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Was just wondering how parents managed to afford school uniform? I’m on income support so don’t have a penny to spare. Today we visited A’s pre school where they announced that the school has just redone the uniform so there are no second hands and that the school jumpers cost £9 each. Realisticly A’s attitude to life will mean I’ll nead a minimum of 3 (one to wash, one to dry and one to wear). And my local council don’t offer any help towards school uniform costs. The teacher did say that uniform wasn’t compulsory in pre school but judging by the photos and the other parents placing orders it looks pretty likely that every child will be. I was bullied at school for being a ‘raggedy ann’ and i hate the idea of A standing out. And £30 for jumpers that she’ll outgrow in 6 months just feels a lot on top of the other stuff she’ll need for school that i can at least source second hand.

(Thats if they let her in - all the other little ones where quite nervous and just exploring wheras A broke into the paint cupboard and started decorating the classroom! Quite proud of her independent spirit to be honest)

Learning from my beautiful daughters everyday

We do not own the world, we borrow it for a while from our children

I personally didn’t bother for pre-school, my dd didn’t do many sessions anyway and I didn’t see the point as it was voluntary anyway. £9 is a bit steep for pre-school stuff. Are you sure your child would be the only one without? My experience was that many parents didn’t bother and there was no negativity towards any children who didn’t wear the jumper/tshirt.

How many sessions is A doing? and are they on consecutive days? Just wondering if there would be the opportunity to give it a quick handwash/rinse and dry it overnight so you don’t need to buy so many, were you thinking 3 because they like to get messy. I remember the condition of the ones at my daughters pre-school and the official jumpers were not that new looking after a few weeks!

I honestly don’t think children of 3 and 4 would notice, they just want to play but if you have worries based on your childhood experiences then I don’t know what to suggest.

Buy them really big
I think when
My son started nursery at 3 I got him aged 4/5 sweatshirts!

Ds1 - 8
Ds2/dd - 3
Ds3 - born dec 2010

My children’s school jumpers are £8 each but thats at primary school. In their pre-school the uniform wasn’t compulsory (its where I work now and its still not). I’d say about half of the funded children buy them but very few of the little ones. I really can’t imagine that at 3 and 4 any child would notice that another one hasn’t got the uniform and if they do they will just ask them “why haven’t you got a nursery t shirt” and just tell A to tell them that they like their own clothes better (or something to that effect). I can’t imagine any of the children at my nursery would even notice if one of the others had a different top.

We had nursery sweatshirts and/or nursery t-shirts and I bought my dd ONE nursery t-shirt and my ds ONE nursery sweatshirt. I would just put them in them every other day. I bought the cheap matalan (£1 a shirt) polo shirts in the same colour but obviously without the logo on the other days. You can do that for the sweatshirt too.  Asda, tesco, matalan, sainsburys all do sweatshirts and polo shirts in a range of colours.

As for school, my children only had 1 sweatshirt each in Reception and I bought the cheap polo shirts/trousers. I bought the sweatshirt big so it lasted them two years but I buy a new sweatshirt every new academic year so now my son is in yr1 he has 3 sweatshirts. It’s the only thing that has the school logo on tho.

It’s been more expensive this year for dd as she is in a new junior school and they had to have a sweatshirt with logo on for PE too which was different to the school day uniform. So that was £8 for the day one and £9 for the PE one. But again, everything else has been from Asda - the cheapest versions so no more than £3 an item. Think I spent £3 for 3 polo shirts, £6 on two pairs of trousers, £5 on tracksuit bottoms for PE, £3 on two pairs of black PE shorts, £1 on a whilte PE t-shirt and the sweatshirts.

Both schools do a 2nd hand shop which cost something like £1-£3 an item depending on what you get - not needed it so far as I get the cheap bits anyway, but might use it if I need to get any new sweatshirts from now on.


My husband works for the council here and has suggested you speak to the local authority to see if you can get a clothing grant as you are on Income Support. Hope that helps.

Might be worth explaining your situation and asking if a jumper in the right colour, but potentially without the logo etc would be ok for now. x

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I also put dd in a non logo sweatshirt the same colour as the ones school were selling to start with. No one seemed to notice and others did the same. Also at the last school dd was at I know the PTA helped a couple of very low income families with a sweatshirt or 2.

Quite shocked by the idea of uniform for pre-school anyway. Hopefully if it is a good one they will be so busy playing they won’t notice what they are wearing as long as it is warm/cool enough. Yes, buy big. Later on for school uniform Marks is not the cheapest of makes I know, but they usually do 3 for 2 on school uniform items and something like a pinafore if bought big enough lasts for ages. Also another trick is to get thermal/thick underwear. Later on in school they tend to lose cardigans and if they have something underneath their shirts then you don’t necessarily need one.

