Last September Grandson started primary school after a number of years at a private nursery.
The big difference I noticed out here on the periphery, was that within normal opening hours of 8am to 6pm and no doubt in spite of reams of regulations, the nursery place was flexible and open 51 weeks a year.
However, it was obvious from day one that the primary school is not there to serve the needs of parents in the same, flexible way. In fact things don’t seem to have moved on much since the fifties when most mothers stayed at home to look after the kids.
Yes I know about breakfast clubs and so forth and the gaps can be filled by various means, but the nursery provided a one stop shop. In a sense, it took whatever childcare business was available.
Schools don’t work that way and in a sense it’s an amazing achievement if you think about it – this lack of response to changing social needs.
I’m not saying this difference is right or wrong, I’m noticing it simply because it’s so obvious.