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Pre-school each day, or, private nursery for one day - what would you do?

(9 Posts)
Humpdebump Thu 23-Oct-08 07:44:30

I was wondering if anyone has any useful advice for my dilemma:
DS1 has been offered his 12 and half hours (Mon - Fri 1.00 -3.30)at a local pre - school. He has also been offered one day (8am -6pm) a week at a private nursery where he used to attend and knows all the kids and staff. I have to choose between the two, so either couple of hours every day for a week, or just one full day a week. He is 3 years old. I just wondered if its more beneficial for him to be at a school everyday in preparation for big school, or if he would in fact get more out of being in nursery for a whole day once a week where activities seem a bit more structured.
Any one have any advice or experience in how much and in what ways a little one benefits from a couple of hours a day in pre-school.
Have to give an answer by tomorrow!

Weegle Thu 23-Oct-08 07:49:27

I don't have any experience - DS starts pre-school today. However, every day from 1-3.30 sounds very restrictive on what you can do with the rest of your time, but maybe that is just me?

TreeHuggerMum1 Thu 23-Oct-08 07:55:05

Will your preschool only take split am/pm sessions instead of maybe 2 x 9 - 3 days?
That is what my LO is signed up for at our local village nursery from January.
Worth an ask??

AbbeyA Thu 23-Oct-08 07:57:01

I would go for the afternoon place. Six days between visits is a very long time to a DC.
8am until 6pm is also a very long day. Two and a half hours a day is much better.

mrsgboring Thu 23-Oct-08 07:57:06

I have no experience of this either; we're waiting to hear about DS's preschool place. I have gone down the 5 days route myself though as I think it will be better preparation for school and also a better balance for him.

Friends have told me that their children have appreciated the regularity of knowing what will happen each day. One day one day a week comes round too infrequently in the life of a child.

Also, I'm finding that the toddler type activities we used to go to are getting a little bit young for DS, so if he went one day a week, I'd be more stuck for what to do with him on the other days - obviously we can swim, paint, go to park, playdates with existing friends etc. but any other kind of organised activity or large social group would be harder to find for his agegroup.

As I say, I'm still finding my way with this, but I'd go for the 5 days even if it is a bit of a tie on your time.

AbbeyA Thu 23-Oct-08 07:59:14

Where we live you get morning places or afternoon places-it isn't open to negotiation. It is much better that way because they are with the same DCs each session-much better for friendships.

verywiseowl Thu 23-Oct-08 09:15:59

I'd also go for the 5 days a week.

Interesting that you think the private day nursery will be more structured - IME DS's day nursery was much less structured than the local pre-school (5 2.5 hour sessions either am or pm like yours) as it was used mainly by working parents so there was an awful lot of free play (yes, I know it's all meant to be free play these days, but there's free play and free play). Whereas the pre-school had set times when they did phonics, and story time and snack time etc so the free play time was much less.

Also consider what school he will be going to (or where you'd like him to go!). Will more children from the pre-school be likely to go the school?

Humpdebump Thu 23-Oct-08 17:58:44

Thanks for the advice and opinions - I am edging more towards the every day option now. Yes, I agree it is an awkward time and prevents me from doing other things, but keep telling myself its for DS benefit really, not mine! (gives me 2 and a half hours around Sainsburys!) The connecting school is apparantly too far away from where I live for him to be considered going on to (its in a different location). I will def. ask about the 9 - 3 option as that makes so much more sense to me. After speaking to the workers about their days the private nursery is more structured which I prefer as DS is far better with instruction at the moment, but I guess more free play in pre-school will encourage him to independently choose more (what I presume it was designed for). Anyway, if he doesn't like it then I figure I can always see if the space is available in the private one for one day. Think my decision has now been made!

Holymoly321 Sun 26-Oct-08 15:15:05

I agree with the 5 day option whiw. DS1 is 3 now and will get his free hours in Jan. He already goes to nursery 3 mornings a week (we pay)and I take him to toddler groups on the other two mornings, but it's recently become apparent that he is getting too old for these toddler groups now - esp as a lot of his friends that he used to see there now go to nursery with thier own free hours! Come Jan he will go to the nursery he already attends for 5 days a week - longer on the 3 days he already goes as we will use their 'lunch club' option which is 6.00 a day extra, so on those days he will be there from 9am- 1pm and then 9am-11.30 am on the other days.

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