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Whats the point of nursery if you have childcare?

(31 Posts)
newmums2016 Tue 14-Nov-17 16:08:44

So my niece has just turned 2 and will be starting nursery in the New Year. Currently my sisters MIL watches niece while S is at work which is not an issue for S's MIL. During a recent conversation about the nursery placement, S's MIL said "oh xx's son is 3 and hasn't even started nursery yet how disgusting!', she then asked me when I would apply for nursery for my DD (16 months). I work part time and my MIL has my DD the days that I work and so I've never thought about sending her to nursery. So I guess my question is why would you send your DC to nursery if you have childcare? (genuine question not judging)

Ttbb Tue 14-Nov-17 16:11:07

It gets them ready for school. We sent ours at three (earlier than I would have liked) to get him ready to start school at four (when our chosen school starts).

Pennywhistle Tue 14-Nov-17 16:11:46

To play with other children.

To get to know the children and families they will be at school with.

To get used to a classroom type environment.

To get used to being with people other than family.

I was a SAHM when my D.C. were little but they still went to nursery at 3yo as part of their prep for school.

NataliaOsipova Tue 14-Nov-17 16:13:20

If you mean "nursery" as in the school year before Reception, then it's about more than childcare. All private and school nurseries follow the early years curriculum, so children get a preschool experience and begin to learn about being in an institutional environment.

northlondonlassie Tue 14-Nov-17 16:16:20

I was a SAHM but mine went to nursery 9am -12pm three mornings a week from just before age 3. Just to give me a bit of time to do all the boring stuff (housework, shopping) and to get them used to being in a school-type environment, with other kids and without me. It focussed our week and did us both the world of good. They could have done more hours, but I didn’t want that.

calamityjam Tue 14-Nov-17 16:18:35

There is a huge issue ATM with 4 year olds not being ready for school. I am actually writing my dissertation about this. Nursery is the best place for pre schoolers to learn social skills which are vital. You could argue that these things can be taught at home, but its difficult to to teach them to wait in line, turn take ask for permission from people they don't know well. Confidence and resilience, routine and socialising with peers and elders are all learnt at nursery. Even a couple of half days a week are enough, the year before they start school.

ScrunchyBook Tue 14-Nov-17 16:26:01

My DH is a SAHP so we don't have to, but we have just signed our twins up to nursery 2 days a week.
For us the reasons are:
- to give us a break
- for them to socialize with other children and adults
- for them to get used to other adults being in charge of them (other than us)

Ivehadtonamechangeforthis Tue 14-Nov-17 16:26:48

I posted about this only recently.

I have a 2.6 year old and I'm currently a SAHM and I've been asked twice in the last week why my DD doesn't go to pre-school!

She doesn't because I'm currently on maternity leave so I don't have any childcare requirements and I make a point of going out everyday for everyone's benefit! We go to two toddler groups a week, forest school, soft play, the park, rhymetime. How much socialising can a two year old really need?!

I do think nursery at 3 is a good idea because it does help your child transition in to school and as other posters have said get them used to mixing with other children and a more structured environment but if you don't have any childcare requirements and socialise I really don't think nursery is 'necessary' at two. Infant it seems to be a bit of a new phenomenon which I'm convinced is because most mums have to return to work unlike the old days.

user1493413286 Tue 14-Nov-17 16:29:57

I plan to when mine is 3 so that she is ready for school in terms of having that structured routine, spending time with lots of children for large amounts of the day, eating with them etc as I feel it’ll be a bit of a shock to the system to go from childcare structured round her individual needs to school.
But that’s my person opinion and I don’t think anyone should judge anyone else’s choices.

Ecureuil Tue 14-Nov-17 16:31:12

I’m a SAHM and my 2 year old does 2 mornings a week at nursery. My just 4 year old does 3 days at pre school. For the following reasons... they love it, it gets my older child ready for school, younger child has made loads of friends and it gives me one morning a week to get jobs done and the hours they do allow me one on one time with each child.

Cazz81 Tue 14-Nov-17 16:43:59

My son learns more at nursery than with me. As other says it's to learn to share, problem solving, take turns, make friends, etc

HamishBamish Tue 14-Nov-17 16:50:52

I think it does prepare them for school, even if it's just a couple of mornings a week. When both my children started school there were quite a few children who found it very difficult to go straight into full days away from their parent. These were all children who hadn't been to nursery at all before school. They did settle eventually (after the first half term), but it made school a trickier experience than it might otherwise have been.

ninjapants Tue 14-Nov-17 16:52:23

As others have said, it helps socialise them and prepare them for school. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps your MIL would like some of her time back once your DC is old enough to go to nursery? You seem to be taking the free childcare for granted

BrioAmio Tue 14-Nov-17 17:00:18

Mine LOVES it, I have no ‘need’ to send him as in a SAHM but I enjoy the ‘time off’ as does he. It’s been great for his speech, as I spend all day with him I’m very good at decoding his speech but at school HE has to put the effort in to make himself understood and the improvement in his vocabulary is dramatic.

He is also getting to know his peer group for when he starts school.

andypandy60 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:08:06

My daughter went back to work 3 weeks ago, her 10 month old had all the warm up hours/half days/full days for nursery, 2 days a week, and has only managed 2 days so far, she’s been genuinely ill the rest of time. She will enjoy it I’m sure eventually, but I think may need the warm up days again. We have her 2 days.

