I know I'm thinking about things way too early (only 14 weeks pregnant!) but I was wondering if anyone could give me a rough sense of how long waiting lists in London, fairly central (Southwark) tend to be? Should we be looking to go on a waiting list 12 months in advance or is 6 months ok? Hopefully, the fact that the baby is due in October so we'd be returning to work around October is helpful because some kids move off to school.
Hi, I think you are maybe jumping the gun a bit. I live in Southwark (near Elephant/fairly central). Waiting lists will vary from nursery to nursery, and can move at unpredictable paces as children leave for all sorts of reasons, not just because they move up to school. Nursery isn't really something you can sort out and tick off a list way in advance in my experience. There are also many different types of nursery and what applies to one won't apply to another. You're better off addressing this question to the setting you are interested in. You might not feel, once your baby is here, that a nursery is necessarily the best setting for him/her when baby is young - you may decide that a childminder or nanny share offers a better option. My daughter spent a year with a childminder and one other child from 1-2 as I wanted her in a closely attached relationship as a baby rather than being looked after by a team. During this year I also put her name on the list of the local nursery that I liked the look of, for when she was a bit older. When the time came that I thought she was ready to make the change (ish) I called the nursery, and as it happened they had a place coming up in a couple of weeks, so it was very simple. I got the impression that their lists moved reasonably fast.