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It's come to the time of year that we are constantly having parents saying "oh my son/daughter is sooo ready to move upto school nursery, it's lovely here at playgroup but they need so much more now :o

 

aargh it drives us up the wall! their little darling is still in nappies doesn't know their own name and just mouches around!

We smile politely and say it's their choice, but it really makes you feel worthless sometimes.

 

What do you say?

Edited by thumperrabbit
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Not a lot really as most of the time they have already made their minds up if they say this to us. Where they ask for our advice we give it with both barrels! It makes me feel better when I see the parents in a few months time and they tell me how much the child is missing us, although I do feel sorry for the child at that point too. There is a lot of pressure locally to get the children into school nursery and I really don't get it myself and never did before I worked here either.

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OOOOH Thumper Rabbit, you've hit a nerve!! It's one of those moments when I have to really bite my tongue!!! However ~I know one day someone will mention 'PROPER NURSERY' (AAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!) and i'll bite!

 

 

We get in first now and do a really good sell on the better ratio's, knowing their children in depth and this helps them feel a part of a family, continuity, we may remind them of the time when they started with us (if they had been upset initially) and how unsettling it was, we do a big play on how they are with their friends and who of those is staying with us and will also be going to their school later, we remind them of our flexibility, how we are able to achieve equal results, our teacher input termly, how previous children are doing now - you can tell this is one of my soap boxes can't you?

 

 

Unfortunately, many parents fall on their own childhood experiences of 'education' and this automatically links to school nurseries - it's a default setting, im afraid!

 

 

Start chipping away from day one - you win some and you lose some! (It's also great when they then come back to you a little while later!)

 

 

Good Luck, let us know what has worked for you x

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Its always amazed me that parents are so ready to change their childs setting at such a young age, but wouldnt think of it once they are settled at primary or secondary.

What do they think is going to be any different?

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Same here for us. Our school nursery are offering places still for next week so it is still affecting us!I have only had one of my key child parents ask me what I think. I tell them we follow the same "curriculum" as the nursery school and really try to sell us as you say. I do however say it is down to the parent to decide....she eventually decided to defer the nursery place but nursery have now said there may not be able to take her daughter at a later time!

Having a few that we just consider are not ready to go to Nursery school just yet. Mind you staff do chuckle when nursery are to take those that are still not toilet trained properly!! This is one area we really help parents with....some are boys who have only just turned 3! It seems we do all the hard work like that for them to then go to a "better educational establishment"! We are all supposed to be doing the same thing!

 

The one good thing is that a friend of mine over heard a mum in a shop say how her child loved pre-school and how the ladies there were all lovley, much better than those at nursery. Other mum was in agreement!! Bless!

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she eventually decided to defer the nursery place but nursery have now said there may not be able to take her daughter at a later time!

 

I think this is an issue for some parents.. schools will often not keep places open for children who do not take them up when offered. There are also many parents who choose schools for other reasons too such as fear of not getting a school place (this isnt the case but parents often believe that it is) and because siblings already attend school, making drop off and pick easier to manage.

I know when my own daughter was little, she adored playgroup, but the reality was that it only opened 3 days a week and I needed 5 because I worked, so yes she went onto the local nursery class when she was offered a place and was equally happy there (thankfully)

 

I dont think its always as simple as offering the same opportunities, or all working with the EYFS etc, there are often other constraining reasons why parents choose the local nursery class rather than stay put.

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In a school Nursery we follow the same curriculum, we have rubbish ratios - 1:13, a place in a school nursery does not guarantee a place at the school for reception, and we don't offer flexible sessions when the parents want to attend - its 5 mornings or afternoons. Do parents really understand this? Or do they see that because its a school it must somehow be 'better'. I have 24 key children - how can I give them all the time and attention they need? I bet countless pre-schools and other settings can offer a much better quality of time to the children than I can!

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I dont think its always as simple as offering the same opportunities, or all working with the EYFS etc, there are often other constraining reasons why parents choose the local nursery class rather than stay put.

 

I think some parents see full time reception as free child care for more hours than they can access at pre school.

 

But to Rea's point there are some parents who seem to be compulsive movers - we have children/families start in nursery leave to attend another reception return half way through the year then leave before y1 only to return at some point in Y2 ... and it isn't down to moving house ...

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Thankfully not all parents see it like this. I've had a couple of parents withdraw from their places at my school nursery because they feel it would be more beneficial for their children to stay where they have been. One parent was very clear about her child's needs in terms of the better ratios of staff to children. He had significant developmental delay and it only took mum one hour long visit to realise we just couldn't give him the time he needed. We also get a number of parents who don't choose us as we can't offer full-time places for nursery aged children.

We do get a lot of parents who see it as more 'education' based but I do try in induction meetings and through the info that I give them to help them to understand that what we do is play based and all the other good stuff that they would have experienced wherever their children have been before. I still get asked a lot though when they are going to get a reading book or why doesn't he know how to write his name yet!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

What do PVI setttings do when families accept a place then say actually no thanks, we've been lucky enough to offered a place at the LA nursery. I've spent so many hours contacting families, showing them around, keeping other people waiting. And it's even more disheartening when their child has been with us since september for their pre-preschool year. It's so demoralising for staff.

 

Will we ever be seen as anything more than a make do option? I don't know, I really don't. What's the point? We're a fab preschool with a wonderful setting, great team, supportive committee, ultra flexible hours. I'm seriously fed up again this year.

Sam

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It certainly can be disheartening if you let it be - we 'break them in' and someone else reaps the benefits, or so it seems sometimes.

 

However, there's the odd comment that you hear, like "Oh I wish I'd realised what you meant about the ratio thing, we'd definitely have stayed put 'cos she loved it with you and it's been such a battle getting her to Nursery every morning'

 

There's also the boost from feedback from parental questionnaires, "Thank you for giving Jenny such a wonderful start to her school life" that makes it worthwhile.

 

It IS hard, when you've put in all the hours on the Learning Journeys and done all the follow-through of next steps etc to be hit in the solar plexus by the 'Proper Nursery' comment, though

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  • 3 weeks later...
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