AIBU to just not like nurseries very much?

(200 Posts)
HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 08:21:56

Before I had my own child I occasionally had to spend some time in nurseries as part of my studies etc, this made me decide I didn't want to work with children, NOT because I don't like the kids but because I don't really like the environment. Thought I might feel differently with my own BUT went to visit a nursery yesterday, thought this would be the one, lots of likeminded friends love it and send their kids there, but just came out feeling completely uninspired.
It's a general feeling of discomfort but here are some specifics:
They said they would 'assess' my 2 year old, is this really necessary?
They seem to be trying to impose structure on children who are too young to understand it and they just look totally mystified.
They write down virtually everything they do which seems a bit uneccessary.
They showed me the toilet/changing area and it occurred to me that DS would be having his nappy changed by someone other than me or his dad and that makes me uncomfortable.

Am I missing something? Is there a sort of nursery I could try and find which is a bit more 'free range'? I love the idea of forest nurserys where the kids are outside all the time but I can't find any near us.

Thankfully we don't need to send him as at least one of us is at home all day, but just wondering why I feel like this when most people seem to think it's a good thing.

p.s. really really no offence to nursery staff who I know are very skilled, love kids and have mountains of patience.

Gigondas Thu 17-Jan-13 08:32:16

Yanbu to feel as you do but you are likely to struggle with the idea of a free range. The ey programme means kids have to be assessed but tbh it's quite general (eg how are they playing with other kids, can they recognise letters etc). The diary is just A formal way of noting if they are ok (eg have they eaten, been changed etc). You would ask this kind of thing of someone babysitting so they are just formalising it .

Also your whole tone is a bit judgy and makes my teeth itch- by all means keep your dc at home if you don't need to. Don't post about it ESP as it is likely to get people's backs up. Like feeding , you are entitled to your opinion and others to theirs. Posting like this doesn't look like you are inviting debate- it is saying look at me, I know about this cos of some association in your studies.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 08:36:24

I agree with you: the institutional setting of a nursery is very impersonal for such young children.

The CMs I know provide much more of a home-from-home feel.

Sirzy Thu 17-Jan-13 08:38:13

You try having 30 pre schoolers running around without any sort semi formal structure to the day.

They 'assess' children so they know how best to help them, what they enjoy and just where they are up to in general

Fakebook Thu 17-Jan-13 08:39:14

Babies and children love routine. They know what to expect that way. Why on earth would you want your children "running free"? confused.

The "assessments" make a lovely read when they leave nursery and I'm sure a lot of development problems can be realised early in keeping them. I don't see what the issue is.

A lot of parents have to leave their children in nursery without a choice. You're being snotty and judgemental. And yes,( Captain Obvious strikes again), someone else WILL be changing your baby's nappy. hmm.

We have a more 'free range' nursery nearby. Mostly outdoors, allotments, woodland walks etc. Its fab but yhey're still have to do assessments and diaries as its a requirement of the eyfs. I'm not sure why it bothers you if you don't plan to use a nursery?

MimmeeBack Thu 17-Jan-13 08:41:53

YANBU to not like it.
I agree with what has been said about structure being necessary with so many children. Also for children like my DD the structure of nursery has really helped us fall into a routine at home that suits us.

If it is an option, maybe a Montessori nursery might be better suited to you (don't know much about them but they seem to have a very different ethos) or a childminder or nanny who can be more flexible.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 08:44:05

Thanks, the judgemental tone was not intended. Most people I know send kids to nursery and I assumed I would do the same, the feeling of discomfort I felt yesterday came as a surprise.
Bonsoir, thanks, I wonder if I might feel differently about it when he is 3.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 08:45:06

It's not unreasonable not to like stuff that other people like.

You have your lines in the sand and they don't jibe with the lines in the sand of people who don't share your issues with nuseries.

I still have the lovely "book" the nursery made with photos and comments of DS when he was there. I go all leaky cos...they captured moments that he wouldn't have had at home. He adored their massvie ball pit (I spent every evening trying to fish him out so we could go home..he had other ideas) and when not in themball pit he was in the "kitchen" area, a huge space with really expensive wooden ovens and cupboard...basically a shrunken real kitchen with no gas, but it had water. Not forgetting his weak spot for the enoumous "polenta pit".

It wasn't the first nursery I looked at, I didn't like the first four at all. But this one was great. And he had a very happy two years there.

So nusery was brill for us, but it's not unreasonable if you feel it's not for you.

Convert Thu 17-Jan-13 08:47:55

The kids don't know that they are being assessed. We move a lot and I have managed to find three lovely nurseries, all have been staffed by caring friendly people who genuinely love the children and my two sons have really blossomed at nursery in to confident little people who socialise well.
I am essentially a sahm and we sent ds1 for a couple of hours a week aged 2 1/2. I'm not really one for toddler groups and I wanted him to mix with other kids his own age. By 3 1/2 he was going two days a week and loved it. Ds2 is 4 and I have chosen to send him to a private nursery for two days instead of a school nursery and he is so happy there.
He doesn't know that the staff write down what he does or that there is a structure really. He is just having a nice time playing.

MimmeeBack Thu 17-Jan-13 08:49:10

Just looked at the cost of the local Montessori nursery faints £900 for a full week...WHAT???

MimmeeBack Thu 17-Jan-13 08:49:38

Oh wait for a month...less flabbergasted now. Ignore me!

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 08:50:29

Englishgirl, I thought I probably would send him to nursery because it would be good for him, although don't need to from a practical point of view. Asking the questions because I was interested in how other feel about these aspects of it.
Quite glad I posted this before discussing this with anyone in RL, as judging by peoples responses I'll be saying as little as possible about it wink
Yes the writing down of everything does make sense as you would need to know when they had eaten, if they seemed well etc.
I'm sure there is a nicer word to use than 'assessment' though!

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 08:53:25

Mimmee I had though about Montessori, might go and have a look round one of those, though to be honest I'm thinking playgroups might be enough for us now and try again when he's 3.

Gigondas Thu 17-Jan-13 08:54:58

You may feel differently when he is 3- dd was at home with me/nanny but did a couple of mornings when 2.
She was fine but by time she was 3 she really needed the extra time with other kids and structure of nursery as it was something stimulating that added to what she had at home.

Nancy66 Thu 17-Jan-13 08:55:23

I don't like nurseries either. I looked at a LOT and there wasn't one I would have felt happy leaving a child at.

However, different mothers like different forms of child care. I would use a CM, au pair or nanny over a nursery any day.

Fakebook Thu 17-Jan-13 08:58:02

Montessoris teach children independence and make them do things like cleaning furniture/windows, laying the table, taking dishes to the kitchen/washing up and putting on shoes by themselves without help. It's not everyone's cup of tea and far more timetables than a normal nursery.

DoItToJulia Thu 17-Jan-13 08:58:46

I don't think you are being snotty or judgemental. I had a very similar experience to you...found lovely, local nursery, highly rated by my friends, got a place and just couldn't do it.

The staff were lovely, facilities excellent, children seemed happy. I don't have an aversion to them per se, but I discovered that just couldn't send ds there. I even tried to settle him in (he was fine) it was me that wasn't. I have no rational explanation for it.

When he was 3, so abut 18 months older, I did send him to a pre school nursery and I was fine with that. I think it was because he was older, talking, and I saw it as prep for school.

Go with your gut, and I suspect you are right to not want to discuss with people, some people think that by not liking nursery you are somehow criticising their choice to send their children to one wink

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 09:01:28

Thanks Julia it's nice to know someone else feels the same.

LaCiccolina Thu 17-Jan-13 09:08:11

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

DialsMavis Thu 17-Jan-13 09:10:18

But surely if you don't want anyone but you changing his nappy or keeping notes about his day, then you don't like CMs either? Most people make the best decision for their family because they have to work, so someone other than them has to look after their DC. Once your DS is 3 and as you don't actually need childcare I assume you would be looking for a pre school environment anyway?

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 09:10:50

I agree with you.

I don't like institutional settings for toddlers.

I've always used a CM for childcare as a result.

WorraLiberty Thu 17-Jan-13 09:16:03

I agree with Gigondas

I wouldn't be keen on a nursery for an under 3yr old, especially when they're non verbal...but from about 3yrs onwards my kids thrived at the school nursery.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 09:16:15

If you feel uncomfortable about someone other than you or your partner changing his nappy then no wonder you feel uneasy about nurseries. Frankly, it never even occured to me to have that thought! Hence I was perfectly fine with leaving my daughter in nursery 5 days a week from 7 months. She seems perfectly fine. If other people wouldn't have made that call, that's their choice. They dont have to live my life.

The trouble with these kind of threads is that some people have no choice about nurseries, but feel unhappy with them. So someone like you comes along and stirs up all kinds of horrid feelings because you clearly have a choice about the kind of child care you chose. That is lovely for you, but it is good to tread sensitively because some people don't have a choice.

Icelollycraving Thu 17-Jan-13 09:16:28

Wow LaCicc,don't sit on the fence!!

DoItToJulia Thu 17-Jan-13 09:16:42

A beautiful example of what I mean!

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 09:19:15

Oh dear, I think I should have emphasised that I really don't have anything against others making whatever childcare arrangements they think are best for their children, and if my circumstances were different, a different thing might be best for my DS. I have a friend who sends her children to nursery everyday despite not working, and I completely understand that as her DH works away, her and the kids need to break from eachother. Every child and family situation is different and we all have to make our own decisions. Maybe if I have more kids in the future I'll feel differently.
Dials yes I'll definitely be rethinking things when he's 3.

LtEveDallas Thu 17-Jan-13 09:19:34

Some parents, some children just don't suit nurseries. In the same way some parents, some children just don't suit CMs.

Personally I preferred the setting of a nursery. I preferred the fact that it was purpose built, had different rooms for different activities, had a safe playground outside, soft play inside and a lovely garden that the children used to explore (like a forest school but again purpose built).

I liked the fact that it had a dedicated on site kitchen that only kitchen staff worked in. Rather than the people looking after my child.

...and for me, one of the important considerations for choosing a nursery over a childminder or nanny was that I didn't want "another woman" becoming the most important person in my DD's life blush

Now before I get flamed, I know that is ridiculous grin. It stems from ME calling MY childminder "Mummy Two" when I was a toddler. Now my mum and my childminder (who I now call Aunt XXX) think it's funny, but after I'd had DD mum commented on it, wondering if DD would be the same and my blood ran cold blush.

So in in the same way that Bonsoir dismisses Nurseries as institutional setting of a nursery is very impersonal for such young children and The CMs I know provide much more of a home-from-home feel I dismiss CMs because I didn't want the home-from-home feel. I wanted a purpose built setting geared towards my child, not someone else's home.

Use what suits you, not anyone else, and what you feel comfortable with. But don't dismiss other peoples choices smile

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 09:20:04

Julia, it is hardly a surprise that people feel threatened is it? Look at how people frame the nursery debate - impersonal, children too young, harmful etc, etc. It is rarely stated that their particular child wouldn't be comfortable but rather ALL children of a certain age will suffer.

