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playgroup or pre school

(17 Posts)
toomuchtooyoung Wed 04-Dec-13 12:01:52

hi, could I bother you all for some advise and rational thought?

3.3 dd currently attends playgroup 3 sessions a week. loves it, upset if she can't go.

she is due to start pre school in January, which is attached to the primary she will eventually be attending. just been told they either do the 15 funded hours per week or nothing at all.

I had hoped she could mix the two so get to know some of the kids she'd go to school with but realistically is that such a problem? at playgroup I could also change sessions so that she would attend 9.30-3.30 with lunch there.

is there much difference between playgroup and pre school in terms of what they cover?

toomuchtooyoung Wed 04-Dec-13 13:30:32

oh, and also have 17 mth ds, who is quite demanding and not in the slightest bit 'easy second child' grin

BackforGood Wed 04-Dec-13 19:55:42

I'm a bit confused by your question.
Why can't she mix the two - do 15hrs at the one attached to the school and then a different day at the one you already go to ?

Some children cope fine with two settings, some find it a bit confusing.

I really wouldn't worry about her getting to know children she might be going to school with, before she starts school. It really won't matter to her at all. If you like where she is already attending, then I'd leave her there, to be honest.

We can't say how different they are, as people use the words/terms interchangeably - what one group call a pre-school, another call a Nursery, and what one call a playgroup another call a pre-school.
Theoretically, all settings working with U5s should be following the same curriculum (the EYFS - Early Years Foundation Stage), but of course they interpret things differently.

If it is a school Nursery class, then the ratios are likely to be a lot higher (1:13, as opposed to 1:8 in a PVI {Private, Voluntary, or Independant} setting).

toomuchtooyoung Wed 04-Dec-13 21:34:38

sorry if I wasn't very clear, should really stop multi tasking!

the school have said it has to be 5 days a week, made up of morning or afternoons. no alternating or combining, or less days.

if she went to morning sessions at pre school I could at a push get her to afternoons at playgroup, but worry that it may all be a bit too much. alternatively, her playgroup could accommodate her for 2 or 3 days a week from 9.30-3.30 with lunch, then I could spend quality time with ds and do other things with both on her days off

just trying to find the right balance and what's best for dd

toomuchtooyoung Wed 04-Dec-13 22:10:08

also getting myself in a right pickle over what she would start when. born in September 2010, so she would start reception in September 2014 or 2015?

BackforGood Thu 05-Dec-13 00:27:27

September 15 is when she will start Reception then - the school year they turn 5, so your dd will be one of the oldest in the year (unless you are in Scotland where the system is different)

HSMMaCM Thu 05-Dec-13 07:37:48

Id leave her where she's happy and do the 3 full days. As others have said, they will follow the same curriculum. You can always think about it again with a view to moving her next September if anything changes.

KittieCat Thu 05-Dec-13 07:43:14

I'd definitely leave her where she is happy. At this age 'friendships' are fickle so I don't see any real gain in moving her to a new setting.

You may find she is ready to move when the time comes for school.

TortillasAndChocolate Thu 05-Dec-13 07:44:27

I would definitely leave her where she is and enjoy your days off with her. She sounds happy, and that's so important.

toomuchtooyoung Thu 05-Dec-13 11:42:35

thanks all, it really helps to write it all down and get some other thoughts. yes, she will be one of the oldest so I've already got an extra year of finding things to do grin

I'm going to keep her where she is and rethink next September, she might be ready for a change then anyway. will also help ds settle in to same playgroup next spring, as he's a bit....clingy

thanks again x

kimmills222 Thu 05-Dec-13 14:21:52

I would definitely leave her where she is. She is happy there and I think she should not be confused by sending her to two places. As you have said she is happy then she will learn more by enjoying there.

Littlefish Thu 05-Dec-13 19:28:03

Check with your local authority Early Years department. In my local authority parents have the right to split their 15 funded hours if they wish. Settings cannot dictate how many sessions children have to take in order to get the funding.

ChazDingle Fri 06-Dec-13 21:07:28

littlefish> at the pre school my DS attends you are allowed to split the funding with another setting if you want, or do less than 5 days x 3 hours but its only if they are not full, if they are full then the child either has to go up to full time 15 hours at the setting or give up the place to someone else who wants 15 hours. I think its fair enough, the type of setting it is the majority of the children do 5 x 3 hours and they only operate 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon so someone not using all the days effectively blocks out a place for a child wanting 5 days.

Sunshinesunshine1978 Mon 09-Dec-13 17:15:24

In my experience please leave her where she is if she is happy, my DS goes to a preschool attached to the primary school and does not seem to like it. I am in the process of moving him to a playgroup and may do two sessions to begin with in two places until we know for sure he does not like it or it is the fact I am not there. The preschool is more structured. You should be also able to split the funding.

toomuchtooyoung Mon 09-Dec-13 19:55:28

unfortunately can't split the funding, school was quite adamant about it.

have decided to keep her at playgroup and increase number and times of sessions. will look to the pre school next September, maybe even Jan so she can help settle her brother in

Littlefish Tue 10-Dec-13 06:39:59

Please check it with the local authority, rather than just taking the setting's word for it.

HSMMaCM Tue 10-Dec-13 21:20:46

Agree with Littlefish - tell the Local Authority what the school has said (they are wrong).

But ... keep her where she is happy for now anyway.

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