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can someone explain something to me please?

(7 Posts)
Koothrapanties Tue 01-Apr-14 20:39:53

This is massively premature as dd is only 6 mo, but could someone please explain about nurseries, preschool and school?

1. Do you have to send your dc to nursery/pre school? If so from what age? If it is not compulsory and you don't need to have childcare, would it be really bad to keep them home until school?

2. What age do children have to start school?

3. How do you go about applying to a school and how far in advance do you need to?

4. How do you find out if a school is good/bad?

Sorry if these are stupid questions, dd is obviously my pfb and I'm clueless.


Meglet Tue 01-Apr-14 20:47:28

1. You don't have to. But the benefits of a good pre-school is that they help prepare children for school by sharing, eating snacks together, recognising their name on a peg etc. And they have more variety of toys & crafts than most people do at home.

2. The term they turn 5. Most children start in the september so you can have children turning 5 the day they start school and children who were 4 at the end of the August in the same class. The teachers are used to this and reception is pretty much like pre-school for the first few weeks.

3. How do you go about applying to a school and how far in advance do you need to? Probably your local county council education pages.

4. How do you find out if a school is good/bad? How long is a piece of string wink. Gut instinct, best location, ofsted reports can give you a rough idea of a schools strong / weak points but they are not gospel. This can be where a pre-school helps because you will meet other local parents and get a feel for certain schools.

GeorgeWinsor Tue 01-Apr-14 21:00:19

1 No you don't have to but at the moment there are 15 free hours for 3 years, lots of benefits as it is a slow easy way for them to get used to being in an environment like school but more nurturing. If attached to local school they may start school already having friends. Also very handy if you have another child.

2 Normally best if they start in September otherwise school may not hold a place for them and other children will have made friendships , learnt routines etc

3 they start in the September they are 4 so sounds like 2018 for your DC and applications are normally made October to December the previous year.

4. Most schools have open days in September, but local Mums and tots groups are a good way to get to know parents who already have kids at the schools and find out the gossip. Ofsted reports are worth a read but also bear in mind a school can change a lot if staff changes.


Koothrapanties Tue 01-Apr-14 21:43:41

Thank you that is very helpful. I really didnt have a clue to be honest.

PirateJones Wed 02-Apr-14 18:52:18

1. Nope, you can keep them home if you like.

2. it’s hard to do but it's possible to skip reception and have they start the term after they turn 5, but they will be in year 1. I wouldn't recommend this though.

The other questions have been answered.

TinkerbellTrains Thu 03-Apr-14 04:43:27

1. No it's not compulsery but children get "15 free hours" once they turn 3yrs old so it is available if you want it. I found that quite a few pre-school/nurseries actually made it quite difficult to use just the 15 free hours without charging top ups for something or other so best to look into that as well if and when looking for early childhood education.

2. Children legally have to be in full time education the term after their 5th birthday. This means children don't have to go to school, they can be legally home educated. Those that do go to school usually start the September after their 4th birthday and go into reception but you can defer until the September after their 5th birthday.

Sorry can't help with last 2 questions as we home educate so had no need to look for or apply for schools.

TinkerbellTrains Thu 03-Apr-14 04:44:03

Compulsory* very tired

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