I am quite laid back and don't feel I need to justify my choices but even I start getting a bit shirty when someone bangs on about 'institutionalised settings' for the under 3s. There is a definite trend - Oliver James come on down - to try to make women feel guilty about their child care choices. So tread carefully. I don't think what research there is proves anything much but god knows we get it rammed down our throats at every opportunity - nurseries make children aggressive!


HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 09:20:07

Spero very good point, thank you.

Locketjuice Thu 17-Jan-13 09:21:39

I have worked in 2 nurseries both for a fair time, and would never send my child to one! The atmosphere once parents have left completely changes, its obvious staff had favourites, the manager was so disrespectful towards staff it was uncomfortable, and the children were plonked on the floor with 3 teenagers supervising that didn't want to be there and we're awkward with the children when they were told to interact.

CailinDana Thu 17-Jan-13 09:21:50

I do think people are a bit unrealistic about nurseries, mainly because they haven't thought through the logistics of looking after that number of children for a whole day. The vast majority of the day is taken up with practicalities - getting them fed, getting them changed, seeing to naps etc, and so structure is essential or else things just don't get done. Thing is the children don't really care - in between being fed, cleaned etc they are playing and that's all they really care about! I think a lot of people have a bit of a fairytale notion of nursery as being a lovely clean place full of engaged children all learning their ABCs and it can be a bit of a shock to see something that looks like chaos but in fact is just the way children are at that age, especially in large doses. The fact is for all the EYFS bullshit the main aim of the nursery is to get all the kids through the day fully cared for from a physical point of view, as happily as possible. Whatever the children learn they tend to do so from talking to the staff and the other children, with the odd bit of formal learning thrown in here and there. And that's fine, IMO, it would be exactly the same if the child was at home with a parent, except perhaps with less stimulation. Expecting anything else doesn't take into account what children under 3 are actually like. Nursery isn't school, and parents who expect it to be like a school are in for a shock.

The reason the staff have to write such a lot of useless guff is that the informal learning that goes on all the time (which is the same sort of learning they'd be doing at home) isn't seen to have happened unless it's recorded, and nurseries have to show "evidence" of various pointless things in order to get a good OFSTED rating. It's a waste of the staff's time, and detracts from what they're actually trying to do, but it must be done.

DoItToJulia Thu 17-Jan-13 09:25:56

I don't think the OP meant for this to turn into the 'great nursery debate' but it naturally has, as these things do.

I don't think there is any need to call her a prick just because its not for her and her child. As far as I can see the OP has been quite apologetic in the face of some nasty name calling. And she has been gracious in being told that treading carefully is the order of the day.

bigkidsdidit Thu 17-Jan-13 09:27:39

Everything Lt Eve said.

I don't like nurseries either - they just don't suit me. I work nearly full time and DS goes to a CM which I love.

However, my niece is at a nursery and thriving there - it is wonderful.
Horses for courses, innit.

MrsMelons Thu 17-Jan-13 09:27:49

I didn't want my DCs to go to nursery or pre-school until they could speak. They both went at 2 as were pretty verbal by then. You could not have got more of a nurturing environment and staff as they got there. It was very personal and they wouldn't have been treated any better at home with family IMO. I do have a preference for pre-schools rather than nurseries but won't go into the reasons as its not what this thread is about.

There has to be a structure, we have a routine at home even as young children thrive on that. Its not massively rigid but its there to help the children. They HAVE to write everything down as that is a requirement by Early Years and Ofsted.

If you get a good nursery/pre-school it can be an amazing experience for the children (and parents) but it does sound as if you will not be happy regardless.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 09:32:03

Sigh. It can never be anything other than the great nursery debate can it? To pretend otherwise is just a bit naive. Loads of working mothers like me are going to click on it thinking what awful thing is being said about nurseries NOW I wonder... because of course we all worry about our choices, being told that we have condemned our vulnerable little ones to an 'institution' is not a nice thing to hear.

I agree op has not wanted to start a bun fight and has recognised the point. But I don't think it is 'gracious' not to stomp all over other people who have to make difficult choices, it is basic human decency.

Locket juice, fine, you have seen a few nurseries you think are crap and you would NEVER send your child there. But do you have to phrase it in such dramatic terms? It does read as if anyone who makes a different choice to you can't be a good parent. It is rarely so black and white. Some nurseries are shite I am sure. Some childminders have killed children in their care. As have parents.

You do the best you can, with the child you have, with the provision in your area.

DoItToJulia Thu 17-Jan-13 09:35:57

Other posters may have stomped all over other people....some more than others!

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 09:36:11

I think nursery before preschool age is totally unnecessary and I don't believe that it benefits children, which is not to say that it's a bad thing, or that it's harmful, just that I would not use childcare below this age unless I had to. In fact, I did, because I started a university degree when DS was 2 - at that age I felt for him, a smaller more close environment would have been better and he went to a childminder (which he still goes to in the afternoons)

Actually I sometimes wonder whether the CM is great for him because one child there picks on him quite a bit and because there aren't many children there he doesn't get to get away from her like he would at a nursery... it's all so guilt inducing isn't it?? However I feel that a nursery would have been way too overwhelming, for him at 2 years old.

At 3.3 which is when DS started nursery he was starting to form meaningful friendships with other children, he responded differently to stimulus from different adults and he was interested in learning - so the nursery was of great benefit to him. Of course, he could also have got these same learning experiences at home and through me, too, although the space it gives us away from each other is fantastic.

However I know somebody else who put her son into nursery (preschool) at 3 and he didn't get on well at all, he was not thriving in that environment (despite the nursery being lovely) - she took him out and kept him at home until he was school age, and then tried again, and he loved it.

As for someone else changing your DC's nappy confused - would you prefer they left her unchanged?

WorraLiberty Thu 17-Jan-13 09:39:17

What's wrong with debating it anyway?

Everything else gets debated on here...what with it being a discussion forum and all grin

As someone else said, it's horses for courses. Some kids thrive in nursery and some with a CM.

It's all personal choice.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 09:40:23

BertieBotts, Why does this issue have to be framed as 'I don't think it benefits children'. Why can't you just say 'I don't think it would have benefitted my child' ?

The latter is perfectly legitimate. The former is making a pretty clear universal declaration. I just don't think there is any compelling evidence to support such a declaration.

DoItToJulia Thu 17-Jan-13 09:40:49

Absolutely nothing wrong with debating it, but name calling? Now that's different.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 09:41:53

I agree Worra. The risk (and the benefit) of posting on a public forum is that posters may take the discussion in a direction you didn't foresee. But I don't see how that is a bad thing. Op seems genuinely open to discussion.

WorraLiberty Thu 17-Jan-13 09:43:23

I agree about the name calling DOIt, in fact I thought it was a bit weird.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 09:43:58

I would cut people some slack on the name calling. This issue does cut to the very heart of what it means to be a 'good parent'. If you feel that you are being condemned as 'bad' for a particular choice, particularly if it isn't much of a 'choice', then I can sympathise with why you might lash out.

But I agree, it doesn't help to make your arguments very compelling.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 09:46:49

Depends on the staff. There was one nice one ds went to (but only for 2 hours a morning) that was really cool and run by a fantastic woman who had terrific ideas.

Others I looked at (when we moved) were shite and run and staffed by people who were clearly there solely because it was a job, any old job, and had little interest in children. My dc went to one for a bit that turned into one of those when the nice manager left, and I regret it.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 09:47:50

My DD went to pre-school (French école maternelle) from 2.10 - the first year was 5 short mornings (9 to 11.45) and then four full days from 3.10 (that was a bit much to begin with, but no choice).

I do think that, once they are verbal/around 3, they start needing more time with other children and some time away from parents and family.

princessnumber2 Thu 17-Jan-13 09:48:14

To make a rather obvious point, it does slightly depend on the nursery. I didn't send dd1 to nursery till she was well over 2 but dd2 went 2 days a week from 9 months and loves it. The staff always have loads of different things set up each day and often have far more varied activities than I could provide at home. She often comes home smelling of her key worker's perfume and when I've turned up early I've found her being cuddled by members of staff, playing happily with toys or trying to join in with a song etc. the food is all home made, cooked on site and tbh looks better than what I provide at home blush.

I'm not sure about this 'institution' label. It undermines the hard work that nursery staff put in. It makes all nurseries out to be like the old Romanian orphanages (which I actually visited in the 90s) and many are fantastic. Yes they don't get one to one attention - but unless you have one child and never work again/never do housework/never make a phone/never chat to a friend, they don't actually get that anywhere.

Also some childminders are amazing but some aren't. You are lucky to not need to use childcare but if in the future you do, I would consider all options and assess them all on their own merits.

As for someone else changing your baby's nappy, my toddler has reached the stage of refusing to stay still and screams and crawls off covered in crap every time I change her now. I'd be happy to let anyone take that job on grin

Sirzy Thu 17-Jan-13 09:49:57

The thing is the vast majority of parents think long and hard before deciding upon childcare for their child. Generally it isn't a case of this one is closest/cheapest/biggest etc so we will go with that (I know some parents do)

When picking childcare for DS I visited a few childminders and non of them were right for him and his particular needs. For him the idea of one adult with a group of children didn't work, having a number of adults available in a nursery was much more ideal.

There is no such thing as perfect childcare, nor is their a one size fits all. I looked around some nurseries that i would never let my child go to but others love. The nursery he goes to now is fantastic.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 09:50:21

Yes princess

As ever the answer is: it depends

It depends on:

the child

The nursery (staff)

the available options and realities of life

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 09:52:09

I also visited Romania for two weeks in 1991. Which probably explains why I get so exasperated with people who bleat on about UK nurseries being souless institutions to which they would NEVER subject their precious offspring.

shesariver Thu 17-Jan-13 09:58:19

Dont get the big deal about someone else changing his nappy, what did you think was going to happen and what is it about this that makes you uncomfortable?

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:01:16

I was very uncomfortable indeed about strangers changing my DD's nappy. Family and trusted babysitters only.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:21


I understand exactly what you saying. The thing that is interesting to be, is that only understand it via listening to what is said on Brithish based forums/blognewspaper article etc.

I never got any crap, (well there is always one, but very much teeny tiny minority and most of it retrosective from my HE "community) for using nursery (1-3). The vast majority of women seem to work here after having children, possibly due to a lack of option (no child benefit, child tax credits, no nothing...oh except some people get 1000 euro on off payment that ismsupposed to try and make people have more children). You either send you kid to nursery or the army of nonni provide the childcare. No nonni, no choice but to use nursery. And even the people with nonni often use nursey too so their elderly parents just have to top and tail the paid care.

When it came to materna (3-6) you actually get crap if you DON'T send your kid, becuase it is viewed as an essential part of a child's education, there is not a whiff of formal teaching aside from a little bit of letter/number work for the older kids when the little ones are napping. The education is all through play and is about learning to get alone with other half pint sized people.

I don't know why it is such a hot spot over in the UK and such a non issue here.

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:52

Spero, because it's my opinion. I don't think it benefits babies, children under 3 years old to be in communal childcare. I'm not saying it's a bad thing! It's like when people say "There is no nutritional benefit to breastfeeding past 2 years" or whatever. That might be true, but if it suits you and your child, there's no harm in it either - carry on.

