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Nursery, pre-school, reception....what's the difference?

(10 Posts)
cfc Wed 12-Jan-11 13:11:53


I have a 20 month old who attends a nursery which is attached to the local sure-start centre a couple of mornings a week.

I do not know the difference between this and pre-school! I bet I'm being dim, but I thought if anyone would know it would be you guys.

There is a primary next door to this nursery and s-s centre, do I need to enrol him in this primary?

I would like him to go to another primary school in town as it's the Catholic school in our area and I'd like him to go to Catholic school (we are pratising Catholics). Do I just call them and ask them about it? Or do the Council have lists of schools in the area, as there are a few (though I think just one Catholic one).

Also, when does this 15 hours free a week come in? And can anyone get it? Or is it just some nurseries that offer it....

Sorry, so many questions, but I'm in a real muddle!

Thanks in advance for any help you can give this clueless and tired mother (we have a new little one!).

orangepoo Wed 12-Jan-11 13:16:07

Reception = first year of "proper" primary school. Your DS would start reception September 2013 and then year one in Sept 2014 etc.

Anything before reception is really up to you - nursery/preschool etc.

The 15 hours a week is when they are aged 3 and aged 4. It is available to all children, but the setting (nursery, preschool, whatever) must be a place that is approved to get it. You enrol your child in the setting, the setting will claim the money directly from the LEA.

orangepoo Wed 12-Jan-11 13:17:51

Yes, you will have to apply for primary schools. You can choose your order of preference.

cfc Wed 12-Jan-11 13:21:15

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it.

When do people generally apply for primary schools then?

orangepoo Wed 12-Jan-11 13:21:37

Preschool is generally used to mean something that goes from around age 3 til school age. It is generally something that you drop the child at for the morning, perhaps.

Nursery = can mean different things.

Private day nurseries take children from 0-5 all day if you like. These are mainly childcare so that parents can work.

School nursery - will take children for a year before reception. Not all schools have nurseries.

You can use the vouchers against any of the above if the setting is registered etc.

SycamoretreeIsVile Wed 12-Jan-11 13:22:01

Pre-school is usually used to describe a nursery attached to a primary school where your child attends 5 mornings or 5 afternoons a week, for free. You have to enroll and it's normal for the child to go on to attend the primary it is on attachment to in Reception, which is their first proper year of school, or "first year infants" in old money.

Nursery is also used to describe this but is more a catch all term to describe childcare from 0-4/5 years and includes private places like Teddies, Leapfrog, etc etc.

Does that make any sense?

BornToFolk Wed 12-Jan-11 13:22:41

Ask your nursery about the 15 hours. My DS has just turned 3 and started getting this funding. He's been at nursery since he was 1 doing 3 days a week and the way it works for us is that the nursery just take 15 hours a week off the bill (well, slightly more complicated than that, but that's how it basically works!)

orangepoo Wed 12-Jan-11 13:22:42

applications for primary school - check your LEA website to be sure as each LEA deals with the schools in their area

SycamoretreeIsVile Wed 12-Jan-11 13:23:08

A child has to be in the school year before reception to attend pre-school. You can't go in aged 2 for e.g. You have to be 3 yrs and turn four during the school year to be in pre-school.

cfc Wed 12-Jan-11 15:14:29

Thanks for all your replies. I'll have a chat with the peeps at my son's nursery and see what they say about the 15 hours, but I'll bet anything they're registered.

Now heading to the LEA's website!

Thanks again.

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