Are my expectations of nursery too high?

(48 Posts)
Jefferson Thu 07-Nov-13 00:02:22

Having read the slightly scary thread currently in AIBU about nurseries, I'm feeling a bit depressed about DS being at nursery.

It's only been 2 months and I really don't know what is ok and what isn't. I know that there are a lot of kids and lots of paperwork and so it's hard to keep up but something is niggling me and I'm wondering if I am jut expecting too much.

Lunch is always accompanied by a really sweet dessert: angel delight, ice cream, swiss roll etc... Is that the norm? Will it be really stupid if I said I didn't want him to have this?

When I go to pick him up he's often dirty. I dot mean from playing. He will have food aroun his mouth for example. Are they just too busy to keep him clean?

They give me those daily report forms which they fill out as I put his coat on. Can they really remember what he did, ate and how much during the day if they only fill it in at te end? I wonder how honest they are about things like how much he slept.

Everytime I go to pick him up he's always just wandering the room rather than actively engaged in doing something. I know it's the end of the day so maybe that's just winding down time but the staff are tidying and the kids just sort of wander about

The staff are really young apart from the manager. Early 20's. Sometimes when I drop him off the kids are all eating breakfast an the staff (young girls) are having a loud chat and barely acknowledge us apart from a hello. Some of them also look bored whenever I see them!

It all sounds very very trivial but having read some of the horror stories on the other thread does this all sound ok or not...

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 07-Nov-13 00:13:17

No yanbu...this is not a good nursery! Go with your instincts...look for a new one. Your son should have clean face and he should be engaged. sad

Jefferson Thu 07-Nov-13 00:14:22

Oops this was meant to be in chat. No AIBU

That doesn't sound like a good nursery.

Jefferson Thu 07-Nov-13 00:15:59

Thanks Icameon

TerrorMeSue Thu 07-Nov-13 00:22:07

Nope, their standards are too low. I would be concerned and look elsewhere.

Mine the children are all met at the door. DD never has food around her mouth although she is frequently filthy from playing.

The food issue worries me, although I know all children aren't as unfussy as DD so they want something to go in.

I wouldn't be happy with your nursery.

BrianTheMole Thu 07-Nov-13 00:26:48

I wouldn't be happy with that either op. I'd look for another one, or a child minder

Where are you maybe people can suggest a good one.

BackforGood Thu 07-Nov-13 00:44:04

My general feel would be, if it doesn't "feel" right, then it probably isn't.

That said, if you want people to look at individual points......

I wouldn't be worried about them having a pudding - it's not going to harm him to have a small portion of pudding after his mains at lunchtime on Nursery days

Food around mouth, I would expect to be wiped, but I wouldn't be worried about spillages on jumpers, etc - it's what happens to small dc (sorry, not sure how old your dc is?)

Personally I think a daily report form is OTT, and can't see the point in them filling it out when you are there. Surely the point of having a form or daily diary is that they fill it in as the day progresses so they don't forget a detail that some parents might want? That said, I'd rather the staff were interacting with my child than filling in unnecessary paperwork all day.

Re the tidying - it kind of depends on the type of Nursery and the time of day, and if he's the last child to be collected, etc. The staff are likely to be on minimum wage and only paid until 6 - I don't blame them tidying away things if they know the child is to be collected in the next minute or two. Of course, if that's not the case, then it's a different story. The 'how much he engages' thing depends again on personality, his age, the number of hours he's been there, if he likes to snuggle down and share a book or not, etc.,etc.

It's the nature of the job that a lot of Nurseries are filled with very young staff members. Minimum wage is OK when you are very young, but once you get more responsibilities, it becomes less attractive once you realise the responsibility you have for the wage you are paid.

So - individually, none of those (apart from the not wiping faces perhaps) are anything unusual for Nurseries, but I still feel your instinct is a good starting point.
Why not go round a couple of other possibilities and see if you get similar vibes, now you have something to compare with ?

Willowbear Thu 07-Nov-13 00:45:49

It doesn't sound like their standards are very high.
Where i work almost all of our deserts are fruit based with the occasional exception eg ice cream once a month. If a parent doesn't want their child to have ice cream we would offer fresh fruit as an alternative.

Their is no excuse for having food around his mouth ( unless he has literally just finished eating) as they should be washing him straight away.

As for the daily reports, it makes more sense to fill them in throughout the day. I have a reasonable memory but there is no way i could acurately recall all of the relevent information eg sleep, nappies, milk intake, food for all of the children without it being written down.

Nurseries and staff like this really upset me because i care passionatly about my job and do my best to create a good nursery environment for all of the children, places like this give all nurseries a bad name.

