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Alarm bells ringing for me I'm afraid. Were the carers even trying to engage with your baby? Maybe try visiting at a different time of day to see if you just happened to be there at a 'down' time but in all honesty it doesn't sound great but sadly the same as quite a few nurseries in the uk.
I'm all for independent play and don't think children need to be hyped up or directed constantly but at that age I'd expect the carers to be actively playing 'with' the children just as it sounds like you do at home - joining in a tea party with the tea set, rolling a ball back and forth to a child, being accessible in case a child wanted to bring them a book to look at etc.
Unfortunately a lot of nurseries seem to be little more than babysitting services these days and it is really sad for the children in their care.
Can I ask your reasons for thinking your 7 month old needs nursery? Possibly there is an alternative childcare solution for you. Good Luck.
I think there is a massive difference in a place that has a 'quiet hum' because the children are all happily engaged & enthralled in what they are doing vs a place that is quiet because the children are controlled & restricted.
Indicators to tell the difference could be:
Did the children seem very involved & busy? Did they have free choice of activities? Was there a good selection of options for them to choose from & use as they wanted? Were they smiling, happy and staying at their self chosen activities for extended periods of time?
What was the body language like of the staff? Were they down on the children's level? Were they smiling & equally as engaged in what the children were doing?
If instead the staff looked bored, sat away from the children, crossed their arms or looked generally around the room in more of a supervisory mode (i.e to direct children who got noisy or distracted from their task) I would be extremely cautious.
Hi. We have a 7 month old Son and both feel that it would benefit him to spend some time at nursery. We have found a nursery and have started visiting for an hour for the last 2 days (I've stayed with him so far). Eventually we'll build up to him attending for 1 day per week.
During the visits I've noticed how quiet it is and I wonder if it's normal for a nursery to be so quiet. I expected it to be much more fun.
It's a small building with about 7 pre school kids, 3 babies under 1 and 3 kids between 1-2 years old.
Today we were in a room with the 1-2 year olds and they were just going about the room messing with toys, they were always being watched and the carer would talk to them but it was all very calm and sedate (it almost felt like they were talking to them but not really interacting with them.
Whereas when I'm at home with my boy we're always acting stupid and giggling etc. I haven't heard any singing or laughing as I expected. I understand that kids can't be hyper all the time but the more I think about it, the more I feel that we may not have made the right decision.