How oh how do I have a child of pre-school age already?! I honestly can’t believe that we are now at that stage with our eldest. It’s the beginning of her formal education and pretty much starts the next decade plus of schooling! It’s a start I’d like to get right but how much does where you Pre-School really matter?
The options for us are a Nursery Unit in a local Primary School or a funded place in a private Nursery School. She already attends the private daycare’s Pre-Pre-School (yes that’s really a thing!) and could continue on into their Pre-School. Or, we could attempt to get her into the local Primary School where she will almost definitely be going for P1-P7.
Unfortunately the primary school’s admissions criteria for Nursery is such that we would be quite far down the list with a slim chance of getting a place. Places are given to socially disadvantaged children first and then those with parents/grandparents working in the school, siblings in the school etc. With none of those ‘bonus points’ the likelihood of any spaces left is low.
The private nursery is still governed by the Education Board so still follows the same curriculum and delivers the same learning outcomes. She is familiar with the staff, building etc. and as I’ll have to drop her little sister there to daycare when I return to work it seems logical to make that our first choice. We also have a ‘bonus point’ as current paying patrons of the nursery so have a higher chance of getting a place.
Even writing this I think has further cemented my decision as it is clear it is the choice that will work best for us a family.
Do you have a child heading to Pre-School this year? Are you too trying to make a decision that will work for your family?
Remember the portal for online admissions is now open and you have until noon on January 30th 2020 to submit your application here (Northern Ireland residents).