MaryAnnTheDasher Thu 07-Nov-13 05:40:20

Personally I would not worry. I've had all of the exact same things occur to me about the nursery my children go to, particularly the roaming at the end of the day. I genuinely think it's cos it's the end of the day and they tend to let them do their own thing whilst clearing away / doing the admin etc. i've unexpectedly collected my children earlier in the day and it's always been very different with structured play and activities. Assuming you don't worry for the safety of your child when they're there , I would go by how content your child seems. For me that is all that matters. If they're happy/talk fondly about the staff/ appear to be generally ok with going in each day then I think it's enough. Maybe have a chat with some of the other parents? I did this when I was unsure about one of the girls at nursery and it did put myind at rest actually. Have to agree with you on the puddings though, but then I think to myself it's only pudding what's the worse that can happen plus it might make your dc feel a bit excluded if you put a stop to it.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 07-Nov-13 05:49:24

I chose DD's nursery by the feel of it - when we looked around there was a child on lots of the staffs laps, if I'm not there to give him a hug, I want someone else to. Also the staff were very engaged with the children, always playing with them, morning and evening.
Didn't have daily forms and I've no idea of the Ofsted rating - I just liked it and the staff.
Good luck sorting it out, you'll know when you've found the right one.

sandiy Thu 07-Nov-13 06:31:40

I was desperate once and sent my twins to the nearest nursery.Huge mistake! I never felt quite comfortable and hated sending them.They fed my nine month olds chopped up hot dogs ewwwww for lunch.I always used to get there early to collect and once my children were eating in high chairs while a little one was having a poo on the potty beside them.My daughter became so distressed than I once found her burrowed into a pile of teddies I tried 3-4 sessions and never went back.I think I lost money but I just did nt care.We found a local childminder where my daughters thrived.Go with your gut.

IrisWildthyme Thu 07-Nov-13 06:35:16

Go with your gut feeling. We used a nursery and it was nothing like you describe. Deserts usually fruit-based with minimal sugar, children clean, active and engaged, usually at home time begging to be allowed to stay because home is boring. Good ones do exist, start looking for a new one.

tomatoplantproject Thu 07-Nov-13 06:41:30

Dd is always clean although her clothes never are. Pudding is normally fruit and yoghurt unless they are having a special party tea. Her report sheets are usually filled in during the day - different handwriting and biros and quite frequently they will tell us the last little bits. Go with your gut - I know my baby gets lots of cuddles and attention. There are also a mix of age ranges of staff members so not all just young girls. I would withdraw her in a flash if I was concerned.

TwentiethCenturyGirl Thu 07-Nov-13 07:03:04

I don't think that sounds great.

DD always has a homemade pudding at nursery - sometime some sort of fruity cake but normally stewed fruit and custard or yoghurt. She often comes home with paint on her clothes but her face and hands are always clean.

Daysheets are always filled in in advance and often using different pens, which suggests they're done as and when. If her sleep hasn't been recorded, the her key worker goes and checks a chart on the wall an writes if down from that.

Yes, a lot of the staff are quite young but they always seem to be engaged with the children and always come over at drop off and pick up to find out how she is or tell me how she's been.

If your gut suggests something isn't right then look elsewhere.

Iris445 Thu 07-Nov-13 07:13:27

I left a similar nursery after a few months. It was staffed by 20 something's who didn't really care. I watched them a few times through the window and didn't like the look of it.

Trust your gut and move pronto.

janey68 Thu 07-Nov-13 07:14:57

I wouldn't be happy with it -and clearly your instinct is that it's not good, so follow that.

As others have said, some of the individual things aren't that significant in themselves but overall if you're not happy then I would look elsewhere

As someone else said, a sweet pudding now and then wouldn't bother me ; my children's nursery usually had yoghurts or Ice cream or home made Puds but there would be more sweet stuff now and then. But not daily

Follow your instincts and keep looking around and also use word of mouth recommendations

Also remember that the threads on MN are usually about extreme cases- the current one is again, about someone who once worked in a nursery which didn't follow good practice and is finally thinking of doing something about it. People tend not to post about their child's nursery when they are perfectly happy with it. Also, some people are just anti nursery full stop, and don't want to use them for their own children (which is fine, their choice) but they then tend to put a negative spin on nurseries generally

Tbh there are no doubt as many parents out there who have used nurseries they were really happy with and whose children thrived, so don't panic, keep it in perspective. There will always be some rubbish nurseries (and hospitals, schools, parents...) but it doesn't mean they all are

hardboiledpossum Thu 07-Nov-13 07:18:51

If staff are behaving like that when parents are around when I would be worried about how they behave when parents aren't around.

I used nurseries for eight years for my DCs. If your gut instinct is telling you that it's not right then listen to it.

SatinSandals Thu 07-Nov-13 07:32:46

Always go with your instincts.

Jefferson Thu 07-Nov-13 08:44:08

Thank you for all the responses wvery

Jefferson Thu 07-Nov-13 08:46:49

Thank you for all the responses everyone.
I wasn't sure if I was being PFB or not but most people are saying its not great and to go with my gut.
We don't have a lot of choices around here though.
I might start with asking for no puddings and if I see him dirty again I will raise that too.

No that doesn't sound good. DS has been to two nurseries, one better than the other but both were more professional than that. The better one he went to was amazing, I trusted them as much as I trust family.

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