Surely there are many things in parenting/in life which are neutral. IMO nursery (under preschool age) is one of them.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:12:09

It's horses for courses really. I was uncomfortable with the idea of a CM and a 'home environment'. I visited a few nurseries, and found one that I loved. DS LOVES going to nursery, he does a huge range of activities that I wouldn't never be arsed think to do with him. He comes home covered in glitter and paint and sand and god knows what else. The nursery workers are lovely, warm and friendly and seem to really enjoy looking after the babies. The food looks better than the stuff I cook, and when we go to pick him up he is always busy making a mess or playing or having a cuddle etc. They are also really good with him if he's a bit under the weather or teething. It doesn't have as good facilities as some of the nurseries I saw, but I just felt comfortable there.

It's natural to get annoyed when people start throwing out comments like 'I wouldn't send my child to nursery until they were verbal' or that it 'doesn't benefit children at that age'. Well, it benefits my child, it's the best set up for my family and that's all that really matters. I would argue that my non-verbal child is much safer in an environment when he is never alone with any of the nursery staff, than he would be with a group of children and one adult anyway.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:14:16

Oh, and as for nappies. That has to be my least favourite bit of parenthood so far. I'll gladly palm that job off on anyone (if they would let me), sorry!

PaellaUmbrella Thu 17-Jan-13 10:14:21


When my mat leave was coming to an end, I had every intention of returning to work part-time and placing DD in a nursery. I went to look at one - apparently a very good one - but the whole thing made me feel quite uncomfortable. The general feeling of discomfort that you describe.

Ultimately it led to DH and I having a big rethink, and I decided I would be far happier staying a SAHM for the time being.

For me, it was also partly to do with the assessment and recording side of things - I felt they spent way too much time telling me about it. At the time, DD wasn't walking, and I didn't like that she would be lumped in with bigger, more mobile babies. I also didn't want other people changing her nappy / putting her down for naps / feeding her.

However, I probably wouldn't have started a thread on it here - lots of people have to use nurseries, and lots of people choose to, so it's bound to rattle a few cages.

tethersend Thu 17-Jan-13 10:21:12

Have you looked into parent run nurseries or cooperatives in your area? DD1 was at one from 2.10 and thrived. They are usually cheaper too, as staffed (not exclusively) by parents.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 10:28:36

thanks tethersend I'll do a google search.
As for the nappies, not sure what bothers me, don't think it's very logical!

TheBrideofMucky Thu 17-Jan-13 10:28:50

I'm sorry you feel like that but I work part time and absolutely love my son's nursery and he loves going. The staff are all young and vibrant and lots of fun (most of them are sisters/girlfriends/friends of friends as we live in a small town), they do all kinds of activities with the children and the general atmosphere is warm and caring and energetic. They have an outstanding rating and I would rather stay there for a cup of tea with them all rather than go to work in the morning!

I hated his first nursery though and ended up taking him out. That was a horrible feeling so yanbu for it.

ICBINEG Thu 17-Jan-13 10:30:07

Ohhh actually it hadn't really occurred to me that someone new would be changing DD's nappy. First day proper at nursery today!

I am suffused with a warm glow. Every nappy I don't have to change is a good one! But good luck to the poor soul who has to do it...

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 10:31:01

I actually feel similarly but DS (23m) is just about to start in his second nursery!

Nursery 1: maximum 9 children 6m-4, 4 staff. Free play all day except snacks and meals. Lots of Outdoor play. Lots of affection. No paperwork sent home, ever!

Nursery 2: maximum 16 children, more often 12, aged 2-4. Very high staff/children ratio. Free play with loads of creative stuff on offer (visiting specialists for music, art and dance). Daily trips to the park, weekly day of forest school at local farm. "Learning records" only for children there over a certain no of hours. Parental involvement hugely encouraged (either on the committee or as helpers).

There are nurseries out there that are less structured than others for parents/ children who prefer that. No 1 is a workplace nursery (left as DH left the job) & no 2 is run by a parent co-operative.

The nappy/toilet thing you may need to get over, or just not use any childcare ever.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:33:58

"However, I probably wouldn't have started a thread on it here - lots of people have to use nurseries, and lots of people choose to, so it's bound to rattle a few cages."

Surely it is in the interests of everyone to know why some parents are not at ease with nursery care?

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:55

Nappy changing is intimate. Like giving a bath. Many families prefer those intimate tasks to remain within the realm of the family.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:36:22

Well yes Bonsoir but unless they are not going to use formal childcare, they are going to have to get over it.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:39:01

I don't think the attitude "they are going to have to get over it" is a healthy one when it comes to examining which intimate family tasks one feels uneasy outsourcing. I think that the outsourcing of family life ought to be scrutinised much harder - there is a lot of throwing the baby out with the bathwater going on.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:41:54

If you are going to use formal childcare, and the child is going to be there for more than a couple of hours, they are going to have to have their nappy changed. If that makes you too uncomfortable to allow, then you wont be able to use formal childcare. That's the end of it really. Unless you're going to leave work every time your child has a poo.

LaCiccolina Thu 17-Jan-13 10:42:59

There was a thread recently about what u hate on mn. This thread sums it up perfectly. It's not an aibu at all thread. It's barely a topic! Poster just puts I hate nurseries essentially. Reason? Someone else will change nappy.

It's exasperating. This one even has some deeper knowledge of 'institution'! Are u against school? Be home taught then yes? It's just so ridiculous. Do u have any idea the background work a cm does? Do u think she's some quasi stepford wife/Disney mother baking biscuits? Or a professional submitting paperwork to ofsted to be accredited on a regular basis?

It's just such a non discussion, just be a sahm. Quite why the need to post though then is beyond me. Everyone just picks the best they can in the area they are. Most of us don't bother to put a post on that though because its not interesting to others. This is the Facebook equivalent of 'I had a toasted sandwich and hate tomato in it'!

A discussion would have been "I saw xyz at the nursery am I right to be concerned?"

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 10:45:24

It's not just childcare settings - a lot of children in Reception classes still need help with going to the toilet. You have to choose childcarers you trust, then make a decision to trust them. Or hone educate.

The vast majority of sexual abuse is within families.

FeistyLass Thu 17-Jan-13 10:46:19

YANBU I felt the same and was lucky enough to be able to keep ds at home. We also went to different classes and groups.
Last year, I did start ds at pre-school. Even now, I still find it too structured sad but I think I'm comparing it to a Steiner school we visited which was very child focused and very relaxed. Sadly it was at the other side of town and we just couldn't get the logistics to work but if you have a Steiner nursery nearby then it might be worth a visit.

BlauesPferd Thu 17-Jan-13 10:53:26

Have you heard of/thought about Steiner Kindergartens? There aren't that many, but they are certainly less 'restrictive' - to the point of perhaps being a bit lentil-weavery?! My local one is here: St Albans Steiner Kindergarten
I took DS there once for a chat and he had a bit of a run around and really enjoyed it. They only take children from age 3 though.

BlauesPferd Thu 17-Jan-13 10:55:13

Oh, X-posted Feisty smile

Locketjuice Thu 17-Jan-13 10:56:26

Spero not saying its black and white at all but in my experience I saw the parents being told something completely different and the staff acting completely different as parents were around. It makes me wonder as I have quite a few friends who work in nurseries who would say the same thing and that's all different nurseries/prices/ages.

And doesn't matter what any working mum wants to argue. There is no better care than that of a mother. Fair enough you may have to work but not like most.. NOT ALL weren't aware of that before falling pregnant

BlauesPferd Thu 17-Jan-13 10:57:19

Oh, and if you are interested (sorry!) there's a full list here:
Steiner Early Years

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:58:51

'There is no better care than that of a mother'

What an utter pile of flaming bullshit.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Thu 17-Jan-13 11:02:55

I really dislike nurseries and after school clubs and that general type of mass childcare. I know sometimes it is very good. Just a lot of places are grim.

I was amazed how grim, frankly, when I went to collect a good friend's children (aged 9 and 6) from their 'summer holiday club' - it was just awful, so so depressing. People seem to like this place but I couldn't wait to get out of there.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Thu 17-Jan-13 11:05:26

and yes I'm lucky enough to be at home with mine...I'm not an excellent mother by any means but to me it feels preferable to leaving them with strangers, I don't know why, I think memories of going to holiday clubs myself - I just found it horrible, you never know who you will get, and a strange adult who doesn't like you let alone love you is just hellish. It was like being in prison.

I'm sure many childcare settings are really good. But I still hate the idea of it.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 11:07:45

Or hone educate

Just want to underline here....not that anybody said, but I am sensitive to this lable getting a bit "tight". Home education MAY be about people having issues with institutions, other people caring for their child. But for some of us it is just that the schools near us are a bit/a lot crap.

My kid is offically home educated, but in reality taught by teachers in a class and they have a pastoral officer too, so there is more than just me involved in his edcation and care. I more "policer of homework" than teacher of child.

Plus I palm him off send him to a massive youth club almost everyday where they have staff to teach/care for the kids needs and he spends an inordinate quite a bit of time under the eye of mates' parents too cos he goes to play.

Thank you.

You may now ignore my kneejerk "oh wait, hang on, there is more to it than just that" panic based fear of sterotype ingraining by accident. Home education is changing like it always does (like anything always does for that matter) the next "big wave" is proportedy going to be people like me.

Not that there is anything wrong with choosing HE becuase of other things. It's just that the popular idea that this what it is all about it doesn't fit lots of people who do it.

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 11:13:01

Loquace I HEd my brother for over a year, I am certainly not anti HE. Just pointing out it is the only way of guaranteeing they aren't ever looked after by "strangers" (personally I consider the nursery staff as family friends and I know DS does). I know the majority don't HE for this reason and indeed do send their kids to various clubs activities etc.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Thu 17-Jan-13 11:13:12

If you don't want to use a nursery then don't. But if you want to use childcare of any flavour (nursery, childminder, nanny, other family members) they're going to have to change nappies

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 11:13:35

To say 'it doesn't benefit children' is palpably NOT a neutral statement. Or certainly won't be interpreted as neutral by many. Fine to say 'it doesn't benefit MY child'. I don't know anything about anyone else's child, so I will believe you.

But if you start speaking for ALL children I would llike you to produce some properly peer reviewed and replicated research, and not simply wave one of your well thumbed copies of Oliver James latest misogynistic wank fests.

This is a general 'you' of course, I am not picking on anyone in particular.

And to say a baby benefits from only a mother's care, with no respect at all, is utter crap.

Had I been requiried to give up my career and be a full time mother, I have no doubt at all I would have quickly tipped over the edge into poverty and depression and and my child would have suffered greatly. As it was, we both got a break, she got well cared for and stimulated in a clean, warm, loving environment and I much more enjoyed the time we had together. I echo the poster who cheered at the thought of someone else changing the nappy.

You see, sadly my crystal ball was on the fritz when I got impregnated by someone I thought was lovely but turned out to be anything but.

milf90 Thu 17-Jan-13 11:14:17

yes they do have to assess children, its part of the eyfs to do a 2 year check and it goes hand in hand with the 2 year check the HV does.

childminders have to do this too.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 11:19:34

Nappy changing is intimate? Not the way I did it.

