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Is Nursery necessary? Will DD miss out?

(71 Posts)
ilovetochat Wed 12-Aug-09 15:56:08

My dd is 2.1 so is due to start school nursery half days Sept 2010, so i need to apply end of this year.
As she is a July birthday she doesnt have to start school till year 1 when she will be 5.2.

Im a SAHM so have no personal need for her to go to playschool/nursery/reception.
If reception isnt statutory then surely reception is a settling in year.

Therefore why am i being offered playschool place to prepare for nursery, then nursery place to prepare for reception which prepares for year 1? Are all these years of preparation necessary and what do they learn in nursery for example?

I am considering not sending dd to nursery, keeping her with me and doing lots of activities with other children so she is socialising and then sending her to reception when she is 4.1 but seeing that year as her preparation for school and letting her take it at her own rate.

Am i totally wrong? Does she need nursery?

Btw, if dd wants to go to nursery i am happy to send her and im sure she will change lots in the next year and may want to go off with friends etc. This isnt about me keeping her with me, its about not rushing her into school.

OmicronPersei8 Wed 12-Aug-09 16:04:32

My DD isn't going to nursery this September although all her friends are - but she may go in January instead (we won't find out until some time in the Autumn). I was a primary school teacher before being a SAHM, and interestingly enough the only other mum I know whose children didn't go to nursery also was a primary school teacher...

Do what you feel most comfortable with: we've found that a few mornings at pre-school have been a good compromise. That said, I'd quite like for her to get a full-time place for January so I can have a bit of a rest, but also because she's suddenly matured a lot and is so interested in everything, I can see that she's 'ready'. But my experience of working with children is that if you talk to your DD lots, play with her and take her to playgroups etc where she can play alongside other children, that can be just as valuable as a more formal set-up. And compared to a child with a September birthday, there isn't much difference.

As with most things, do what works for you and your DD, everyone is different.

OmicronPersei8 Wed 12-Aug-09 16:06:24

Oops, meant to add, Nursery can be a fantastic experience, as can Reception - it might be worth visiting some places to get a feel of what they could offer your DD. Keep an open mind - She's still young to be thinking about this, as she grows up you may find you change your mind about it all.

(Can you tell that I'm a bit of a fence-sitter? grin)

thirdname Wed 12-Aug-09 16:11:08

Of course don't bother with it if you don't want to, of course she doesn't NEED it. I am only sending them to get rid of them for as long as possible

preciouslillywhite Wed 12-Aug-09 16:21:44

If you can offer her company of other children and lots of interesting things to do, and you're happy for her to stay at home, and she's happy to be there, I'd say keep her there till she starts reception.

I worked p/t in a nursery last year and although the socialisation and play opportunities are great I have to say I felt veeeee-ry uncomfortable about the EYFS- observations, targets etc. It can seem very much like a process. And I don't think children who've been to a nursery have any real long term educational advantage over those who've been at home- they might find it easier to settle into Reception and do what they're told, but by the first half term bet there's not much difference IMO.

Itsjustafleshwound Wed 12-Aug-09 16:27:54

The main reason why I sent my DD (who is an autumn baby) to nursery was for the socialisation. I am a SAHM and our relatives all live overseas and so she has benefitted from that as well as giving me a bit of a breather so I can have some time with my DS.

As others have suggested - have a look around and there will be a suitable nursery ...

Good luck!

drosophila Wed 12-Aug-09 16:49:41

Think it depends on you. My dd thrived in nursery largely due to her being very artistic and I don't have a clue how to support her other than give her crayons and a blank piece of paper. The nursery were great with this. Also she is a live wire and I simply lack the energy to keep up with her inquisitive mind. I do my best but you know how it is.

Tinker Wed 12-Aug-09 16:58:49

Do you mean a FT nursery or the 5 x 1/2 day sessions they have hat pre-school? Both of mine just went to pre-school (rest of teh time was with a childminder though) and both loved it. My youngest one is quite timid and, for her, I think (hope) it's been a gentle introduction to Reception. My eldest is the opposite - craves and needs company.

ilovetochat Wed 12-Aug-09 17:38:10

i mean the five 1/2 day sessions at school nursery. if she goes she will be with me the rest of the day so thats not a problem. She sees lots of children although we dont have family with children she goes to activities.

I agree she may grow up a lot in 12 months and be more than ready for time away doing her own thing and if she is i'll be happy for her to go. id prefer if it were more flexible, she could go 3 mornings a week but it has to be 5 which im not keen on.

We may ttc next year and if im pregnant or have a young baby by then i would probably send her to give me a break and to make sure she gets activity time.

but if its just dd and me i think she may be better off at home doing lots of activities. she likes learning (being read to/jigsaws) and she likes physical stuff so we do a bit of both but i wondered if she would miss out on anything important that i couldnt teach her/give her?

