My gut is telling me not to send him to nursery

(29 Posts)
MrsG200 Mon 23-Nov-20 14:46:14

Hello - Im turning to mumsnet as I really need advice and I'm not sure where else to turn.

My ds just turned 3 in October and we decided to try sending him to nursery before he was officially supposed to start in January to ease him (and us) into it. He has basically had no socialization with people his own age this year due to covid and he is usually more socially at ease with adults anyway - he is usually a very polite kid who likes to play by the rules and just doesn't understand when other children dont.

He's been very apprehensive about starting nursery and hates the idea of staying by himself. We've so far been to a few morning sessions over the space of a few weeks and I've only left him once for about 20 minutes and he naturally got a bit upset.

I have a few reservations about the nursery - nothing serious - am I maybe just being overly cautious? I'm a SAHM so I don't need him to go for child care reasons, but I'm told time and time again that he needs to go for his own benefit.

We do activities and plenty of reading, outdoor adventures and just general playing at home. And other than his refusal to potty trained, I have no worries about his development at all. He's always asking questions, loves to learn but isn't too fond of sitting still so I think he'll struggle with that in a nursery setting.

Is there anyone else out there who DOESN'T send their children to nursery? I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions <3

OP’s posts: |
WelcomeToGreenvale Mon 23-Nov-20 20:19:25

He's going to be an older school starter anyway so there's no harm in keeping him at home for now. However you say you have no developmental concerns while also mentioning how he's had very little social interaction with kids his own age, and struggles to cope with confrontation/other kids not doing as he expects. He won't have a choice in that when he starts school, so consider that it might be worth setting him up with the social interaction well in advance so that he can learn those coping skills. Not everyone is always going to play by his rules!

AlexaShutUp Mon 23-Nov-20 20:26:31

I agree. You don't need him to go to nursery (and I definitely wouldn't send him to one that you have genuine concerns about) but you do really need to find a way of exposing him to other children so that he can develop his social skills.

It might also be worth helping him practise sitting still for short periods, as this will help when he eventually gets to school.

Queenfreak Mon 23-Nov-20 20:29:05

Does this mean he doesn't start school until sept 2022?
If so, then I would happily defer a year and start him next September

OverTheRainbow88 Mon 23-Nov-20 20:38:20

I would send for a couple of mornings a week,
Socialising with peers is an Important skill to learn, he’ll have a major shock when he goes to primary school if he’s used to being with you all the time

Aroundtheworldin80moves Mon 23-Nov-20 20:41:46

If you don't like that nursery, pull him out and look around for somewhete different for September.
But the main point of nursery is learning to interact with other children, taking turns, learning to listen etc (and learning that you're not always number one) so in a way you would be doing him a slight disservice to not send him to nursery as he doesnt interact well with other children.

BefuddledPerson Mon 23-Nov-20 20:42:31

Mine didn't go and all was fine. You'll get told they must go or they'll be social misfits for life wink

OverTheRainbow88 Mon 23-Nov-20 20:43:01

What about a preschool, then tend to do shorter hours like 9-12?

rottiemum88 Mon 23-Nov-20 20:48:29

Can only speak from my own experience, but my mum chose to keep me at home until school age so I went straight into reception having never been in that kind of setting with other children before. I was very bright, maybe even gifted as a child but I was painfully shy and struggled socially for most of my time at school. Even as an adult I'm very reserved (completely unlike most of my family who are very outgoing) and I often think those early years had a lasting impact on my life. Consequently, I chose to send DS to nursery from 8 months and he absolutely loves it now at almost 2.

In your shoes, I'd give your DS the opportunity at least and see how it goes.

Kolo Mon 23-Nov-20 20:56:22

In my experience, I've always been correct to follow my gut, and regretted not following it sooner.

Who is telling you your child needs to go to nursery? Is it general 'children' need to go, or specifically your child? I don't think it's essential that children go to nursery. But I do think it's very important that children get opportunities to play with other children. It's been difficult for all children to do that this year, but if you feel you can meet this need, then there's no need for nursery at this point.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 23-Nov-20 21:29:23

Can you start him at Easter? Less bugs and colds around, never mind Covid! Few months pottering around outside , then summer hols and back in September.

BendingSpoons Tue 24-Nov-20 07:48:18

I started my DD at 3.5 in a school nursery. Almost all the children were new and so there was a settling process. Your nursery actually sounds like they are offering a great settling process, but I wonder if it is too drawn out for him. My DD started Reception this year. They had 3 weeks of half days and she was stressed the whole time about staying for full days. Once she actually did, she realised it wasn't that bad. I wondering you need to just try leaving him or else pull him out for now and try again at Easter or September.

LemonGreen Fri 27-Nov-20 11:35:01

I'm also a SAHM and I didn't start my eldest anywhere until he was 4 (Sept born) when he went to a school pre-school, which was very good for him. My other kids then attended the school pre-school when they were 3/4. The pre-school was wonderful with very supportive staff and they all absolutely loved it. Made the transition to Reception easy peasy and they knew all their friends etc.

Why not just wait a year? Do the toilet training and maybe he'll be better suited to trying it when he's a little older?

