Lanterns nursery docklands

(71 Posts)
Asteroid Mon 02-Feb-09 19:33:02

The ofsted reports for Lanterns' nursery in docklands are taken off the web because the nursery recently moved. And ofsted hasn't visited the new place yet. Any feedback/comments regarding Lanterns?
I like both Lanterns and My nursery but I would like hear some feedback before I make a decision.

Many thanks.

PuzzleRocks Mon 02-Feb-09 20:04:02

Bumping for you.

cityangel Wed 04-Feb-09 16:18:30

I have registered my ds to go to Lanterns. To make sure I am still looking at other options in the area as I want to be 100% sure its the best option.

I was warned by another mum not to go for it so now I'm worried but I am not sure if this just me being nervous about nursery or me not wanting ds to go to any... hmm

FR Mon 09-Feb-09 16:35:20


Im still tossing up Lanterns too. Is there any reason why you are not sure about it? How did you find the tour?

Im also looking at Little Unicorns too but havent' decided as yet..

Let me know how you go..

cityangel Thu 12-Feb-09 10:14:14

One of the other Mum's told a friend I was sending ds there and the friend had had a bad experience and warned me off. It has a good Ofsted report and larger facilities than most but I wanted to be 100% sure.

Now I've found one in Wapping where 3 friends put their kids and I'm going to swap. It has outside space and although its a pain to get to I want to be happy. Each to their own different nurseries suit different parents.

olly500 Thu 12-Feb-09 20:02:57

I am in a similar position with a different nursery on the Island and I am in limbo other whether to look for somewhere else. I just feel if I am not 100% sure that maybe I should look further afield. I think that if I am not 110% sure then this will rub off on DD.

cityangel Thu 12-Feb-09 21:13:48

Olly that's great to hear it really has been hard for me too. I am originally from North London and looking for a less corporate feel with any outside space and that's been hard find.

I have always booked appointments to view in the afternoon as then you can see the state of the staff/place after a full day of child handling.

I guess I was just really freaked out when a friend warned me off, very off putting. Now the one I've chosen is so new it hasn't had Ofsted in yet, but I felt more comfortable there. Its also a pain to get to, but you're right to shop around if you're more comfortable...


mustincreasebust Sat 28-Feb-09 22:04:12

I can only talk about the baby room but I really wouldn't recommend them. I pulled my DD out after her settling in sessions. I had number of reasons but basically being that I was sold something completely different to how it is in reality. The babies were ignored to cry a lot of the time too which really disturbed me. Sorry can't recommend another nursery as am still investigating alternatives myself.

meld Wed 04-Mar-09 21:04:04

Hi mustincreasebust, I read your post and could have written that myself as I feel exactly the same. I tried to email you in private with no joy as wanted to ask if you got your money back?

mustincreasebust Wed 04-Mar-09 22:31:08

No I haven't unfortunately, I have asked for it back but they are just stalling. I am having other non related job issues so I don't know if I have the energy for another battle to be honest. Might just right this off as a very expensive lesson.

How old is your dc was he/she in the baby room? What are you doing now?

I am having real trouble now because from what I was sold I really thought I made the right choice. I keep double guessing my instict as it was so wrong with Lanterns so trying to decide on new childcare arrangement really getting me down.

meld Thu 05-Mar-09 06:45:11

I totally understand. I have decided not to go back as I have tried two nurseries now. I explained to lanterns my problems with the other nursery I went to and they assured me that they are a caring nursery and don't let babies cry it out. I found my little one strapped in a seat, food being shovelled in her mouth whilst she screamed. I went in to rescue her and she threw up all over me. It was horrible. They definitely didn't live up to what they promised. There were other things as well. I have been sick with worry but just this morning I have contacted my HR dept saying that I'm not returning as I just don't trust leaving her with anyone now. You will probably see me on the street selling the Big issue ;-) My daughter is 6 months old.

mustincreasebust Thu 05-Mar-09 16:14:22

Gosh I am sorry you had to resign meld. The more I think about it the angrier I get so I think I will give Ofstead a call actually. I wonder if CIO and stuff is actually against Ofstead regulations IYSWIM? As in what is the minimum standard of care that a nursery has to give non verbal children.

