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Asquith nurseries(36 Posts)
Hiya - wondered if anyone had their DCs at one of this chain? We are looking at a local one but there were a couple of things in the Ofsted report that I was a wee bit concerned about but don't want to come across as a hysterical parent!
we had our DTs at one, they loved it, we were reasonably happy with it, high staff turnover, but that isn't too unusual. I'd visit and go with yuor instinct, Ofsted don't always get it right (says the teacher!)
The best thing is to speak to other parents who use that nursery. And go for a site visit. Trust your gut.
Agree that Ofsted don't always get the full picture.
my dd is at one, she started at 11 months and is now 4 years. We have been mainly very happy with the actual nursery - head office are absolutely rubbish with communication tho. But that doesnt matter on a day to day basis if you are happy with the staff at your nursery.
What type of thing is it that worries you about the ofsted? Also what is the date of the report? I agree (as another teacher) that ofsted get things wrong at times and that reports can become irrelevant over a short period of time.
Go and look round the nursery and ask the manager about the points on the ofsted that concern you. If they answer your questions openly and you are satisfied that they are working on any negatives from the report then no problem, if they are cagey about the report that would be warning bells to me and I would dig further.
I have come across two that have been not very good to say the least.
Too be honest it would be more about the individual nursery rather than the chain itself as alot of the problems are due to staff and management.
Our children spent a total of nine years in Asquith nurseries and were well looked after and thrived. AngelNanny is right though - the local management structure and operation is more important than the corporate name - ours was run by someone who had been manager for many many years, and had her own children there (a good recommendation!).
same experience as cornflakemum
tbh ours had a really bad ofsted but we didn't have any other options as no other nursery in our area did 8am to 6pm , they all did ridiculous hours like 9am to 5.30pm - how was i supposed to get to work for 9am? lol
anyway because of the poor ofsted they sent letters home saying they were striving to do better and spent loads of money on new equipment, decorating , more time on staff training and it really has made them pull their socks up
Thanks so much for the replies. Ofsted report mentioned something about the 'children needing more privacy when they go to the toilet' and there had been a specific complaint made about a current member of staff who had 'received training'. It was the most recent report but I'll go back & check the date.
I also heard by word of mouth that there had been some questions about hygiene when it came to baby bottles. All in all not great but as you recommend I'll pop along and see what my gut tells me. I have quite an impressive gut these days having just had my 3rd baby.
we had problems with Asquith Day Nursery in Reigate.
Not long ago when we collected our DD from nursery the skin on her arms, legs and face was extremely red and inflammed. Having made enquiries over the phone (as we only saw the full extent of her reaction in the car on the way home) asquith confirmed she took part in cake making in the pre school room in the morning that involved her making skin contact with raw egg (and maybe even eating either cake mixture or the finished cake). DD has had an egg allergy throughout her time at Asquith's.
We were obviously extremely upset and shocked that this could have happened, especially as DD was in a lot of discomfort in the evening because her skin had reacted strongly to the contact with egg even many hours later.
Aside from the incident occuring, the response raised several other concerns about the care being given by their staff. Firstly it appears nobody in the room was aware of DD's allergy, or that she always has medicine and skin cream at the nursery for this eventuality. two weeks after the incident we found out her medicine was discarded last year and we were never told about this...
The incident calls into question the processes this nursery has in place for dealing with food allergies, both in ensuring all staff are aware and that medicine is readily available and used if required; the preparation process for starting introductory visits to a new room in the nursery; and the level of care and attention staff are paying to a child's physical welfare.
hope this post is helpful...specially if you are considering using this nursery if your kids have food allergies.
Mine went/go to Asquith in Caterham and we have always been very happy overall with it. The communication/head office can be crap but the local management have always been pretty good, they have very low staff turnover (I am about to have a third baby who will go at 10m and be cared for by most of the same people who were there for ds1 who is nearly 6). They have an outstanding ofsted and great outdoor facilities. Aprt from the odd minor exception over 6 years I have always felt the staff to be comitted, well[trained and very kind with the kids. Funnily enough we moved to Reigate from Caterham but kept them at Caterham as the Reigate one didn't seem to have very much outside space and was in a very cramped location, I felt - though I must stress that I have never looked around it and have never heard anything negative about it at all.
I think other posters are right - the chain is just an umbrella - there can be a lot of variation in particular ones so you need to go and look at the individual nursery rather than the chain - ours was originally an independent one taken over by Asquith some years ago. No nursery is perfect I don't think but Asquith Caterham is by far the best one I have seen and both my children have been really happy there and I will be sending my third there with no reservations.
We had bad experiences with an Asquith nursery; I took the DCs out and wished I had done so much earlier. Several other families removed children at the same time.
As well as several incidents specific to that time and place, I was concerned about high staff turnover and difficulties in dealing with a centralised management structure.
We had a great experience with Asquith in NW London. We've just left as DD is about to start at a nursery school attatched to a primary school and we were so sad to leave as they have played such a huge part in our life for the past 2.5 years. We were mostly very happy with the nursery and DDs carers, specifically key workers. MiL said she was always very anti nursery but has now completely changed her opinion. The garden recently had a makeover and is a fantastic play space for the children with wooden play houses, a huge sandpit and astro-turfed area for the babies to sit and play in. I also know that hours are being extended to cover 7.30am to 6.30pm for parents who need. Definitely go in to look around and speak to any parents you might know who go there.
