Archive for November, 2008

Cheap date nights

As the credit crunch hits, nights out with our spouses seem to be more difficult to afford. However there are some good deals to be had so you don’t need to spend a months grocery budget on one night out. I recently subscribed to Martins money saving tips at which has lots of money saving tips including up to date restaurant deals. For instance, at the moment you can download a voucher from the Gourmet Burger Kitchen website to get a buy one get one free deal on burgers or main salads. Visit the women’s website and you can download vouchers for 2 for 1 main meal deals at Zizzi’s, ASK and Cafe Rouge.

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Starting nursery/full-time school

CIMG3692I have just hit a new season in my life! Recently my youngest son Matthew started reception and here I sit, at my laptop, with out anyone begging me to go on the CBeebies website! I cannot believe how quickly this stage has come round. Some of you may be ready for it ,some not, but applying for schools can seem a daunting task, particularly if you weren’t schooled yourself in this country. But help is at hand. I came across this fantastic web site today called  Directgov -public services all in one place. It covers everything you need to know about children and education from things to look for when choosing a school to how to  prepare  your child for the first day. It will also help you find the different schools in your borough.


Here are just  a few things I found helpful.

1. Do visit the schools in the area and visit more than one or two. That way you can compare them and get a feel for what is “normal”

2. Talk to the local mums at the park or at any place where your kids hang out. They will know have siblings at the schools and be able to give you the inside scoop.

3. Do look at the Ofsted report but don’t use it as your only deciding factor. It doesn’t give you a full picture of how your child will do at that particular school and changes may have occurred  since the report was conducted. For instance a new Head teacher can make a huge difference.

Above all don’t leave it too late. As your child turns two I would be thinking about next steps. Every three and four year old in England is entitled to 12.5 hours of free early learning per week, in nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools or at their childminders for 38 weeks of the year.

Although most parents in  England send their child to school, you do have the right to educate your child at home. As a parent, you must ensure your child receives a full-time education from the age of five. The Directgov/learning and development link will give you information on how you go about doing that.

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