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How many days at pre-school for 3yr old?

(18 Posts)
Wigeon Wed 15-Jun-11 21:09:03

DD just started at pre-school for a couple of afternoons a week at 2.9 yrs and we need to decide within the next few days how many sessions we'd like her to attend from when she is three (ie from September). The full entitlement, ie the five sessions a week seems like a lot, so we are thinking that maybe three or four sessions would be best.

Any views? How did you choose between going for three, four or five sessions?

NoWayNoHow Wed 15-Jun-11 21:14:06

Our nursery has 5hr sessions so it was easy to decide how many days to do (DS does 3 free mornings and one paid for morning). Can you do something similar or does your nursery fix the free sessions to certain hours in the day?

Seona1973 Wed 15-Jun-11 21:30:15

both mine did 5 x 2.5 hr sessions from the age of 3.

Mollymax Wed 15-Jun-11 21:35:28

My dd did 3 afternoon sessions at pre school from 3 until just before her 4th birthday. She now does 5 mornings at nursery and will start school in september.
It has worked well for us.

5ofus Wed 15-Jun-11 22:10:29

You should be able to flex it once she's in - so perhaps book 4 then see how she gets on in September. If she's too tired then drop it down to three - if not then leave it at 4.

ElusiveMoose Thu 16-Jun-11 09:23:19

DS1 has been doing 2 mornings from age 3-4, but we're thinking of doing 3 school days (8.45-3.45) from September when he turns four (would do more mornings, but because of the way they organise sessions, it's FAR cheaper to do school days). Slightly agonising over whether this will be too much for him, but TBH I'm finding it really hard to keep him stimulated at home now, particularly as he'll be basically five by the time he starts school.

PasstheTwiglets Thu 16-Jun-11 11:09:04

I started a thread about this yesterday. It depends on the child, obviously, but on the whole I think 5 mornings is far too much for a little one. My DS started at just over 3yo with 2 mornings a week and I've just moved him up to 3 mornings. Ideally, I'd like him to stay at 3 mornings until just before he goes up to Reception next year but the Head Teacher is saying that all nursery children have to attend 5 x a week sad So personally, I would ease them in with 2 sessions and then work up to 3 later.

5ofus Thu 16-Jun-11 11:20:13

This daft 5 mornings rule is why I hate school nurseries, that and the uniform rules, and the attendance requirements and the fact they forget they are dealing with 3 year olds when they make their stupid rules. Urgh.

Community pre-school it is for me all the way. Far more flexible, far more willing to accept an individual childs requirements, if said child wants to go dressed as Buzz Lightyear they positively welcome it.

PorkChopSter Thu 16-Jun-11 11:22:10

Remember it'll be easier to drop sessions than gain them: I'd start at 4 or 5 then drop down to whatever you are happiest with. That lunch time school run is a killer, I can't face it more than 3 times a week grin

Wigeon Thu 16-Jun-11 12:04:47

Thanks very much for all the replies - lots of food for thought. DD is at a community pre-school, not a nursery, so they are very flexible about how many sessions you take up (and they don't do all-day sessions), all her sessions will be free from September and there is no rule about having to do all five mornings or anything like that.

She hasn't yet asked to go as Buzz Lightyear but I shall encourage her next week grin! And I'm sure the staff would love it!

Wigeon Thu 16-Jun-11 12:07:39

PasstheTwiglets - I saw your thread - is that something to do with it being a nursery rather than a pre-school as 5ofus suggests? Sounds funny to me but then I find the whole thing (nurseries and preschools) rather baffling at the moment. I'm sure it will all seem perfectly clear by the time DD2 goes (although as she is only 4 weeks old at the moment the system will probably be completely different in three years time grin!)

ElusiveMoose Thu 16-Jun-11 13:34:46

Those of you in the '5 mornings is too much' camp, I'd be interested to know what you actually do with your DC all day. I never thought I'd be asking this, as I used to find DS1 very easy to entertain, and he was at home full time for the first three years. But since he's got a few months older, plus I now have a nearly-one year old DS2 at home as well, I'm finding it really tough. It's fine in the summer, because you can run around the park/garden, but last winter nearly drove me demented. I find there's only so much craft/jigsaws/cooking/trips to the library/supermarket you can do (it doesn't help that I live in quite a rural area). When he's at home a lot, I find he does too much TV/computer (or nags me to do it when he's told he can't), plus he's far more negative than he is at nursery - lots of my 'let's do this fun project' suggestions are met with a 'no, I don't want to'. But when he's at nursery, he comes home having been outside a lot (regardless of weather), painted, glued, sung, read, done French, written, counted, interacted with other kids, generally jumped around etc. I'm not trying to be argumentative - I really am all ears for ideas of how to keep pre-schoolers occupied at home day after day!!!!

Seona1973 Thu 16-Jun-11 16:25:32

I am glad ds goes 5 mornings as it gives me some 'me' time to go to the gym, shop in peace, do housework, etc. The time passes so quickly that in no time at all it is time to pick him up again.

notsoqueenofclean Thu 16-Jun-11 16:29:04

Are you sure she will be entitled to all sessions from September?

If she is only 2.9 now, she will have to wait until the term after her third birthday which would then be January.

I would check if I were you because you might be worrying unnecessarily at this point.

You could take the 5 sessions, but pre-schools are generally quite flexible. We have lots of children on our register who have the 5 sessions but may only do 3 or 4 a week.


notsoqueenofclean Thu 16-Jun-11 16:29:34

If I'm understanding you right and she will be 3 in September, I mean

Wigeon Thu 16-Jun-11 17:36:19

Seona1973 - I also have a 4 week old and so at the moment I have been spending the time DD1 is at pre-school coming home and having a nap with the baby!

Notsoqueen - sorry, my OP was a bit unclear - she is actually three this Saturday, so will indeed be entitled to the free sessions from September.

ElusiveMoose - I will need tips too as DD2 grows up and I will need to find things which we can all three do! At the moment DD2 is happy to be lugged along anywhere, as long as there is milk!

LawrieMarlow Thu 16-Jun-11 18:51:55

<waves to Wigeon smile>

DD1's present is bought - just needs to make it into a post box tomorrow. She may get a slightly extended birthday though grin

As you will be on maternity leave most of next school year (I imagine) then I personally would probably not take all the five sessions, as they do mean you at least feel a duty to use them all and sometimes it is nicer to spend a day not knowing that you need to go to pre-school. Also as she will be starting school next September I think it will be nice to have time where you are able to do whatever you want to do.

I would check with preschool whether you would be able to extend the sessions from January, which might influence me a bit, but I don't think there is any need to take all 5 sessions, just because you can.

ElusiveMoose Fri 17-Jun-11 09:58:10

Agree with Lawrie - it is nice to have a free day, in case you want to go out for the day somewhere.

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