Two nurseries - which would you choose?

(23 Posts)
angelaspangela1 Thu 28-Feb-13 09:26:48

Hi everyone.
My ds will be going to nursery in September - just short of his 1st birthday. He will be going full time as my employers won't allow me to work part time.
My partner and i have been visiting nurseries in the area and have narrowed it down to two. Both are very similar with layouts, policies and everything else and we're very happy with both but there's just a few issues that are making the descision a little hard.....i'm wondering what other peoples opinions are on this?...
Nursery 1 is run by one of my best friends who i have a lot of respect for regarding parenting. This nursery is local so there's more chance of my ds moving on to school with friends already.
Ofstead report is 'good'.

Nursery 2 is in the next town. Very small chance of moving onto school with friends but the ofstead report is 'outstanding'

It's the report that swaying me to nursery 2. Nursery 2 also seemed cleaner - not that 1 was dirty or anything....
I've spoke to my friend and she's feeling a bit offended that i'm thinking of going for #2
What would you do....pick the outstanding nursery, or the one your child would probably move on to school knowing at least one other child?
Is the best always best??????
x

Outstanding over good is usually more a commen about how good the nursery is at paperwork, IME. I think local is a really big advantage over in the next town.

missmash Thu 28-Feb-13 09:37:07

You go for the one that you get the best feeling at which should be your friends. Ofstead is not and should not be the main reason to send your child. You have to like the people who work there and there is every chance that at her next inspection your friends nursery gets "outstanding"!

Did you read the whole Ofsted report or just the overall rating? I agree that IME it's paperwork issues (and generally paperwork I'm not at all bothered about) that cause a nursery to be marked down.

On the basis of your OP I'd go for Nursery 1.

angelaspangela1 Thu 28-Feb-13 09:42:02

Thankyou for your reply. I agree that local is a big advantage. Ds is my 1st child and moving to school is a big thing for all of us....i'd don't think i would like to move on not knowing anybody. However, my partner argues that his 10 year old son (from a previous relationship) didn't know anybody when he moved to school and was fine....I can't really understand how he knows this for sure though since he had split from his ex by that time so he wouldn't know every little detail from all that time ago as a mother would, would he?

CarpeJugulum Thu 28-Feb-13 09:42:30

Local everytime.

That and I agree about paperwork. We have two nurseries in our town, outstanding v. good, but it's the "good" one that has the waiting list. My friend is a teacher and says that she can tell which kids went to which nursery, and that the kids from the "good" nursery tend to be better socialised with nicer manners. (Obviously not all kids etc etc etc, but generally!)

stacysmom Thu 28-Feb-13 09:45:15

Go with your gut feeling, which one just 'felt' right?

angelaspangela1 Thu 28-Feb-13 09:49:02

I read the whole report...i'm a proper little researcher lol!
Also what causes me concern is nursery 2 is in - as it states throughout the report - a deprived area. Will my child pick up bad behaviour from children who's parents skills are questionable? I hate to think this way as i'm not a judgemental person but i'm sure you can understand what i mean.

It's not just about starting school with friends though. Local is a serious advantage for all sorts of reasons: being able to play with nursery friends outside nursery, not having to trek to another town to take your DD to nursery when you have a day off (or are feeling ill). And trusting the people who run the nursery is really important.

DS2's nursery is 'good'. The issues picked up on in it's recent ofsted report are largely spurious or not anything I actually care about. It's a really great nursery and DS2 is very happy there.

Oh dear... I wouldn't worry about the deprived area thing. We're talking about 3 year olds here!

There will be badly behaved children (with parents whose values differ markedly from your own) in all nurseries and all schools. What matters is how the staff manage that behaviour.

lynniep Thu 28-Feb-13 09:54:17

I'd go with your gut.
I also may consider splitting your childs time between both. a lot of people say don't do this but I like to give him variation. My youngest attends two nurseries - one of which I much prefer but cannot afford more than 2 days there (it was 1 day but now he gets funding we can afford a second)

Dont fret about school. It made no difference to my DS1 that most of his nursery pals went to the 'other' school. They make new friends easily at 4/5 years old and forget about old ones. Also a lot can happen between now and then - you aren't bound to staying at one childcare provider if it doesnt work out for you!

