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Are all nurseries really 'learning obsessed' these days?

11 replies

ragtaggle · 23/03/2005 15:43

I am three months pregnant with second child and am considering sending my first (17 months old) to nursery for a few days a week before the new baby is born. ( I don't want her to associate new baby with starting nursery so am thinking of doing it when she's about 22 months, a few months before the birth)

I have just been to see my first one and I was really suprised at how much focus is on learning targets and preparing them for school etc. The woman who showed us round was like Hyacinth Bouquet and was going on and on about children hitting targets and taking spanish lessons (From three onwards but still..). I know some parents like all that but the thought of my two year old being pushed towards educational targets and not just playing with a group of friends makes me feel a bit queasy. I like the idea of my child learning through play and trust me she's been doing brilliantly with a nanny on that front but I don't want it to become formalised.

Is this normal? Are nurseries now under massive pressure from the Govt to hit targets that I don't know about? Does anyone know of any good nurseries in Islington that let them just play a bit more at this stage?

OP posts:
bundle · 23/03/2005 15:46

ragtaggle, you live near me and i think i know EXACTLY who you mean! would you be interested in a more "normal" nursery where my girls have gone (the oldest, now 4.5 was there from 7 months till she started school this jan)?

motherinferior · 23/03/2005 15:46

And Bundle's children are deeply fabulous

bundle · 23/03/2005 15:47

aaah you say the loveliest things......ragtaggle have CAT you, x

hotmama · 23/03/2005 15:51

My dd is nearly 6 months and will be starting nursery in the summer. When I was pregnant I did the tour around the local nurseries - and they all were going on about learning etc.

FFS - they are not little for very long - they can worry about 'proper education' when she starts school - whatever happened to playing with water/sand plasticine/dressing up and just being little?

stripey · 23/03/2005 15:58

Maybe you could find a local Playgroup. Ds1 went to one and ds2 will start after Easter they spend 2.5 hrs playing with a break and stories etc but a lot less pressurised than say a Montessori (ds1 went to a Montessori when he was 2 and it was so formal and full on he truly hated it). I think most Playgroups don't start until 2.5 or maybe 2yrs though and are only for a few hours.

TokenBloke · 23/03/2005 16:37

We nearly joined a nursery that was 'learning focused', but then were scared off after a disatrous intro session. Quickly found another one that was much more chilled and just lets the kids play. DD loves it and has never looked back. They have 13+ yrs to learn later, so what's the rush?

Jimjams · 23/03/2005 16:41

nurseries have to meet certain educational targets, so even the less formal ones have to have a clear education plan in mind, or they get bad ofsted reports. My aunt runs a very informal playgroup and they have to think of how normal play realted to early learning goals etc.

bundle · 23/03/2005 16:45

learning thru play definitely emphasis at our nursery. also "learning" is about eg being able to use pincer grip, moving on from gross motor skills, recognising your name and colours - NOT all times tables, spanish and algebra at 3! the reports i get from dd2's keyworker are things i'll treasure, they build up a real picture of her progress through nursery, friendships as well as "skills" etc.

ragtaggle · 23/03/2005 18:13

Thanks bundle. (Sounds like 'thanks a bundle' - ha ha) I haven't received your CAT message yet but will await with interest. I am worried that mumsnet might have my old email address - will check. But good to know that there are normal nurseries in this area too.

OP posts:
bobbybob · 23/03/2005 18:50

Here in NZ nuseries are funded by the dept of education so not surprisingly there is a focus on education. It's learning through play though, with mat time etc. and it's supposed to be child directed.

I just picked a nursery that seemed caring and then made it very clear I wasn't bothered if they taught bob anything at all (apart from manners and taking turns). As long as they were caring, fun and didn't feed him food that would kill him that was fine with me. He spends most of his time in the sandpit or dashing around on a bike which is great, but I do know some parents who would be horrified if they were paying money for that.

One parent said "I resent paying them to watch him sleep". Crikey I would pay any amount of money to someone who could get ds to have a day sleep.

bundle · 24/03/2005 19:45

ragtaggle CAT me if you are interested & think mn has your old email address

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