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07 Mar 2004

Pre- Primary!
Hi there! I have a problem and hope you can advise?I can only be brief ..My daughter turned 5 beginning this year.Last year at her school she seemed fine and we were happy.But this year I have "woken - up " so to speak and I feel that she is bored and they her teacher does nothing with the 6 kids!And we dont like the fact that we pay R600 for doing nothing the whole morning from 8:30 - 12:30 am!At her brothers school they do ALOT with the kids for R420 a month....Unfortunately his school cant take her in this year as they are FULL and only next January!( 2005)At her school they dont do art ; gym or have outings and no meals either.At his school there is always something being done with the 30 kids in a class.Alot of FUN!At her school only 6 kids and sitting inside even on a HOT day?My husband feels we are being taken for a ride or cheated!He feels our daughter is better off with me at home until we find her another pre-school OR next January when she starts at her brothers school!What do you feel?Is it compulsary for a 5 year old to go to pre-school in SA?Or can we hang on untill 2005?I know with my friends kids overseas they tell me it isnt compulsary for the kids to go to pre -school there.I have looked for other pre-schools in my area and surrounds but all fully booked etc.I thought of a creche but the ages in the creche are 3- 4 year olds or younger!I dont think thats good and alot seem run down - the schools etc..I also take her and her brother to 2 extra murual activities a week.We feel we could rather use that R600 on our daugher in an educational way etc..Like outings with mum or dad ; music lessons or art materials for her at home etc.?I used to work for many years in a creche and studied Educare and know alot about kids and art etc..I was thinking of asking my sons school for some work sheets each week and pay for it which I can do at home with her - so she doesnt fall behind and will be ready for school next year?What do you think?I think Im making the right choice to take her out and keep her at home but would like and experts opinion and if its legal?I only want the bext for her!Can you help?Thanx in advance.
Answer 200 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Gail,
I'm sure our famed asemblage of Wise Moms on this forum will have much practical advice for you ( probably after the weekend !). I don't think pre-School is compulsory, and I'd consider it appalling if it were made compulsory. I know of no existing evidence that it is of any specific benefit to the children , and certainly there is no damage whatsoever to children who don't. For working mother's, it may be far more fruitful as a way for providing child care than simple baby-sitting, if it is well-done. Unfortunately, I think it is also an awfully profitable way for people with no real educational or even child-rearing skills, to rip off anxious parents and make a lot of money for doing very little indeed.
generally, it seems that the good pre-schools will indeed be fully booked up, and one wonders whether the fact that a place that still has vacancies might indicate that it hasn't a great reputation among mothers/parents in it's area.
I am absolutely sure that you could use all that money far better, and that the child would thrive in the company of such an intelligent, concerned and thoughtful Mom, and on selected activities catering to the child's interests. Good grief, that you even have creche and Educare experience is a special bonus !
I think it is highly mischievous of the pre-school industry to promote neurotic worrying among parents that a child might "fall behind" before even reaching school ! She has nothing to fall behind ; and is busy doing a highly important job, being a child and playing.
Although there are some dotty laws, I cannot believe that there could be any legal issue preventing any parent from removing their child from a pre-school. And if, as I believe, there is no law requiring pre-school ( check with a lawyer ) then any pre-school falsely claiming that there is, ought to be charged with fraud.
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