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Anyone have a child at PLAYGROUP rather than nursery?

(7 Posts)
PengTheMerciless Wed 16-Apr-08 22:31:55

Am a full time SAHM so have no need of a nursery in a childcare capacity. Am thinking more in terms of dd's social development (and perhaps having the odd morning to myself with the new baby).

On Monday I'm going to see a playgroup with a view to dd going for a couple of mornings a week when she's 2.5 or maybe 3 (depending on how she feels about it, and depending on their waiting list which is apparently very very long).

What should I look out for?
What should I ask?

Am an absolute novice at this sort of thing and didn't even go to school in UK so don't understand the system at all.

Any tips?

Much appreciated!

Orinoco Wed 16-Apr-08 22:41:22

Message withdrawn

TurkeyLurkey Wed 16-Apr-08 22:48:27

I think your gut feelings are always a big one.

I used to be chair of our playgroup and we always welcomed new parents to stay with their child for as long as necessary for them to settle in.

You could ask to read their policies, on discipline etc. You could also ask to see their Ofsted Report

Also, Do they have outside space with good and varied equipment for the children to play on?
What snacks do they give the children?
How many staff do they have to children (child/staff ratios).
What topics are they doing at the moment with the children?

But overall have a good look at how the staff are interacting with the children and are the children engaged and happy in the playgroup.

Hope that gives you some starters!

PengTheMerciless Wed 16-Apr-08 23:05:52

Thank you both.
Some really good points - seems obvious now you say, but you've both said things I hadn't thought of.

vbacqueen1 Wed 16-Apr-08 23:09:03

Have you asked around? If you go to some kind of mother and baby/toddler group, you may find someone who can recommend a good one. No substitute for going and having a look for yourself but it would at least point you in the right direction.
Good luck!

PengTheMerciless Thu 17-Apr-08 12:57:05

Little bump in case anyone else has any thoughts for me.

dippymother Fri 18-Apr-08 16:46:49

Just wanted to add that not all pre-schools are committee run. Ours is a private pre-school in a community centre which is owned by the supervisor and I work for her, along with 8 other members of staff, and we have no committee of volunteers at all.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and receive funding for the over 3s. We encourage any potential parents to come and drop by any time they wish so they can see us in action. They don't make appointments so parents can see it warts and all. There are notices up showing the weekly curriculum and activities, also a list of snacks is shown so that parents can warn us if their child cannot have a particular food. As mentioned before, you can ask to see the Policy documents which set out all the general rules of the group.

New children generally start off with 2 sessions (2.5 hours each session) and work up to 5 sessions before they start school, though we accommodate parents wishes if they prefer less/more sessions.

The children learn about socialising, sharing, turn taking, language and communication skills, using their fine and gross motor skills and making relationships with other people (adults and peers). They work with staff who care about them and listen to their conversations with interest. It also helps children to become independent beings, able to manage doing things on their own, i.e. going to the toilet, washing hands, dressing/undressing themselves, blowing their noses, putting toys away and tidying up, drinking from open cups, having "jobs" to do etc.

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