when to start nursery?

(9 Posts)
kawaii123 Mon 26-Nov-12 11:37:59

My DS has just turned one and has been with the same childminder full time since he was five months. He is very settled and happy there and gets on with the two other children well. Unfortunately one of the children is leaving and the third is only there two days a week. This means a lot less interaction for my DS. He is very keen on older children and completely unafraid or intimidated by adults but seems to want to keep his distance from children his own age. I'm obviously not expecting him to be engaging with them or anything but over the weekend he walked off into a corner to be away from a group his own age while they were all quite happy together.

I wonder whether it might be good for him to start at a nursery some time in the nearish future. To be with other children and just generally to have some more dynamic activity. He is a big explorer and has been walking and talking (a bit!) for a while now so maybe it would be good for him to have more stimulation?

I really don't want to leave my childminder though as I adore her. Would it be too uprooting and confusing for him if he did a few half days (with her taking him) or something like that? I'm also really nervous about the settling in thing. I didn't have a whisper of a problem when he started with the childminder but could be different now.

I realise this sounds like I am pointlessly causing problems for myself and imagine lots of people might say just stick with what's already working! But my mother has made me question my arrangement and I wonder if she might have a point.

Wallison Mon 26-Nov-12 11:44:42

I would leave him where he is, for now. He's still very little and if he's happy there then that is the most important thing. I do wonder about the 'socialising' aspect of nurseries which a lot of people go on about, given that most very young children just don't play together anyway until they're well into toddlerhood. A good childminder - which I'm sure yours is - will have lots of experience in how to provide a stimulating environment and will also crucially be able to take him out of the house and go to different places, which to my mind is better than just being in one room all the time which is what they are at nursery.

shadylane Mon 26-Nov-12 11:46:35

Leave him there. Latest research says nursery before three is detrimental. He doesn't need other kids yet just solid care.

showtunesgirl Mon 26-Nov-12 11:53:17

Won't your CM be getting new mindees to fill their place? Also does your CM take them to groups etc?

And each child is different. My DD has just turned one and will have no truck with babies her own age but loves older children.

Wallison Mon 26-Nov-12 13:57:50

My son also loved being around the older children - and they learn from them in a way that they don't with kids their own age or even from adults, because they copy them without even thinking about it. He was the same right until the end of reception - even at school there were a couple of older girls who 'babied' him and he loved it. And now that he is older, he's the one doing the 'babying' which is lovely to see - he has no younger siblings, but he knows how to act with babies and little children.

Latest research says nursery before three is detrimental.

Erm...can you point us in the direction of this conclusive research shady? Since I started my DS in nursery at 5.5 months (can't afford a CM, have to work full time) I'd like to know what hideous damage I'm inflicting on him.

RosannaBanana Mon 26-Nov-12 16:40:09

I would also say to leave him where he is settled, at least until he's 3. Evidence (sorry can't link on phone) points to small ratios and continuity of care as being most important, rather than interaction, at your son's age. He will have a bond with the CM now, no need to change things I would say.

PerchanceToDream Mon 26-Nov-12 18:16:03

DD's only just started interacting properly with other kids at playgroup at 21 months. They totally ignore each other up 'til then, so if he's happy with his childminder, leave him. That's really precious! Far more beneficial to have that kind of one-on-one adult attention if you ask me. And DD's nana is convinced DD is a highly advanced, happy, chatty little thing because she DOESN'T go to nursery.

RubyrooUK Mon 26-Nov-12 19:33:59

I think if your son is happy at the CM, you should leave him there.

My son goes to nursery as I couldn't find a suitable CM in my area. I'm very happy with it and he's had the same few people look after him since he was 9 months old. So it's been great for him.

But he is a shy child (although very loud at home and when he is comfortable) and nursery hasn't changed that. He is simply very comfortable with the people/children he knows there - it hasn't made him more independent in a place where he doesn't know other kids.

So I wouldn't worry too much. Any childcare setting where he is clearly happy sounds good to me.

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