Fair enough, absolutely legtimate points. For some people the notion of 'family' is all encompassing and they want to keep their children very much within that domain. Not knocking that, I am sure it can be lovely and supportive.

I am also sure there are instances when it is oppressive and abusive. For me, I want my daughter to find a network of people who love her and are interested in her, not really fussed if those are blood relatives or people she finds along the way who interest and engage her. I am not particularly moved one way or another by the notion of 'family'.

so that is interesting to explore. I guess if 'family' is very important to you it is going to seem weird to ask others to carry out the 'intimate' family tasks.

Like I say, absolutely fair enough. But that doesn't entitle you to then speak for ALL children and ALL women and make sweeping generalisations which are inflammatory and unhelpful

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 11:21:56

O just noticed that rather choice phrase from Locketjuice 'it doesn't matter what any working mother wants to argue'.

Unless you have been devoting the past 20 years of your life to cutting edge research into child development Locketjuice, what amazing, breathtaking arrogance.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 11:25:29

Blaues, thanks I had a look at the list and non near me, we are not a very progressive city!
It's been nice to hear from people who feel the same, as I was concerned that I was being totally illogical and depriving DS of something that would benefit him.
Sorry if I've annoyed people with this thread, looking at it from a different point of view I can see how it might come accross.
LaCicc, well that's my idea for tomorrows discussion out the window then wink

Iggity Thu 17-Jan-13 11:26:55

My DC has been at nursery since 13 months, initially part time and now full time. I won't witter on about the positives or the negatives as all childcare has both in my view, including being looked after by parents.

However I think the nursery experience has made me less comfortable about my DC being looked after by a CM.

He is starting school in September and we are trying to manage the logistics of this but sending him to a CM is probably not something we will be comfortable with until he is a bit older. I'm not really sure where the feelings come from as one of my sisters was a nanny but it's the thought of them being with just one person and no-one else seeing what is going on if something happens.

curryeater Thu 17-Jan-13 11:28:02

I met a childminder who had worked in nurseries and set up on her own because she loved the job but hated the institution she had been working in: the lack of flexibility and the impersonal approach. I am sure some nurseries are lovely but for babies and little children I get a bit freaked out by them. I know this is partly projection because I did not like school and I am very much a homebody. I hope that my children will feel almost as at home at the CM eventually as they do at their real home, so that a large part of their day is spent chilling, playing, exploring, reading etc at one home or another. My preschooler goes to preschool too, but that is only a few hours a day which I think is about right for her.

I had to send my dc1 to childcare at 9 months and the first place I phoned up to ask to come and have a look around, the person who answered the phone had a very brisk attitude and barked at me " the fees are £x per week which covers nappies and formula" and I was almost tearful at the assumption that my baby was going to go onto a full-time formula-fed conveyor belt. (she never had formula in the end, pathetic I know but it mattered to me)

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:28:25

I dont like nurseries or any early years childcare really,but i understand other people feel differently and thats fie.

If you want something free range then really you cant get more free range than at home!

Steiner do kinder groups but you have to stay with them until they are free,they are quite costly too.

one thing that confuses me is when people say "oh hes SO ready for nursery,hes bored of me now haaha"

how can a 2 yr old be bored of you?you must be pretty boring.

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 11:29:28

If you are thinking of looking at Steiner I would do a search on MN first - past threads have got a bit... odd. Just be aware - I thought they sounded lovely when I first read about them too!

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:29:38

I also see a lot of childminders about and i would never leave my kids with them,they seem really snappy with them and always seem really stressed out.You never know what they are like once you leave and that wouldnt sit well with me.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 11:30:18

For the record, I study from home, and intend when I've finished to work from home (with DH looking after DS as he works evenings). I'm really glad we decided I would work as I really feel the benefit of having a break and doing something a bit more intellectual, so completely get why people feel it's beneficial for them to work as long as they know their child is well cared for. Also feel like if DH didn't care for DS a lot, he would need to go somewhere else for childcare, as I've noticed when it's just me and DS for a few days we can get a bit ratty with one another.

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:30:35

steiner ones are a bit odd in that they can take the whole fairies and elves thing and present it as real to kids,but imo that is no more strange than presenting god as fact!

SashaSashays Thu 17-Jan-13 11:31:15

Completely agree that it depends on the child/family/individual situation which is why I don't think it's ok to make blanket statements.

"It doesn't benefit children", is that all children? How would you know? If there are other parents clearly saying it benefits their child who are you to argue, where's the evidence.

I use nurseries. Have my own business so I've used nurseries from when all my DC have been young babies. I prefer them to a cm, which i have tried, because I don't like dealing with just one individual, their personality and that most things are done to their preferences. I like it being an 'institution' because there are procedures, menus, different people to speak to, if there's an issue you can take it further up etc. I liked the cms I used but little things would piss me off and was much harder to raise than with nurseries as everything is much more personal.

Sme of my DC have enjoyed nursery more or less than others but, to be blunt, tough. Someone needs to care for them and its not going to be me, and I have no proof they wouldn't be as stroppy with me as the workers.

Nappies element seems irrelevant to me personally as its present in all elements of childhood care. It's even like when they go to play at a friends house when they first start school. Often at that age they still need help with going to the toilet. Unless you are thoroughly vetting all friends parents its unavoidable.

fromparistoberlin Thu 17-Jan-13 11:31:53

i agree

thats all

I would use CM. or even better a friend that has children of similar age and wants the £££ to be honest

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:32:42

btw they dont HVE toassess your child,you can refuse,i have had no hv checks as i didnt want or need them.

LtEveDallas Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:13


I have worked in 2 nurseries both for a fair time, and would never send my child to one! The atmosphere once parents have left completely changes, its obvious staff had favourites, the manager was so disrespectful towards staff it was uncomfortable, and the children were plonked on the floor with 3 teenagers supervising that didn't want to be there and we're awkward with the children when they were told to interact


Spero not saying its black and white at all but in my experience I saw the parents being told something completely different and the staff acting completely different as parents were around

You did report these Nurseries, yes?

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:35


VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:36

My DS is looked after 1 day a week by his Grandpa. Except he isn't my DH's biological dad, so is he still "family"? Does it matter? He knows and loves DS which is what matters to me.

I can't see a huge point in nursery for littlies for the sake of it (ie not for childcare), not least because of the cost, but as it happens I think DS does gain something different with everyone he is looked after by (including on a regular basis me, DH, my Mum, MiL, FiL, my sister, my brother, brother's GF and yes, nursery).

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:44


Oh no love, I didn't get anti HE from your post...I just wanted to plonk the "but that is not why every HEer does it" in there, cos while I do understand why often people think issues with institutions and other carers is more often than not part of the package ....I get fed up with dealing with kneejerk judgements based on the most overegged assumptions of the tightest possible sterotype...that don't have anything to do with my choice.

I am slightly obsessed quite keen on pointing out at every available opportunity that we are not the cookie cutter, homogenous group that some people including rather a lot of HEers think we are.

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 11:37:41

" The atmosphere once parents have left completely changes"

Well ours is run by parents (in conjunction with paid staff) so that definitely isn't true of all nurseries smile

wordfactory Thu 17-Jan-13 11:38:47

Well purely by chance we lived close to a wonderful nursery.

Family owned and run, set in a huge country pile with acres of land and ducks and chickens and an orchard. And the family's pets!

About 20 kids. None under 12 months accepted.

Cost a fortune though.

aftermay Thu 17-Jan-13 11:39:47

My DCs have been very happy at nursery. I found nurseries I liked. The kids seemed to have fun there and were well looked after. They learned quite a bit too. I don't know what more you need, really. It's natural to Obsessively over think the whole issue with your first, though. Also natural to continuously reassess the situation to get if right. Good luck.

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 11:40:06

Yup, agree there are some rather odd stereotypes of HE-ers, Loquace! It is always worth pointing out it isn't just for extreme eccentrics...

Quenelle Thu 17-Jan-13 11:40:35

DS's village preschool takes children from 2.6. He started going unofficially at about 2yo with his CM, who volunteers there. He adored it from the start.

It's an Ofsted Outstanding preschool, which I know doesn't always mean much but clearly means that they do all the EY assessment stuff as directed. But if you ask DS what he did at preschool today he'll say 'Played!' that's it as far as he's concerned. He doesn't know he's being assessed, he's just playing with his friends and his lovely keyworker. Sometimes this is indoors, this week they have played outside every day in the snow and cold.

FWIW when I went back to work when DS was a year old DH and I felt that a CM would provide a more nurturing environment for him than a nursery setting, but he's a lot keener on going to preschool than he has ever been about going to his CM. His CM is lovely, just not as much fun I think. He's so much keener, in fact, that we're considering removing him from the CM and sending him to preschool every day and the after hours club three days a week as well. Once I would have thought that would be grossly unfair on DS at such a young age still, but I'm certain he would actually be happier.

It's not just preschool vs CM either. At weekends he asks if he's going to preschool today and we've had tears when we've told him he's not going again for two days. He would clearly rather go there than stay at home with us!

Obviously if you're not comfortable with someone else changing your DC's nappy there's not a lot you can do about that, apart from wait until they're toilet-trained.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 11:41:07

It doesn't benefit children

That's crap. It might not benefit some kids, they may even be the majority (but you'd need solid data to support that before presenting it as fact).

But it did suit my kid, down to the ground. He has loved being in a group of kids from the time he got the chance right up to now. Henthrived there. They were much better than me at potty training. They were better than me about not babying him and sub conciously thwarting his babysteps into less dependance. They were less "all about this one kid" focused and didn't crumple and interfer in the face of him struggling and getting frustrated when learning new skills and abilites he wanted to aquire.

It was brill for him. Harder for me, cos I really wanted to find fault with the place to have justification to throw in the towel and not have to deal with the difficulty for me of seperation, but damn it, they just wouldn't provide anything but the occasional nitpick, that was more me over egging a debatable point than them doing anything "wrong".

CaptChaos Thu 17-Jan-13 11:46:28

I was a registered CM (and am planning to register again now settled in new country!) so you might think I am all for CMs. Finding the right people to look after your precious child is not just a practical choice, it's an emotional and visceral one as well. No one knows your child like you do, and only you can judge where your child is going to be happiest. For some that will be in the home from home atmosphere of a CM, for others it will be the larger setting of a nursery, for yet others something in between suits.

I see no need for the great childcare debate. If a body is happy with where their child goes to be cared for, then that is their ideal. Not every child is suited to every setting, and you have to do whatever you believe to be right with your child.

BornInACrossFireHurricane Thu 17-Jan-13 11:55:13

I have worked in a great deal of nursery settings whilst at university and did placements in a few whilst at college.

I personally do not like the day nursery setup as a whole BUT did actually work in one which I would have been happy to send my children to as it was lovely still had one or two miserable cows there but such is life!

I do think that a good nursery can provide opportunities that I, as a SAHM, struggle to do. But you need to shop around if possible and find one that works for you and your child as they can vary greatly in my experience!

