Fennies Beckenham

(15 Posts)
LadyMama9 Thu 23-Feb-12 22:24:42

My son was at the Beckenham branch from age 1-2.
Am scarred by the experience and can't believe i let him stay there for a whole year. Any nursery with ofsted 3 - satisfactory is just NOT good enough. At the time i didnt realise that nursery's were Ofsted graded.
The staff in the baby room used to be generally v young and inexperienced. I never really felt like they were working there for the love of children and i dont think they fully realised the importance of their jobs. i think a very main point of consideration is that only 1 of the 6 staff was a mother and i really think that does make a massive difference. Especially when they are 17-19 year olds - they are still kids themselves!
A few times they had parties i got to stay in the baby room for a few hours and some of teh things i saw were so dangerous ie scissors being kept on a ledge, a baby reaching over and it missing it narrowly. I never said anything at the time as cowardly i thought these people are looking after the most precious thing in my life and i do not want to get on the wrong side of them.
Staff v rough. The rooms was so small. Often they didnt take the children out. My son was so young but still communicated in his own way no please dont leave me here. Obviously i dont know went on when i left but can't imagine much attention was paid to the babies, hence he seemed somewhat traumatised : ( My husband would do the drop off so would witness the look on his face the tears and it actually drove him to severe depression.
I wish the penny had dropped sooner for me. When he was nearing age 2 he would say no dont want to go and could tell he was unhappy. I took him out immediately, that was over a year ago. I never said anything to the staff, but feel like i must share my experience, so other parents dont make the same mistake.
In honesty i feel the child really does need family to look after them at least until the age of 2. If this is not an option, i would say a loving childminder would be better. If you have to go for a nursery try to go for one with Ofsted 1 rating.
i dont work now, If i could turn back time, I would NEVER in a million years recommend that place to anyone for the baby room.
I didnt even realise the manager was the manager until i left - that is how poor the communication was. To be honest would never have guessed she was as didnt have any air of authority and didnt really seem to care that much.

dobby2001 Wed 29-Feb-12 23:58:25

Hi LadyMama. I didnt want to read your post and run without saying how sorry i am to hear the experience that you had. I often used to see staff from this branch in the nearby alleyway having a smoke and gossip when i was walking out with my child a few years back and thought what a bad impression this created and surely the mamangement should say something but i see from your dealings that the management was weak.

There are good nurseries and good childminders locally so fingers crossed that this has not put you off looking at these options.

best wishes

Fiffie Thu 17-Jan-13 15:06:45

I wanted to add something to these postings, just to confirm that things obviously haven't improved at this nursery. We recently moved from Forest Hill to Penge and because of the distance I decided to move my 3-year old daughter from Teddies in Gipsy Hill to Fennies. When we had a look around initially, I did think the place was small and old, and I wasn't impressed with the baby rooms upstairs at all, but as my daughter was going to go to the newly refurbished Pre-school room downstairs I thought that would make a vast improvement. We did 2 weeks of settling in, and I was appalled at what I saw. On our first day I stayed with my daughter for 1 hour, but despite my presence no member of staff introduced themselves to myself or my daughter, she was not called by her name, she was not shown around or introduced to the other children, and I believe she spent the 2 weeks sitting at one table doing drawing and cutting. Furthermore, Ofsted required children to have a key worker from their first day, we never had one, neither did we actually know the names of any of the people working there, they don't wear name badges and don't talk to you.

I agree that all members of staff are extremely young and don't seem the tiniest bit interested in their job or in children, I observed story time, where the story was read so fast I found it hard to follow and there was no interaction with the children whatsoever, reading seemed to be something that had to be done as quickly as possible. Staff seemed bored and unfriendly, they don't even try to speak proper English (don't get me wrong, we all have our own individual accents and dialects but what I heard in there was more like teenage street-talk than anything else), and I witnessed one boy being dragged by his arm to the toilet and rudely told of by a member of staff because he had wet himself.

Fennies seems to spend a lot on their nurseries, but not on their staff! After the 2 weeks induction I was so relieved to pick up my child and never go back there, gladly her place at Teddies was still available and she loves it there and everybody was so happy to have her back.

So just as the previous posts, I do not recommend anybody to use this nursery, they really don't try hard enough and there are much better places out there.

Oh and by the way, you have to pay a full months deposit before your child starts, and if the child doesn't stay after settling in you don't get the money back! I did email the nursery listing all the reasons why we were leaving and asking for at least half the money back, but never heard back from them!

karly1985 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:16:18

I thought id would post a positive comment about this nursery as I currently have a 4 year old who has attended since she was 4 months old and attends full time.

I have had nothing but the upmost respect for the staff and all they have done to support me and my daughter’s development. She loves going to nursery and is often disappointed when it’s the weekend and not nursery days. Since day 1 settling the staff have been warm and caring and very friendly. My husband very rarely gets the chance to collect our daughter as he works uptown but on the few occasions he has he has commented on how lovely the staff are.