Also dont hang onto Ofsteds every word. Its just once persons opinion on one day.
Try not to be swayed by your bf. Its not relevant that she's offended - in fact its kind of a given - but as a professional she should try and keep a straight face about it.

aufaniae Thu 28-Feb-13 10:01:48

"Is the best always best??????" No, not by a long shot!

We've chosen the local "good" primary school over the "outstanding" one. This is because I visited both of them and absolutely hated the ethos of the "outstanding" one (way too formal, some teachers seemed very old fashioned) and loved the "good" one (it seemed excellent in every way to me!). I've since met someone in her early 20s who went to the "outstanding" one - it was ages ago sure, but under the same head, and she hated primary school (which is such a shame IMO, I loved mine) and she has confirmed my fears about the formal ethos.

What Ofsted saw on a few days is not the whole story on the school / nursery, it is just a snapshot. Your needs may be different from what Ofsted based their rating on (e.g. paperwork may be more important to them whereas the ethos of the place may be more important to you!).

From what you've said about the nurseries, it sounds like the local one suits your family better, as it'd be invaluable to have a friend on the staff, to move up to primary school with friends already, and much more convenient to not have to go to the next town.

DS goes to a nursery in the next town (on my uni campus) and as a result we've not been as involved in the nursery life as much as other families (fun days, Christmas parties, parent meetings etc) as being so far away it's harder to just pop in on days he's not at the nursery. Also DS has missed out on having friends from nursery home as because no one lives near us, we haven't got to know many of the parents (we have other friends here luckily!) Also not many from nursery come to his birthday parties as it's difficult for those without cars to get across to us.

In your shoes unless there was a really compelling reason (not Ofsted) I'd go for the good one, without hesitation.

StellaNova Thu 28-Feb-13 10:02:27

My DS1 went to nursery when I went back to work fulltime when he had just turned one, and we were also trying to decide between two nurseries so I understand your concerns.

I wouldn't worry about the "deprived area" thing. DS1 went to a nursery which was located on one of the London estates that was named a lot in the riots. I had absolutely no concerns about the children or the parents at the nursery, at all. I chose that nursery because when I looked around it the staff seemed very caring, especialy towards the babies, and flexible - ie happy to go with what the babies wanted rather than fitting them into a nursery routine, and this was something that was also picked up on the Ofsted report.

I also wouldn't worry about the school thing. DS1 went to a school which none of the children who went to his nursery attended (different nursery, we moved out of London). He knew one boy before he went (we had met him and his mum though NCT coffee mornings). But he was absolutely fine,no problems at all. In fact, I know children who went up to reception from nursery with loads of children they knew from nursery and had problems with friendship groups fracturing etc so it can go the other way too.

aufaniae Thu 28-Feb-13 10:05:37

"my partner argues that his 10 year old son (from a previous relationship) didn't know anybody when he moved to school and was fine"

He may well have been fine, (but like you say, how does he know really?!), and I expect your DS would be fine too. It's not something I'm particularly worried about with my DS - he won't know anyone in his primary school class when he starts. That's not to say it wouldn't be great if he did know people already. I would prefer that, and I expect he would too.

You have a choice here, and it may be the better choice to have friends locally already. And don't forget it's not just about your DS, it's also about you making friends with the other parents. It's nice to know other families locally.

angelaspangela1 Thu 28-Feb-13 10:13:32

Thanks everyone, you've been a real help. Your opinions are just what i needed smile
I think the 'good' nursery is the one now.
I've just got to change my partner's mind as he's quite stuck on 'outstanding' lol x

FossilMum Thu 28-Feb-13 10:31:09

As long as nursery 1 is clean enough that you don't fear your child will get food poisoning there, go for whichever has the staff that seem the kindest.

sheeplikessleep Thu 28-Feb-13 10:35:33

Just to say DS1 started school last September, after spending 2 years in the lead up at the local nursery.
He knew about 10 other children also going up from nursery to school.
Having friends in the school has been his comfort zone. He's taken to school so well and is normally a little nervous of new situations. I genuinely believe his friends has really helped with the transition.

