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PrepSchool/nursery for nearly 2yr old ?

(3 Posts)
charbw Mon 11-Jul-16 18:30:00

Hi we are moving back to St. Albans from living in Brooklyn Nyc, I'm looking to try to get my almost 2yr old into pre school (or what ever that is in the uk). What are the best places for this age is it a nursery or a pre prep school? We want her (and her sister) to go thru the private school system ideally, so would aim to get her into somewhere she can go thru from as early as possible. But I'm not just interested in the formal academic side of education but also creativity, sport etc. So open to Montessori or Steiner school maybe.
I'm thinking maybe a few days or mornings a week at 2years old to start with but I'm at home with a 3month old still so not needed as childcare as such.

Any advise would be sooo appreciate!
Thanks !
Charlotte and 2 little girls! 19m and 3m

BackforGood Wed 13-Jul-16 18:51:27

Nurseries and childcare for U5s is quite confusing in England. Things that offer the same provision get called different names, and sometimes the same name is used for different types of provision.

So your options could include a place at a Nursery that is essentially daycare for working parents, (but other dc go too, just to give parent a break, or - as they get older - to do different activities or start to mix with other dc).
If it's for socialising / getting to know other folk then a Saty and Play (sometimes called a Toddler Group) is where you go along and stay with her - this might be great for you, moving new into the area, to meet other people with young children. It's a good way to start dc being used to playing in a bigger room and there being other dc around.

Around where I live, there are private schools that provide daycare for babies / toddlers under a raft of different names too.

There are also pack away playgroups (often in Church halls / Scout huts / Community Centres, or sometimes in a portacabin on a school site) who tend to run morning sessions or sometimes 'school hours', where you leave your dc.

I don't know St Albans area, but hope it helps for you to know it's worth asking questions and not assuming anything from the name.

minipie Wed 13-Jul-16 19:16:49


Sounds like you are looking for a nursery school. Also called pre school, though nursery school probably the more common name here. Kids generally do 3 hour sessions, either morning or afternoon (usually morning, especially if they are still napping). You can choose how many sessions per week - usually more as they get older.

Many nursery schools start at age 2. Some at age 2.5.

The ones starting at age 2 are usually stand alone, separate from any primary school. There are some nursery schools attached to schools (private or state) but they usually start at age 3, and don't necessarily guarantee entry into the attached school anyway.

Most nursery schools are private and you pay fees (there is some govt supplement after age 3). A few are state run and are completely free but those usually don't start till age 3 and are often attached to the local state school.

There are lots of Montessori nursery schools around (and also nursery schools that incorporate Montessori principles, even if they are not labelled as a Montessori nursery). Not much Steiner.

If you want her to start earlier than age 2 you need to look for a daycare nursery (which will take children from babies). However they won't really do much structured stuff till age 2+ anyway.

Be warned that well regarded nursery schools in family friendly areas like St Albans are quite highly subscribed and some people put their DC's name down as babies! So identify a few you like the look of and call them up to ask about spaces and is it worth registering or not.

Hope that helps!

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