DialsMavis Thu 17-Jan-13 12:00:18

Surely no-one really knows if the atmosphere totally changes as soon as the parents leave at a CMs either? I have seen some bloody awful CMs at toddler groups, but I don't assume they are all crap. It's just the horrible ones stand out

wordfactory Thu 17-Jan-13 12:03:20

Yes, I have met a few dire nannies too! But some lovely ones as well, who I think were a godsend to their employers.

MarshaBrady Thu 17-Jan-13 12:06:05

Ds' nursery is great. Only for 2 and older, and now he is three it's good for him to go a couple of times a week.

It looks lovely, the staff seem great, loving. Of course you can't be there and not there to assess what happens after you go. But I do trust it.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 12:09:38

Surely no-one really knows if the atmosphere totally changes as soon as the parents leave

Well not with webcams and a live feed. grin

It is true of any setting really, including a parental/family based one when family and other parent all walk out the door.

I don't think some parents have any idea how their beloved kids are treated by the nonni once their backs are turned.

I've also seen kids not getting the best possible deal where the parent was evidently at the end of their tether with fulltime childcare. Possibly a nursey would give both enough of a break to improve their interaction.

FeistyLass Thu 17-Jan-13 12:11:42

Amber, as for the Steiner school and their attitude to elves and fairies, ds seems to currently believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, Spiderman, Fireman Sam and mutant ninja turtles. I didn't think adding elves and fairies into the mix would do any harm grin

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 12:16:34

as for the Steiner school and their attitude to elves and fairies

I was thinking less about the elves and stuff, and more about the OP's dislike of assessment. How would she feel about her kid being observed so s/he could be "typed".

I think in terms of assessment that is a lot harded to get past than "Little Jonny seems to be interested in starting potty training"

shesariver Thu 17-Jan-13 12:17:56

I don't think the attitude "they are going to have to get over it" is a healthy one when it comes to examining which intimate family tasks one feels uneasy outsourcing. I think that the outsourcing of family life ought to be scrutinised much harder - there is a lot of throwing the baby out with the bathwater going on

Please explain further bonsoir - because if you return to work and dont have family to or who wants to watch your baby then regardless of choosing nursery, cm etc they will have to change a babys nappy. Are you saying because I went back to work and did this (in the past) I was "outsourcing family life"? I dislike the implication from your posts that you dont want "strangers" changing your childs nappy if this includes childcare professionals, either at nursery or a cm. There is something inherently wrong about that - what on earth do you think staff are going to do? Boy you would love my DH - who is a fantastic male childminder! Thank god his parents dont think like you do otherwise he wouldnt be very busy, hes got 4 mindees who are still in nappies presently.

Sirzy Thu 17-Jan-13 12:19:36

I was lucky that my sister worked at the first nursery DS went to, one of her friends works at the one he is at now. Both send their own children to that setting which I think speaks volumes.

You never know what goes on when parents have left BUT in a childminder it is often one adult with nobody watching, in a nursery there are other adults who would hopefully pick up on and question bad practice.

sugarandspiced Thu 17-Jan-13 12:55:48

YANBU to not want to put your 2 year old in a nursery. I can understand a general feeling of discomfort as different people feel comfortable with different things.
I do find your specific reasons a little naive/ odd though.

If you are at all familiar with the Early Years Foundation or had asked the nursery about it, you would know that a huge amount of paper work is imposed on child carers. Assessing a 2 or 3 year old would be part of this. On occasion, nursery staff are very helpful in picking up on developmental issues in individual children.
I don't know why it wouldn't have occurred to you that your DS would have his nappy changed by someone other than a parent whilst at nursery. That seems fairly obvious. I find it a little odd that some parents regard this as strange. Are you trying to imply something unpleasant or are you naturally suspicious? A nursery work has training or, at the v least, experience of working with small children. Changing a nappy is part of their job. They are not 'strangers' that you have plucked off the street. They are professional staff in a childcare setting that you talk to and get to know over a period of time.
Would the same logic re intimate tasks also apply to staff in a care home washing/ dressing/ changing nappies for an elderly/ disabled person or someone with dementia? Should this always be done be immediate family also?

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 13:33:25

"Why does this issue have to be framed as 'I don't think it benefits children'. Why can't you just say 'I don't think it would have benefitted my child' ?"

Because that's not what I think.

I don't believe institutional childcare is good for children under about 3.

I'm not an expert, that's just my preference.

But it's not a changing preference, it's what I believed before I had any children, and it's what I continue to believe now that I have 3 children.

Other people have other reasons to prefer nurseries. That's up to them.

I find the idea that we're not allowed to talk about what we want from childcare extremely stultifying, and your attempt to disallow any general statements is part of that.

Jins Thu 17-Jan-13 13:33:30

I think the important thing is that we all find the right solution for us.

I was very uneasy about CMs for no more reason than they were on their own. I saw the advantage of a nursery being that there were just a few more pairs of eyes, someone to cover if you needed to go to the loo for example. My DS was angelic until your back was turned and it was a worry. Totally unfounded tbh

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 13:38:10

sugarandspiced, yes I think naive is the right word, not sure about odd, maybe!
I did know of course that someone would be changing his nappy, and if I had sat down and thought about it I also know enough to realise that childcare means paperwork.
However, I don't think I had particularly thought about that being applied to my child before I got in the place and saw it all. Had just been happily thinking how nice it would be, and we were moving onto the next stage with him etc etc.
My nappy changing concerns are not to do with thinking he is in any danger, and it wouldn't make any difference if it was a man or a woman. I think it's just the intimacy of it, made worse by the fact that DS has an issue down there that means we have to do something more intimate than normal to him everytime we change him.
He is not talking as yet so I think I'll review the situation in a few months, I might well feel differently about it when he can communicate better.

BlackBagBorderBinLiner Thu 17-Jan-13 14:02:18

Get hold of a copy of Affluenza, this is a difficult subject to discuss in real life but this might help you confirm your gut feeling. I found it very comforting.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 14:05:11

So you have three children and now you speak for ALL children?

this is what annoys me. 'i'm not an expert, this is just my preference'.

do you honestly not understand why this is such a silly, crass thing to say? what on earth do you know about my child, what has benefitted my child? or anyone else's child outside your family? Why on earth do your preferences deserve such elevation?

I am not remotely trying to end debate. What I am trying to do is stop people who had one bad experience with one nursery that their particular child didn't like, trying to speak for all children in all environments. that is ridiculous and quite dangerous.

I don't push my irrational prejudices onto other people. I don't generalise wildly beyond my own experiences.

i wouldn't dream of making sweeping statements like - people who don't like other people changing their children's nappies are precious mimsy idiots. I'm not an expert on that, just my opinion.

Well, opinions are like arseholes aren't they? everyone's got one.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 14:12:37

I'm with Spero.

Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. But they are not entitled to their facts.

When by one's own admission actual knowledge and data are seriously lacking, it makes no sense at all to make a generalised sweeping statement balanaced on nothing more substantial than a sandy foundation called "cos I think so".

It naturally enough gets peoples' backs up.

Sirzy Thu 17-Jan-13 14:15:10

Research has actually shown that unless in full time at a young age childcare can be beneficial to a child. However, it is very hard to conduct anything like accurate research as their are so many confounding variables

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 14:15:26

sorry for intemperate tone, i am getting cross now, especially as bloody Affluenza is being trotted out.

I don't work and bang my child up in nursery because I am a greedy materialist, I work because otherwise I am on benefits as a single parent. I chose a nursery because I thought it was the best environment with more scope for stimulation than a child minder. My decision for my child. Everyone else is free to make their own decisions. Which I am sure they do based on the best evidence they can get and their wish to do right by their child in the particular circs they have.

This is clearly pushing my buttons so I had better bow out. But unless you have qualifications, experience and research in a field, beyond your own progeny I just don't get why anyone thinks they can make sweeping pronoucements for all children.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 14:18:01

The only valid comparison is between the care a particular child would get in its own particular home and the the care that same child would receive in a particular care setting.

Nevertheless, some parents (myself included) are very squeamish about outsourcing intimate tasks, which makes any sort of childcare fairly distasteful. Others don't mind, which is fine. We all have a right to our opinion.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 14:27:56

especially as bloody Affluenza is being trotted out

Yet another bloody professional (potentially/alledgely etc.) making a mint by being "controversial" and spouting psycobabble by any chance ?

Great. Fabulous.

<grabs bingo card>

So can I cross off Spirtuality, Nobel Savage, unproven therory style FACTS! before I even start digging ?

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 14:32:21

of course Bonsoir. you are fully entitled to want to be in control of everything that leaks out of your child! We can agree to disagree on that, you are not demanding I parent your way.

But these people who say 'I don't agree with so and so for any child' - they are effectively attacking those who parent differently. those who don't do it their way are subject to their disapprobation.

Fine if that is based on clear evidence for eg not beating your child with a big stick. Not so fine in other areas which depend on massive amount of variables, personality of the child, quality of child care provision etc.

note brllliant way I have bowed out here.

BlackBagBorderBinLiner Thu 17-Jan-13 14:36:56

Which I am sure they do based on the best evidence they can get and their wish to do right by their child in the particular circs they have. that's why I recommended Affluenza, you may feel that your circumstances have left you with no 'choice' but this book is concerned with the population in general, it is not a critical biography of an individual.

ukatlast Thu 17-Jan-13 14:37:31

Quote Easilybored'''There is no better care than that of a mother'

What an utter pile of flaming bullshit.''

I beg to differ. You are deluding yourself if you think anyone cares about your child more than you (the person who gave birth) the Mother.
I was involved in voluntary run Playgroups and know how hard it was to motivate paid staff and I am talking a 2 1/2 hours 3 times a week playgroup.
I think everyone should do what works best for their family. Some people have no choice, you do scupper your career if you become a SAHM in many cases; but any pre-verbal child (if able to give its opinion) would likely rather spend the day in the care of someone with a vested emotional interest.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 14:38:16

"Why on earth do your preferences deserve such elevation?"

What elevation?

The giddy heights of me believing them and discussing them on a thread on which I don't even have the rank of OP?

People make decisions for their families all the time based on what they think works best for children.

You can insist they put the word "my" in every sentence, but it's bullshit.

That's not what they really mean.

People who do attachment parenting, or baby led weaning, or co-sleeping think those decisions are best.

There might be some parents who don't make any decisions based on their preferences and beliefs and prejudices, but wait until they can tell what the child wants.

But even those parents will be informed by their experiences and personality.

I don't think nursery is great for babies or toddlers. So I choose other childcare.

If I had to choose between nursery and not working, I'd choose nursery.

But I prefer my children to be cared for in a home environment by a CM because that's what I think is best.

Other people disagree and think I am leaving them vulnerable to abuse.

Which is a reasonable point, but that's the risk I take to avoid what I consider to be the more likely drawbacks of institutional care for babies and toddlers.

If there is no reason to feel guilty about using childcare (and there is not) then there is no reason to disallow talking in general terms about what works best.

lolalotta Thu 17-Jan-13 14:42:08

I feel very fortunate that my DD goes to an outdoor nursery, she loves it!!! grin they still document learning journeys etc but I do feel it is less formal than more traditional nursery settings.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 14:43:26

Enlarging the debate somewhat: in general, I am not keen on for-profit chains in the care and education businesses. I'm not sure that scale works in these businesses...

