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Dilemma - Can't make my mind up


My lo has just turned two years old and I feel that it is now time to start thinking about getting her name on the waiting list for nursery/pre school as she will be due her 15 hours free entitlement next year.  I want to sort it out now in case the waiting lists are long.  However I have a dilemma and I just can't make my mind up which nursery to choose.  The one I would dearly love her to go to, I have discovered, is a private nursery (St. Peter's) which doesn't do the free entitlement and with costs of up to £30 per day I just can't afford it.  My second choice is the nursery adjacent to the childrens centre we attend but from speaking to other mums I have heard it is hard to get a place.  The other nursery school in my area I wouldn't say is a bad school in any way but I just don't want her to go there. 

Ideally I would like her to stay in the same school from nursery to junior mainly because I don't want her to make lots of little friends at nursery and be nicely settled and then be uprooted to another infant school (most of my long-term school friendships were forged in nursery school) where she would be the new kid. I don't know whether to bite the bullet and pay for her to go to St. Peter's nursery in the hope that she will then attend St. Peter's infant & junior schools (which are free) or get her name on the waiting list of a school which would not be my first choice and keep her there?

Sorry if i've gone on a bit and I may sound a bit dim but being a first time mum in my 30's the school system has changed dramatically since I was at nursery and I don't know where to start.  I asked one lady from my local council who told me one thing (the council allocate your child's nursery place, you don't have to contact the school, the council will contact you to let you know, it's all to do with catchment area etc etc).  I emailed the council's education department a few months later just to double check and they told me the exact opposite (the onus is on me to contact the school, waiting lists may be long, allocation is nothing to do with catchment area).  I can't seem to get my head around it all.  image


  • Can you visit the nurseries to see what you think.

    I had one of mine at a private nursery briefly but moved her because despite  being recommended by my SIL it was basically run on a give us your money basis and I wasn't impressed by the care of the children.They did take funded places,as well as paying though.There's also a lady at my Mum's church who had the vouchers sent to her and she used those to pay for sessions for her son at a very posh little private nursery near here.It might be different in different areas,it might be worth contacting your LEA.It would be nice to get a place a t the nursery you really want.We have one at a very nice little nursery now which is privately run too,where we get our free sessions,and most of the children go on to the school we send the older children to.If you're still going to have to pay,what about doing a couple of sessions a week.

    My second eldest went to a small playgroup and then on to the school nursery,and my middle son moved school at 4 ,having beeen there since nursery class,and has more friends than I can remember names these days,so I wouldn't worry too much about making friends at 3 and keeping them for their school days.Nobody seems to have noticed he wasn't at nursery with them.It's a nice idea the school nursery being part of the school they'd attend till 11 but I'd be more concerned with how the school or nursery suited my child.If you really like St Peters as a school I'd still put her name down there whichever nursery you go for.We had our children at a school we weren't happy with for a long time,and it was a lot harder for them to get a place at the school we wanted once they were already at one school than if we'd just had them at the school we liked to start with.Changing later isn't always possible,especially if it's a popular school you're trying to get them in to,and we had two children that just  had to stay at a school we didn't want them to be at.

    You would have to put your name down for the school yourself,the council may contact you about a school place but not till they're 5 when school becomes compulsory.You have more chance of getting a place the earliers you contact them.

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