DD is a Sept baby and we live in Wales which means she won't get her actual pre-school nursery place (5 mornings a week) until Sept 2012. She will be 3 in Sept 2011. I work FT and so she has gone to private nursery 3 days a week and 2 days a week with nana since she was 10m old. I am pg with No2 (due Nov) and I intend to go back to work next Sept - the time that DD gets her pre-school place. The private nursery she goes to is excellent, and No2 will also go there. Initially we were decided that DD will stay at the private nursery until she goes to school fulltime, mainly because 1. I work FT and will also have to drop DC2 off there as well, 2. DD loves it there, it has just had an outstanding inspection report and I am not keen on adding a childminder to a complex mix until DD goes to school fulltime.
Anyway, we have done our sums (I am main income earner) and we can just about afford for me to work 4 days rather than FT. DD's local primary is also excellent, so it would mean she can start one morning a week at the school from Sept 2012 (and spend 4 days a week at nursery as nana feels she is too old to have her from next year). My question is - is this a good idea for DD? Is one morning a week at the school she will go to, worth it or should we keep her in private nursery for 5 days?
I'm not interested in getting a childminder for various practical reasons and we trust the private nursery, so just wanted to advice as to whether 1 session a week at pre-school would do more harm than good.
We did something similar for similar reasons and I think it worked quite well. It did take a while for her to feel fully part of things as most of the children were doing 3-5 days. However she settled well and really enjoyed it. In the end I took a longer work break and she now goes four days a week but several children in the preschool still do private nursery and then one session at preschool (they are all going to school in Sep). In our village the vast majority of kids go to the preschool so DD actually knows 24 kids who will be in her reception class and already feels part of the school. I'm sure that the few 'new' children will be fine but it's really nice for her and for me to know that she's going up to school with a bunch of people she is familiar and happy with. If your set up is anything like that I'd say it could be a good thing to do.
Whe our dd started at pre school, she initially went for 1 session per week. In that time, she didn't really settle and I think the staff found it difficult to get to know her properly. We gradually upped her sessions and things greatly improved.