Personally I wouldn’t bother.  I could never get mine to wear the pre school uniform even though I’d bought it.  At Ds3’s school they changed the logo, and ds3 is still wearing the old logo PE kit, as are a few others, and when ds2was at that school, he wore the old logo sweatshirts.  No-one seemed to mind, in fact some other children wanted to wear the old logo too, like Ds2, and were upset they could no longer get hold of them!!

dd just finished pre-school where they had uniform.  the jumper was €16, so I bought one with logo and a plain spare one for €5…. I bought big so she got the 2 years out of them and they do look worn but ds will be starting Sept 2012 and they are being kept up for him…. There were days when she just wore her own clothes and nobody said anything…. actually last year one little boy didn’t wear the uniform at all.  I think the idea of there being a uniform at pre-school is to save their own clothes from getting paint on them and destroying them…....  hugx

I second what the others said before me. You don’t need one, so only buy if you’d like one. The children won’t notice at this age. I think the whole idea of uniform for pre-school is for the parents. They grow so quick and make everything so messy, that if it wasn’t dark navy and huge, I wouldn’t go there if I were you. Alternatively, buy one or two and wear on alternate days with own clothes in between. I’m sure you’re not the only one without the uniform there. Wait and see, and don’t worry!



(Lets number 63)

My gut instinct is to agree with what everyone else has said - I bet that even if all the school photos show kids in uniform, most of them wouldn’t wear it every day - just for photos and other special occasions. If it was me, and I could stretch to it, I would probably buy one jumper with the logo (I’m sure schools change their uniforms regularly so that they can make money as it stops people buying second hand!) and possibly a cheap version of the trousers or skirt from somewhere more affordable (ebay is supposed to be good for plain school clothes like grey or navy skirts and trousers). That way you have something for days when perhaps they go out of school - helpful to know which school a child belongs to, or for photos etc, but you’re not shelling out a fortune. If you can’t stretch to that, you are bound to make friends with other parents in your child’s class - and they will all be roughly the same size. I would ask a friend at the appropriate time whether you could borrow a jumper for photo day - I’m certain some people will have bought 3 or 4 jumpers!

Angie Sea Glass Jewellery from the beautiful South Coast[/color] , Nannie Cool - for beautiful slings, playsilks, toys, nappy wraps and accessories made by Grace’s Nannie. All designs are “Approved by Grace”

I can understand you not wanting to single her out as the only non-uniformee (altho I’m sure there will be others).  I was under the impression that everyone on Income Support is entitled to some sort of grant for uniforms.  A friend of mine recently bought her sons and she had to keep the receipts as she could the claim it back.  Hope this is the case for you x

Muslim mum of four, home educating, environmental hypocrite (but doing my best) hodge podging through this life…..

Thanks everyone -

Yes everyone does wear uniform - the pre school is attached to the main school and they like everyone to be uniform to feel ‘included in the school family’. I actually got the feeling from the pre school teacher that she thought it was nonsense as she was sugggesting buying second hand as they do a lot of messy play. However, we walk past the school most days and every child in the pre school outdoor space is in uniform. Plus her best friend has a full uniform (handied down) and has been showing it off so A wants one too.

There are no council grants in my area. Cuting back on non essentials apparantly.

I’ve managed to source all the other uniform bits on the list (they need wellies, slippers, full waterproof suits, hats, gloves to be left at the school as most parents forget to bring when needed and they are outside for an hour whatever the weather which is one reason why i choose the school! as well as the usual polo shirts and trousers) second hand so it is just the jumpers. I’ve got till September to put a bit of money aside and i’ll buy big as suggested. Trouble is she’s size 18 - 24 months and the smallest jumpers are 3 - 4 years so they’ll be big anyway!

Learning from my beautiful daughters everyday

We do not own the world, we borrow it for a while from our children

My dd was tiny when she started too (she still is, actually!) and I just bought the smallest jumper (I think I bought two that year) and she wore that size for two years - they were a bit threadbare by the end but when they come home everyday covered in paint and yoghurt I don’t think that’s really a problem! Since then, I’ve only bought her one sweatshirt each year - I wash it midweek and sponge out the yoghurt some days!! I did buy two when she started at her junior school but she lost one on the first day so that was that - one is far easier to keep track of! Also, I freecycled ours when we moved so look out for that too smile

Claire xx

To be honest Hannah it’ll be too warm for jumpers in September, so you can probably eek out your budget a little longer and just send DD in with polo shirt and skirt/pinafore. Look out for long-sleeve blouses on special and stick a vest underneath and you’ll probably find that she’ll look like everyone elses base uniform, just without a jumper!



P.S. my DS is 6 and is STILL wearing the jumpers I bought him for Nursery at the beginning of 2009!

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Wow, that’s some list of things they need for a pre-school - do they want all those things at preschool for them? (just curious grin).
My daughters preschool had a big outside area that they spent most of the time in (whatever the weather!) if they wanted to, but I just dressed her appropriately for the weather for the day.

Agree about it being warm for jumpers too - so perhaps waiting until the colder weather would be fine. I found that jumpers didn’t stay on when they were messy playing too as they were too warm or wore aprons, etc so perhaps it won’t get too messy each session and you could just spot clean it in the evening - maybe you could get away with just one to start with and then see how it goes, save some money for a while.

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