It saddens me to see this as this is not the nursery that I know, I’ve viewed many other nurseries whilst pregnant and none of them had the warm friendly atmosphere that Fennies have.

During her 2 week settling period the staff really helped me feel at ease leaving her and often called me to reassure me after emotional drop offs. (Myself being the emotional one!)

The state of the building is not really what’s important here, it’s the staff who provide the activities and stimulate the children to the best of their abilities. Yes the nursery is currently under refurbishment and yes the owners do put a lot of money into their nurseries but its the care that is important and I would recommend Fennies in Beckenham to anyone. I have nothing but praise for the nursery and the amazing staff whom my daughter loves dearly.

I am a teacher myself and work in primary education, I have no concerns about my daughters development, we have regular parents evenings and her development folder is always readily available should I like to check it (and I often do) my daughter loves cutting and sticking at the moment as I’m pretty sure most mums of 4 year old girls should understand. I have some lovely artwork displayed around my house thanks to Fennies. I’m sure most of you will agree this is often a phase of interest and these interests change, my daughter was obsessed with dolls and dressing up, this phase lasted 3 months!!! Although she had this phase I am certain she did not spend every minute of the day playing with dolls.

The thing that bugs me with these threads is that if you genuinely feel that awful about Fennies and saw such behaviour why would you leave your prizes possession there? Or not immediately raise your concerns? I certainly would not have left my daughter there if I felt that badly, nor would my husband let me.

I really hope this encourages you to still consider Fennies if you are looking for a nursery, please at least take the time to have a look around and meet the lovely staff and manager. It really is a shame more Fennies parents have not posted their positive feedback on here??? I think I’ll suggest it to some of the nursery parents who I get the train with most mornings, as they have nothing but positive views to share with me. I am currently expecting our second child and have already registered babies space. There is no where else I would ever put my children. Not all experiences of Fennies can be that bad otherwise they wouldn’t have as many children there as they have that are 4 years old and have been since they were tiny babies with my daughter when she started in the baby room. My daughter and I have made some very special life long friends during our 4 years there.

Fennies Beckenham is fab!!!

astridlloyd123 Sun 08-Sep-13 22:41:12

Hi - I recently visited Fennies Beckenham (Aug 13) and was enthusiastic until I read these posts. Does anyone cuttnerly send their LO to the preschool section, and what is it like? Appreciate any advice


nosinner101 Tue 22-Oct-13 21:05:02

Hello. My Wife and I are about to move to Penge. Please does anyone have any advice about decent nurseries for 2 boys one aged 9 months and the other 2 years.
Thank you, Will.

hamzaawan Wed 22-Jan-14 18:18:05

Message deleted by MNHQ at poster's request.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Wed 22-Jan-14 19:19:45

If this nursery is as bad as some posters describe it should have been reported to Ofsted. This is easy to do just go on the website and make a complaint. Has anyone spoken to the manager?. What was the response?

All types of childcare, like all services will vary in quality, same for nannies, childminders au pairs as well as nurseries.

It is up to us parents to be vigilant and not allow bad practice to continue.

Age of staff is less of a factor IMO. Older staff with children of their own can also be quite poor.

Yulchik08 Thu 20-Feb-14 12:05:16

I've just registered my son to this nursery and cant believe to all this reviews. We are going to start with 1 day per week from this Monday until June and then move to 4 days per week.
I visited Fennies in February and really liked it.
Does anyone else sent their LO to this nursery?

Homewarelondon Wed 05-Mar-14 22:57:12

Would appreciate views on this nursery from parents already sending children there as we are thinking about it for our daughter, please share your views and if anything has improved from 2013

Yulchik08 Mon 19-May-14 13:57:16

I sent my LO there as we didn't have any other choices. At the moment he goes only 1 day per week but I think its not enough to judge. After 3 months, he is still hysterical when I leave him there. So I really don't know what to think.
I am still not sure about staff and probably advise you if you have a choice with another nursery go ahead.

ridinghighinapril Thu 18-Dec-14 18:45:42

Resurrecting this thread, as part of our plans to move to Beckenham we have an appointment to visit this nursery. The location is potentially very convenient but the views expressed here are concerning, so I was hoping to have an update from parents as to how they currently feel about the care their children receive.

ridinghighinapril Thu 08-Jan-15 22:36:47

Thanks for the private messages.
We went to visit and while the facilities seemed lovely and the staff member who showed us round was really motivated, the majority of the other staff didn't seem that engaged with the kids. Not much interaction seen or even smiling!

Have I got the wrong impression?

ridinghighinapril Thu 05-Feb-15 13:38:41


MummyMandy87 Tue 23-Jun-15 19:15:03

My child currently goes to this nursery and she loves everything about it. These posts are VERY dated, the best way to make your mind up is to go and visit yourself. The girls cannot do enough for my little one. It's bad enough going to work but so reassuring to know that she is in the safe hands of the staff at Fennies. If you have doubts or questions maybe you should just ask nothing is too big or small for them.

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