PriscillaLydiaSellon Thu 17-Jan-13 14:44:42

I short, Hoovers: YANBU. I hate the places.

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 14:47:35

The OP is talking about a part time nursery place for a TWO year old, in the context of being overwhelmingly cared for by parents. I think some of the anti nursery people need to calm down a tad.

If my DS didn't enjoy nursery I wouldn't send him. He is 23 months and a non stop chatterbox, as it is he still asks to go back to his old one when we are at home (unfortunately he had to leave due to DH changing jobs) and misses his friends and the staff (the children all call the manager Nanny X and she genuinely behaves like an extra grandparent). For us a balance of family and nursery is perfect.

Whoever said Noone loves your child like the person who gave birth to them, try telling that to fathers, adoptive parents etc.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 14:47:57

I disagree very strongly that OJ speaks to the population at large. He writes based on the enormous assumption of his own privilege and dripping from every line, in so far as I can see, is the view that working mothers are selfish and doing it for material gain. So I say fuck you OJ and wake up to the real world where it is a lot more complicated and multifaceted.

Athing - let me try an analogy. Someone has got cancer. You really believe, based on no evidence, just your own preferences, because you once had an uncle who got cancer that a raw food diet will work wonders. So you tell the cancer patient - I don't agree with chemotherapy. What nonsense. All cancer patients should be eating cruciferous vegetables.

Do you see where I am coming from? Of course parents who love co sleeping/Gina Ford believe their way is the best but my patience with their proselytising stops once they step over the threshold of their own homes. Best for your child, I can't argue with that. Best for eveyone elses? Based on no evidence other than your own 'preference'? no way.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 14:49:57

ukatlast well, I guess I had better not leave him with my husband then?!

Seriously, what an emotive bit of crap to spout. I love my son, of course, but if I stayed home with him full time I would go utterly and completely batshit crazy. I am not SAHM material. He is far far far better off in the care of trained professionals than he would be if he was at home with me full time. They do activities with him that I would never even consider doing. They have boundless energy and enthusiasm and don't get fed up because they actually just want to sit and watch the newest episode of Greys while drinking tea and not build flippin block towers for the 1000000 time that day. DS goes happily into the arms of the nursery workers each morning, and is full of smiles. I'm not deluding myself that they love him in the same way I do, but the care they give him is second to none. You do not have to love someone to provide them with a caring, stimulating, safe, fun environment.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 14:50:39

Spero - while I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion as to what is best for their child (though I may disagree smile), I don't think your chemotherapy vs. cruciferous vegetable therapy analogy holds up.

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 14:52:41

Bonsoir I agree. I think our two excellent nurseries have been so great (and reasonable!) in large part because neither is for-profit. (one workplace nursery, one parent run co-operative).

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 14:53:56

Well that is your opinion and I respectly admit you are entitled to it. I however, think it is bang on point.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 14:55:43

Also, since there is no way of really knowing what a pre-verbal child would prefer, I would argue that you are talking out of your arse on that one. DS would rather spend the day with whoever would give him the most chocolate buttons and cuddles or let him bash the cat with his bricks or many many other things that change every 30 seconds. Toddlers are fickle heartbreakers. He's happy cuddling mummy until daddy arrives, then 10 minutes later he wants mummy, then daddy again, then the poor cat, then gran and on and on.

nailak Thu 17-Jan-13 14:57:59

I send my SS because he loves it. My experience of nurseries are that they are quite free range, such as at my dd2 s nursery they are free to go in and out of all the rooms or outside and just have ten mins carpet time reading a story at the end. She is four. They also have adult led activities which the children are free to join or not. The ethos is about child I initiated learning and learning through play, talking to the kids while they play etc. the assessment is required by local authority, but is not formal. The kids just have two or three aims a term, such as playing more with others, concentrating on sharing, playing more with play dough or fine motor skills stuff, holding a pencil, joining in with singing, so on, nothing strenuous.

My ds nursery is a bit more structured, as in they have a snack time in middle of afternoon, and an extra carpet time, but again he is free to join in or not.

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 14:58:56

Posting limited due to trying to multitask/on phone but I agree with Spero and Loquace.

Re OJ, he is an idiot.

I work for the same reasons my DH does - sense of vocation, intellectual stimulation, wish to contribute to wider society, to put a (small and in need of DIY) roof over our head, to provide a positive role model to DS and a multitude of other things. The idea of working to buy myself designer goods or posh holidays is so far from our reality it is simply laughable. The absolute basics are a struggle most months.

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 17-Jan-13 14:59:31

I am all for "assessing." It's very helpful to have someone who sees scores of kids over the years notice that your child is having a difficulty with something. I have two boys with speech delays. My first child was a precocious speaker (full sentences before 2 years old, and a very large vocabulary.) So, when my younger ones were delayed, I had no idea what "normal" was. It helps so much to have a professional note things about speech and motor skills.

Both of my boys got speech therapy and that ball was started rolling by nursery staff.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 15:14:39

"my patience with their proselytising stops once they step over the threshold of their own homes."

So you are against the very idea of Mumsnet?

You don't think people should talk in general terms about parenting and what they believe works best?

What kind of discussion can be had about anything related to parenting if talking in general terms is disallowed?

And BTW, I'm sure you know that there is a difference between "this is what I think is best for children generally" and "this is how it must be for ALL children."

You can disagree about what is best for children without believing other people are bad parents because they disagree.

I disagree very much with what you say about crucifers us vegetables.

People should not be prevented from holding, or discussing, views about vegetables curing cancer.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 15:18:01

Sorry it is obviously my fault for not being clear.

There is a big distinction between - this is what worked best for my child. I think the reasons for this were a, b, and c.

And: this is what works best for all children. I don't have any evidence for this, but it is what I believe.

if you don't understand that distinction I am at a loss how to put it any better.

DontmindifIdo Thu 17-Jan-13 15:18:12

Am I missing something, but I though that child minders also had to follow the EY stuff and also assess DCs in their care. I know most CM have folders of forms etc.

Or is the OP really talking about pre-school rather than nursery as childcare option?

If you are thinking of pre-school, re the nappy changing, many pre-school only nurseries (rather than ones that will take from 4 months) won't take DCs who aren't dry. Most that are attached to private schools for instance, take DCs from 2.5years old but they have to be dry.

I also found when looking for nursery as childcare options for DS, there is a massive difference between different nurseries, somethings can't be done well on the cheap.

princessx2 Thu 17-Jan-13 15:18:54

When I was choosing child are for my children, I didn't like (still don't) the thought of a childminder and leaving my children there. I couldn't explain why that was, I just didn't feel comfortable with the idea of them with one person the whole time. My MIL (who was a nursery nurse) ) made a comment one day about having to leave the room as she needed to have 5 mins away from a difficult child and getting one of the other nursery staff to cover her. I think that this was the reason that I couldn't square it in my own mind-if a cm is having a bad day, what does she do?

However, what arrangements people make for their children depends on them and their circumstances. My children thrived in nursery and since at school-maybe we have been very lucky in our choice of care, but it suited us.

greenpostit Thu 17-Jan-13 15:26:17

Op if you don't like the nappy thing, send him when he's 3 - he will probably be able to use the toilet on his own. Another adv of him being 3 is that he will have far more speech and benefit more from interacting with other kids in a more meaningful way.

SaraBellumHertz Thu 17-Jan-13 15:45:07

DC1 went to nursery when I returned to work.

I briefly considered a CM but I visited a few (and I'll get flamed for this I know) my impression was it was all about the money, they all lived in slightly dodgy areas in cramped houses and it very much seemed a means to an end. The joy of inner city childcare perhaps?

I decided I liked the more regulated environment of a nursery although out of the four I viewed the one she went to was the only one I was happy sending her to.

Once DC2 came along a nanny was a better option and that is what we now have for DC4.

I think some DC thrive in nursery settings and I imagine others don't. I also suspect the difference between good and bad is vast

blueshoes Thu 17-Jan-13 15:53:29

I am with you, princess.

I consciously choose nursery over a home-based setting because of the checks and balances that many hands to the pump at a nursery can provide, both for the benefit of my dcs (who have more likely to find their preferred carer out of a number of staff) as well as staff (who get little breaks from time to time).

Most importantly, my dcs are not left for long periods in the sole care of one person.

Nursery seemed to suit them, so I can hardly work up a sweat about a group setting. Plus the carers were lovely.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 15:55:05

I understand the distinction.

But there are other possible statements.

For one thing "this is what worked best for my child" is in the past tense as well as being specific.

What about people who are experiencing childcare in the present tense, or planning for it in the future tense?

The latter group only have their own preferences, beliefs and feelings to go on.

Now you can be a pain in the arse and insist that they are only allowed to talk in specific terms about what is best for their own child.

But really, unless their child has very specific needs, what they are deciding is what is best for children (in general) because that is what they want to provide for their own child.

There is no reason to get in a strop because there are many views on how children should be raised.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 15:58:39

I am annoyed that people claim to know what is best for all children on no evidence. On only their preferences/prejudices/fears. And then projecting that out on a wider audience in a way that is inevitably to suggest that people who don't agree are 'lesser'.

You may characterise that as 'a strop' if you like. I prefer to think its a bit more dignified and is based on a reasonable and important point.

I think people should at least recognise the limitations of their 'preferences'. that doesn't stifle debate. But it does encourage people to think. Which can't be a bad thing.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 15:58:49

grin @ "all about the money"

Unless you are part of a co-op, that's the deal with buying childcare

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 16:08:08

wow. So I suppose it is also your 'opinion' that anyone who is paid to work with children is just a money grubbing capitalist with no interest, joy or passion for their interactions with children?

You have clearly had some bad experiences with professional childcare or you are simply immensely prejudiced.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 16:17:46

This is what you call dignified? grin

Someone was being sniffy about CMs being "all about the money".

You could say the same about anyone who has to work for a living.

Just because someone needs to work doesn't mean they don't care about their job or do it very well.

I have only ever had good experiences with childcare.

But ultimately it is a business transaction. You are paying for your children to be cared for so you don't have to.

SaraBellumHertz Thu 17-Jan-13 16:28:02

"that's the deal with childcare" that's the deal with all work to one extent or another. But it is a balance and for some that balance tips in favour of vocation.

Many of the nursery staff I met seemed to genuinely like and were interested in their job. Not so the CMs - they definitely left me with the impression that they were doing it because it was more cost effective than shelf stacking

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 16:38:11

Ok, you clearly can see nothing wrong in making these kind of comments, so I am on a hiding to nothing. Just hoping you would think a bit about their impact.

Of course there is good, bad and indifferent in every trade. I am happy to pay good money for good child care. I don't see the problem with that. I am fed up with the way that child care is downgraded and denigrated as a profession.

crashdoll Thu 17-Jan-13 17:01:14

LOL and being in childcare for the money. Do you know how much childcare workers get paid?

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 17:02:33

"I am happy to pay good money for good child care. I don't see the problem with that. I am fed up with the way that child care is downgraded and denigrated as a profession."

Me too.

