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Is 2.5 too young for pre-school?

(32 Posts)
Matildathebrave Mon 31-Aug-09 17:17:08

My son started pre-school when he was 3 years and 9 months which I felt was about right but my daughter is due to start in two weeks at only 2.5 years.

I feel she is far too young to be left without her mum though I was the one who put her name down as every other child seems to be going at this age.

Should I:

1. Take her along and see how she gets on or

2. Leave it another year and try her then?

Can't bear to leave her am in a real state.


kidcreoleandthecoconuts Mon 31-Aug-09 17:19:46

If she's going to pre school this year does that mean she will start reception next year at 3.5 yrs?

Clayhead Mon 31-Aug-09 17:22:02

My dd started at 2.9 years and did two years of pre-school - she loved it! It does really depend on the child though, if you aren't keen on it now it really wouldn't hurt to wait either.

Good luck smile

LevitatingCopy Mon 31-Aug-09 17:23:33

Do you need her to go so you can return to work? If not, then why not just take her to toddler groups for a few months, it's cheaper and she'll still get to socialise. She'll get 12 free hours at nursery/pre-school/childminder after she's 3 (unless they are changing this - am not quite up to date).

Plenty of 2.5 yo's do go to nursery/pre-school though, chances are she'll be fine as long as it's one that suits you both.

llareggub Mon 31-Aug-09 17:31:11

My DS started going at 2.5; he settled right in and enjoys it. I started him early because I was about to go onto maternity leave and no longer wanted him to go to a childminder. I wanted him to mix with other children and as I was about to have a baby, pre-school seemed like a good option.

It has been good for his confidence and his vocabulary has grown, and I have noticed that he is better at football and climbing after spending so long with the older boys. But really it has been good for him to have a change of scenery and have something to do without his little baby brother crying or needing a feed.

That said, it depends on the child. A friend of mine has a little girl who really hasn't taken to pre-school and I seem no harm in putting it off until she is ready.

My DS barely looked back when I took him for his first session and declared that he loved it there.

LadyHooHa Mon 31-Aug-09 17:34:08

Generally, yes it is too young!

MIAonline Mon 31-Aug-09 17:41:07

It depends on the pre-school. Many are really a playgroup and they have 2.5 hours of fun once or twice a week. I am like you and am not sure, but feel that my Lo will enjoy it and after 2.5 years at home will relish a new experience, but if it doesn't work out I think I will stop it for another year.

Our pre-school is excellent (from what I have heard), really well set up, no pressures and the children have a lot of fun.

MIAonline Mon 31-Aug-09 17:42:18

Can I just say though, I hate the term pre-school and much prefer play group, which used to be more commonly used.

BonsoirAnna Mon 31-Aug-09 17:42:20

Can you daughter talk well enough to make her needs understood to strangers? Is she toilet trained?

If not, IMO, she is too young for a group educational setting.

Portofino Mon 31-Aug-09 17:42:30

In Belgium most dcs start the Maternelle at 2.5. I can't compare with the UK but my dd's class is a happy little bunch, very sociable and polite. It is free, and has a take up rate of 99%. Belgium is also considered to be no. 1 in Europe for education but whether the 2 facts are connected I couldn't tell you.

grouchyoscar Mon 31-Aug-09 17:43:07

Ds started pre-school at 2.5 for 2 mornings a week and began nursery at 3 for 5 mornings per week

He was ready for it. He was getting bored at home and needed additional stimulation. He enjoyed it tremendously and still visits a friend from there even tho they live in different towns/attend different schools.

If you feel your daughter is not ready then defer it for a while, no one will beat you up for it. Different children are ready at different times. You know your child better than anyone else, do what you know is right for her.

BonsoirAnna Mon 31-Aug-09 17:43:22

Oh Portofino that just isn't true - Belgium doesn't do at all well on PISA!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 31-Aug-09 17:45:06

My son started at playschool at 3.1years. I didn't think to send him before and he had a year there before school and loved it.

My daughter started at 2.5 mostly as she is very bright. Totally wrong place for her and I moved her after 5 months and she went to a nursery for a few months before I took her out and kept her at home until starting school at 4.1years.