I have pretty much lost my job myself so will join you on the big issue front, if we sling our babies on our backs we should make a mint grin

meld Thu 05-Mar-09 19:11:31

Haaha!!! That would be sight :-)

Good Luck! Sounds like we are in the same boat. Hang in there.

bran Thu 05-Mar-09 19:28:54

My DS used to go to Lanterns but he left to go to pre-school before they moved premises. When he was there he loved it, he used to beg to be left there when I came to pick him up. There was lots of organised activity and the staff were very cuddly and he adored most of them.

However I heard that things went downhill around the time of the move. It was a bit rushed as they had trouble finding premises to move to and after the move they had some staff leaving (before the move there was hardly any staff turnover in DS's room). One friend of mine is still sending her younger child there (older child is DS's age) but will be taking him out when he turns 3 as she doesn't like the way the year 3 room is run.

DS was never in the baby room as he was already nearly 2 when he started, but I used to walk past the baby room at all different times of day to pick up or drop off and the carers were always cuddling the babies and there didn't seem to be much crying. I'm sorry to hear that it's not as good as it used to be, I heard that quite a lot of staff left from that room so perhaps the replacements aren't as good as they should be.

cityangel Tue 10-Mar-09 23:41:02

officially pulled out and pleased as after I did so some of the other mum's came forward with similar experiences. Have found a nice one in Wapping to try. Not a convenient location but know other Mums who are happy with it.

Should it come to it we will be taking Lanterns to the small claims court for the deposit back in 6 months time. Mustincrease bust I signed up for similar reasons but if the reality is different our children shouldn't lose on on money that can be put to good use elsewhere.

FraggleMum Wed 11-Mar-09 21:17:46

My DD just started the settling in period this week in the baby school!!! She looked like she had been crying today when I went to collect her but the staff said she had only cried 'a bit'. I don't beleive them. However, she seemed to be really quite happy and chatty when we left. I don't know whether I'm being over sensitve and there should be a bit of crying if they are settling in. I'm really worried now I've read this. I have to go to work on Monday and there is no time for me to change my mind at the moment. I don't think I'll be at work for long if I think she is being left to cry.

cityangel Thu 12-Mar-09 23:36:21

FraggleMum I don't really know what to say.
I liked it when I went last year... enough to pay a £500 deposit. With any child I would expect a certain amount of adjustment crying. I am certainly expecting that from my ds in the new nursery we've chosen.

I just had to go with my instincts and mounting negative feedback. Things I liked about Lanterns was they said you could pop in whenever. If you're really not sure turn up an hour early and see if you like what you find then when you're not expected?

just go with your instinct and big hugs
let me know how you get on?

cityangel Thu 12-Mar-09 23:43:30

it is hard to find one in the area that meets these criteria!

mustincreasebust Fri 13-Mar-09 12:07:59

Am sorry too fraggleMum. Just the act of going back to work is gut wrenching enough without this mare. Like cityangel I can only advise that you monitor the situation quite closely and pop in at unexpected times.

They told me that DD only cried a little bit the first day too but I didn't believe them either and then on the second day my suspicions were confirmed. But then again DD as always been 'high need' so it could be just her personality not suited to the place IYSWIM.

Do whatever feels right, worse case scenario I would call other nurseries around the area and check out availabilities etc just so you are aware of alternatives.