I'm bemused at you jumping down my throat over everything I say.

It would be nice to be able to talk about childcare without people like you trying to define the terms so narrowly the discussion becomes pointless and tedious.

Your extreme defensiveness makes it seem like childcare is something unspeakable that we should all be ashamed of using.

SaraBellumHertz Thu 17-Jan-13 18:29:20

crashdoll I know a CM can earn a lot more than stacking shelves and frankly the handful I met when I looked probably would have made the grade for even that.

Disclaimer I have subsequently met a number of fantastic CM's but it doesn't change my view that a lot of people choose to become CMs because the pay is, comparatively speaking, reasonable, it's flexible and you can work whilst looking after your own DC. For many CMs it has nothing to do with wanting to work with children.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 19:18:09

"a lot of people choose to become CMs because the pay is, comparatively speaking, reasonable, it's flexible and you can work whilst looking after your own DC."

So what?

What do you imagine are the motivations of the people who run the nurseries?

I don't need my children to be looked after by someone with a vocation for childcare.

Just someone who likes children and good with them.

Their motivation for taking the job isn't really of much consequence.

TandB Thu 17-Jan-13 19:19:17

Meh, do what you like and what suits you.

What I've found works so far is a mix of intense attachment-ish parenting for the first few months - sling, co-sleeping, demand feeding, never left to cry etc - and then chuck 'em into a large pile of other babies when they're a bit older and it's time to go back to work. Seems to work in the animal kingdom. grin

I love nurseries. We've been lucky with ours I suppose - we knew other people who had used them and recommended them highly. DS1 has been to two nurseries and a pre-school (because of moving) and DS2 has been at the nursery attached to his brother's pre-school for 4 months so far. They both seem to love it. Whenever I go to pick them up they are happy and bouncy. The baby room in particular is like a litter of puppies - all squawking and rolling around beaming at each other and shouting "hiya" and having tugs-of-war over a teddy bear.

We've had no problems with this approach - we have two happy, confident, sociable children who go into nursery in the morning enthusiastically and seem pleased to see us when we pick them up - so clearly not too traumatised and miserable!

But I know a few full-on attachment parents who think I am some kind of aberration - how can I possibly do the whole sling/co-sleeping thing and then [gasp] just dump my child in nursery? I've been nagged senseless by one woman about using Montessori "if I really must use nursery."

Seriously, do whatever you want to do and be happy about it. Don't start asking other people what they think because five out of ten will think you are wrong, another four will think you're sort of right but they would do it better and another one will suggest you do something else entirely.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 19:24:46

You are paying for your children to be cared for so you don't have to.

Foul on play.

Wholly uncalled for use of model verb implying intent to wriggle out of a imposed obligation.

And there it is in a nutshell. The lack of "for me" on proclamations like "I find x is best" is all about mother shaming.

For some people it's not enough that there is wide range of choices so they aren't stuck with something that doesn't suit. They have to infuse their choice with moral superiority.

God knows why. Maybe it tastes better that way ?

wordfactory Thu 17-Jan-13 19:34:15

The trouble is no one can live your life in all its variable glory, so can't possibly know what's best for you and your DC.

TandB Thu 17-Jan-13 19:35:51

You see I'd never dare utter any sort of parenting pronouncement without the "for me" disclaimer on the end.

Because I am fairly sure that, with 2 children under 4, I don't get this parenting thing absolutely 100% right, 100% of the time. I'm pretty sure I have/am/will make mistakes and the thing about mistakes is that you don't know you are making them until you've already made them. So at the time, you think you are getting it right.

So chances are you are going to finish up with egg on your face sooner or later if you go round making sweeping generalisations about what is right for all children.

I think we're getting more right than wrong at the moment, judging by the DSs current status. We'll re-visit some of our decisions when they're teenagers and cringe about any smugness about our superior parenting skills that turned out to be a whole load of utter arse. grin

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 19:36:56

"Wholly uncalled for use of model verb implying intent to wriggle out of a imposed obligation."

Sorry, I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

Do you?

"And there it is in a nutshell."

I think your nut might be rotten.

TandB Thu 17-Jan-13 19:40:09

I've discovered that saying "hmm" alot, in a non-committal way is the best way to avoid parenting technique disputes.

It doesn't work online unfortunately....

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 19:40:15

Sorry, I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

That tends to be the issue when teaching grammar goes out of fashion.

My nut is best.

<see what I did there?>

<infuses personal nug with smuggyknickers flavouring>

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 19:40:29

nut, even

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 19:59:08

"You see I'd never dare utter any sort of parenting pronouncement without the "for me" disclaimer on the end."

Well then why bother? It's basically meaningless if you tag it onto everything you say about parenting/children.

There is no need for everyone to be so fucking tense and uptight about this stuff that everything has to come with pointless disclaimers and unnecessary parentheses.

Take for example, this quote from earlier:
"I consciously choose nursery over a home-based setting because of the checks and balances that many hands to the pump at a nursery can provide"

Should I be apoplectic with rage that blueshoes thinks checks and balances are important for children when I choose childcare that doesn't afford that?

If she puts that she believes checks and balances are necessary for her child, is she saying they don't matter for mine?

Presumably she just thinks they are important. I don't agree.

I'm interested to hear that she thinks they matter when other things matter more to me.

Her adding in "for my child" is no different from saying "in my opinion" after every sentence.

It seems to me that we are all constantly making decisions based on our general ideas of what is best for children.

Those ideas differ.

And that's OK.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 20:00:07

"That tends to be the issue when teaching grammar goes out of fashion."

It also tends to be the issue when people write badly.

janey68 Thu 17-Jan-13 20:08:53

Our two went to a lovely child led nursery. Fabulous.
A nanny or childminder might suit you better if you aren't keen on a nursery ; however, if you don't want anyone else changing your babies nappy then I think you're in trouble really!

TandB Thu 17-Jan-13 20:10:44

But it is all good "for me"."

I have no idea whether it would be good for anyone else.

It's not uptight. It's not tense. It's just an acceptance that no-one is always right, and I am no exception.

I just find that saying "Well, I did it this way and it worked out okay" is a gentler way of sharing useful experiences than saying "You MUST do this. This is the RIGHT thing to do."

And less likely to make me look like a twat when DS1 turns into a juvenile delinquent the second he hits puberty.

I suppose you either feel the need for your own personal experience to be widely accepted as correct, or you are content with muddling along in your own way and having some people thinking you are right and some people thinking you are wrong and saying so. I remember all the flack I got for using a sling with DS1 full-time, and I'd rather not make any other new parent question their choices that way - most well-meaning parents will get it all broadly right, and if they have good intentions then chances are that all the good things they do will outweigh any bad decisions.

I also work in a field where I see a fair bit of the results of truly crap parenting. It makes your realise that all the choices that are debated on MN day-in, day-out are all one side of the coin, with the damaging, cruel, non-existent parenting on the other.

AThingInYourLife Thu 17-Jan-13 20:26:48

So if someone says "nurseries are great for little kids - all that attention and excitement, they love it."

Do you really need them to say "for my kids".

Isn't it just implied that they mean their kids, the children they know, in their opinion?

If someone says "oh, I think soft play is crap for kids, they get overstimulated and the equipment is full of germs"

Is that really so terrible?

I disagree, but hearing someone say that doesn't make me feel like a bad parent.

Am I the only person who is a little bit flattered when people start on with the "mum's care is the best" gubbins?

It might not be true.

It's almost certainly not true for my children (they could do better grin )

But it doesn't seem an outrageous thing to think that on balance children are best with their mother. I disagree, but I can hear it said without a red mist descending.

TandB Thu 17-Jan-13 20:39:12

I just think that with something that can be such a touchy, hurtful subject for so many people, and something which, realistically, is never going to be conclusively resolved, there's just no need for anyone to be telling anyone else what is best for their children.

It's hard enough working out what's best for your own - I honestly don't know where people get the energy and the supreme confidence to think they have all the answers to anything to do with children.

I think acknowledging that you can only speak for yourself when it comes to one of the big child-raising decisions is the kind thing to do.

I obviously think my way is right. But I don't necessarily feel that I need to proclaim that at the risk of hurting someone who is feeling a bit wobbly about their choices. I think people can take unnecessary offence - but there are some big, scary decisions to be made regarding children, so it's understandable. So if I can phrase something a bit more carefully and make someone feel a bit less challenged and criticised, I'm okay with that. You still get your point across.

Greensleeves Thu 17-Jan-13 20:45:28

I think Spero's argument is a nonsense tbh

Of course it is acceptable - and inevitable - to have opinions about what is best for children in general. Do you think your child's teacher doesn't? How then do you think practitioners develop a personal ethos and principles? Everybody forms opinions, it's how the human mind works. I think child labour is destructive. I think smacking is wrong. I don't like seeing tiny babies with pierced ears because I think it is cruel and unnecessary.

Asking people to comment only in terms of their own empirical background and their own children is ridiculous. You can't suppress opinions and debate just because other people's views make you feel uncomfortable. If you feel you can't defend your choices, well, that's a matter for you to address. But don't come to a parenting discussion forum and pull people up on discussing parenting!

Madness. And pedantry.

hrrumph Thu 17-Jan-13 21:09:57

Can only speak from my experience. I looked at a few nurseries and eventually picked quite a structured one, with a fairly strict manager.

They had lots of activities all laid out in the morning. Staff were loving, friendly but also adept at bringing the dc on. My dc thrived on the routine. She loved it. She knew exactly what to expect at different times of the day. Mine only went a couple of days a week from around age 2. But the dc who were there longer - were really well prepared for school. Independent and confident.

For mine, she got to an age where she wanted to be with friends all day. I could take her for an hour to toddler group, but what she wanted was hours of play with other dc.

I think sometimes as a new mum (well for me anyway) you don't know what they are capable of/could or should be doing. I was grateful for the nursery staff's experience with that.

The assessment and paperwork - is a legal requirement I think. I'd want to know if all the others were doing something and mine was lagging behind so that we could work on it a bit.

My dd still talks about it several years later. Recently she asked Santa for a dvd she used to watch there at hometime.

I have to admit I had looked round some nurseries when she was around 15 months and decided not to go ahead. But once she hit two it worked really well. Not saying it's the same for every dc. But for mine, she enjoyed it and it helped her a lot.

3monkeys3 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:15:30

I think it is a case of finding the right childcare for your child. We viewed many nurseries when we were looking for ds1 and ended up feeling very down in the dumps about it, as we didn't like any of them! In the end we found a lovely lovely lovely Montessori nursery and my dc couldn't be happier there. Not all nurseries are the same - if you are basing your opinion on one nursery, then you are being shortsighted and unreasonable.

soverylucky Thu 17-Jan-13 21:25:39

Some of your concerns are simmilar to the ones I had. I found a lovely nursery - they had to do the stuff you mentioned because of the EYFS. Tbh - I just ignored it all. As long as they were happy and well looked after I didn't care much for their review meetings etc

Smudging Thu 17-Jan-13 21:27:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kerstina Thu 17-Jan-13 21:36:58

I have not read the whole thread but just wanted to add my thoughts. I am a qualified Nursery nurse and have worked at lots of different settings. I stayed at home with my son till he was 2 and a half he started at the local playgroup and I also worked as a member of staff there. I could not have wished for a better start for him(regardless of whether I was there or not).Believe it or not the children actually love being at a nursery or playgroup they make friends and have great fun, learn to share,socialise and play. There are lots of new experiences for them.
I would not rate all nurseries so highly but you should be able to tell whether your child is happy or not. I am afraid I do not really rate the private day nurseries that I worked as much as the other settings. The staff turnover is high and staff tend to be young and inexperienced as was I. However if the love for the children is there that counts for a lot.
I think you are projecting your negative feelings a bit. Your child might just love being in a nursery if you give them the chance!

