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2.5 year old starting nursery - how many hours?

(10 Posts)
HarrietM87 Wed 03-Jun-20 12:06:10

My child had a nanny from age 1-2 (when I went back to work after mat leave up to lockdown). We’ve been managing childcare between us since then but would like to send DC to nursery in August/September (DC will be 2 yrs 5 months) as I’d like them to have the opportunity to socialise with other children, and I’m also having another baby in November so I think would be good to have some time alone with the new one.

We were thinking of just sending DC in the mornings for 2 or 3 days a week. Does this sound ok or would more or less time be better? Also assuming consecutive days would be best?

OP’s posts: |
dinosaurdee Wed 03-Jun-20 12:11:36

Personally I would do at least 1 whole day and maybe a couple of mornings? My DD is coming up for 2 and does 3 full days and will be doing 4 from September, although appreciate everybody has different set ups. If going for full days s/he is more likely to form friendships as they have longer to get to know other children.

HarrietM87 Wed 03-Jun-20 13:30:17

Thanks for the reply. I guess every child is different but I think full days will be too much for him. When he goes to preschool at 3 he’ll be doing 5 half days, and even at primary school he won’t be doing days as long as a full nursery day (8-6).

In terms of making friends, isn’t 2 half days as good as one full?

OP’s posts: |
HarrietM87 Wed 03-Jun-20 13:31:31

Just to clarify, I think full days are totally fine when you need the childcare, but I’ll be on mat leave so trying to work out what’s best for him.

OP’s posts: |
Wigglegiggle0520 Wed 03-Jun-20 13:36:56

My little one does 2 mornings a week and has done since she was 1. Our nursery recommended at least 2 sessions a week for familiarity. I think 2 or 3 mornings is fine and I’d agree with you that a full day is too much unless you need it. A full day at our nursery is 7.15 to 6pm. My eldest did one full day a week along with some mornings but I think I’ll keep the second to just morning or afternoon sessions ( we are shift workers).
Don’t forget you’ll get your free 30 hours the term after they are three so can increase it then.

HarrietM87 Wed 03-Jun-20 15:17:44

Thanks @Wigglegiggle0520. I think also in terms of a break for me I’d rather two shorter sessions than one long one. I might let their availability decide whether we go for 2 or 3 mornings.

He’s a very clingy child so I hope he copes ok and enjoys it.

OP’s posts: |
jannier Wed 03-Jun-20 21:32:32

In the days when there were playgroups and no funding children regularly went for 2 or 3 half days it was never a problem. Do what you feel is right for your child.....they dont even have to go you can do the same at home.

roses2 Wed 03-Jun-20 21:54:04

How long are the sessions - will you have time to go home and unwind; get a fee tasks done before heading back out for pick up?

HarrietM87 Thu 04-Jun-20 07:59:55

Yes @roses2 the morning session is 8-1 (though can drop off after breakfast if you prefer) and it’s a 5 minute walk from home so I’d definitely be able to have some good time with the new baby.

OP’s posts: |
charley39 Fri 05-Jun-20 09:16:17

My 2.5 year old does 2 days a week and we follow more school hours so drop off at 9.15 and pick up by 3pm. This is more than enough for him as he only has short naps there so is knackered when we collect him and very ready to go home. We had him at another nursery last year that didn’t work out and he only went one day a week which really wasn’t enough as it was too long to go each week for him to settle all over again.
Some nurseries offer school hours/mornings/afternoons not just long days. Our nursery currently only offers long days so we just pay for that and it’s our choice to send him for shorter hours. Ours is also extremely clingy. It took a good 6-8 weeks for him to begin to settle and then lockdown happened. He’s just gone back this week and funnily enough has done even better than he did before!

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