FraggleMum Fri 13-Mar-09 20:55:22

I pulled her out today and know I have done the right thing as feel much happier. Luckily my work have been great about giving me time to sort something out.
She was only in there for 2 hours yesterday and looked really unhappy when I went to get her. Ultimately I had too many doubts and the staff seemed to be really inconsistant with their answers to any of my questions about crying, eating etc. I would rather someone was honest and told me there had been lots of crying. It's easy for a mother to know if their baby has been crying why fib!!!!

cityangel Thu 19-Mar-09 00:04:51

tough one Fraggle Mum every case is different but you've got to do what works best for you.

The mounting evidence both on MN and in the local circle of friends suggests Lanterns isn't great.

I've heard good things about 'my Nursery' if that works as a location. I've picked one in Wapping there are a few over there that are good, but not the best location.

big hugs

wahwah1270 Fri 20-Mar-09 18:41:03

hi which nurseries would you recomend in city area - is bright horizons any good?

cityangel Tue 21-Apr-09 23:06:34

don't know the city ones I'm affraid only wapping & the docklands

espanolita Tue 16-Jun-09 14:58:24


Is the nursery that your DS is attending Dreammaker Day Nursery? We are thinking of taking our DD there but I would like some feedback from other mums about this nursery.

maoftwo Tue 08-Sep-09 16:33:19

I have also decided to pull my DS out fo Lanterns during his stelling period. Exactly same concerns as mustincreasebust/cityangel/meld. I am very interested to know if you have managed to get your deposit back. Also, if you took can actions against them. As what she told me during the visit is totally different from reality. And now when I told them my concerns they are not even getting back to me.
I will really appreciate any help/suggestions in this matter.
Many thanks

cityangel Tue 15-Sep-09 09:20:37

Its looking as if we're going to have to go to the small claims court to get our deposit back. Has anyone had any results going down this route, just hassle we don't need right now.

cityangel Tue 15-Sep-09 09:32:12

I was worried that we were only going on instinct but in fact the Ofsted report re-inforces our concerns

joy36 Tue 03-Nov-09 10:51:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

joy36 Tue 03-Nov-09 10:52:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NorkyStrokesMice Tue 03-Nov-09 11:00:24

DS goes to Little Unicorns on Canada Square - he loves it and we're really happy with the standard of care.

My mum went to look round lanterns for me (I was living in New York at the time) and she hated it. Babies left crying unattended, and was allowed to walk around by herself which she was amazed at.

mustincreasebust Thu 05-Nov-09 22:45:36

I really think nurseries given an inadequate rating should be shut down automatically. There should be an agreed minimum acceptable standard of care. My blood boils everytime I think of that place.

joy36 Fri 06-Nov-09 13:00:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Skimummy Fri 06-Nov-09 14:39:59

It's like the nursery operator is working in a world where the internet and mothers groups (among other things) don't exist! There are plenty of other good nurseries in the area...for what it's worth, my DD also goes to Little Unicorn and we are very happy with them.

Hope it works out for everyone!

happy91 Sat 21-Nov-09 23:53:35

Was any1 helpful to you at lanterns during this stressful time or did they just not care.? joy36

Has im tossing up what to do now..!

joy36 Mon 23-Nov-09 14:57:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

happy91 Mon 23-Nov-09 19:53:39

Really But When i had a show round looked beautiful and staff seemed lovely especially the receptionist + baby room staff.

joy36 Thu 26-Nov-09 15:01:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

joy36 Tue 12-Jan-10 10:28:16

We took Lanterns to the small claims court and got ALL our deposit back and the court fees! It was straightforward and quick.

negrilbaby Tue 12-Jan-10 22:33:37

Have been following this thread for a while and feel I must post.
My DS has been at Lanterns for a year now and following a difficult settling in period is very happy. The settling had more to do with his age than anything else and I sure would have been as difficult elsewhere.
They did get an inadequate from Ofsted but if you read the report there is no criticism on the care the children receive or about the safety of the children. I have shown the report to an early-years specialist and she agreed with me that it wouldn't worry her as a parent. The criticisms were related to non-conformance to Government regulations about curriculum.
All the staff know all the children by name - and the setting is very friendly. There is a very low turn-over of staff.
The changes made since the Ofsted have created a very good environment for the children.
They go out most days to the park or farm - and are not taken for walks around CW on 'leads' as I have seen happen to the children from Little Unicorn.
The school has a regular cook and the children get two cooked meals a day - which my DS loves.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Lanterns to other parents.

