Long days at nursery?(78 Posts)
So DS is going to start a new nursery in the next few weeks as he's 2.5 and would benefit developmentally and I'm expecting DD very soon.
He currently goes 3 mornings a week to a (turns out) crappy playgroup where he just hangs around doing the same stuff till I pick him up and I want him to actually get something out of being there or he may as well be at home doing boring stuff with knackered me!
Anyway, new place is amazing, lovely staff, lots of attention to individual kids and development, getting them to try new things - basically everything lacking at the old one BUT policy is they have to attend full days, 8 hours, apparently to get the most out of the curriculum (and the owner actively encouraged me to try elsewhere if I was uncomfortable, so I don't think it's a money making thing).
I'm a bit sad at the prospect of him going elsewhere for entire days (probably 2 a week) when all I really wanted was a bit of time with DD and some rest. But I know lots of kids go 5 days a week very happily! I guess I feel a bit guilty when really I could just have him at home, but he would almost definitely have less fun if I did...
Someone reassure me I wouldn't be doing something unnecessary by opting in! I mean he would benefit, right..? And is an 8 hour day (maybe 7 at a push) when I don't need him looked after by someone else for the whole day just copping out as a parent??? And how do you think 2 full days, probably thurs and fri (so big chunk away and big chunk at home) will impact in terms of settling in/adjusting longterm?
I think he would be fine 2 full days at nursery. Or if you preferred you could send him to a childminder who will follow the exact same 'curriculum' (EYFS) as a nursery. But in a more homely setting.
You asked for personal opinions, so hoping it doesn't offend, here is mine:
- two whole days that are longer even than a school day for 4/5 year olds (!) is way too much for a 2.5 year old, in the absence of absolute necessity because of the parents working hours
- 2.5 year olds do not need to follow a "curriculum".
Good luck in deciding what to do and all the best for the safe arrival of DD!
I agree with littlemilla. If parents collect their little one have way through the day then the others wonder where their parents ate. My daughter gird 2 full days a week to nursery while I work. Now in mat leave and having baby next week definitely keeping my 2 full days I'll need them to do the cleaning and shopping! My dd loves nursery she's 2.3 she does lots of baking there and playing and painting etc she's woodpecker up some really good habits and manners ad the nursery are quite strict. Not having family near by I feel I need it!EExpensive as it is though!
whatever you think yourself, but lots of children do 40 hours/week from 6 weeks old in private nurseries...
it's up to you...
Just to speak to try and defend the nursery here. At my ds's nursery the majority of children do full days as their parents work ft. I have only seen my son unsettled when he's had shorter days - dropping him off later or picking him up early. It also unsettles the other children as they are wondering where their parents are.
There are real benefits to them having a full day. Curriculum might be a tad clumsy. But I know that they plan a full day that works with the early years foundation.
I might be trying to defend them too much. But having been a ft mum I know that it's more settling not having children flitting in and out. I do believe it's a more stable and secure environment for the children if they're all having a similar day.
In France they only learn to read and write at 6. They still have a nursery curriculum but it's all through play. I think the use of the word is the issue here.
In this country they start school at 4. I think that is plenty early enough to start to learn in a structured way. In some other European countries they don't start until much later and school is still largely learning through play.
The system in the Uk just depresses me a bit.
Yep I'm starting to feel the long days are less of an issue than the general approach - it does give the impression they're not catering for individuals.
I'm all for early numeracy/literacy (including phonics) - but it is true some nursery teachers put a spanner in the works with literacy. Having worked in a reception class, I've seen evidence!
dd2 is 2.11, and goes to nursery 8.30-5 2 days, and 8.30-1 on a third. She's fine. Works well for all of us.
BUT I am quite weirded out by a nursery insisting on full days. IMO at nursery they should still be tailoring the day more around children as individuals (eg some DC in dd2's room have a sleep in the quiet room at lunch, those that don't need one go downstairs for story time instead).
They only do more formal semi-structured stuff for a relatively short period in the AM and PM, and the rest of the day is child-led, choosing out of 3-4 activities.
Children that age learn through play. Play is VERY VERY important. Play enables children to learn at their own pace, it is crucial to their development. They do not need a curriculum, they will get that for years to come at primary school. When your dc starts primary school it is very important he/she is ready for school, it is totally not desirable that he has already covered most of the stuff school is going to do in reception. Chances are he'll get bored, switch off and become disruptive/bored/underperformer. Some children will be naturally ahead, that is absolutely fine as it is their stage of development. Also, many nursery workers don't correctly teach phonics, very annoying for the reception teacher.
The only thing is that you have a young baby. 2 full days is less to-ing ond fro-ing for you and 2 full days with baby to get more done. DD had 2 full days a week in nursery at that age and it never seemed too much for her! Agree it seems odd they won't do half days though and if you are uncomfortable then there are other nurseries.
Extra - my 2.4 DS goes to nursery. He was there four days a week when I was working and now does two full days.
He loves it and I don't feel guilty.
I personally think that full days are good for them as they get the most out of it and can settle - ours has quite structured days and DS would miss out on lots if he dodn't do a proper day.
My days with DS2 are heavenly (he's ten weeks) and I can guarabtee your guilt with abate once LO arrives. And it's not like a prison...nurseries are generally fun and loving places!!
I think the nursery are spinning you a line.
It is about finanace and not about the child's needs.
A 2 year old (or any child, for that matter) doesn't need an 8 hour structured day to benefit from the curriculum (and yes, 2 year old do have a curriculum, it's called the EYFS and applies from 0-5)
I am an arly years teacher and in our nursery we have children who do hours ranging from 3 a day twice a week to fulltime 8-5.30 and every combination in between.
They all benefit from the time they spend in the setting but don't necessarily miss out because they are not in fulltime.
In fact there is evidence from the EPPE project that it is the quality of the childcare not the quantity that makes the difference to their learning and development.
In our setting we aim for quality interactions, activities and experiences.
We also recognise that children are individuals and they do not need the same activities and expereinces to develop and learn. We plan for individual children, so we match the activities to when the child is in, it doesn't matter if they are not in everyday- they will still get the same high quality tailormade plan.
I would look elsewhere op, maybe look for a more child-centred setting.
Most children I know go to private club with tv, the wii, inbuilt soft play area, toys and home cooked meals and home work help.
Thanks for all the input, loads of useful stuff!
I think from preschool and later nursery they start following EYFS, but only aged 3 or just under - and it's not target driven or rigid, just supports future transition to school, which can only be a good thing.
Petite - Reception children follow the same EYFS curriculum as Nurseries
I think if it's that good you should put him in and see how he does.
My DS is 3.1 and up until now I worked PT mornings only and he went to a lovely childminder which worked really well for him.
He needs the stimulation of a pre-school now and has started at the most amazing Montessori place. He does 4 full days. This is mainly because I work more hours, but even if I didn't I actually would want him to go in the afternoons. They do Montessori stuff in the morning and then 'pre-school' stuff in the afternoons like cooking and making collages out of autumn leaves and gardening. I wouldn't want him to miss out on either part of the 'curriculum'.
Why not? What's wrong with following a curriculum? It's hardly advanced maths and astrophysics, or even attaining targets and levels of any sort, it's just stimulating their brain cells and curiosity. I don't understand what the problem is.
Structured well thought out activities, yes. Not a cirriculum.
Plenty of children do 8 hours. Its up to you though but I prefer longer days.
Lagoonablue I disagree. Structured, well thought out activities are great at that age.
Pack him off and enjoy time with your Dd plenty of much younger children do 7.30-6 5 days a week!
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