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To ask for help in deciding where to send my DD to primary school?

(12 Posts)
tiredbutstillsmiling Sun 16-Mar-14 12:49:57

Not really an AIBU but posting for traffic.

DD is nearly 3 & this year we'll be applying for a primary school place. Our major concern is getting her to & from school! Currently she's in private nursery where I drop her off at 7.30 (so I can be in work at 7.45) & I collect her at 5. DH can't do drop-off or pick-ups as his working day is 6am-6pm.

Primaries close to our house offer no wraparound care which means looking into a childminder. Not sure how easy these are to find for before school/after school care - besides I feel a little sad at not being able to ever take her to school! Even if said schools offered breakfast club I couldn't drop off at 8 & make it into work on time so I'd need a childminder to take her to breakfast club!!

There's one school who offers a kids club for neighbouring primaries where parents drop off & they walk & do numerous drop-offs. Concern here is that this service is for 3 primaries from 4-11 years but spaces are limited at 40.

Then there's option 3. A primary school that shares it's site with the secondary I teach at. It offers breakfast club & after school club & I could take/collect her. Trouble is this school is 6 miles from our home & even if she did get in it means I'm pretty much tied to teaching there til DD goes to secondary school.

Have tried talking to DH but he's so relaxed saying "don't worry til Nov when we apply" but I think we need to start thinking now.

So not so much an AIBU but a WWYD?

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sun 16-Mar-14 13:05:24

I think option 3 is a valid option. It does not mean you will have to stay there for the rest of her primary education. I would see it as buying you time to find other solutions in a way. If you are happy in your job for now, then it is a good start.
Should you choose to move jobs in the future you could look in to childminders that do school runs in that area. But a lot could happen between now and then (unless you are planning a move in the next few years) your DH work hours might change for example.

I do think you need to think bout the other options too though, and I would say if you are going down the childminder route you need to start looking sooner rather than waiting. Child minders have limited places for school runs, and you need to find one you like that goes to the school you like and has spaces available. It is not something you can just leave till the last minute I'm afraid.

Finola1step Sun 16-Mar-14 13:10:19

Option 3 does sound sensible if you intend on staying at your school.

I don't think you need to make any decisions now but, you do need to do your research. Option 3 being 6 miles from your home could be tricky. Have you checked their last place offer distance for the last few years?

Sirzy Sun 16-Mar-14 13:10:53

I would check out the admissions criteria but unless it is very under subscribed I can't see you getting into it with ease.

Can you contact a few local childminders to find out what they do with regards to school runs etc? Sound out that area to help you decide?

tiredbutstillsmiling Sun 16-Mar-14 13:20:33

Option 3 school is a Catholic school (& we are) & last year only had 30% Catholics so I'm sure we'd get a place. Also the area I teach in has dwindling numbers as it's expensive for families. May mean my job is under threat in next few years!

Guess the childminder route is the way to go. Those of you have used it do you feel guilty that you never have contact with school on a daily basis?

ChilliJo Sun 16-Mar-14 13:20:56

I think you need to check (if you haven't already) what you're chances of getting into any of the schools you're considering. Certainly where I live, there is no 'choice', in catchment for my house is a CoE school that you won't get a place at unless you have a sibling already attending or have been attending church for 2 years before the application deadline date or the other primary. Despite being able to walk to 4 other primary schools in 10 minutes, there's actually only the one my DC will get a place at.

Not what you were asking, I know, but just wanted you to be aware that all the options you're considering might not actually be realistic ones anyway.

Anyway, as you were!

tiredbutstillsmiling Sun 16-Mar-14 13:24:54

Bit of a catch-22 then! Schools where I could get childcare DD may not get in & then that leaves us with schools we couldn't get her to or collect her from unless either of us give up work. (Felixable hours and teaching don't go hand in hand!)

tiredbutstillsmiling Sun 16-Mar-14 13:25:29


LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sun 16-Mar-14 13:28:27

There are plenty of ways you can have contact with the school without physically going in every day. I have contact with the head mistress via her work email which she accesses frequently, and I often get a very fast reply to my questions. My DC teachers also have work emails which they will give out to parents who ask.
Whilst I don't have a child minder, I am sure most schools would be willing to discuss things with you using email / phone etc. They will be used to parents using child minders, so try not to worry too much. To be honest not a lot gets said at drop off or pick up to parents anyway, unless there are issues, in which case the head can ring you and arrange to meet at a convenient time for you / DH.

mygrandchildrenrock Sun 16-Mar-14 13:32:48

The option of your school sounds good, then you would be able to take and collect her and have chatting time in the car.
My youngest two went to a primary school initially 13 miles from home, then 10 and their high schools are 15 and 12 miles away, because we live in a rural location. It is quite normal here to travel to school.

tiredbutstillsmiling Sun 16-Mar-14 13:44:01

Thanks littleprincess, that makes me feel better. Although DD is in nursery from 7.30-5 I've never felt guilty as I've taken her. Sounds silly I know!

mygrandchildren, I also went to school 10 miles from my home but think it was easier back then. Schools seem to be so over-subscribed these days.

EssexGurl Sun 16-Mar-14 15:12:45

That is the reason I gave up work and became a SAHM! Childcare is a nightmare for school age children. Yet all the government focus on is improving nursery availability.

Personally I would go for option 3 as you would be much more involved in your child's education and it would mean you could continue with your career. The ethos of the school (Catholic) obviously fits with your family as well,

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