Hobbitation Thu 17-Jan-13 21:42:53

Mine went to childminder from 11/8 months respectively and a mixture of pre-school/childminder from 2.5. I didn't even look at nurseries tbh, just didn't like the whole idea of it for a baby.

KoalaTale Thu 17-Jan-13 22:03:03

Yanbu, I felt the same way, hence chose a CM. I think nursery is good for over threes, no way is my pfb going before then though.

farewellfarewell Thu 17-Jan-13 22:10:50

Yanbu, would not send an under 2.5/3yr old to a nursery unless I had no other option. Also disagree with your comment about "most people" thinking it is a good thing...

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 17-Jan-13 22:17:39

Good childcare is good childcare, and bad childcare is always going to exist somewhere. That applies equally across every sort of childcare setting - nurseries, childminders, at home with parents, wherever.

Personally speaking mine both went to a day nursery when they were 6 months old. I always felt very confident that they were cared for and I know they were happy. There was not, and still isn't, a high staff turnover. Plenty of the staff who were there when my son started are there now, over 8 years later. Maybe the staff badmouthed me after I'd picked the children up - who knows, who cares? As long as they cared for my children properly, it doesn't actually matter. It's hardly a phenomenon confined to nurseries anyway!

Everyone should do what they feel comfortable with in terms of childcare given the circumstances they find themselves in and threads like this are generally unhelpful.

MyChemicalMummy Thu 17-Jan-13 22:23:37

I sent my son to a institution for 3 years. he loved every minute of it. But then he was one of the favourite so got special treatment lol!

I think DD's nursery is great. She has been there since 6 months, starting on 2 mornings a week to get used to it and then going 3 days a week from 11 months when I went back to work. I didn't consider a CM as I like the child focussed environment, having multiple staff and saw some very disengaged CM at our local toddler group.

They do assess my DD - it means that they can plan activities she will enjoy and will pick up on any areas where she could do with a bit more help or practice. Assessing her is also fun for her, for example her key worker took her to visit the staff room to assess whether she can climb stairs, so she got to do a special visit with one-to-one care.

DD thrives on the structure. She completely understands when she has a snack, how to sit nicely at the table, to ask to get down etc. The structure is one reason that children behave better at nursery than at home (most of the time) as they know what is coming next. I have never seen any children looking mystified at DD's nursery.

They do write down what they do, as part of their planning, so they can share their day with the parents, so we know what DD has eaten, whether she has done a poo. I find this really useful as I know that she eats a wider range of vegetables at nursery than at home and I can try her on them at home. They do fill in things like the accident form I signed today - it was important for me to know that DD had an accident (very much the type of accident she might have at home, nothing to do with her going to nursery) and that she had cuddles to make it better.

They do change DD's nappy and I do a little inwards dance when I pick her up at 6pm to be told that they changed a pooey nappy at 5.30pm.

If it's any help I would just not like to be at home with DD all the time. It would drive me crazy and I would be a much worse mother for it. I would be bored and probably end up depressed. I think that the nursery staff have more patience and know more about dealing with small children than I do. I think DD would be lonely without other children to interact with. Even going to playgroups with me is not as good as nursery for her as she tends to be a bit clingy at playgroups, whereas at nursery she is a very happy, outgoing and confident child. It is horses for courses, but I just wouldn't like to be a SAHM.

shellshock7 Thu 17-Jan-13 22:35:07

I've not read the whole thread, but YANBU. I have just surprised myself with this opinion.

DS (10m) was just supposed to start nursery one day a week, I have returned to work 3 days and my DM was having him 2...but after his settling In sessions my mum is having him all 3 days now.

DS cried the whole time he was there, it was a shock as he never cries and had certainly never cried when I left the room etc. before, but at nursery he was inconsolable when I wasn't there and very clingy with me in the room. I came to the conclusion that he is just to young not to have one to one care with someone who knows his needs and will care for him as I would.

I was also shocked at nursery itself, and I had (by accident!) chosen one of the best in the area as it was handy for walking to work, but babies were basically just left to amuse themselves, most were just sat crying, some were left in cots awake the whole time I was there and all had very snotty noses. The babies that couldn't crawl/walk were just left in chairs to occupy themselves.

This isn't a criticism of the nursery, but reinforced my opinion that babies that young really do need more care than the one adult to three babies ratio nurseries have to meet.

The next room up seemed much happier as the children were older and had a certain degree of independence so I will try DS again when he is older. I am very lucky tho that my DM can, and loves, having him.

JollyRedGiant Thu 17-Jan-13 22:39:26

Whether or not nursery 'benefits' children under 3 surely depends a lot on individual circumstances.

If the SAHP is totally knackered and needs a break from a demanding toddler 1 day a week in order to be enthusiastic the other 6 days then this is surely a good thing?

Also, nurseries have a wide range of activities that one or two parents may not think of. And messier activities than those allowed at home.

A wider vocabulary can surely be gained from interacting with other adults who use different words or turns of phrase to parents.

And I don't think it is bad for a young child without siblings to be taught how to share in a way they won't be able to learn at home.

I can see benefits for both the child and the parents, in certain circumstances. The situation needs to work for everyone in order for it to be the right solution.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 17-Jan-13 22:55:46


It is a very personal decision who cares for your children and nobody can tell you if you are right or wrong because there is no right or wrong, unless there are welfare issues.
I don't like any institutional setting for children and believe them in many instances to be detrimental to their development and education.
The freedom dc gain without this can be a real eye opener.
I can see why some prefer to outsource care and education, its each to their own.

PurpleStorm Thu 17-Jan-13 23:45:40

I think a lot depends on the nursery itself.

DS goes to a small nursery, and he's happy there, and usually starts heading for the toys before I've even left the room. They've also got a large garden, with separate sections for the babies/toddlers and the bigger kids, so plenty of room for the kids to play outside, weather permitting.

And I think having structure at a nursery is good for DS in the same way as us having a routine at home is good for DS.

They write down what he's eaten, how long he's napped, how many times they've changed his nappy, which is all useful information. They're required to assess all the children against the early years foundation stage - as I understand it, that's a legal requirement for them. It might not feel strictly necessary from my point of view, but if DS did show signs of developmental delay, this might mean it was picked up earlier.

And as for nappies, there's no getting around that unless you're going to avoid childcare until your DC is fully toilet trained.

Personally, I didn't want DS to be cared for by a childminder or nanny. I'm uncomfortable with that kind of childcare unless I know the adult very well. This is mostly because of the very poor relationship I had with the nanny who looked after me when I was little - she didn't like me, made this very clear to me, and I found her very intimidating and frightening. I know rationally that I'm probably being daft, because there are plenty of very good childminders and nannies who love children out there, but I just couldn't get my own experience out of my head when choosing childcare for DS.

SaraBellumHertz Fri 18-Jan-13 09:35:22

athing you need to read the paragraph as a whole rather than comment on one sentence in isolation. The conclusion being that many people become CM's for reasons totally unassociated with wanting to work with DC.

Whilst I don't need everyone who comes into professional contact with my DC to have a vocation for children I'd prefer if liking DC's was a deciding factor in their decision.

The motivation of a nursery owner matters to me far less than that of the staff they choose to employ

AThingInYourLife Fri 18-Jan-13 09:51:40

"The motivation of a nursery owner matters to me far less than that of the staff they choose to employ"

Oh right, you see the founding principles of the business and the commitment of the owners to maintaining those ideals would matter a lot more to me than why a young, poorly paid woman said she worked there.

I know that "I love working with children" is often code for "I wasn't very good in school".

londonkiwi Fri 18-Jan-13 10:41:35

Surely both AThing and Spero (and others) have a point.

I have some opinions about children / childcare that are my general view about what's best for all children (like "smacking is wrong" or "people shouldn't smoke around children" or whatever).

But then I have some opinions that are based on my own experience with my own children (like my 2 year old seems overwhelmed at nursery so I will keep them at home or look for other childcare options).

So I will say "I don't think nursery is best for my child," because I'm aware that children are different and other 2 yr olds seem to thrive at nursery.

jellybeans Fri 18-Jan-13 11:41:05

I find them regimented and institutional even though DD1 was in one full time although hers was very good and more 'home like' with older mature staff. I think 2.5 to 3 year olds can love it as they start social play at this age. I think for babies it is purely about childcare than any benefit for the child. For some kids it is fine and for others it may not suit. My DD hated it so I left as soon as I could. I am now SAHM but all have been to preschool from age 3ish.

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 18-Jan-13 12:37:48

thanks for all the opinions, it's been especially nice to hear from shellshock and others who've had similar experiences. It's also been really nice to hear about peoples differing experiences of differing settings. The nicest nurseries I have been in have been council run ones, which tend to have older staff. Unfortunately the ones like that near us seem to be closing down.
I have been quite surprised by the arguments going on within this thread, and was also quite surprised that I got sworn at a couple of times-I don't think that's happened since secondary school!
I think maybe I should have written my initial post in a different way and put it somewhere other that aibu.
For what it's worth I don't see the problem with people forming opinions from their experience, and expessing them. If you don't agree then you just do what you feel is best, there is no need to disprove anyone or feel threatened by someone elses opinion.
Anyway, I have been really benefited from this as it's helped me to feel confident that I am not depriving my DS and this is something that we can revisit at a later stage.
Also kungfu I really like your point that here we are, arguing about what's best for our children, which means they are all loved and cared for.

MammytoM Fri 18-Jan-13 12:57:45

Do you have any play group type provision in your area? Not mother and baby groups, but play group within a school where you leave them on their own and collect them later? The school nearest to me has this and they can start at 2. It runs four mornings a week for two hours at a time, so you can choose which days you want to take them. This would avoid the nappy changing issue, as they are only there two hours. You could have a little break and DS gets to have fun and learn new things smile

lotsofdogshere Fri 18-Jan-13 13:06:43

My children went to child minders as I preferred a home to nursery environment. It worked great for me, but has to be an individual choice and friends who used nurseries were generally equally happy with their choice. . By the way - "assessment" isn't something nursery workers think up to make themselves feel important, it is something imposed by ofsted and the early years foundation regulations. Childminders have to do it as well now.

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 18-Jan-13 13:38:06

I'll look into the playgroup thing mammy, I remember going to one of those when I was little, but it seems mostly groups where you stay (which we already go to) or proper nurseries round here.

MammytoM Fri 18-Jan-13 14:11:37

Hopefully you will find something suitable soon smile I'm in Wales and they have them in lots of places here but not sure about anywhere else

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