joy36 Tue 19-Jan-10 15:03:32

I am happy that Lantern's has worked out for you, but as I have mentioned before -I found my 13month old daughter down a corridor, unattended and therefore at risk. No-one had even noticed her missing! I had numerous problems after this with Lantern's and know quite a few people that have had problems too. I won my small claims case against them.

People can make their own informed choice, but why go to a nursery with an 'inadequate' ofsted report when there are plenty of nurseries that have got much better reports! It may have good care, but education is very important too!! All the other things that they do are standard to most nurseries and nothing special.
The nursery I am in now is amazing compared to Lantern's.

negrilbaby Tue 19-Jan-10 22:30:35

I am well aware that education is important. I have worked in education for the last 20 years and have personal experience of how Ofsted can get it very wrong at times. I have seen a number of schools receive glowing reports that were really not valid and vice versa. Ofsted visit for a very short period of time and can make mistakes.
Not following the Governement dictates on curriculum does not equate to poor education. Ideas on what is 'best' change all the time.
I understand that you and your daughter did not have a good experience at Lanterns but I feel that the thread needed some balance. I am happy with the care and 'education' my son receives as are all the other parents I speak to.
I think it is slightly petty to keep up what seems like a witch-hunt against Lanterns. You said you complained to Ofsted - they will follow that through and take any steps they deem necessary. To date, to the best of my knowledge, none has been taken.

joy36 Wed 20-Jan-10 14:27:29

If you read the threads there are quite a few people( and people I met at Lantern's) that have had a bad experience there. Posting a reply and /or an experience does not equate to a witch hunt or being petty. This is a discussion group and therefore it will obviously have positive and negitive experiences on it.
As I said I am really happy you have had a good experience there as I wouldn't want anyone else to go through what we did.
I too have worked in education for 17 years so am perfectly aware of how ofsted operates.
My issues at Lantern's were resolved with the help of early years and the reassurance of ofsted and I would much rather forget the whole distressing experience now, but was just responding to your post.

mustincreasebust Thu 21-Jan-10 17:27:15

negrilbaby, I am happy that you had a good experience but there was no witch hunt going on. The people that posted on this thread including myself were sharing their experiences, some of which was distressing.

littlepanda Fri 29-Jan-10 01:41:05

I have been following this thread. It's been quite informative.

I'm currently looking for a nursery for my DD who is coming up to 2yrs in Feb.

I've got appointments to see Lanterns, my nursery next week.

Anyone with their child in my nursery ? Any experiences would be gratefully received. It's quite new, opened in 2008 and hasn't been inspected yet I don't think. That is all I know so far.

islandmummy Mon 08-Mar-10 18:23:06

I’ve just found this thread after joining mumsnet and noticing the heading about Lanterns in the latest posts in my local area (Tower Hamlets). I thought I would add my experiences for the benefit of other parents reviewing this and deciding where to send their children.

My child is at Lanterns now, and has been going there for a relatively short period of time (weeks rather than months). We were very impressed with the viewing we had last summer. We did notice the “inadequate” Ofsted report at around the time we looked around, and I spoke to the director about it and was satisfied with the response (which was along the lines of negrilbaby’s explanation, i.e. there are differing views on what is “best”). It seemed that the reason for the bad report was the fact that Lanterns operated a timetabled day where children were moved from room to room for different activities (soft play, art, dance and so on), and this didn’t meet the Ofsted guidelines which are based around children making their own choices about what they want to do. However, we liked the timetable system, and so made the decision to sign up anyway.

