At this time of the year, many parents are starting to consider the second big step in their children’s education. The first, of course, was bringing them to Tiptoes, and a great decision that was. But now the next step is on the horizon – whether to keep your child with us, or whether to send them to a pre-school based within a primary school.
As with everything that concerns your children, making the right decision is paramount, but there are a number of misconceptions about this issue which can get in the way of this. So, to help you get a clearer picture, we’ve compiled a list the most common ones, to help you do the best for your precious little ones.
1: At a school-based pre-school, qualified teachers teach your children
This would seem a logical assumption – if you send your kids to school, they are taught by teachers. But in relation to pre-school, it’s rarely the case. The fact is schools don’t have the budget to spare qualified teachers to look after pre-school aged children and it is often left to non-qualified day carers to deliver their education. It might come as an even bigger surprise to learn that Tiptoes’ staff are often better qualified than those in pre-school. All our staff are qualified to a minimum of level 3 nursery nurses, many have degrees, and we have several former teachers working with us. Ask us.
2: Tiptoes Pre-School children do not follow a syllabus
Whereas it is true that pre-schoolers do follow a syllabus, it certainly isn’t the case that children at day nursery pre-school (such as Tiptoes) do not. In fact, they follow exactly the same syllabus – the Early Years Foundation Stage. What is more, because of the flexibility that nurseries can offer, we can sometimes tailor the lessons around your child’s specific requirements, meaning we can better address their individual needs.
3: It costs more to keep your children at Tiptoes Pre-School
This doesn’t have to be the case at all. As you will be aware, everyone is entitled to 15 hours free childcare from the government, and many people will be able to take advantage of the 30 hours of free childcare now on offer. If you need to know more about that, click here.
But there are other facts to consider too. If you work and cannot pick your children up immediately at the end of the traditonal school day, other provision will have to be made for their care, which will add to your childcare costs. Also, school-based pre-schools don’t open during holidays, so unless you’re lucky enough to be able to arrange your holiday around your children’s, then you will need to find childcare during the holidays too. So keeping your child at a Tiptoes Pre-School could actually cost you less.
4: Your child should attend a school-based pre-school to start making friends
This isn’t necessary at all. When children are young their relationships with other children are often very fluid, favouring one friend one day and another the next. They are curious and friendly and therefore make friends easily. Joining a class at reception level will not hinder their social relationships or their ability to integrate into the group. When a group of Tiptoes pre-schoolers are going off to the same school together, we work with the school to place them in the same reception class, making the transition that bit easier for them. It is more than likely that your child will be at Tiptoes with other children who will attend the same primary school reception class.
5: Your child will lose their place at your preferred primary if you don’t move them the school-based pre-school
This is perhaps one of the most misleading beliefs of all. The fact is, the school doesn’t make the decision as to which children join their reception year, that is down to the local authority. If they decide your child has a place, they will have one regardless of whether or not they attended the pre-school. In fact, there have been a number of cases of children attending pre-school at their parents’ chosen school, only to find out they didn’t get a place there after all, which can very upsetting for the parents and unsettling for the child.
So, if you’re in the midst of deciding where is best for your child to receive their pre-school education, these are all points that need to be considered. If you want to discuss further how we enhance the pre-school experience, do please get in touch or have a chat with your nursery manager.