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AIBU?

Are school nurseries better than day nurseries for preschool aged toddlers ?

14 replies

wur · 02/10/2022 10:31

Posting for traffic, any experiences appreciated.

What's the difference ? The merits of each ?

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TooMuchToDoTooLittleInclination · 02/10/2022 10:35

IME they're quite different, but that just might be the ones I've had dealings with.

The school ones have been more 'formal' & focussed a lot more on the structure of the day being the same as 'The Big School'. A lot more focussed on reading & writing -less play. Proper uniform etc.

I prefer the non school ones, but I think it does make the transition to Reception of the same school easier if that's where they're going.

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NuffSaidSam · 02/10/2022 10:36

It depends on what you need and the specific nurseries involved.

The biggest difference is that day nurseries are open year round and usually 8am-6pm. A school nursery is only open during term time and normally 9-3pm or thereabouts.

Most school nurseries won't take them until they're nursery age (September after they're 3). Is it more of a pre-school that you're looking at? One that will take 2 year olds?

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SliceOfCakeCupOfTea · 02/10/2022 10:37

Private nurseries tend to have longer days and more flexible hours. School nurseries are usually within school hours, half days or half weeks.

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AnneLovesGilbert · 02/10/2022 10:39

DD just started in the preschool class of a private nursery at 3 and we picked that over the school nursery as it’s much more flexible. No uniform. We can choose her hours. The school nursery is 9-12 and they have to go 5 days a week and you ask permission to take them out term time. We’ve got friends with DC the same age in both and there are advantages to each but the flexibility of nursery suits us better.

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Blocked · 02/10/2022 10:47

Depends what the objective is. If you're looking for childcare during working hours then go for a day nursery. If you want to prepare your child for school send them to a school nursery.

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PotatoHammock · 02/10/2022 10:48

It depends entirely on the setting. Where we are now, the school nursery is fantastic, and very much integrated into the primary school. They have access to the playing fields, and the school woods, and the nursery kids can have a hot school dinner (although it's not free like it is in reception). They have PE once a week with the PE teacher, and they go to the music room and the library- my 3yo loves it.

Where we were before, the school nursery class was stuck in an damp portakabin, it was really noisy and echoey, and the kids didn't use the the school facilities at all. The teachers looked downcast and defeated. So my eldest went to an independent nursery run out of a church hall, which was run by a positive, energetic lady, who took them out for little walks down to the post office,or to look for conkers etc.

Just visit in person, and pick the place you wouldn't mind working in.

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riotlady · 02/10/2022 10:48

It’s tricky, we stuck with private nursery because she’d been there since she was a baby and it was so much more flexible (and no long holidays to try and sort childcare for!) but I did feel bad for DD when she started Reception and most of the kids knew each other from school nursery

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AllThatFancyPaintsAsFair · 02/10/2022 10:51

As far as i'm aware school nurseries arent a think where I live expect for at indepenant schools but as every Nursery is unique I'm sure every school Nursery is too

PPs have pointed out practical differneces but there's no objective measure of “better”

Clearly they are not essential as I've not come across one

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Tumbleweed101 · 02/10/2022 10:57

We are a private day nursery with a qualified early years teacher. Educationally we offer the EYFS the same as school nurseries and put in a bit more structure in that final term, we are a feeder nursery for local schools so most children will have a least a few children they know whichever school they chose. The main difference really is that we offer flexible hours and wrap around care so some children stay with us until they are 11.

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Thelnebriati · 02/10/2022 11:09

I sent DS to the school nursery because he was a velcro child and didn't deal with change so well. I felt that the change from a different nursery to a structured school day would be too big a change for him to manage, and wanted his first week at school to be as positive and stress free as possible.
The staff really understood the problem, and let me sit in every day until he was comfortable. He was able to start school with confidence and already knew some of the kids in his class.

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wur · 02/10/2022 11:10

AllThatFancyPaintsAsFair · 02/10/2022 10:51

As far as i'm aware school nurseries arent a think where I live expect for at indepenant schools but as every Nursery is unique I'm sure every school Nursery is too

PPs have pointed out practical differneces but there's no objective measure of “better”

Clearly they are not essential as I've not come across one

I did indeed mean preschool nurseries of independent schools indeed.

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Violettaa · 02/10/2022 11:17

Round here, the pre school nurseries in inde schools are very similar to the standalone private nurseries (I’ve used both).

The key difference - and the reason lots opt for the pre schools - is that they guarantee you a place in reception which otherwise can be tricky.

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MarigoldMoonStone · 02/10/2022 11:20

I noticed the school preschools are only term time, but maybe they offer something during the holidays too. Reminded me I need to look into that as I wanted to change as they are located closer to me and I also thought it would be nice to go to the preschool of the school you are going to go to, for friendships.

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FlounderingFruitcake · 02/10/2022 11:25

My DD was at the nursery of an independent school. It automatically got her a place for reception, she had access to specialist teachers from the big school for French, ballet, sports, drama, music, art and IT. Excellent school prep in terms of routine and structure, she knew 3/4s of her reception class already and was very familiar with the setting. Obvious downside is they weren’t flexible with hours and closed during the (long!) school holidays and there aren’t many options for holiday camp for 3YOs. And they were rigid on potty training which can be tough for summer borns.

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