Yesterday marked another little milestone in C’s life. We went to visit and have a look around his prospective pre-school.
He’s currently 2yrs 9 months and technically this pre-school would take him from now. However up until yesterday I was keen to get his name down for January onwards. January will be the term after his third Birthday and therefore he will qualify for the 15 hours free childcare per week.
They did have places for him from September but i’m unsure wether I wan’t to send him so soon. We have only just moved to an area where there is loads for us to do and having been living somewhere beforehand where there was literally nothing for us during the week. I want to spend between now and next January enjoying what we have around us and spending the time together having fun – I feel that sending him to pre-school for two sessions a week will reduce our time together. Plus I was worried about how he would take to being left. He seems to have some rather strong attachment issues to me at the moment.
Anyway we got there yesterday and I loved the place! The setting was just brilliant with lots to offer and lots of fun things to do. They have the inside area which had lots of different activities including painting, playdough, colouring, sticking, a book corner, they had a table where children were icing biscuits and another table playing with shaving foam. They had a vast amount of toys had to play with, including trains, cars, music instruments, houses etc. They have an interactive white board, two computers (one touch screen & one with a mouse) and they had a rolling snack table which allowed them to eat a little snack when they felt like it during their session. They had a cage with nine little chicks who were only two weeks old – they had hatched them from eggs and watched their progression over the last few weeks and they also had a tank with tadpoles in – again they are watching their growth over the next few weeks and will eventually put the frogs into their pond.
The outside area again had so much to offer – they have a resident rabbit (who can you believe is aged 10!) and each half term the children have the opportunity to take home to look after. They had three vegetable plots where they were growing carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins and various types of herbs. They had a water area, a book corner, a sand pit, a mud pit & mud kitchen and lots of tyres all different shapes and sizes to walk along, balance on or jump off.
C seemed to really enjoy our time there and we easily spent an hour or so just letting him explore. They have an open week next week where we can go along as many days as we want so he can get used to the environment and the pre-school leaders. The biggest surprise I did have though was he actually ventured off on his own after a while to investigate and didn’t seem too bothered with making sure I was in eye shot.
I’ve since started to wonder if maybe I should be starting him in September. Either way he would be going for just two, three hour sessions a week (Tuesday & Friday) so that would still give us three days a week to do other actitivites together. We currently go to a music class on a Monday & swimming on a Wednesdays so it would only leave us a Thursday ‘free’ to do what we liked.
The only down side though is the only sessions they can offer us until September 2016 is afternoon sessions, which is from 12 until 3. This would mean me having to feed him lunch around 11.15am on the two days he goes to pre-school. I’m worried that’s a little too early and he’ll go off without eating very much. They do offer them snacks throughout the sessions though. I would have much preferred mornings, I could collect him at 11.45 & it would be prefect time getting home for lunch.
Anyway I have the summer to have a think about when i’d like him to start. We’ll go along next week again and see how he gets on. I am a little sad however that this time has come around so quickly. I like having him at home with me and it doesn’t seem like five minutes ago since he was born and here we are in the blink of the eye getting ready to ‘let’ go and send him off without me for a few hours a week.