We have recently made a complaint to Lanterns based on several problems we have observed. The first of these, ironically, is that the timetable system which we were sold on is now not operating – it seems they had to give in to pressure from Ofsted to change the way they worked. At least for the children in the baby room (our only experience), this system no longer operates, and all the activities (except outdoor excursions) take place in one room as far as we can tell – however, to compensate for this, the size of the baby room has doubled as they have taken over what used to be the year 1 room. They now have some soft play equipment, a water tray, sandpit, art & craft table and so on in the new section.

The other problems, as far as we were concerned, were as follows:

- as above, the fact that our child won’t now be moving out of the baby room throughout the day. This includes for eating, as we have observed that only the older children who can walk themselves to the dining room are taken out – the younger ones eat in plastic chairs on the floor in the baby room.
- The food. No snacks are offered (not sure if this is the same for other nurseries?), and the menu has no fruit, except at breakfast apparently (our child eats breakfast at home). No puddings.
- Age range in the baby room. As year 1 is full, there are currently several older children in the baby school (I have heard they will soon be moving up though), and we have observed problems with this, i.e. older children charging around where much younger babies are left on the floor.
- Failure to follow instructions. We have reminded staff not to use wipes on our child on many occasions, yet they still forget and our child has had nappy rash every week since starting as a result.
- Staffing. Again, this may be the case across the board in nurseries. Staff seem to do their paperwork (planning) through the day when they are meant to be caring for the children. The result is that the ratio of staff to children is on a practical level much lower than the required minimum. The ratio isn’t always maintained such as first thing in the morning and at lunchtimes.
- Facilities for giving EBM – no fridge in the baby room (it’s upstairs), so we are not confident the milk is stored effectively. My EBM was overheated on our settling in session.
- Sleeping. Some mothers I know are concerned that the cots are in the main room – this doesn’t bother us. However, the mattresses are saggy, and the babies are put to sleep on their tummies with loose blankets, which is a concern.
- Dummies. We did not “wean” our child off the dummy before starting, but we are concerned at how often it is given. We have also seen that there is a “nursery dummy” which children pick up (and I was told was given to children when they were teething).

We have not had a response to our complaint (made 2 weeks ago). I will let you know what happens, but if these issues are not resolved, we will have no choice but to pull our child out.

joy36 Tue 09-Mar-10 10:47:43

I can't even write on this site the other problems we had there apart from the one that I discussed before about our daughter being left unsupervised down a corridor...if you do decide to leave they will not give you your deposit back as you have to be there 4 months..we therefore went to the small claims court as had written evidence of all our problems with the nursery etc..we won and got all costs and deposit back.

Good luck -I do hope it can work out as it is so traumatic worrying about your precious child when you shouldn't have to be!

joy36 Tue 09-Mar-10 10:49:38

There is no parent forum either, unlike most nurseries, which is a real shame.We asked for this to be set up, but it never was.

joy36 Tue 09-Mar-10 10:54:04

If you do have no joy with resolving the issues which I hope you do get resolved -you can go to Early years to get them sorted -speak to Sharon Gentry she is really helpful (numbers on the net). You could also inform ofsted who will come and investigate to either reassure you or sort the issues out.

Good luck and so sorry -I know how awful and stressful this all is, and am so glad we left Lanterns.

islandmummy Thu 11-Mar-10 16:41:27

Hi joy36

Thanks for your support. I really hope everything can be sorted out, but you're right, it is so stressful. Do you mind me asking what happened to your daughter? You can contact me off-forum if you like.

Still no response to our letter.

Does your daughtergo to another nursery in the area now? It would be good to know somewhere that's recommended in case we do have to leave.

joy36 Fri 12-Mar-10 10:31:03

Will contact you off forum -and explain why as well!! x

joy36 Fri 12-Mar-10 10:32:54

Can't seem to do the contact thing..!!

maoftwo Mon 15-Mar-10 11:12:08

Hi Joy36 and islandmummy,

We had similar problems with Lanterns when I tried to put my son in baby room and had to pull out during settling period itself. I would like to know how to get the deposit back.
and most importnat thing where are sending your baby now.

