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Advice need about pre-school vs nursery

(12 Posts)
Moomin Wed 04-Aug-04 14:43:51

Dd is 3 in sept and goes to a childminder one day a week and a nursery 2 days a week. She has her name down to attend the nursery that is attached to the primary school she will go to, from sept next year, when she is rising 3. This nursery has an excellent reputation and uses some of the school's facilities, so I do think it's a good idea for her to attend so that she gets used to the building and the people.
But do you think it's too long for her to go for a whole year? There is an option for her to go from the Easter before she starts reception.
The nursery she attends now has a good pre-school unit as well, although I have a feeling that many of the kids there will attend the primary school nearest there, which is different to the one she will go to.
The other problem is that the pre-school only does 2.5 hour sessions and that would raise a few issues with her being collected and dropped off. If our childminder does it, which I'm sure she would, we'd have to pay the childminder of the other half days. If she stays at her present nursery, though, we'd be getting a discount from her nursery vouchers. The money isn't our priority but it's a consideration.
Anyone with Autumn children been in the same/similar boat? Sorry if this is confusing!

hana Wed 04-Aug-04 14:57:17

am a bit confused moomin!
My dd is also 3 in September.
She is going to go to a local pre-school (also attached to a primary school that I hope she will attend) for 3 mornings a week starting in September. The following year she will go 5 mornings a week and then start reception the year after that, so she'll have 2 years of 'pre-school'.

I will be working on one of her pre-school days and am currently looking for a childminder to have her before preschool - take her there - pick her up - and have her for the rest of the day until I get home. I'm confused as to whether I pay the childminder for the entire day, or the entire day minus the 2.5 hours she is at preschool. Maybe a childminder can help us out....

I don't think it's too long for her to go for one year, I think lots of children born in Sept/Oct end up doing the same thing because of when they were born.

Don't know about the nursery vouchers though - I've been told my dd won't qualify until the term before her 4th birthday now

marialuisa Wed 04-Aug-04 15:09:59

Moomin-but presumably you'll only be paying the childminder for half days? The pre-school will claim the nursery vouchers.

FWIW DD has just finished her pre-pre school year at the nursery attached to the school she will attend (she wasn't 3 until later on in the year but started in the Sept). She's thrived and the atmosphere was very relaxed. Her nursery class divided the kids by age for certain activities so that the older children were "getting ready for reception" whilst the younger ones carried on with their painting or whatever.

LunarSea Wed 04-Aug-04 15:54:01

ds is also 3 in September. He'll be staying at his current nursery, in the pre school section, because logistically it's the only way we can really arrrange things. Pre and after school arrangements once he starts doing "full" days at school are going to be bad enough (and I don't even want to start thinking about those first few weeks when they have them only doing part days, but change which part every week) - but there's just no way that we could shuttle him around between home, nursery and school for sessions which are only 2.5 hours each.

Easy Wed 04-Aug-04 15:59:20

Generally the thing with childminders seems to be, if childminder drops off or picks up then you pay her for the time dd is at nursery too. She can't fill that time for another child after all.. You'll probably find that's cheaper than the nusery charges tho' (certainly was for me last year)

Easy Wed 04-Aug-04 16:00:57


Our local nursery actually does drop-offs and pick-ups from pre-school. don't know what it all costs tho'

LunarSea Wed 04-Aug-04 18:08:02

Well as it's far from certain which school he'd be going to anyway, there doesn't seem a lot of point in disrupting the status quo to get used to a new place/people, when he might well not be going to that school anyway. The pre-school is not actually part of the school, just on a site adjacent to it, and the other possible school, which would probably be our first preference, is smaller and doesn't have an associated pre-school anyway.

SofiaAmes Wed 04-Aug-04 19:13:11

moomin. I've got the same with my ds. He starts at the nursery attached to the local primary in september. Our borough only do 2.5 hour places (some do full days, by the way), so he will be doing an afternoon place and going from nursery to the afterschool program. I have to hire a nanny to look after him in the morning and bring him to nursery (and dd to the childminder) as our childminder doesn't drive. Even though he has a free nursery place it's going to cost me more as I don't get childcare relief in the family tax credit for a nanny, (only a childminder). However, you might look into whether the nursery vouchers are also good for childminders in a childminder networrk where you live. They aren't in mine, but are in some councils depending on whether they have got around to setting up a childminder network. It's fiendishly confusing and really frustrating. This government claims to want to help mothers return to work, but I don't see what job they expect us to do for only 2.5 hours a day!

serenequeen Thu 05-Aug-04 06:46:59

we have the same thing. from sept ds will be attending 2.5hr sessions at the local pre-school nursery - it is going to be a logistical nightmare (he will continue to go to his excellent private nursery in the morning). the only reason we are taking the place is because attendance at the pre-school nursery is a criterion for entry to the primary school, which is one of the best in the area (and is rc, hence the reason they are allowed to use this frankly ridiculous and discriminatory entrance criterion). like sofia, when i go back to work, we are going to have to hire a nanny and probably not have our dd going to the nursery that ds did - which is v. much our preference.

these 2.5hr per day places are about as much use to working parents as a chocolate teapot.

Moomin Thu 05-Aug-04 14:27:15

what a nightmare! this is exactly the problem i've got, serenequeen and sofia. So in sept. next year, the options are for dd to attend the pre-school for 2.5 hours in the morning (luckily our next door neighbour has offered to take her there on the 3 mornings i work), then either arrange for the childminder to collect her and keep her for the afternoons or arrange for someone to take her from pre-school and up to the nursery.

Logistically speaking, it's starting to look more sensible that the childminder has her, esp as it's nearer. And the difference in care won't matter as dd will have had her structured activities and mixing with lots of kids each morning, I spose.

bluebear Thu 05-Aug-04 21:55:21

We're going through something very similar with ds (just gone 3). He has a pre-school place 2.5 hours each morning from October..but at the moment is in a private nursery (with his sister) from 8am to 6pm 4 days a week. We have looked at the logistics from every angle and I think we are going to have to give up - and keep him in the private nursery for another year....especially since the pre-school place doesn't guarentee a place at the school, and the catchment area shrunk so much last year that our house was no longer in it!
The only other way we could manage it would be if i gave up work and stayed at home with dd and dropped off/picked up ds....or if I could find a childminder with the right spaces (been looking since April and no such luck). (Childminders around here are £45 a day and ds's nursery is only £35 so that's another consideration).

Good luck Moomin - it's a headache isn't it!

Galaxy Thu 05-Aug-04 21:59:10

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