Omicron, as a primary teacher can you tell which children havent done nursery? surely some children stay at day nursery fulltime till reception so they wouldnt have been to school nursery either? would dd be at a disadvantage?

Finally is dd less likely to get into a local school if she doesnt go to nursery? my friend was told her son wouldnt get a school place if he didnt go to nursery?

Tinker Wed 12-Aug-09 18:03:51

Nursery places usually have no bearing on school places. Neither of mine went to the nursery of teh school they eventually went/will go to.

ilovetochat Wed 12-Aug-09 21:33:59

oh thats good to know thanks smile

2kidzandi Thu 13-Aug-09 10:46:07

Well firstly, my kids don't go to school anymore (I HomeEd) so I'm biased. But both my DCs went to nursery half morning as soon as a place came up when they were 3. First DS loved it. 2nd didn't, but I think that was because it wasn't as good a nursery really. Then they both went to school.

Good nurseries are fantastic for DC's, but my personal feeling is children spend up to 15 years (gov extended to 18) in structured school/ly environment. Reception is, as you said, a gentle purcursor to school that still incorporates plenty of playtime, so nursery isn't strictly necessary.

Not many mums are SAH these days. Some need their space, some don't really need it. If you fall into that category I would really spend this lovely time with your DD, taking her to lots of groups as you've said and doing arts and crafts, days out etc. Enjoy it all as much as you can, I say, it goes really quickly.

ilovetochat Thu 13-Aug-09 13:55:16

thanks 2kidzandi, i agree school takes over a lot of years so i dont want to start it too soon. i can stay at home for now and want to make the most of that.

BCNS Thu 13-Aug-09 14:00:36

I took dd out of nursey as she hated it with a passion.. I was quiet worried about the social aspect of it all but.. weighing her feelings / upset about ity against the social aspect.. I decided to take her out.

as it happens she was fine going into school.. she'd matured loads and was ready to go into reception ( she's a june baby)..when the time came.

not going to nursery didn't impact on her social side nor on her educational side at all.


Kayteee Thu 13-Aug-09 15:37:27

I would make the most of your time together and enjoy it.

Imo, nursery does nothing for dc that you can't do yourself. If you are in the happy position of being able to be a sahm, go for it.

We home educate so I'm slightly biased on this subject smile

ilovetochat Thu 13-Aug-09 15:44:27

is it possible to apply for a place and then reject it at the time or accept but on a parttime basis, or accept the place but start her later in the year?

Thanks for your opinions, they are helpful.

why do you home educate? did they ever go to school? do you follow the curriculum?

lyraSilvertongue Thu 13-Aug-09 16:05:18

TBH, I think children who don't go to nursery do miss out a bit. DS2 started reception with the same children he went to nursery with so it was very easy for him to settle into school as he kne everyone.
In his nursery, they just did lots of lovely things, playing, craft, songs, days out to farms, that sort of thing, plus a little bit of learning basic letters and numbers.
I think the four children who started in his reception class without going to nursery found it more difficult to settle as everyone else knew each other and had been on playdates to each other's houses etc.
It's only 2.5 hours a day and I think she'll get a lot out of it.

lyraSilvertongue Thu 13-Aug-09 16:07:17

A lot depends on the nursery though. DSs' nursery was fantastic and we all missed it when they left.

ilovetochat Thu 13-Aug-09 16:08:31

im definitely going to have a look around a couple of local nurserys after the new term and see how they are run.

lyraSilvertongue Thu 13-Aug-09 16:09:29

Some schools do give priority for reception places to children who've attended their nursery, although most don't.

Kayteee Thu 13-Aug-09 16:30:00

Ilovetochat, we took the dc out of school 4 years ago, they are now 9 and 12.

They hated school, and I hated making them go so we took them out. We prefer the freedom of it.

We do not follow the NC but some families do. It's a personal choice really.

There are a lot of groups/events/workshops etc; that the dc can attend so they don't lose out at all on the social front.

ilovetochat Thu 13-Aug-09 16:31:56

it really does interest me kaytee! do you have to prove they are reaching certain milestones? will they take exams at the normal age?

Kayteee Thu 13-Aug-09 16:38:03

It really is entirely up to you. The law requires you to provide an education "suitable to the child's age, aptitude and ability". How you go about doing that is your choice. Some people opt for private/Steiner/Waldorf etc; Home ed is just another path to take.

have a looksy here


zubin Thu 13-Aug-09 16:42:40

I don't think it is necessary however my ds went to nursery (as I work) and moved to the same school as several (over half the class actually) of his nursery friends so I feel felt more confident about the transition to 'big school'- his reception teacher also commented that she could tell the nursery children as they have learned to develop a routine based on school day etc

ilovetochat Thu 13-Aug-09 16:48:52

id feel happier if she could start off doing a couple of mornings a week and build up to 5 mornings if she enjoyed it, or start at 3.5 maybe, it all seems so rigid?
thanks kayteee, will have a look smile

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