Tell him that my DS1 went to an 'outstanding' school where they punished him for other children bullying him (for being Scottish), they stopped teaching him maths for a year entirely because I complained that his maths teacher was bullying him (ripping up his work and humiliating him in front of the class) and generally made him incredibly miserable. He actually went backwards in most things from where he started at the school. The HT was very good at putting on the right kind of show for ofsted though, and clearly great at paperwork.

We moved and he went to a 'good' school (that had been in special measures previously so had spaces) that has been brilliant. It's now officially 'outstanding' but I couldn't care less about that. I really don't think the ofsted report is worth anything.

aufaniae Thu 28-Feb-13 12:01:00

Also, if nursery 2 is further away, that means more travelling time, and less time with you.

Your DS may well be really tired from a full day and simply fall asleep on the way home.

The journey to DS's nursery is about 40 minutes. If he's done a full day he's shattered when I pick him up. When he was smaller, if we went home by train he'd be quite difficult on the train (as so tired) or sometimes even fall asleep. Now he's older (4) he can cope with it, but we eat dinner on the train on the way back, else there's just not enough time to do dinner, bath, reading, bed without him being up late.

If DP brings him home in the car he falls asleep on the way back (even now he's 4) and then wakes up when he gets in, so it messes his bedtime up!

(We've stuck with it as the nursery is lovely and very convenient when I'm on campus - I'm just 5 minutes away from him! And it's only a couple of days a week).

Your journey may not be as long as ours, but even if nursery 2 is 20 minutes further away, that's 40 minutes a day, or 3 hours a week your DS could be spending time with you, which is important if he's at nursery fulltime.

(Hoping this gives you a good argument to help convince your DH!)

angelaspangela1 Thu 28-Feb-13 20:02:57

Talked it over with DH and i'm torn again confused
The distance from home to either nursery is pretty much the same so isn't really a concern.
His opinion is that the 'outstanding' nursery is much better set out, bigger, more staff (some of which are male which i liked too) and more convienient as it's on the way to work.
I can't disagree with anything he said.
If my friend wasn't involved with the other nursery then i don't think it'd be such a hard decision....i think my gut feeling would be to go with DH.
I never thought it'd be this hard to decide!

angelaspangela1 Thu 28-Feb-13 20:06:54

Tell him that my DS1 went to an 'outstanding' school where they punished him for other children bullying him (for being Scottish), they stopped teaching him maths for a year entirely because I complained that his maths teacher was bullying him (ripping up his work and humiliating him in front of the class) and generally made him incredibly miserable. He actually went backwards in most things from where he started at the school. The HT was very good at putting on the right kind of show for ofsted though, and clearly great at paperwork.

shock That's outrageous!!! Glad to hear that he bounced back after moving schools

LynetteScavo Thu 28-Feb-13 20:10:39

Go with your gut feeling.

From what I've read from your OP, I would go with the "Good" nursery.

My DC have been to satisfactory, good, outstanding and schools. The one that looked after them best was the satisfactory school.

HappySunflower Thu 28-Feb-13 20:21:08

I would choose based on the staff tbh.
A shiny, beautiful building and nice toys are all well and good but its the quality of the interactions with the children that matter most to me.

The nursery my dd goes to has staff who are very experienced, most have several years training under their belts and not too many who are 'young' or newly qualified.
A nursery with a very low staff turnover was one of the most important things on my list, and at our nursery several of them have been there since the nursery opened. That spoke volumes to me.

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