I wonder how secure Asquith Nurseries as a company is - anyone got any knowledge?
We were told that the Asquith Nursery we have been using at 50 Groveway Stockwell SW9 (Lambeth) is closing at the end of October 2012 - we got six weeks notice of this and the reason given is that they havent been able to come to an agreement with the landlord over rent for the site. To me this sounds like a bit of a non-argument as they would have been in discussions with the landlord for 6+ months I would have thought about renewal of leases etc. They implied that the landlord wanted to redevelop the site but to me this is another non-argument as they would require change of use planning permission etc.
So it seems that the company is in trouble - they were able to offer us places at surrounding nurseries fairly easily indicating that they are not full and I am not sure therefore how viable these are.
As a result of having our hands burnt here we will not be using any Asquith nursery again. Other Asquith parents may want to consider this too - Buyer beware and all that!.
I haven't done a full investigation but there doesn't seem to be any cause for alarm - they own many of their properties and have recently opened a purpose-built facility so I would imagine they are less keen on keeping leased operations going unless they are highly profitable, and if the landlord wants to bump up the rent they are not going to be highly profitable.
The story about redevelopment also sounds credible - the landlord presumably believes he can get planning consent.
Hi, I just wanted to say that my older son went to an Asquith in raynes park, and although I know some of the parents weren't happy with it, I personally have nothing but praise for them!
It was a lovely safe, warm environment for him, and he learned lots. He is incredibly bright and I do think the nursery had its part to play. He was there from 11mnths to 4 yrs.
There are 2 Asquiths near me - one has a great reputation the other doesn't so I'd agree look at the individual nursery rather than the brand. I'm in Kent so pm me if you want specifics.
With regards the Ofsted comment about children needing privacy for toileting it really depends what this refers to - of course toilets in full view of everyone isn't great but if it means staff don't leave them alone then I would disagree as the last thing I want is a toddler left to their own devices on the toilet. Ask to discuss the report at your initial meeting & see how they respond.
I have to say I moved my DC from the Caterham Asquith recently as I felt staff left my DC to wander around in the toddler room. DC was not engaged by staff which was heart ranching for me to see, so felt this wasn't the loving caring environment which would be right for us, which resulted in our move.
I also know, since leaving, as parents talk that they had quite a major incident with staff neglecting/abusing a child in the baby room which resulted in staff being reshuffled/asked to leave!
A complaint letter about this should have been in their complaint file, but this was hidden from me when I asked to see it before joining my child.
The staff are quite tight, so it can be difficult to get the truth where an incident occurs and as they don't file all their complaints for parents to see, as directed by Ofsted, I do wonder the extent to which parents are unhappy.
I would avoid this nursery at all cost..... Not worth taking the chance with our precious little ones!!!
I'm a former nursery nurse and spent some time working in an Asquith nursery.
Not long as I couldn't bare it!
I worked in the baby room where children were fed instant mash EVERY DAY!
Parents were told it was "potato and vegetable pie" or "cottage pie" "potatoes and vegetables"
In 2 months I only ever saw the baby room being served cooked grated carrot and instant mash.
I was also left caring for 13babies on my own on many occasions.
Of course the parents thought that everything was fantastic as they will be lied too!
Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear
If what you say is true twinkletoescare you have a duty as a caring person to report this to ofsted. There is a whistle blower part on the ofsted website, so take action, don't just tell worried mums about it, tell ofsted! Or tell me what brach it was and I will.
Hello lechatnoir, i live in tunbridge wells and i consider to to give my unborn child to the asquith woodlands (ofsted rating good) or the asquith sprinfields (ofsted rating outstanding) in southborough as these are closest to us. Have u or anyone else ever heard about these? Are u happy to leave ur children there and what is the staff turnover like?
Hello twinkletoescare, is that 'feeding behaviour' and the food quality the case with all asquith nurseries or just that one? And all of you, do you believe that an independent nursery is better than a chain?
I worked as a temp ten years ago at this chain and some others in South West London and I was quite shocked by the attitudes of the staff. Many of the seemed to truly have little interest in children and considered it a 'doss job'. I did issue a formal complaint to ofsted which led to a full investigation in one nursery (not Asquith actually).
Some of the staff I can across were exceptional, really caring and had been at the nursery for years. Unfortunately, many more had just finished school and didn't know what else to do with their lives, were completely unqualified and unsuitable to work in the industry.Some had learning difficulties/low IQ's. It is a very low paid industry despite charging parents huge fees.
I vowed to never send my children to a day nursery if I could help it. Of course I know there is little choice for some parents and I am sure some nurseries are fine and children thrive. I would always urge my friends to use childminders or nannies if finances allowed, especially for very young children.
Awful place, just took my son out. High level of apathy. Bad communication and staff that are disillusioned and bored. Could also do with a good clean.
My son attends an asquiths nursery in south-west London and there is no way I would recommend it. There are no staff there from when he started - they have all left because the management is so bad. I'm glad he is leaving to go to school. If he wasn't leaving, i would take him out. Morale is terrible and you can tell as soon as you walk in through the door.
My DS is at an Asquith (in Herts) and we are extremely happy with it - it's rated Outstanding by Ofsted and he's had brilliant care. There also seems to be very little staff turnover.
I don't think you can make a judgment without visiting an individual nursery to see what it has to offer.
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