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alias grace

Pre-prep at private school ELC

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alias grace

We have just received an offer for our DD to attend pre-prep (full time) next year at a private girls school ELC that we applied for over 2 years ago.   DD is currently in a 3yo program (also full-time) at a childcare centre that we're happy with and we had intended to keep her enrolled for the 4yo kinder (i.e. pre-school) program.  I am feeling very ambivalent about whether or not we should switch her.  DD is settled and content at her LDC but adjusts well to change.  She also tends to prefer structured and mat-based group activities to free play.  Does anyone have any experiences that they can share with respect to pre-prep programs vs. long-day care kinder and what differentiates them?  I note that we'd also enrolled DD to attend the same private school from FYOS in 2022, but am now feeling ambivalent about that also! 

From a practical perspective, the ELC is slightly more convenient as it's only 5 minutes from home compared to childcare being 20-25 minutes away.  Cost and opening hours are very similar.  

Thanks in advance for any feedback.  

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Kiwi Bicycle

A couple of questions. Are you planning to send her to the private school for primary school and is there an uniform for the pre- prep? ( sorry, just saw that this is a maybe).

It could be worthwhile if you are sending her to the private school so she has friends to go on with ( but really not very necessary) and I personally would be a bit put off of there is an expensive uniform ( I have seen some private that has an entire get up and not just a shirt) that only gets worn for one year.

My DS did LDC kinder class as well as sessional kinder, both run by qualified kinder teachers. They were very similar but really only differentiated by what facilities they had and that the sessional kinder often had " incursions" of farm animals, sea life, the museum came with dinosaur fossils and drama/ costume run by a outside drama teacher, plus a field trip to the ballet.  However the LDC did library visits and aged care visits.  

 

Edited by Kiwi Bicycle
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JRA

If you are ambivalent,you say the costs are about the same. Does they take in to account child care rebates, or whatever they are called now. Are they available for the pre-prep?

ds went through an ELC at a private school and it was awesome. To the extent tone do the things he hates missing this y12 is the y12 kids dropping back in to the ELC

 

good luck on your decision 

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literally nobody

My 3 kids all went to a private school ELC and it was fantastic! they all made friends and went to the school together. id say go for it op! 

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alias grace

Thanks @Kiwi Bicycle and @JRA.  The ELC does have a uniform but it's casual (tracksuit bottoms, polos, etc.) and DD would most likely outgrow or wear it out over the course of a year 🙂.  Rebates do apply to the pre-prep fees so cost is the same both before and after applying rebates.  

Given that we live a few suburbs away from her LDC, DD wouldn't start primary school with any of her kinder friends if she were to stay.  Which is not a big deal but something else to add into the mix! 

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purpleblaze

If cost and hours are the same I'd be inclined to go to the closer place, 25 minutes is way too far for my liking.  Having said that, my kids did a mixture of daycare and sessional kinder at our local kinder and all 3 much preferred the sessional kinder.  I can't comment on ELC at a private school but I'm not big on private school, especially in the early years.

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alias grace

Thanks @purpleblaze.  The distance to LDC hasn't really been an issue until now as it's en route to my and DH's workplaces.  But I imagine that both of us will continue to spend much of 2021 working from home, so closer to home will become more advantageous.  

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Prancer is coming

I don’t have experience with ELC, but I do with moving child care centres.

From when DD was 1-3yo, we lived in a remote area.  Staff turnover at her child care was horrendous, mainly related to our area being a tourist town.  When we moved, I was looking forward to a centre with steady staff and a better reputation.  DD was very cluey, independent and also outgoing and I thought change would be no problem.

 

Basically, she did not enjoy the new centre.  I think it was more change.  I really did not think she would have a issue with transition, but every drop off, and even going into kinder and prep, would involve tears or drama.  So don’t underestimate the impact of change.  If what you are doing currently works, I would not change unless you needed to.

 

Does the ELC guarantee a place at the school?  If you really want a place, this will secure it.  But I also think it is a ploy used by the school to fill places.  I have had some experiences with parents applying to a private school for high school and then being offered a place in grade 5 and being told enrolment in year 7 will be hard to come by as so much competition.  So basically take the year 5 spot and guarantee enrolment, or miss out.  Then turns out it is not that hard to get into grade 7 at all as they offer more classes.

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