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Want to ensure my 3yr old continues to get stretched at nursery- advice from nursery workers welcomed!

(30 Posts)
cheesypopfan Sun 24-Jul-11 19:56:17

DD will be 4 on 1st Sept so missed out on a school place this yr by a day. Not too fussed about that as she is the baby of the family and I am not keen for her to grow up!!!

But in reality, she is already ready for school in the social and academic sense. She goes to a private nursery 2 1/2 days a week - can't send her to state nursery as I work in summer hols and need her to be in earlier than school starts etc.

The nursery she goes to is good and she is happy there but her preschool group was very small and most, if not all, start school in sept so will be leaving. I don't know how many will move up this year, but clearly DD will be the oldest and I am concerned that with an influx of younger children, her needs may be overlooked and she may not be stretched in the way she needs.

I am not a pushy, ambitious mum who wants my child to be doing all sorts by the time she starts school, but every child needs stimulation and challenge that is appropriate for their needs.

So, what do people suggest I ask for at the nursery? What kinds of things should/ can such nurseries be doing to ensure she is stimulated?

RitaMorgan Sun 24-Jul-11 20:01:36

The nursery will plan for her individually and build on her interests anyway. You could speak to her keyworker and ask to see her planning/learning journal if you are concerned. Most of what she will be doing is play-based and child led in any case.

nulgirl Sun 24-Jul-11 20:03:09

Why would you ask for anything particular to be done for her? I am sure the nursery teachers have experience with many many 4 year olds. She is still very little - in most countries she wouldn't be starting full time education for a year or 2.

OddBoots Sun 24-Jul-11 20:03:26

Ask her key person what Next Steps they are working on, any good nursery/pre-school will have personalised goals for each child and be planning activities to support them in getting to that goal.

Other than that just watch and wait, only step in if you think she is getting bored more than is reasonable.

cheesypopfan Sun 24-Jul-11 20:04:21

Ok - is that the same as what would happen in a state nursery - this has all sprung from a convo with a friend who seemed to suggest that DD would miss out by not going to a state nursery. Up until that point, i was quite happy with the status quo! I thought both state and private nurseries followed the same programme these days, but not too sure tbh!

RitaMorgan Sun 24-Jul-11 20:06:15

State and private nurseries both use the EYFS, so should be doing broadly similar things.

OddBoots Sun 24-Jul-11 20:06:21

They all follow the EYFS, there is flexibility in how they deliver it but it should cover the same things.

cheesypopfan Sun 24-Jul-11 20:07:29

That's what I thought - will prob just have a quick check in with the keyworker and leave it at that. Thanks

RitaMorgan Sun 24-Jul-11 20:08:25

Does your DD's nursery have a qualified teacher in the pre-school room? Or an EYP? That might be the only major difference with a state nursery.

EssentialFattyAcid Sun 24-Jul-11 20:10:01

Imo 4 year olds do not need to be "stretched". They need to have a nice time playing.

KatyMac Sun 24-Jul-11 20:10:20

It's identical & childminders use the same process too

Every Early Years setting in the country has to apply the EYFS unless they have obtained (an extremely difficult to get) exemption

piprabbit Sun 24-Jul-11 20:11:36

You might find that being the eldest in the class really gives your DD a chance to flourish, she'll be able to show the younger ones what to do and do a bit of 'leading' (for want of a better word) which can be a real confidence booster... plus they are all skills which are covered in EYFS too,

cheesypopfan Sun 24-Jul-11 20:12:07

No, there is def not a qualified teacher in the pre school room - what's an EYP?

Like I said, just wanted to know what to look out for and ask, so the info about next steps etc is great. I fully realise that she is still very little, its just my other two went to state nurseries which seem much more formal in layout etc than this nursery, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, I know

cheesypopfan Sun 24-Jul-11 20:15:46

good point piprabbit - thanks.

EFA - totally agree with the play comment - children learn most at this age through play, but even play has to be age/ability appropriate. Just wanted to check a few things out...not in any way wanting to push my DD inappropriately

princesbold Mon 25-Jul-11 13:25:01

State and private nurseries are both judged by ofsted, look at the ofsted judgement to determine how good the nursery is. State nurseries can be just as awful as badly operated private nurseries

princesbold Mon 25-Jul-11 13:29:25

Ofsteds favourite phrase for ensuring all children receive the appropriate direction is "differentiation" look for this word in the latest inspection reports to see how well a nursery is performing.

princesbold Mon 25-Jul-11 13:31:05

State nursery budgets are being cut back very heavily by local councils, fewer staff, fewer resources, etc etc.....

mellowcat Mon 25-Jul-11 20:07:09

Personally I don't think you need to worry. You sound like a lovely mum who will be able to meet her changing learning needs at home and I am certain the nursery will do the same...it is always always always about the individual.

In addition, children staying on usually deepen and revisit their learning experiences in both subtle and complex ways on their own, but the nursery staff will also facilitate this. Being one of the oldest children also offers a whole new range of opportunities in which children are able to step into and try out the role of leader, and finding things easier than others - especially good if your DD is the youngest at home.

An EYP is a teacher equivalent for under 5's - I am an EYP and I never ever have concerns for the children staying on but have a pang of sadness for those that go into school at 4 and a few days.

I hope you both enjoy your bonus year before school.

Scarfmaker Mon 25-Jul-11 23:20:17

EYP = Early Years Practitioner (not sure about spelling)!

HoneyPablo Tue 26-Jul-11 18:58:15

EYP= Early Years Professional
It's a status that requires a degree and extra training to meet the Early Years Professional Standards and is the equivalant of a teacher (supposedly)

princesbold Tue 26-Jul-11 19:33:12

The sort of personality required to achieve an EYP, or a teacher qualification is not often the type of personality little people like to be having fun with on a daily basis !

mellowcat Tue 26-Jul-11 19:47:15

What makes you say that Princesbold?

RitaMorgan Tue 26-Jul-11 19:47:42

What an odd thing to say.

Of course, committed, intelligent graduates can't possibly be fun...

princesbold Wed 27-Jul-11 22:51:25

Unfortunately in my experience they are so career minded that the actual day to day menial tasks of running a nursery are below them, instead they choose to spend all their time planning and recording, mostly their own futures and qualifications, after draining the nurseries and the governments resources and funding they immediately leave to take a job in a different industry altogether. The kids spot the duff staff very quickly.

RitaMorgan Wed 27-Jul-11 22:55:37

You've certainly had bad luck with EYPs and teachers. Maybe something is going wrong with the recruitment process if there are so many duff staff at your nursery?

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