Children grow up really fast and, when the time comes, it’s important to choose a pre-school they will be happy to attend. With so many different pre-schools in Folkestone to consider, it can be easy to tie yourself in knots. As such, let’s take a closer look at the kinds of pre-schools that might suit your little ones.
Firstly, there are standalone pre-schools and nurseries that are designed specifically for children up to 5 years old that follow the ‘Early Years’ curriculum. Secondly, there are primary schools with nursery and reception classes, meaning your child might wear the same uniform as the rest of the school. The latter also gives your child the chance to get used to the school environment with the hope that moving to grade 1 won’t be as daunting as changing location altogether.
Whichever you opt for is likely to depend on your personal preferences, accessibility, daily routine, and public Ofsted reports. It’s important to note, however, that attending a nursery at a primary school doesn’t automatically guarantee that the child will be given a place at that school for year 1.
Types of nurseries and pre-schools
Whether you’re a working parent looking for childcare or simply want your little one to grow in confidence by mingling with other kids, there are lots of pre-school options to choose from including:
These tend to open from 8pm until 6pm and are therefore a great option for those with full-time jobs. The day usually includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and a dedicated nap time to ensure children don’t get overtired. Day nurseries are popular as they offer continuity of care meaning children can stay until they’re ready to go to primary school.
Nursery schools tend to be a little more formal than day nurseries and take children from around 3 years of age. There’s usually a structured early years programme in place helping youngsters to learn numbers, letters, colours, shapes and other curriculum-based essentials. School nursery classes run in a similar, highly-organised way following the same ethics and principals as the entire school.
Pre-schools and playgroups
If you want to ease your child out of the home and get them used to being cared for by others, pre-schools and playgroups are ideal. Often, the sessions are short – sometimes a few hours, sometimes an entire morning – and give children the chance to explore new toys and meet new people. At playgroups, parents are often required to attend.
Montessori is a teaching method based on self-directed activities. In other words, each child decides what they want to play with and for how long. Children are encouraged to be independent and make creative choices without being told exactly what to do. Teachers and teaching assistants simply supply age-appropriate materials and ideas.
Steiner schools are designed to foster imagination and encourage creativity. They focus mostly on creative play and don’t introduce formal education until the age of 6 when reading, writing and arithmetic start to play a more important role.
Schools are also funded and organised differently. There are community schools run by the local authority, foundation and trust schools, voluntary-aided schools, voluntary-controlled schools, and religious schools too. Before you make a decision it’s well-worth doing some research.
At Rainbow Pre-School Folkestone, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage education and development cycle. Contact us today on 07979 323260 to learn more about our pre-school.