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Are all nurseries really 'learning obsessed' these days?

(12 Posts)
ragtaggle Wed 23-Mar-05 15:43:49

I am three months pregnant with second child and am considering sending my first (17 months old) to nursery for a few days a week before the new baby is born. ( I don't want her to associate new baby with starting nursery so am thinking of doing it when she's about 22 months, a few months before the birth)

I have just been to see my first one and I was really suprised at how much focus is on learning targets and preparing them for school etc. The woman who showed us round was like Hyacinth Bouquet and was going on and on about children hitting targets and taking spanish lessons (From three onwards but still..). I know some parents like all that but the thought of my two year old being pushed towards educational targets and not just playing with a group of friends makes me feel a bit queasy. I like the idea of my child learning through play and trust me she's been doing brilliantly with a nanny on that front but I don't want it to become formalised.

Is this normal? Are nurseries now under massive pressure from the Govt to hit targets that I don't know about? Does anyone know of any good nurseries in Islington that let them just play a bit more at this stage?

bundle Wed 23-Mar-05 15:46:00

ragtaggle, you live near me and i think i know EXACTLY who you mean! would you be interested in a more "normal" nursery where my girls have gone (the oldest, now 4.5 was there from 7 months till she started school this jan)?

motherinferior Wed 23-Mar-05 15:46:50

And Bundle's children are deeply fabulous

bundle Wed 23-Mar-05 15:47:53

aaah you say the loveliest things......ragtaggle have CAT you, x

hotmama Wed 23-Mar-05 15:51:50

My dd is nearly 6 months and will be starting nursery in the summer. When I was pregnant I did the tour around the local nurseries - and they all were going on about learning etc.

FFS - they are not little for very long - they can worry about 'proper education' when she starts school - whatever happened to playing with water/sand plasticine/dressing up and just being little?

stripey Wed 23-Mar-05 15:58:41

Maybe you could find a local Playgroup. Ds1 went to one and ds2 will start after Easter they spend 2.5 hrs playing with a break and stories etc but a lot less pressurised than say a Montessori (ds1 went to a Montessori when he was 2 and it was so formal and full on he truly hated it). I think most Playgroups don't start until 2.5 or maybe 2yrs though and are only for a few hours.

TokenBloke Wed 23-Mar-05 16:37:16

We nearly joined a nursery that was 'learning focused', but then were scared off after a disatrous intro session. Quickly found another one that was much more chilled and just lets the kids play. DD loves it and has never looked back. They have 13+ yrs to learn later, so what's the rush?

Jimjams Wed 23-Mar-05 16:41:42

nurseries have to meet certain educational targets, so even the less formal ones have to have a clear education plan in mind, or they get bad ofsted reports. My aunt runs a very informal playgroup and they have to think of how normal play realted to early learning goals etc.

bundle Wed 23-Mar-05 16:45:53

learning thru play definitely emphasis at our nursery. also "learning" is about eg being able to use pincer grip, moving on from gross motor skills, recognising your name and colours - NOT all times tables, spanish and algebra at 3! the reports i get from dd2's keyworker are things i'll treasure, they build up a real picture of her progress through nursery, friendships as well as "skills" etc.

ragtaggle Wed 23-Mar-05 18:13:58

Thanks bundle. (Sounds like 'thanks a bundle' - ha ha) I haven't received your CAT message yet but will await with interest. I am worried that mumsnet might have my old email address - will check. But good to know that there are normal nurseries in this area too.

bobbybob Wed 23-Mar-05 18:50:52

Here in NZ nuseries are funded by the dept of education so not surprisingly there is a focus on education. It's learning through play though, with mat time etc. and it's supposed to be child directed.

I just picked a nursery that seemed caring and then made it very clear I wasn't bothered if they taught bob anything at all (apart from manners and taking turns). As long as they were caring, fun and didn't feed him food that would kill him that was fine with me. He spends most of his time in the sandpit or dashing around on a bike which is great, but I do know some parents who would be horrified if they were paying money for that.

One parent said "I resent paying them to watch him sleep". Crikey I would pay any amount of money to someone who could get ds to have a day sleep.

bundle Thu 24-Mar-05 19:45:33

ragtaggle CAT me if you are interested & think mn has your old email address

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