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How do I choose a nursery?

(5 Posts)
biancazc Fri 30-Sep-11 20:43:36

Hi mom's, I have a 2y4months old daughter and it's about time to choose a nursery for her, to start next year. Problem is, I've always wanted a christian/catholic school for her, but I realised there are many others just as good and now I'm totally confused. I've been in this country for about 4 years, got pregnant and got married too soon, and now I have to decided something that I'm a totally lay, don't know anything about nursery, primary school, reception, feel like I'm talking another language (and as you can see I'm not as good in English as it's not my 1st language). From November to February next year I'll be back to my country on holiday and won't have enough time to apply for a nursery in mid feb/march 2012. I have only a month time to decide and apply and I have no idea how to do that. We have just moved from Newham to Woolwich and I still couldn't find a nice sure start where I could ask mom's about this... Could someone give me a bit of light in this situation? Thanks a lot, I really appreciate. And I'm sorry for the mistakes, as I said this is not my 1st language... thanks!

Wigeon Fri 30-Sep-11 20:55:16

Don't panic!

Presuming you don't need all-day care so you can work all day? (ie care from 8am to 6pm). If not, then you can choose the following:

Pre-school education from 2 yrs 9 months. You have to pay for one term. Or you can send your DD to pre-school from 3 years for 15 hours a week for free. She can stay at pre-school until Reception (first year of proper school), or she can go to nursery school and then Reception. Or she can just go straight to Reception. You don't have to send her to pre-school or nursery if you don't want to.

Some pre0schools insist on you taking up all 15 hours, so your DD would have to go for 5 days a week (3 hours each day). Some don't, such as my DD's pre-school - she only goes for 3 afternoons a week.

Pre-schools aren't part of primary schools although they might be in the actual primary school building.

More info on pre-schools and other relevant information here.

In terms of choosing a nursery (from 3 years) or pre-school (from 2 years 9 months, or from 3 years, depending on what you choose), I just visited the three which were geographically closest as I don't want to have to drive to the pre-school. My DD is staying at pre-school until she starts Reception.

I'm not surprised you are confused, I found it all very confusing and am still quite confused by some aspects of the system! And English is my first language and I have lived in England my whole life!

Wigeon Fri 30-Sep-11 20:56:46

Oh, and the staff in your local Sure Start children's centre should be very happy to explain the system in your area to you, and talk about specific options in Woolwich. So might well be worth ringing them up and asking if you can pop in to talk to them.

biancazc Fri 30-Sep-11 22:55:19

Hey, thanks a lot for your help, it was indeed very helpful to know I'm not alone having those feelings. They are quite confusing about educational here, comparing to my country, where you choose your children's school by the price range or location (because you already know all of them will teach some kind of religion to your children).
I'll definitely pop in on monday and have a chat with all the people I can, to get as much information as I possibly can, because I don't want just to throw my little one in any place, I need to make sure what kind of place she's going to be and how do they use the power of the influence they have to teach something to my daughter, do you understand?
Thanks again for your advice, was really really helpful!!! have a lovely and summery weekend!

Wigeon Sat 01-Oct-11 12:12:33

Glad some of it was useful! You can also just ring up local nurseries and pre-schools and ask to come and visit - they will either have set times where you can go (eg Thursday afternoons), or they will just arrange an appointment at a time which is mutually convenient. Definitely visit before applying so you can get an idea of how they teach / look after the children and what kind of atmosphere it is.

Have a lovely summery October too! It's really hot here (Hertfordshire)! smile.

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