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Parent question - private or school nursery?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by nightingale25, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. nightingale25

    nightingale25 New commenter

    Hi everyone

    I'm a secondary teacher but I'm posting here as a parent, and would really appreciate some advice from early years viewpoint. My little girl is 3 and a half and has been in a wonderful private nursery since she turned 2. She's very happy there, has a great relationship with the staff, and lovely friends. She's an early September birth so will turn 4 a few days into the next academic year. She's now in their age 3+ area which can take her through to school age. We applied for a place for her at the local school nursery for this September, when she will turn 4. We would like her to attend that school from reception. We're not in the catchment but their recently adapted academy admission criteria gives her an advantage of getting in if she attends the nursery first.

    Our dilemma is between keeping her in her private nursery, or sending her to the school nursery in September when she turns 4. The private nursery is gorgeous - and it has great hours and flexibility - her attending in school holidays being one advantage for me as it gives me some actual holiday time. The possibility of another baby coming along in the next year means this would be extra helpful!

    My doubts about the private nursery are mainly academic - by their own admission they don't do a lot of structured phonics, reading/writing etc. She's a bright girl and is doing these things with me at home and I think she would really fly with the input from school too. Aside from the advantages for us, we obviously want to do the right thing for her. She has friends that are already in the early years unit at this school so I thinks she'll slot in easily whenever she goes, friendships wise.

    So - I'd love your early years opinions. Do you see a difference, academically and in terms of maturity, emotional readiness etc., between children who have stayed in a private nursery until reception, and those who do a year of school nursery? Does it really just depend on the child? She's quite an old 3 I'd say. She's very independent already, can get herself dressed, works really well in groups etc. I don't want to hold her back - but will it really make a difference in the long run?

    Thank you for any input!

  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I suspect it very much depends on the individual nurseries involved, and it probably makes less difference in the long run than you might think, particularly with a child who is generally getting on very well and is obviously getting plenty of input at home.

    It sounds like she would cope well with making the change this year. My daughter moved up to school at the same age (August birthday) and loved being in a new setting and finding out how it all worked; never mind what "academic" stuff she was learning! It sounds as if moving now has advantages for getting a school place the following year, and if there may be a sibling, perhaps it's good for the move to happen ahead of that. You do lose out on the holiday childcare, but as she gets older it becomes more possible to get the odd hour of planning done while she's playing, and you might be able to organise some play-date swaps. (It might be worth asking the private nursery whether they would have her for some ad hoc days in the holidays - they might be willing to take her on weeks when regulars are on holiday, for a fee.)

    You didn't say what happens about after school time with the school nursery (assuming you're currently working). That's something important to factor in - although of course the following year it will definitely be an issue.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I'd leave her there then!
    If the school does structured phonics, reading/writing in their nursery class, then it would ring alarm bells.

    I teach in a nursery class in a private school and we take children from their third birthday. So some in the same school year as your daughter and some who will start reception this September all together in the nursery class. The children most ready for starting reception in September are those who have very good skills in the prime areas of learning, which are not the same children who are most ahead in phonics, reading, maths, etc.

    If she is happy in the nursery and you are happy with it, then leave her there as long as possible. Plenty of time later for her to do 'academics'.

    When I taught in KS2, it was impossible to tell who had been in early child care, nurseries, school nursery classes, etc.
    jomaimai and nizebaby like this.
  4. DchenOdy

    DchenOdy New commenter

    If you're looking for a private school, take a look at [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions it might be the school you are looking for.
  5. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    From a personal experience - I'd check what her peers at the private nursery are planning on doing. I kept mine at their preschool setting rather than going to a school nursery - for one child it worked well as a lot of the cohort stayed on and they provided a really good play based curriculum appropriate for them... but with the other child the bulk of the cohort moved into school nurseries and it meant that they were in a very bottom-heavy setting with the bulk of the preschool being age 2-3 and in terms of social and language development they really missed out (also didn't help it was all the girls that left so I had the only girl 4 year old in the place and the boys all hit peak "girls are icky" phase together too).

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