Should I send my little girl to pre-school?

It only seems like recently that we were looking into childcare for when I returned to work after 10 months maternity leave. That was over a year ago and I am still so happy with our decision. We are in a great routine and Amelia loves going to the childminder for the two days and then with my parents for the other day I am working.
Amelia will turn two at the end of this year and I have already been asked by a few people what our plans are for sending her to a pre school next year. 

My initial thoughts are that I am so happy with the way things are at the moment and I see how happy she is that I am doubtful whether I would want to change things. This does probably sounds a little selfish and that I should be thinking about the benefits of pre school. 

Reading a bit about it I know that Pre School’s are supposed to provide that experience of being in a school environment with a larger group of children. Children are also introduced to an education setting without the formality of school. 

When we first met with our childminder the thing that stood out the most was the different things  she offered when the children were a little bit older. She talked to me about reading and the type of phonic exercises she did with the children in her care. I was really impressed and felt confident that Amelia would get on well in this setting.  At that stage this wasn’t something I was seriously thinking about. Amelia was just about to turn nine months old. I wanted her to have fun and be around other children in a comfortable setting. 

A year on and I can see that being around other children has benefited her hugely and her development is coming along really well. Thinking about the next few years I can only see this increasing more and her being in a setting she knows so well will really help this. 

Talking to a few other mums they have opted to send their little ones to a pre school as well as a childminder for a few days when they were entitled to 15 free hours childcare. This way they could transition them gradually into a school like setting before they actually started school. 

A part of me feels like we should move her to this setting when she is a bit older to get her used to being in a school like environment. Will she miss out and will it be noticeable of she hasn’t been to a pre school when she starts school?  The other part of me doesn’t want to make a change from where she is so happy to then only change her to school again not long afterwards. 

I want to make the right decision on this so we are going to have to think about this over the next few months.    

I want Amelia to enjoy this time before she goes to school but also learn. I am going to speak to my childminder about this and see why other children in her care have gone on to do. 

I would love to hear other people’s experiences and their thoughts on this. 

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