Is Nursery necessary?

Is Nursery necessary?

The term after your child turns 3, you are entitled to have 15 hour of free Nursery/Pre-school for them. This is not compulsory and you do not have to send your child to nursery if you do not wish to.

Jake and Kyla were in Nursery from 2 and 2.5 respectively.

Abigail is 3. She will receive her entitlement from January…. Except she won’t be going.

I am often asked if she goes to nursery / will she be going to nursery / have I found a nursery yet? The answer is always the same. NO.

So I give you … Is Nursery necessary?

I am a Stay At Home Mum. Ok, I try to run my  business and other things from home, but ultimately I am here. I also have Zachary at home, so there’s no point sending her to Nursery just to get a break.

So maybe there is the social aspect of Nursery? She’s not a shy child. She likes to play the shy card, but ultimately she is very confident. She has friends she see’s regularly and she has siblings that she interacts with. So does she need nursery for the social part? I think not.

How about learning? She plays a lot at home. Her imagination is great. As is her vocabulary. She can be a little difficult to understand sometimes due to a lip tie (the little piece of skin between her top lip and gum comes down further than normal and stops between her 2 front teeth making some sounds difficult to make), but she is very clever. She knows her colours, can count to 10 and we are nearly there with the alphabet and shapes. She loves to draw and she loves to learn when we are out and about. So does she really need to go to nursery for the learning side of things?

Are we becoming more structured learning focused? That as soon as a child turns 3 they MUST go to a nursery / pre-school environment and begin their education.

The more I read about home education and unschooling, the more I am really considering it. Yes, structure can be good but children soak up so much and I truly believe that children learn a lot more by doing and discussing things than by a conventional schooling.

Besides, I love having her at home … and she loves being here. As she said to me today whilst out grocery shopping “Mummy, you’re a good helper for helping me”.

Why would I want to send her to nursery when she comes out with lines like that?


NB: This is more of a SAHM point of view and appreciate that parents who work will see Nursery as being necessary.



  1. Jojo
    November 6, 2013 / 6:24 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this too. My husband thinks our youngest should. He thinks I’m reluctant to send our last baby to nursery/school. But I think they are so little. Our older children couldn’t wait to go, but I’m not sure with M. She’s bright, imaginative and
    Pics Things up quickly. I take her to 2 toddler groups a week and socialise with friends regularly. I am starting to wonder how she would do if I taught her myself. It’s still quite radical in the uk. I don’t know how it would go. :/

    • November 7, 2013 / 4:51 pm

      Homeschooling isn’t as radical you may think. I thought this too, but there are actually more and more families in the UK who are doing this and it is something I am considering. x

  2. gemgemmum
    November 6, 2013 / 6:30 pm

    If I didn’t work I would struggle with why send gem to nursery.
    She is at nursery 2 days and has learnt so much although main benefit for me was the improvement in her eating – peer influence 🙂 on my days off we have other activities and think it is a balance that works well for us.
    As an only child I think it is a lot different as Abigail and Zachary learn a lot from the older ones.
    I think it is a personal choice and sounds like your kids are well stimulated and cared for.

    My worry is the kids who are staring at the tv all day and parents don’t interact with them.

    • November 7, 2013 / 4:52 pm

      Don’t get me wrong, Abigail has her days where she just likes to watch the Disney channel or Peppa Pig, but that’s ok because she gets a lot of interaction and learns things when we are out. Plus, she’s 3 – she has plenty of time to learn x

  3. November 6, 2013 / 6:56 pm

    It never actually accured to me not to send Emmy if I’m honest.

    There are many days when she doesn’t want to go so I just don’t send her but she does love it.
    I’m a SAHM too so could easily have her here but she gets bored. Nursery has helped with her confidence as like me she is a nervy shy person.

    • November 7, 2013 / 5:24 pm

      With the older 2 it never occured to me not to send them – plus I worked full time too so just made sense.

      I would never have thought you were shy Clare – I am all for nursery if it’s good for the child x

  4. November 6, 2013 / 6:59 pm

    This was such a refreshing read as you’re right, people almost see it as a requirement to send their children at three.
    My daughter who is now three gets her funding in January also. She has been attending nursery since the January after she turned one, this was because I was working full time so not at home much to socialise with our friends. She was an only child with no cousins of similar age and my husband who works mostly from home and her primary carer, was not very confidant or comfortable taking her along to groups and clubs as ‘the only Dad’. So we put her in nursery two mornings a week. She adored it. Absolutely loved it and still does to this day. She took a three month break whilst I was on maternity leave and hated being away from her teachers and friends, she’s recently returned and she seems a generally happy child for it.
    I don’t consider myself a lazy parent, it was me that potty trained her, taught her numbers, shapes and colours (we can get to 20 but letters elude us somewhat) and I would say that educationally she has not gained a fantastic amount.
    Now that we have her younger brother, have a more established group of friends, my working hours reduced and more children in the family, he won’t have the same experience though I wouldn’t think twice about putting him in if I thought it would benefit him.
    Nursery isn’t for everyone and every nursery isn’t for every child. I do like the idea of them being eased into a school setting before attending school, I believe it’ll make the transition smoother but I’m no expert!

    • November 7, 2013 / 5:27 pm

      You’re right – nursery isn’t for everyone. My older 2 went to nursery and enjoyed it. Maybe Abigail would too if I were to send her, but she knows no different and enjoys our time together. x

  5. November 6, 2013 / 7:31 pm

    I think you may a very good point. It does seem to be ‘the norm’, but who says you should go with that. If she’s happy, confident and learning at home, why do it? I did consider this with Boo, but she does actually go now. She’s just turned 4, but she doesn’t have the full 15hrs entitlement, as I’m quite happy to have her at home with us, too. She’ll be gone soon enough next year, so I’ll cherish the time we do have!

    • November 7, 2013 / 5:28 pm

      This is what I am coming to realise, that they are pushed in to school at such a young age (I think 5 is too young!) that I want to make the most of having her here with me before she spends 11 years+ of her life at school. xx