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Pre school places

(24 Posts)
Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 15:43:20

I got a letter today telling me that my dd hasn't got a place at the pre school I was hoping she could start in January.

Does any one know what happens about the free 15 hours in a nursery? Is it possible to just do the free hours or do they already have to be attending? We can't afford to pay for a nursery place given the high prices. And what happens in half term etc do you have to pay for the sessions in between as the sessions are obviously only funded term time?

Is pre school really that important? I'd love dd to go obviously but logistically I'm
Limited with being able to get to any due to the timings of school buses and pre school opening times. Will it make a big difference if she doesn't go?

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 16:10:18


HaveToWearHeels Tue 08-Oct-13 16:12:10

I think you will find "Pre School" are only open term time only, so you will need to cover holidays. A "Nursery" will allow you to use the funding to cover hours with them but usually if you are already attending and paying for extra hours, some will allow you to split the hours to cover two days etc.
I am sure if you explain that she can't start until January you will be able defer the place.
Is the pre school part of a primary school ?

OddBoots Tue 08-Oct-13 16:15:02

If you look on your council website there could be a link to your local family or children's information service, if you can get their contact details they should know where locally you can get a place.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 16:15:13

No, it's not. There's only really one other option as far as pre school goes and I've not heard yet. I was after her starting in jan when she's free as we can't afford to pay for sessions at the moment.

HaveToWearHeels Tue 08-Oct-13 16:20:08

OK, then as OddBoots says the Family Info service is good, I used mine this morning, really helpful.

DD's pre school is a charity run one, not affiliated to a school and closes during school holidays. She was 3 in last September so was offered a place as of January. Her pre school is pretty empty at the moment but will ramp up in January and then again after Easter.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 16:29:46

They are all really busy where I live. It's very hard to get into schools had a nightmare with dd1. They are building houses everywhere and not schools. Due to school runs i have two options as to a pre school both of which I'm out of catchment for and don't stand a chance. I will look at family info (take it it's a web site?) thank you

OddBoots Tue 08-Oct-13 16:31:40

It's a department within the council so some will have a website and some just a phone number.

Some areas are really busy, I work in a pre-school and we are really over subscribed, we have newborns on the waiting list for a place when they are 3 (we've been asked to put bumps down but that seems too much!).

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 16:36:00

I have to admit it's not looking likely she will go sad I physically can't be in two places at once and any options to enable me to get her there or back or allow dd1 to go to breakfast club so I can make it in time all cost money we dont have. sad

OddBoots Tue 08-Oct-13 16:41:44

Some childminders can accept the funding so maybe that could be an option? Otherwise I don't think it would do her any harm not to go, she can learn and develop just as well with you and will soon get used to school stuff when she goes.

BucketsnSpades Tue 08-Oct-13 16:47:17

I found a per school for my D's at very short notice by looking on our local council website, they actually had a list of all the preschools with places available and I found a lovely one which had just opened. Prior to that I had him using the hours at nursery but the sessions were longer than the funding so there was always a top up and the funding was only for 39 weeks so full price payable in holidays.

I actually had put my ds's name down at birth for our local over subscribed preschool but in the interim it had a change of manager and when the time came I just thought it was so bad I couldn't send him. I relate to your feelings of worry about having no place. In hindsight preschool was a good experience for my Ds who is now at school, he would also have been fine not going so long as I had made the time to do other activities with him instead.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 16:48:14

I shall look into a childminder perhaps then. I don't mind if she does it all at different times just providing I can arrange it round school run. I just feel really bad that she's going to miss out through no fault of her own.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 16:49:54

It's not so much lack of spaces it's the fact that I cannot get her there. I can't ask them to let her in when we are able to get there as it ruins the routine for all the kids. Just the timings don't fit at all with the school run sad

OddBoots Tue 08-Oct-13 16:56:45

Do ask the pre-schools with spaces about flexible hours, we're open 9am-3pm but have had children do 9.30am-2.30pm 3 days a week to get their 15 hours and fit with other school runs (and that's despite being over-subscribed). They might be able to help, at worst you might not get the full 15h as you have to drop late (for example) but it's better than nothing.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 16:59:38

Do they do that? Oh that's fab there may be hope after all. Thank you

LIZS Tue 08-Oct-13 17:01:09

or could you get a cm to take your elder dc to school so you can get her to a preschool ?.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 17:13:46

Wouldn't be able to afford that sad

LIZS Tue 08-Oct-13 18:13:33

or a friend they could wait with until bus time or maybe you might know someone using same preschool ? Could she do 2 longer days so that you only have the problem on 2 days instead of 5 or split the 15 hours between a local cm and preschool.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 08-Oct-13 18:19:23

I was hoping to have her do two or three full days as that would be easier. I have no friends that close to me who don't have their own kids to sort out and go to work. There are people who could wait with dd1 in the morning sometimes, often we are the first ones there so can't garuntee someone will be there to watch. It's the pick up that's more the problem.

Threalamandaclarke Fri 11-Oct-13 07:30:20

We have this issue for DS. I'd like him to go to preschool as I think it would be good for him but it's not feasible logistically.
The preschools and school nurseries offer 3 hrs a day.
He and DD go to a CM who can't pick up from our chosen nursery. Even if I could dash from work to collect him and take him there he'd have no time for lunch.
My cm doesn't appear to take the govt 15 hours funding. So I think i'll have to suck it up and wait until he goes to school.
Sometimes I really wish I could be at home with them. This would be so manageable and I think he'd love nursery. sad

Threalamandaclarke Fri 11-Oct-13 07:32:31

Per school don't usually do full days.
Lots off ppl use day nurseries and have the 15 hrs deducted from their weekly fee.

Threalamandaclarke Fri 11-Oct-13 07:33:26

Sorry. Pre- school

BackforGood Fri 11-Oct-13 16:43:21

I visit Pre-Schools, playgroups and Nurseries as part of my job, and they are all very, very different from each other. Many have children coming and going at different times, it may not be an issue.
LOADS of children only start attending during the term after their 3rd birthday, so that's not necessarily an issue either (although places can fill up earlier in the academic year).
I'm not sure about "important",but I do think most children get a lot from spending time in larger groups, learning to get along with their peers. You will, however get posters telling you their child never went and they are fine.
Yes, the 3 yr funding only covers term time - it is, after all "education" funding.
I agree with those suggesting you contact FIS for your area - there may be settings that you don't know about.

poopnscoop Fri 15-Nov-13 10:51:25

It can be daunting finding a place and with the right hours. I have a new Pre-school nursery and we are open 51 weeks and from 8-5.. Then also offering wraparound care at my childminding setting till later if parents need it. Our local parents need this!

I hope you manage to settle this soon. As mentioned, get a hold of your local FIS (Family Information Service), they'll know if there are any new Pre-schools.

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