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Mixing preschool and nursery - any thoughts?

(3 Posts)
tortilla Wed 17-Aug-11 10:31:50

My DS is 3.4 and starts school in Sept 2012. DS has been going to the village daycare nursery 3 days a week because I have been working (and continued when I went on mat leave last Sept but 9-3 rather than full days). Because many of the mums in the village are SAHM, most children seem to go to preschool and so it is a small nursery (10-12 total including babies) with a broad mix of ages, so only 3 in his school year group, one of whom won't be going to his school anyway.

One of the local preschools now has a vacancy on Mon and Fri mornings. I have been thinking of taking it so that he has time in a group of children all the same age, and so that he can be with more children who will go to his school. We are pretty new to the area so I don't have a network of friends with children the same age so he doesn't really get to be with other local children except at nursery at the moment.

My concern is that I need to maintain the nursery place as I have just been made redundant and am looking to get back into work in the next few months. So DS's week will likely be: Mon am at preschool, Tues, Weds, Thurs at nursery (probably just mornings, back to full days when/if I'm working), Fri am at preschool. During term time he will be in childcare every day, albeit usually mornings only (occasionally longer nursery days if I am interviewing)

I would be giving up our Mondays and Fridays (term time) where we do stuff together, but given it gives him chance to make friends with children he'll be at school with and get used to more of a school environment maybe this is a good thing?

Any thoughts/experiences on mixing two types of childcare and on him being somewhere every day? I have a thick skin - if you think this is a terrible idea let me know!

RosinaCopper Wed 17-Aug-11 10:41:53

My eldest went to nursery full time from 9 months to 2 years, then I changed jobs to 3 days a week, and he went to nursery for those 3 days. I was asked by a friend with a younger child if I would put my ds into pre school with her dc, on one of the other days and as we had applied to go to a non catchment school and the preschool was in the catchment school village, I thought it would be a good idea for him to go there so that he could mix with children that he may be going to school with if we didn't get into the preferred school.

He easily made the distinction between nursery and preschool, and they did different activities and had a different 'feel' about them. He was happy at both places. So I would say that mixing the two types of childcare wasn't a problem for my ds, and he was a probably about the same age as yours when he first went to preschool. He also was at preschool mornings only and so you won't be 'giving up' the whole day of doing things with him, and if you use the morning to do the boring chore stuff at home, you might be more free for him in the afternoons, anyway!

Good luck with your decision.

tortilla Wed 17-Aug-11 16:57:19

Thanks Rosina, that helps smile

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