Lazypuppy Fri 27-Nov-20 11:38:15

My mum never sent me to nursery and i have always been awfully shy, it has taken me my life to get comfortable in some social situations, and others i still really struggle with.

My dd has been going to nursery since 9 months and i can see a difference between how she is and our friends son who has never been to dd is confident around other kids, happy to play, happy with adults.

mooncakes Fri 27-Nov-20 11:39:04

He doesn't need two years of nursery.

Start taking him to classes or toddler groups after Christmas when restrictions ease a bit, and then start nursery in September so he has a year before school.

Or you could use his free hours this year with a childminder, so he gets used to playing with other children and being away from you?

If you aren't sure about this nursery, start looking for another one.

MaMaD1990 Fri 27-Nov-20 11:42:52

Just do what you and him feel comfortable with and don't feel pressured by others opinions. Its normal for them to be upset at the beginning as it takes a while for them to get used to the new surroundings. If you feel comfortable sending him to nursery just keep going and he will get there and soon absolutely love it. Perhaps try leaving him for more than 20 minutes though, an hour or 2 is probably a good place to start and what I did with mine. She shoos me away at nursery now haha

Ginnymweasley Fri 27-Nov-20 11:49:42

My dd didn't go to nursery or pre school. We moved when she was due to start pre school and the local one didn't have any places. She was fine when she started school, she is the opposite of shy and she has made loads of friends. My ds is due to start pre school in september. He is the opposite of my daughter so I think it will really help him. You know your child best so do what you think will be best for him.

BackforGood Fri 27-Nov-20 22:03:30

He has basically had no socialization with people his own age this year due to covid and he is usually more socially at ease with adults anyway - he is usually a very polite kid who likes to play by the rules and just doesn't understand when other children dont.

This ^ is why I would certainly want a plan of how to help him, sooner rather than later.
As others have said, being used to being around others is really important.
He won't start school until Sept 22, so it isn't urgent, if you don't want to start him now - there is no rule that says they have to start the term after they turn 3 but he will find school incredibly difficult if he hasn't learned to play with, chat to, socialise with, negotiate with, problem solve with, take turns with and wait for other children.
Nursery / pre-school is exactly where children learn to do that - in a ratio of, at most 1:8 (in a PVI), where the adults are there to support him and help him learn to do that.
To go in to a class of 30, aged nearly 5, without having had time to get used to spending hours with other dc, would be very difficult for him, if he has already shown that he struggles with the unpredictability of other children.

mooncakes Fri 27-Nov-20 22:15:32

Ratio is 1:13 at most for 3 year olds.

BackforGood Fri 27-Nov-20 22:32:20

No, 1:13 is only if there is a teacher in charge.
In PVIs, it is 1:8

Either way, Nursery ratios are better than Reception ratios, when it is far more difficult to work on the skills you'd hope most children would have had the opportunity to work on before starting school.

Onceuponatimethen Fri 27-Nov-20 22:42:41

If it was me I would be tempted to start at 3.5, once potty training is sorted and your child is more confident.

mooncakes Fri 27-Nov-20 22:45:47


No, 1:13 is only if there is a teacher in charge.
In PVIs, it is 1:8

Either way, Nursery ratios are better than Reception ratios, when it is far more difficult to work on the skills you'd hope most children would have had the opportunity to work on before starting school.

PVI just means it's a private setting (not a state school/nursery) - they still have a 1:13 ratio for 3 & 4 year olds with a teacher.

Tigger001 Fri 27-Nov-20 23:00:10

He's not starting school in Sept, I would keep him at home but that is irrelevant as is everyone saying he needs nursery. Not every child needs nursery and all this Bull about oh yes they are definitely ready....ready for what?. You can teach them everything at home, if you opt for that.

We had a blast with my DS at home, he has just entered a pre school (3) due to him starting school in sept, has he not been starting school he wouldn't have gone, he mixed with his little mates, we were always out for the day, playgroups and outdoors learning, playing and having fun.

The only reason he needed pre school was to get used to not being with me.

You do what feels right in your heart of hearts and pull him if you want, but do it now, it's unfair to leave him settling in to then pull him.

LostAcre Fri 27-Nov-20 23:09:27

He may find nursery easier if you leave it a term or two? He’s still got a full 5 terms to go before he’s due to start Reception after all.

My DC3 is about a year older than your DS. He started nursery (15 hrs a week) in January, the term after his 3rd birthday.
He tends to be quite a reserved child, and was struggling quite a bit with settling in and talking to the staff and the other kids.
And then because of COVID, he wasn’t at nursery from March to September. No socialising with people outside family.

He started nursery again in September, and the staff said to me there’s been a massive improvement in how he’s interacting with the other children at nursery since March, he’s much more confident now.
The only thing I can put the improved confidence down to is him being 6 months older and having that little bit more maturity than he had in January.

BackforGood Fri 27-Nov-20 23:23:10

Yes, thank you mooncakes, I'm aware of that, but only one of the 70 odd PVI settings I've worked with over the last year have a teacher in the room, so it would seem, statistically, it is likely they will be working with the 1:8 ratio.

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