As your child moves on from their toddler years you may be debating whether to keep them in nursery or move them into a school. As experts in the childcare industry, YMCA Day Nursery staff are often asked for advice on this and find the best way to make an informed decision is to compare the two options with that individual child’s needs in mind.
A common misconception is that school based preschools offer more in the way of education whereas the reality is that both nurseries and schools must follow the same Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines which puts a child’s learning, development and care at the forefront.
The main difference lies within the way in which children are encouraged to learn. Nurseries will consistently observe each child individually and create educational activities around their specific hobbies and interests, making them more likely to get involved.
Schools on the other hand, teach children about particular topics and this is rolled out to every child, regardless of their preferences.
Again there are similarities when it comes to funding options as both nurseries and schools offer 15 hours funding per week for children aged 3-4. The biggest point to consider is that generally, schools will only offer a half day morning or afternoon session, whereas nurseries offer full day sessions with the added benefit of staying open during school holidays.
For those who are eligible for 30 hours of childcare funding, which you can check using this childcare calculator, nursery is likely the better option as many schools don’t have the provision or capacity to provide this.
Staff ratio can be important as it gauges how much attention your child will receive from members of staff whilst in their care. Most private nurseries will have one member of staff for every 8 children however schools are required to have just one member of staff for every 13 children.
Some children may not be ready for school nursery and if parents think this, this is ok. Children may benefit from staying in their nursery setting until they are ready for school nursery. Some children may need more time to potty train, develop their confidence or speech and staying at nursery for longer, in an environment familiar to them may help them further.
Moving into a New Environment
Some parents and guardians feel an urgency for their child to move to a school so that they develop friendships before starting reception class, but the reality is, children are resilient and make friends quickly. If you feel your child is enjoying their current environment, don’t feel pressured to move them based on any preconceptions.
If parents decide to keep their children in their nursery provision to access 30 hour funding rather than sending them to school nursery, this wont make a difference to their education. At YMCA Day Nursery, staff prepare these children for reception and ensure they are ready for their next step in their education journey. Staff teach children phonics, early writing skills and how to be independent with dressing, toileting and much more.
Our staff are here to help you make the right decision, so if you’re thinking about pre-school childcare and need any advice at all, please contact us on 0191 282 8137 or pop in for a visit.