We heard that T's preschool was to close it's doors permanently at the end of this summer term and when I told T before the Easter hols she was definite that we should go along and visit.
She was also especially concerned (at 5) that this might mean that P would not be able to go to pre school as she had.
I had planned that P would start there this coming September or following January.
Luckily for us T is on holidays earlier than state schools so we were able to pop along one afternoon whilst pre school was still in session. Also luckily for us a lot of the children were off sick so apart from a couple of attendees we had the run of the place.
We also took P with us.
Much to our surprise we had a call after Easter asking if we would like P to attend for the last term as she had such and enjoyable visit and they knew I wanted her to experience their method.
So we enrolled, maybe the last to ever enroll and two mornings a week she went along to CIRCUS.
This is her after her first morning.
G is asleep too.
There are a limited number of preschools in this city of ours, there are a lot of money making nurseries with limited preschool places and a few pop up settings that pack away into a cupboard after every session.
It was by chance that a stern mother had recommended this place to us after I realised that there was no way we were getting into anywhere else even though I had been on waiting lists for over a year and actually hated some places I had pinned my hopes on.
T started there at just two and a half.
Just look at those dolls!
These past 10 weeks have seen P go from nodding to chatting and asking questions like
You coming? and Making I lunch mummy?
or my fav, I need I wash I hands!
She can sing along with songs, name her class mates and tell which book they have read that day and tell me if she has been in the hall, garden or in the blue or yellow rooms.
It is planned that the pres school will open it's doors again within two years. Finding suitable premises and having that site certificated by health and safety and the education departments etc will no doubt drag the process out.
There is a church hall near to us that the residents are trying to
buy, it has been suggested that the preschool move their once the
building is renovated.
But would it work?
I was thinking about the location yesterday. As it has been for the last twenty years it is slap bang in the middle of the city and attracts such a wide demographic of families from those where English is not their first language, families who are here on business, those who have just about two pennies to rub together and the rest of us who live locally or just didn't have somewhere with space.
I live in a upwardly mobile middle class pocket where families and their free spirited children move into because they like the houses and schools and it is close to the station. There are also trendy ale pubs, knitting and quilting shops.
Did you see those dolls?
Could it work?
There might not be enough variables.
So why has this setting been so successful for my girls?
Can't put my finger on it.
Every child up to 5 completes the Early Years Foundation Stage and these records are returned to you at the end of the preschool setting and then again at the end of their reception year.
Had the staff in this setting not been so experienced and a lot of them in continuous study themselves, would I have been given the wealth of information and guidance required to support T & P with their development.
The one thing that stands out hands down is the conversation between the children and the staff which was excellent and continuous and in our house we talk a lot.
When I visited other settings I am reminded that there was a fair few newly qualified's sitting in the chair doing a lot of nothing.
On Thursday there was a big play date in the hall that both T & P attended.
On Friday it was the last session.
Over the week you have been able to see things slowly being packed away, the old beige
Stanner Stair lift is gone and there were boxes piled high in reception where other users of the space were making their way to a new homes hopefully.
A rather sad but very vintage overhead projector sitting next to the yukka.
I found it very hard to say goodbye so did my usual, see you next week.
I had been really rather teary on the Thursday and pretty much silent on the Friday.
I am so sad that this little ol' preschool is no longer available.
I have to remember that we were just at the end of a twenty year line of little ones through it's doors.
So what now?
P will enroll at the preschool at T's school but they won't take her until she is three in the September so she won't start until Autumn 2013.
In the meantime, I will have to be on 'it'
She will need a level of input that is higher than whats on television so I suppose I am going to home preschool for a year from September.
That is going to require daily activities and interactions with other children.
Oh my, play dates!?
I can do it.
I can do it.
The suns out today and the washing is finally being done