On this page:
- Benefits of private nurseries
- Disadvantages of private nurseries
- Benefits of public nurseries
- Disadvantages of public nurseries
Assuming you send your child to nursery school, you’ll have an important decision to make: should you go public or private? Before you make your choice, it’s worth considering the pros and cons of both options.
Benefits of private nurseries
Finding a spot
You’ll have a much better chance of finding a spot for your child in a private nursery than in a public one. More and more people are deciding to open such facilities, which is why the number of vacancies keeps growing. Keep in mind, though, this doesn’t apply to all locations.
This also improves your chances of finding a nursery tailored to your needs, including one that’s close to your home or workplace. This is less likely in public nurseries, since it’s so difficult to secure a place in them.
Although many parents don’t know this, many studies indicate it’s much easier to learn a foreign language when one is young. Youngsters have more absorbent minds, and are better prepared to adapt to new conditions. This makes bilingual nurseries very appealing.
Educators and teachers working in these places fluently speak two languages (normally Polish and English), giving your young child the opportunity to learn two languages in the first months of their life. They’ll use the same strategies they use in the acquisition of their first language that they do in learning a second language. We interviewed Anna Maliszewska, founder and director of the International Trilingual School of Warsaw, who discussed this process.
In most private nurseries, children are placed in much smaller groups than in public nurseries. This, of course, translates into more close attention for each child and individualizing approaches to meet each child’s needs.
It’s well known that toddlers aren’t always ready to part with their parents, which is why it’s so important they receive adequate support and warmth from teachers. When there are fewer children, the specialist caring for the group has both the time and energy to provide this.
Disadvantages of private nurseries
Unfortunately, price can be a major disadvantage that prevents many parents from enrolling their child in a private nursery. In larger cities, tuition can range from several hundred to 1500 zlotys a month, while in smaller towns nursery school tuition tends to be much lower.
Keep in mind, though, that some nurseries offer financial aid or bursaries that significantly reduce the amount of tuition fees. It’s also worth noting that public nurseries aren’t actually completely free, as we’ll see below.
Benefits of public nurseries
Although they aren’t completely free, public nurseries are often much cheaper than private ones. So they can be a nice option for parents who have to go back to work and don’t have the money to afford a private nursery. Usually, public nurseries cost several hundred zlotys a month, but this also covers the cost of food—not just care.
In private nurseries, great importance is placed on choosing suitable care providers. But public nurseries tend to have good staff as well. They must have the appropriate education and normally some experience working in a childcare setting. Your child will thus be well looked after at a public nursery school.
Disadvantages of public nurseries
Difficulty finding a spot
This is the real bane of parents who want to enrol their child in a public nursery. If you live in a big city, like Warsaw, Łódź, or Krakow, you’ll likely need to put your child on nursery school waiting lists right after they’re born. And this doesn’t even guarantee them a spot. Getting into a public nursery, because of the low cost and low number of facilities can be challenging. This is one reason many parents choose to go private.
Not great facilities
This is a complaint of many parents who visited public nurseries before making their choice. While not all nurseries have less than great facilities, many are located in older buildings with classrooms, playgrounds, and equipment that need revitalization. This is due to their underfunding: the government often doesn’t allocate enough money for nursery school upkeep and maintenance.
In public nursery schools, as mentioned, classes and groups tend to be much larger than in private nurseries. They also tend to employ a smaller number of staff, which means there is less time to give each child enough attention, care, and support. This can lead to frustration for both the child and parent.
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