As our Tiptoes children start to approach school age, 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. Most parents know the benefit of keeping their children with the teachers and friends they know so well, and in comfort that friends will also join them in primary school. After all Tiptoes has a much higher number of graduate staff, some at Masters of Education level, but some are led to believe certain things about the pre-school within the primary.

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.

This first one is the most mis-understood.

1: Your child wont get into the school of your choice if  they don’t attend the school’s small pre-school.

This is perhaps one of the most misleading beliefs of all and unfortunately one that could be the most damaging to your child. The fact is, the school doesn’t make the decision as to which children join their reception year, no school does in England, that is down to the local authority centrally. If they decide your child has a place, they will have one regardless of whether or not they attended the schools based 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.

2: 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.

3: Tiptoes Pre-School children do not follow a syllabus and the school’s pre-school does.

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.

4: 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. Most school don’t provide paid for places, some only accept the universal 15 hours, not 30, which then means splitting settings and placing your child in Tiptoes and the school.

But there are other facts to consider too. If you work and cannot pick your children up immediately at the end of the traditional 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.

5: 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.

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.