square, so now decide if you want it.

purplepompoms Fri 26-Apr-13 19:51:39

I do kind of agree with you Swish. When I applied for the nursery place I only expected to get a morning or afternoon place as the full-time places are like gold dust. Now she's got it I feel really ambivalent as I was kind of OK with the idea of continuing working very part-time until she started in reception. However, now we've been offered the place my DH is very keen for me to work more hours and since he has been bearing the brunt of wage earning for 3 years since DD2 was born I feel that I should try and work more hours if I can. Also, if I go full-time when she starts in reception then both DDs will have to do breakfast and after school clubs 8-6 and I think this will be more of a shock if DD2 goes straight to this from being at home with me. This way she has a year of 9-3.30 days to get used to the idea of being away from me for longer but doesn't have to do really long 8-6 days until she's a bit older.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 26-Apr-13 20:02:49

My view, fwiw (which ain't much grin) is the idea of 'preparing' is largely non-sensical, other than a bit of settling in time.

So if she will do the long days age 4, she will still be happiest where she is happiest for the year before that happens.

Obviously if you want to work, that is different, but do not underestimate how much kids get from being at home, it is their preferred option by a mile in most cases, and usually for very good reasons.

mrsjay Fri 26-Apr-13 20:05:39

Makes me a bit sad that three year olds are pushed into fulltime education to 'prepare' for reception, reception was supposed to be so kids could prepare for school.

In scotland there is no reception children go to preschool( then straight to school)if parents want it at 3 <shrug> there is nothing sad or whatnot about going to a nursery all 3 years olds are entitled to 15 hours anyway

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 26-Apr-13 20:06:38

What I mean by 'don't underestimate what they get at home' I mean don't think preschool=learning and home=not learning, because both are places where children learn.

NigellasGuest Fri 26-Apr-13 20:12:32

oh and tell your MIL to butt out

breatheslowly Fri 26-Apr-13 20:21:22

I'd ignore the issue of whether you feel that you deserve to be offered a place - the nursery has a priority system and you can only assume that this worked and your DD got a place after those allocated for priority need.

Do you think your DD would suit FT nursery? Is there the option of trying it and then dropping back if it doesn't suit? I assume you know about the quality of the setting as not all nurseries and preschools are equal. There is no point in sending her to one without a bit of a rhythm to the day and plenty of varied activities to keep her engaged and engaged staff.

My DD goes to an excellent nursery for 8 hour days. She gains enormously from being there and it suits her outgoing, lively personality. I can imagine it wouldn't suit all children.

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