Will be glad if could talk in detail. Let me see if I can get contact thing working.

maoftwo Mon 15-Mar-10 13:57:46

Seems like only way to contact is by paying for the membership...will think of some way if you (Joy36 / islandmummy) are happy to talk.

joy36 Mon 15-Mar-10 15:07:56

More than happy to talk as it is such an important issue and I feel for you guys.x

maoftwo Tue 16-Mar-10 16:09:44

Hi Joy36,
thanks. If you could email me on (just created for this purpose for temp use)...once I have your email I will mail you from my actual email.
Hope this sounds okay.
Many thanks

islandmummy Wed 17-Mar-10 09:13:53

Me again! I enabled the contact thing so it's frustrating that it doesn't work. Try me at

maoftwo Wed 17-Mar-10 14:32:31

Hi islandmummy, I tried to email you on but it bounced back.

islandmummy Wed 17-Mar-10 18:10:16

I think it might have been closed (I haven't used it in a while) as it won't let me log in either. Ok, try

joy36 Wed 24-Mar-10 15:30:00

Lantern's yet again have just got an INADEQUATE in the ofsted inspection and a notice to improve.
Sorry for delay in emailing -I don't have a computer at home at the moment so will email asap!

islandmummy Thu 25-Mar-10 22:36:38

Hi Joy36

Look forward to hearing from you. My yahoo email account seems to be working ok, so you should be able to get hold of me that way. Anyone else too - maoftwo?

I saw the Ofsted report :-(

maoftwo Tue 30-Mar-10 17:00:57

Hi islandmummy,
Just saw your email. Apologies for responding so late. will try to reply to your email asap.

Joy36, It will be great if you could get in touch ( and tell us how to get our deposit back.

Many thanks.

joy36 Tue 06-Apr-10 10:32:19

I have emailed you both, didnt go into great detail as just want to check I have sent it to the correct emails to start with! x

Bibo12 Thu 29-Jul-10 14:56:24

Hi all

the ofsted report is on the internet...

71sun Thu 31-Mar-11 13:48:36

Hi Joy36,

Could you please let me know where you are bringing your children now? I'm new in this area and looking for a nursery for my 3year old daughter.
thanks a lot...

71sun Thu 31-Mar-11 13:58:12

my address is
any advise welcom.

tatiane Mon 09-May-11 21:34:10

my son was at the dreammaker nursery, and is a good one, they are very friendly, took a good care of my son for over a year and also are in a very good location next to stations .

joy36 Tue 10-May-11 15:34:08

Hi 71sun,
My daughter goes to Mudchute Nursery E14 -it is amazing but quite a long waiting list but worth talking to manager Vicky. I haven't had any problems since starting there (over a year now) and has brill ofsted report.

joy36 Tue 10-May-11 15:35:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Papi2 Wed 31-Oct-12 14:49:34

I really wish we found this thread before taking our child to Lanterns.

When we looked at the place, we liked everything we saw, but we observed enough during the first morning of settling in, to take our child out before lunch.

Within a short morning, issues arose in terms of the way the children were treated by staff in general (cold and lacking any affection) and regarding our child in particular (left to go hungry/thirsty and nappy unchanged). When we took our concern to the owner/director, the response in terms of attitude was quite breathtaking.
We demanded our deposit & registration fee back - and after a heated discussion in the foyer - we got it.

bambino2013 Fri 20-Sep-13 15:42:50

I would advise anyone to steer clear of Lanterns. I had horrendous time with them -the manager is rude arrogant and gives out false information

Constancekmcl2 Sun 22-Sep-13 12:19:16


Just wondering ... what false information the manager ( of Lanterns ) gave?

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