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What do you think is the best age to start nursery/pre-school?

(6 Posts)
LapinDeBois Wed 03-Oct-12 13:24:07

Obviously people have lots of perfectly legitimate reasons (working, new siblings etc) to start their children in nursery/pre-school at various ages, but I'm just interested to know what people think is the best age for the child, if there are absolutely no constraints? Reason I ask is that DS2 (aged 25 months) started at nursery this week, and it hasn't gone terribly well so far (see other thread) - it's not dreadful, but he's cried a fair bit and told me he's 'sad'. I'm a SAHM with no younger baby, so no need to send him yet - I just thought he would enjoy it, and am also keen to make sure he's ready in time for school (late August birthday, so he'll be going when he's just four). I'm now wondering whether I should just take him out and leave it for six months and try again. So - what do you think is the ideal age to start?

vodkaanddietirnbru Wed 03-Oct-12 18:49:30

both mine didnt start until they got their funded place the term after they were 3. I am a sahm too.

Wisteria36 Wed 03-Oct-12 18:55:27

I think it depends on the child. ds (3.3) started last April but it went so badly we waited a few more weeks and eventually had a rocky summer term on 3 afternoons a week. This term he's doing 5 mornings and couldn't be happier - there's a huge difference now he's three. However there are several kids in his class who started at two and were fine. A friend's ds who is the same age as mine had a hard time starting this term and she has pulled him out till next spring.

lucamom Wed 03-Oct-12 18:58:50

I did what you're suggesting with my second son-started him just after 2nd birthday, he didn't settle so I re-started him at 3 (late August boy too). Don't know that this is necessarily the 'right age', but like you I'm a sahm (hilarious auto-correct on phone says I'm a 'sham'-not far from the truth!), and he & I were both miserable trying to settle him, and I was paying for the privilege so we waited. Personally I don't think children necessarily need huge exposure to other children at that age, so don't force yourself into both being miserable if it's not necessary.

RhinestoneCowgirl Wed 03-Oct-12 19:04:31

Same as vodka, although with first DC he went to a childminder part-time between 1 yr and 2.5yrs as I worked, so was used to being left.

In fact, second DC went to a CM one day a week from age of 2yrs as I was doing voluntary work, and never had any problem settling.

If you're paying for childcare anyway, maybe a childminder could be a better option than nursery at this age? Just a thought...

LapinDeBois Wed 03-Oct-12 23:24:42

Thanks for the comments. I'm wondering even more now whether I shouldn't wait until Easter maybe when he'll be 2.9. It seems a bit silly that he's sad, and I'm missing him, and I'm paying shed loads of money for it! Wouldn't consider a childminder because I don't see that they could give him anything I can't - it's the socialisation of nursery that I wanted. I think I'll try two more mornings next week and see how he gets on, and then maybe make a decision whether to stop.

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