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"Satisfactory" pre-school at 2.5 vs "Good" pre-school at 3

(7 Posts)
Bueller Mon 01-Oct-07 17:15:55

Just wondering what to do about pre-school for DD... she is just 2.5, very sociable and loves playing with other children. I'm a full-time SAHM and don't have many friends in the area with young children, so it's a bit of struggle keeping her entertained all week! I'm dreading the winter months as it means fewer children at the local playground...

I've put DD's name down for a local pre-school, very good reputation, "Good" Ofsted report, but doesn't take children until they are 3 - so DD wouldn't start until April at the earliest (assuming she gets a place, there is a long waiting list apparently).

In the meantime I have found another pre-school, it seems okay, but only got a "Satisfactory" Ofsted report, and the hall it is in is a bit dingy. Having said that, when we went to visit DD immediately made herself at home and seemed very happy with it! They can offer her a place to start immediately.

So I'm wondering whether to take up this place now, or wait until she is 3 and hope she gets in to the good pre-school. The other option is to start her at the "satisfactory" place and then move her a few months later if necessary... but would this be more trouble than it's worth?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated! You won't be surprised to hear that she is my one and only PFB so I am completely clueless about these things!!

TheodoresMummy Mon 01-Oct-07 22:48:57

Did you have a better 'feeling' for one over the other ?

Would one suit her better than the other in some way ?

If they could both offer a place immediately, which would you choose ?

6 months not that long to wait if you strogly prefer that pre-school, IMO.

prufrock Mon 01-Oct-07 22:58:15

YOu could always do both - most places allow you to split NEGS (though you won't get those until term after 3rd birthday anyway) so you could do 3 mornings at satisfactory, then 2 more at the good one. Or do 5 at satisfactory now and switch to 2 at good one when she does get a place (make sure you give the right amount of notice of reducing sessions)

That way she (and you) get two different lots of pre-school friends.

Also read deeper into OFSTED. My pre-school recently got a good, but we got outstanding on some things, and satisfactory on stuff like building and faciities, cos we are in a worn out portacabin which we are trying to move out of.

contentiouscat Mon 01-Oct-07 23:15:36

I would take the OFSTED rating with a pinch of salt and go with your gut feeling on it, did you like the staff more at one than the other, how did they react with the children while you were there etc.

Bueller Tue 02-Oct-07 17:08:31

Sorry, only just had a chance to get back to this - thanks for all your replies.

To be honest, I don't have a better feeling for one over the other - but then I have no experience of childcare or pre-schools or anything like that.

The "good" pre-school is in a nicer building, in a residential part of town, whereas the "satisfactory" one is in the town centre - which would actually be more convenient for me to get to. DD seemed equally at home in both environments, but then she is very confident and sociable.

I hadn't thought about attending both pre-schools, that's an interesting idea, will definitely consider that.

heifer Tue 02-Oct-07 17:18:52

I was told that a satisfactory preschool report was actually a good report as very few get given a good mark (iykwim)

I split DDs preschool into 2 (1 preschool x 2 sessions and 1 nursery 1 all morning and it works really well.

Bueller Tue 02-Oct-07 20:04:47

that's interesting heifer. good to hear about other people sending their children to more than one pre-school/nursery, I hadn't thought of doing that, it definitely seems like a good solution.

Thanks to everyone, this is helpful - I don't know anyone in RL who is doing the pre-school thing, apart from various mums I have had brief chats with in the playground - all my friends work and send their children to expensive nurseries so don't have to think about all this!

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