So we're looking into the free nursery places and it's opened up a whole can of worms! We assumed we'd get them at nursery, which we can, but they recommended going to the primary we want to send him to so he can get to know his probable class mates. They do a pick up/drop off service to the school so that's good.
Except the school only has a September intake so he couldn't start there tip sept 2012. So we'll need to apply but take the places a nursery from jan 2012. Then looking at the criteria I feel he'll never get accepted anyway. They go in order from a to g with f being by location out of catchment (which is us) and the other things are about bring in care, having disabilities, teen parents, twins, etc. So because he's 'normal' we're totally at the bottom of the pile.
So I was curious about what the primary criteria are and they are similar. The most annoying thing is that if we lived 6 doors down or the next house round the corner we'd be in that school's catchment area.
DH is going to have to research what will be good reasons for us to put for that school being our choice.
Going back to the free nursery places, I don't know how it'll work through the school holidays as the nursery take the kids for set days throughout the year to balance the staff:child ratio so that would be difficult if during holidays he had nowhere else to to go.
Gah complicated! Has anyone else started looking into all this yet?
Yes our nursery schools are the same, being on benefits puts you up the list, which does annoy me a bit. We are in the catchment area though and my child in old in the year (July birthday, which is the oldest over here) and I've been told that if we get him in for the year before his pre-school year then he will definitely get a place for the actual pre-school year. There is not as much competition for the places a year early because a) you pay for it b) it is 2 x afternoons 1.15 to 3.15pm so times don't suit a lot of working families c) not all children are old enough to apply anyway. Apparently where we are some people apply for the space, get it, pay for it, but don't send the child just to guarantee a spot for the pre-school year!!!!!
The nursery schools and playgroups where I live are separate from the primary schools, so then the whole thing starts again the following year! I have no idea what competition is like for the primaries.
PS- Not sure about the nursery during school hols question as I don't use one, but my nephew goes to his nursery for full days during school holidays (he is primary 5 so normally only goes there after school) so I am assuming they bring in extra staff to cover school hols? As surely the same rules about staff-child ratio apply.
And another thing (shoulda thought about this more before posting first time!) what is the big deal about going to a playgroup/ nursery school to get to know his future classmates? Surely, unless you use a nursery a long way from home, there will be children going to his school. And do you even need to know the others before you start? Because in my town the playgroups and primary schools are separate it's not something I thought of.
Hannah goes to a private nursery, she has been going since she was 6 months old for a couple of days a week - we will still be entitled to 15 hours a week, it doesn't matter what nursery it is, they should offer you the 15 hours a week free on the term after her 3rd birthday. As for primary schools, the one Hannah will be going to doesn't have a preschool attached to it, we only really have private pre schools and day nurseries around here. We are in the catchment for a lovely infant school which is only walking distance away so hopefully no worries there.
ugh it is totally stressful! I wanted to get A into a preschool as well as going to nursery for the same reason as you - I want him to get to know his classmates. But, I don't know how that's going to work as the hours don't fit and I don't want him to have to be in nursery or preschool every day when i'm at work AND at home! And there's no way of getting him from the nursery to the preschool or viceversa on the same day and I don't want to send him to a childminder. The area thing isn't as major for me as we're moving soon anyway but it's so difficult! it's very complicated. Also, for us, they only have one intake in reception which is september intake. My LO isn't 5 til July 2013 - the idea of him starting full time school in september 2012 freaks me out a bit. It depends on your nursery but some do holiday playschemes or some local places do that. At my son's nursery they sometimes take siblings or previous children for holidays, but it depends on staffing.
Thanks for the replies, the posts are all too complicated to properly reply on my phone! Lol
The big deal with spending time at the primary we hope to get him into is that he sucks at change. It took him 8 months or so to begin to settle into nursery so it would be ideal to give him a year to adjust while still in familiar surroundings. It's no guarantee we'll get in the primary of course but we stand a chance being as close to the catchment as it's possible to be.
We're lucky that the nursery has a relationship with the primary doing the pick ups. I'll need to discuss the holidays with them and see how they manage it. One of the carers' little girl has just started at the primary, mxed with the nursery so they must have some arrangement in the hols.
Isil - I read today that in our council some schools might consider a deferred start for younger kids at primary at the discretion of the head. You still have to apply for admission at the same time but you could talk to the school you're accepted at, see what they advise/can do.
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