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Whats the difference between playgroup / preschool and nursery?!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by SparklyBelle, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. SparklyBelle

    SparklyBelle Member

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    Hiya Im just trying to figure out what childcare i'll need when I start uni (if i get in!) and Im so confused as to the difference between all of these, my friend has a 3yr old and keeps saying that shes going to school but i thought school started at 5?! My daughter will be 3.5 when I start if I get in for 2014 intake and she already sees a childminder 2 days a week.

    I know I sound really thick but shes my first child only 15 months so I have no clue about these things! Also, does the uni pay for childcare or only a bit of it, or does it depend on your financial situation?

    Thanks :) xx
  2. Lorelai

    Lorelai Active Member Plus! Member

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    You friend probably means the nursery attached to a school. Some of them are more formal and the kids wear a kind of uniform and it feels more like school than a private/surestart nursery.

    This link explains the differences between the different types of care quite well - http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-a...r-children-and-young-people/childcare-choices

    The bursary will pay up to 85% of your childcare costs, but it is means tested, and it is capped, so depending on how many days you need to use may well not cover it all. I can't remember the exact cap, but I think it is about £120 ish per week for one child, £160 ish for 2 or more. If you daughter will be 3.5 when you start, then assuming nothing changes between now and then, she will also be entitled to 15 hours a week free in a nursery/playschool/preschool (not childminder).
  3. Dougal

    Dougal Well-Known Member

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    School usually starts in the September after the child's 4th birthday. It might be slightly different around the UK though so maybe check your Local Education Authority website.

    Nurseries cater for children and babies from around 3 months until they go to school. They are usually divided into age groups within the nursery although some nurseries mix the ages up. They usually run all year round (except Christmas and bank holidays) and open from around 8am until around 6pm.

    Pre-school is usually from 2yrs 9months/3yrs until the child starts school. Playschool is another term for pre-school - as is kindergarten. I've also heard it called playgroup although playgroup is also used for mother and baby groups where the parents stay with the child. Pre-schools are often term time only and usually run for 1 or 2 sessions a day (morning or afternoon).
  4. BlueFonz

    BlueFonz Well-Known Member

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    In my area;

    Preschool at the school: This is open for over 2 1/2's in the morning (upto school start age) and those children who will moving up that year only in the afternoon. each session is 3 hours and they can stop for lunch £2.50 for the hours care and £1 for the cooked lunch. day is 8.50-11.50, 11.50-12.50, 12.50-3.50. Good points children make friends with kids goto schools with and is often attatched to the school so get used to the routine, lots of children etc before start school. Bad points difficult if no family help and only term time, maybe resolved with using childminder.

    Preschool at nursery: our nursery is run from 3 months till start school and is split into 4 rooms, Babies; babies-walking, Tweenies; walking-talking (move up at just over two-ish when ready) Toddlers, until they are 3-31/2. Preschool 3-31/2 onwards. offstead inspected. Good points good continuity from babies upwards, great for working families without family help as days run from 8-6 most of the year (obvioulsy varies)

    Playschool: Again sessional based, not sure if offstead based and a syllabus (ifyswim) or if just themed activities. Children are left and can go from 2 to 2 1/2 dependng on the one. not sure about the time varies alot, some are a few hours but there is one by me that does breakfast or teatime club. Not always open every day of the week.

    Playgroup: this is like mothers and toddlers, you stay with children. Any age upto school.

    As the others have said after 3 1/2 years a;l children are entitled to 15 hours free with a registered preschool. the other childcare costs maybe helped by the bursery but i havent got that far yet!! x

    If I get in for next year my eldest will be 4 1/2 and start school and my youngest will be 2 1/2 nearly 3 so will either be staying at his nursery or starting the preschool at school.

    x
  5. BlueFonz

    BlueFonz Well-Known Member

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    forgot to say.....my school preschool you can pick your 5 free sessions from the 10 over the week so can mix and match mornings and afternoons but my friends the school allocates you afternoon or morning, you can request but not alway granted. Something to find out if you are considering this option. x
  6. PurpleStar

    PurpleStar Well-Known Member

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    Where I am -

    Playgroup - this is not staffed by teachers - the staff will have childcare qualifications though. Children can attend from 2 yrs and 10 months, but must be out of nappies. They are usually community run, so are non profit making and run by a 'board' of volunteers. The session is usually 3 hours, and the parent pays anything from £10 a day to £10 a week depending on the grants and funding the playgroup gets from other sources.

    Preschool - Can also be referred to as a nursery. Usually staffed by a teacher and a classroom assistant, these units are attached to a school and aimed at children in the year prior to them starting school. Where I am, children always start school in the September following their 4th birthday. Pre-school is usually a session of around 3 hours (my local is 2.5 hrs, whereas my friend's local is 5 hours!) This is funded here by the Dept of Education, parents are usually asked to pay for the snack though (I pay £3 a week).

    Nursery - Private day nurseries are usually open from 7.30am-6pm and can accomodate children from 6 weeks (!) until around 11/12 years of age. Its divided up into several rooms for different age groups. This is simply a form of childcare, while the other options are more intended to be education based. Prices vary hugely, but generally it is around £40 a day here. People often refer to these as s 'creche' but thats not technically correct, as creches are totally different again!

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