GinnyBaker Tue 14-Nov-17 17:19:43

I am a shm with a 3 year old ds. He goes to the nursery attached to the local primary 9-11am mon-fri.

To be honest i absolutely hate sending him and really resent not having whole days with him, but I do think he needs to go.

I take him out and about to all sorts of groups etc but i am there with him, watching what is going on, interceding when necessary, encouraging sharing etc...and he needed to learn how to negotiate with other children etc without me prompting him all the time.

I took him to soft play this afternoon and it was interesting to see how much he'd come on socially after just one half term at nursery.

justinelibertine Tue 14-Nov-17 17:28:22

I will probably kill this thread, like I do every other I try to post on. But.
My DD has been going to pre school since she was 2.2 for first 6 hrs and now 9 hrs a week. She has ASD and I am grateful for the SENCO input and the work they do with her. As well as a break for me to do chores.
If she was at home I'd not get that professional input. It also gets them ready for being able to deal with school which doesn't come easily for some children.

Goldmandra Tue 14-Nov-17 17:29:53

Learning things like putting their hand up to speak, waiting in line, following a rigid routine, etc are a bit easier when the adult ratios are kinder so six months to a year of a good quality nursery can be a good way to get ready for school. It can also make starting school a bit less scary.

Other than that, unless they are neglected at home, there isn't any need for them to attend nursery.

Some children really enjoy it which is a good reason to send them. Some parents find it helpful to have a break or time to catch up with jobs so they can focus more on the child when they are at home.

Some people, including professionals have the idea that children learn social skills better in a group setting but, in my experience, that isn't true. Most children have lots of opportunities to play with friends and family and they learn those skills then.

Spending the day with an engaged and enthusiastic adult who talking to them about everything they're doing, sharing experiences and helping them explore what interests and excites them is exactly what small children need. They don't need to be immersed in groups of other children their own age.

I was a childminder when both my DCs were coming up to school age so I sent them to pre-school for a couple of days a week for the last two terms and I recommended that the parents I childminded for did the same. It was helpful for them to get to know the children they would be at school with and get used to a more regimented environment. They didn't lose anything by not going when they were younger.

newmums2016 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:31:18

Thanks everyone for your replies and explanations, I appreciate it. I had no idea that nursery was so important and more than just 'childcare'. Being a FTM I'm learning on the job!

Lindy2 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:33:30

I'm a childminder but I still sent my 2 children to preschool when they were 3 and qualified for 15 hours early education.
It was exactly the right time for them to start to become more socially confident without me, meet new friends, learn about being part of a bigger group etc. They both enjoyed it and were very ready to go on to school there. Their reception class room was next door to the preschool class room so starting school was a very easy transition.
I'd not do it at age 2 or younger but age 3 was perfect for us.

Hohomcfo Tue 14-Nov-17 17:40:59

My dd1 didn’t go to nursery and when we started school everyone had firm friends already with others from the nursery, made things a bit harder.

suckonthatmaureen Tue 14-Nov-17 17:52:10

As others have said, the switch between a family childcare setting to a full 6.5 hour day with unfamiliar adults, hundreds of other kids, reduced 1:1 attention and lots of new rules can be pretty overwhelming for a lot of children.

Also, our primary school cross liaises with all the local nurseries and tries to make sure they put at least one nursery classmate in the same class, so they already have a little friend.

MistressDeeCee Tue 14-Nov-17 18:13:55

You don't have to send your child to nursery. I didn't go to Nursery, nor did my siblings. DM worked part-time, on the days she wasn't there we were looked after by our grandmother or aunt - they took turns. It is not necessary for a child to go to nursery as some kind of "prep" for school and nor is it compulsory. DD1 went to nursery, DD2 did not. Tried but could see wasn't for her so, stopped. They still both went to school when the time came. You'll probably hear 'warning' stories of little darlings who didn't go to nursery and upon starting school were way behind all other children in whatever way or other...people tend to do what (almost) everybody else does. Do what suits you best as mum

SparkleFizz Tue 14-Nov-17 18:44:38

I think nursery is very useful in helping children prepare for school, especially in the year before they start Reception, and I agree with most of the positive points made above.

But, especially if you live in an area where schools are oversubscribed, I’d be wary of placing too much value on kids getting to know the kids they’ll be in school with.
Ideally that would be the case, but it’s unusual for admission to a school nursery to count for anything on the official school applications, so no guarantees that a child will end up in the same school as their nursery classmates.

DarthMaiden Tue 14-Nov-17 18:46:38

I didn’t have family childcare (parents/PIL’s not retired at that point) but would have sent DS to nursery regardless.

He’s young for his year, but even compared to much older children (who hadn’t been to nursery) he settled into school from the first day.

This is especially true I feel for nurseries attached to schools where the children typically “feed” into reception.

He already had nursery friends around him and was used to being away from family. No tears at all - he was just excited to start school and the nursery were brilliant at helping “prep” kids for school life wrt to independence.

It also helped as DSD wasn’t around all the time (50/50 with her DM), so it helped him I think developing friends, playing well with other children nicely and seeing what older children did - thus encouraging him to try new things.

Do you need to do it? No, of course not - but I would say based on my experience even a few days/sessions a week at nursery can be a big help transitioning them into school and helping with overall social skills.

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