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Thread: Age of Rainbows

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    Age of Rainbows

    Hi
    Can anyone tell me why Rainbows can't start until they are 5 when it's 4 in Ireland. I meet straight after school and have a waiting list of 3 and 4 year olds on with parents asking why their 4 year old can't start if they have been in school since they were 3 - we have a fantastic nursery and reception class at the school and I don't get an answer from Girlguiding when I ask. Some of the girls do hold off until they are 5 years old but I know I loose a few along the way. Any suggestions, thanks Jean

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    its some child protection law is it not?
    thats alsowhy beavers 6-8 yr olds can only go on less then 24 hour sleepovers and with parents...

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    I thought it was because school children don't typicallly start in the UK until 5, before thats its reception and nursery which are not compulsory, I didn't go to reception I went straight into year 1.
    I think it would be too hard on the girls to be in nursery and reception all day then go straight to rainbows
    Feed me, Seymour!

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    Here, reception is the year that a child has its 5th birthday, and so it IS a compulsory year, as there is only one intake in September. Having said that, my daughter was born on 9th August, so did the whole of her reception year at 4, and only became 5 in the holidays between reception (Yr 0) and Yr 1. AND, since I was the leader, she came to Rainbows with me every week anyway!

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    I think this is another situation where it would be better if we had the sections organised in school years rather than ages.

    One of my Rainbows has a little sister who won't be 5 until April but is absolutely great when she comes with her mum when it's her turn to help, and joins in everything but another girl who is in her class at school already comes as she was 5 in September so what do you expect?!

    When I was a Brownie, in my unit it was normal to stay until you were 11, not 10, so it became the end of year 6 when you moved up. As I'm a September birthday that made me nearly 12 when I left Brownies but I wanted to be with my friends, who had July and August birthdays but I was in the same class as at school.

    I definately believe we would benefit from changing to this system.

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    That would be okay if the school system would be universal across the UK - which it isn't. It would also require knowledge of the school age groups amongst Guiders, which there isn't - the only ones who are familiar with them are those who are parents or teachers.

    In Scotland, it wouldn't be a great method either, as those whose children are eligible to start school at 4 1/2 have a choice of whether they start then or wait unitl 5 1/2 - many wait. Would it be fair for a girl to have to wait until 5 1/2 to join Rainbows, just because she hasn't started school - especially if her 4 1/2 year old neighbour has already joined?

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    Perhaps in Scotland it would be possible for them all to start when they are able to start the 4.5 year old school year, whether their parents choose to lhave them start school then or not. I don't know how the scottish system works I'm afraid so can't really comment further but I do wonder why it is different in Northern Ireland and if it is 4 years old there why we can't have the same rules here?

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    I could be wrong but I heard that the difference in Northern Ireland is because before Rainbows existed they had groups of girls meeting from the age of 4 (Bunnys?) and so when Rainbows were introduced they kept the same age range whilst for the rest of us started with the 5-7 age range.

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    Yes, it is different in Northern Ireland because they had Bunnies long before Rainbows were invented, and didn't want to cause upset by changing the age groups there.

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    Thanks, I will keep telling them to wait and the reason why

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