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Choosing between two prechool options ...

(15 Posts)
AccidentalMum Mon 15-Sep-08 20:38:55

I'm lucky enought to have two opportunities to take up DD1's 12.5 hours of 'nursery 'education. She has just started at a very spartan playproup in a prefab with outside space only really usable during prolonged periods of dry weather (so rarely), run by 3 lovely women. Children from 2 up to max 4, max 20 but rarely that, so time for cuddles and for DD1 (very nearly 3) to help and feel grown up.
Just went on school visit and have been told that she will be offered a 12.5hr place quite soon in a class of 26 with two nursery teachers. The facilities blew me away...all weather outside space, including a actual brick playhouse, amazing playpark style equipment, loads of space inside....but very 'school-y'.
Am I holding herback, keeping her at playgroup? Anyone feel their LO went to pre-school too early? Will she have no friends when I send her at 4?

Huggle Mon 15-Sep-08 22:05:43

Are there just two teachers at the school - or assistants, too? Ratio sounds very high to me, for that age group.

cthea Mon 15-Sep-08 22:12:05

You're not holding her back but it sounds like the second option has more going for it.

AnotherFineMess Mon 15-Sep-08 22:18:50

Sorry, is the second pre-school option at the primary school that you will be wanting to her attend at 5?

mckenzie Mon 15-Sep-08 22:20:33

can you not send her 50/50 to both? My DD does 2 session at one pre school and the equivalent of 3 sessions at a montessorri nursery. She seems to thrive with the mixture. Each set up has it's good points. Would that be possible?

Reginaphilangy Mon 15-Sep-08 22:23:33

I actually would prefer the playgroup option.

Dd2 went to a lovely playgroup then nursery attached to school (which she hated!)
Dd2 went to a fantastic playgroup (different from dd1's because that one was no longer running) and i kept her there for two years (until she started school) because it was so so wonderful!
Pretty much as you describe but more staff. Very 'mumsy' and loads of times for cuddles and play.

I don't like the 'school' environment for young children. I'm not sure i like it for school aged children wink

If you're unsure, how about a pro's and con's list?

What does your gut instinct tell you?

Reginaphilangy Mon 15-Sep-08 22:25:35

mckenzie - At present NEG funding cannot be split across a maintained and a non-maintained setting. They both need to be non-maintained.

morocco Mon 15-Sep-08 22:25:58

can tell you what I did with ds2. he went to lovely lovely caring playgroup from 2.5 to 3.5. no 'school' type atmosphere, lots of cuddles, very cherishing

then at 3.5 he did a year at the nursery attached to his school. that was great too as he got to meet all his cohort for reception and he was 'ready' by then for the school type feel of the nursery. I still missed the playgroup though!

I plan to do the same with dd. it worked well for us

mckenzie Mon 15-Sep-08 22:32:55

what does maintained and non-maintained mean?

Reginaphilangy Mon 15-Sep-08 22:39:13

Sorry. A maintained nursery is one that is attached to a school. A non-maintained setting is one that is not run by the LEA, such as a playgroup, private day nursery, independant school etc.

CarGirl Mon 15-Sep-08 22:40:22

basically it means a state/LEA run nursery as opposed to a private one (whether it is charity, business, a day care nursery etc)

mckenzie Mon 15-Sep-08 22:53:24

thanks. I get it now.

AccidentalMum Tue 16-Sep-08 15:13:34

Thanks for all the helpful replies, was worried about getting told to stop whining!

Gut instinct tells me to keep her at playschool for the time being....will probably do what Morocco did.

1 to 13 did seem crazy to me too.The Catholic schools around here seem to take children up to a year earlier than the other schools, so you get just 3 year olds in the nursery (which August babies would be everywhere I suppose). But they accept them as they turn 3 with a rolling intake IYSWIM.

AccidentalMum Tue 16-Sep-08 15:16:49

AnotherFineMess...Yes, it is the school I hope she will attend.

McKenzie...She could go to Playschool mornings and Pre-School afternoons! Might tire her (and me!) out a bit though I think. Unfortunately the school one is 5 mornings/ faternoons or nothing.

mckenzie Tue 16-Sep-08 16:35:00

I just meant you could do perhaps 2 sessions at playgroup and 3 sessions at pre-school but I understand now that it can't happen like that as the pre-school is maintained. Shame, as the mix would perhaps have been a solution.

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