DS2 started at the same playschool at 3 exactly and is starting real school on Monday.

My advice would be not to send her because everyone else is doing it, and if you are really struggling about her going, just don't send her.

Children have long enough at school and 2 is a baby really. Always seems to be a rush to send them off on to the next stage.


Portofino Mon 31-Aug-09 17:51:36

I have no idea what PISA is! The ratings that were given for standard of living this year counted Belgium as no. 1. And this is a system without private schools (unless you count the expat ones)

BonsoirAnna Mon 31-Aug-09 17:54:56

There are plenty of "private" schools in Belgium along the state subsidised French model.


FlamingoBingo Mon 31-Aug-09 18:06:23

Listen to your instincts and to your DD's. If you feel she's too young to go then don't send her! It's not law that children go to preschool so do what you feel is right for your child.

Portofino Mon 31-Aug-09 18:07:47

Anna, what you call a "private" school means it is outside the state system, and mainly religious eg Catholic. You don't have to pay to go there and they are largely state funded.

Anyway - not get away from the OP's original question, my point was here it is standard to start at 2.5, and the children seem to thrive. And that later learning standards are high.

MIAonline Mon 31-Aug-09 18:21:37

Matilda, I answered you earlier, but this thread has got me thinking. It has made me realise just how unsure I felt about DS starting pre-school. The differing views given to your question are the differing views, I hold myself.

TBH, if I wasn't having the same dilemma myself, I think I would tell you to hold off another year! Which is actually making me question my own decision. sad

My Ds knows he is starting and is looking forward to it, talks about going a lot ( and is toilet trained bonsoirAnna wink )so I think I will just have to do No1 on your list of possibilities and take him along and see how he goes, otherwise I would be putting my own worries ahead of what he (is saying) he wants to do. It is so much harder when they have never been left before.

What I will do and what I would suggest to you if you do go ahead with it, is to keep the sessions to a minimum.

Sorry for the ramble, blush just wanted you to know you are not alone

BonsoirAnna Mon 31-Aug-09 18:27:42

Yes, it's a very similar situation in Belgium as in France. What is does do is create variety in school offer, which is a good thing.

ThingOne Mon 31-Aug-09 19:11:40

It depends totally on the child. Pre-school's not really an educational setting after all.

My DS2 has attended a day nursery two mornings a week since he was 16 months. Initially he went because I was ill but he has stayed there because he enjoys it. He moved from the "baby" room at two. At that point the nursery just operated two rooms so he went straight in with all the older children. Some of them would have been four and a half. he absolutely loved it from the word go. I think he was quite disappointed when the little ones were split off from the pre-schoolers as he enjoyed the things they were doing. Had the local preschool still been open I would definitely have started him there at two or 2.5. He was really ready.

On the other hand I didn't send my older boy to pre-school until he was 3.9. Horses for courses.

troutpout Mon 31-Aug-09 19:19:41

depends on the child
For ds, it would have been way too young
For dd, it was fine

troutpout Mon 31-Aug-09 19:21:20

Oh no..i lie...dd was just 3

nappyaddict Mon 31-Aug-09 19:23:19

Loads including DS started at just turned 2 so younger than that and all settled in absolutely fine after a few weeks. DS came on leaps and bounds after going, but I always told myself if he hadn't settled after 6 weeks of going then I'd fetch him out and try him after Xmas.

piscesmoon Mon 31-Aug-09 19:24:04

I agree that it depends entirely on the DC-and the preschool, you can't have a hard and fast rule.

Matildathebrave Mon 31-Aug-09 21:15:16

Thanks all. It's nice to know I'm not alone in worrying about it all. Should have explained, no I don't work and yes she attends playgroups with me and Jo Jingles etc.

It is one session per week of 2.5 hours. She will do this for one year then start nursery for 5 mornings per week then the following year start reception.

No, I don't feel ready and she is definately still a baby and in nappies, still with dummies and bottles bless her.

I will take her along though but don't think I will keep her there unless she seems to love it and settle in.

Thanks all.

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