Kids unlimited....

(88 Posts)
Tiasmummy Wed 06-Jul-05 07:40:10

Hiya. Has anybody had any experience with this branch of nursery? They just rang me and said they have some sessions available. Have been to visit and it looks nice....well expensive though!!

Any opinions on it?

Cheersxx

jothorpe Sat 09-Jul-05 01:01:18

I have been to one of their nurseries a few times.

I think the best thing to say is: First impressions can be misleading.

I'm sure all the nurseries are not the same, but certinly the one I went to didn't have many toys, got the same bad state of repair ones out time and time again, didn't always do much craft/art activities during the day and generally seemed under resourced/under staffed.

Perhaps go for another visit, spend longer there, look closely at resources the children have. With luck your local KU will be better.

Out of interest, how old is your child and what part of the country?

pacinofan Wed 13-Jul-05 18:43:14

Yes, my dd attends ku in Cheshire and has done for over a year now. I can honestly say it is the best thing we have done. Great staff, they do loads of 'arty craft' stuff with her that I just never seem to do, the actual building is a new purpose-built one with a fantastic outside play area. Absolutely love it, we are moving soon and I will look for another branch when we eventually move.

sarahandruby Sun 10-Aug-08 00:28:59

My daughter is in Kidsunlimited in London. She loves it, I have my concerns over food and how grubby she gets whilst there, but it is only 2 days a week and I think if she has so much fun it can't be that bad. If she was full time I would be concerned as they just seem to do the same thing over and over again each day. Also my concerns are quality of staff and their education level (spelling mistakes and english level on daily report sheets etc) but they seem to care for my daughter that is the main thing. Hope this helps.

Lotster Tue 09-Sep-08 16:51:43

My son is 2 and attends Kids in Wandsworth since last winter, I recommend it. It is pricey, but I'm so much happier with the care there than at my son's previous nursery where there seemed to be no love in the care, and very little fresh air time.

All purpose built, with a permanent housekeeper who cleans down the rooms and toys each night.

Lots of activities, like water play, sand play, singing, dancing, dressing up, painting, matching colours and shapes, singing the alphabet. My son comes out with something new whenever he's been.

Also nappies, food etc included so nothing to pack except spare clothes for your child's box - they do a lot of messy play so it's needed!

The staff seems to be a mixture of strict and caring, and they don't favour children which is good. They're really helpful when you need extra sessions or you're running late. The staff are allowed to babysit too so it's all above board.

There are male carers too which my son loves, and they don't change nappies - which IMO is good.

The spelling on your child's daily report is sometimes laughable, and I'm not keen on my son being taught "ta" when I make it really obvious that I say "thankyou" with him. But like sarahandruby said, they are genuinely caring. Especially in the baby rooms where they seem to lie aroung cuddling the babies most of the time!

sheffmummy Tue 09-Sep-08 18:20:00

My DS is in the millhouses sheffield one and loves it, they seem to do loads of singing, dancing, generally running around outside and the staff in that room seem lovely and very caring. HTH, I guess each branch may vary quite a bit though

soon2be3 Wed 10-Sep-08 10:19:03

The one opposite my husband's office is suppose to be good. I'm even considering placing my soon to be 2 year old son there when I go back to work part time. Why? Because my husband's office overlooks the nursery and many of his colleagues have children who attend. There have been a few concerns, but they have been minor things which are annoying, but does not effect the standard of care. Many of my husband's colleagues do pop during lunch breaks to make sure everything is OK.

They are not perfect by any means but they are the best around this area.

pattymc Wed 10-Sep-08 13:22:56

my ds went for his settling in hour this morning at KU in wandsworth, have to say I came home and cried, not because of the nursery but because the idea of him being in 1 room (more or less) for a whole day makes me feel really sad. I'm afraid I don't have much experience with nurseries and I went with KU because it was airy and clean and the staff seem honest, no airs or graces just because I was there. The staff weren't overly cuddly with the kids which bothered me a bit. they all seemed pretty bored and tired looking but again I have nothing to compare with so not sure what I expected. feel a bit low about it all but I guess that's normal.

Lotster Wed 10-Sep-08 14:08:38

Pattymc, which room is he in hon?

My son is in Toddler 2 and as been in Toddler 1 as well.

Maybe I can fill you in a bit on concerns you can tell me about? I had a few myself at first.

I also cried the first few times myself, but found that watching him for a bit before I let him see me at hometime reassured me that he was having a fine time!

I found Toddler 1 stricter and less cuddly than toddler 2 but then it's weird, he cries when I drop him off now but he didn't in the other room!

Charlotte

pattymc Wed 10-Sep-08 17:19:30

hi Charlotte he's in Toddler 1, 13 months but always been very noisy, confident and never clingy. I am guessing my expectations were a little high, there were 4 ladies looking after him, 2 of them seemed more in control than the other 2 who I hardly heard speak which surprised me. I felt sad thinking of him being there all day - he seemed to want to go after an hour but I'm not precious about him and I know he'll be fine - I guess I am questioning the whole idea of nursery and whether a nanny share would be a better option - I am studying 3 days a week so not full time. The other thing which I found a bit strange was one of the managers there who showed me around the first time, sort of yawned when I arrived and dragged her feet a little taking me to the toddler room - just seemed bored with the whole thing - I don't like pretention but I felt she could have been a little more enthusiastic - again maybe my expectations are too high. I'm a first time mum and I'm pretty laid back so that's why I'm surprised by how I felt today

pattymc Wed 10-Sep-08 17:37:14

hi Charlotte he's in Toddler 1, 13 months but always been very noisy, confident and never clingy. I am guessing my expectations were a little high, there were 4 ladies looking after him, 2 of them seemed more in control than the other 2 who I hardly heard speak which surprised me. I felt sad thinking of him being there all day - he seemed to want to go after an hour but I'm not precious about him and I know he'll be fine - I guess I am questioning the whole idea of nursery and whether a nanny share would be a better option - I am studying 3 days a week so not full time. The other thing which I found a bit strange was one of the managers there who showed me around the first time, sort of yawned when I arrived and dragged her feet a little taking me to the toddler room - just seemed bored with the whole thing - I don't like pretention but I felt she could have been a little more enthusiastic - again maybe my expectations are too high. I'm a first time mum and I'm pretty laid back so that's why I'm surprised by how I felt today

Lotster Wed 10-Sep-08 18:34:50

Hi,

I'm with you. And had some of the same thoughts - but I think you've picked up on the not pretending thing which is true - my last nursery seemed really nice but everytime I turned up unannounced there were kids crying eveywhere and not enough staff in the room, not much comforting going on etc. I do like that at kids they don't "perform" for you, but they do make sure the kids are happy and have enough staff...

Once I got used to the relaxed attitude there I found the two managers have been very helpful. Still, yawning isn't the best impression!

With your son being confident he'll no doubt get less bored as he develops friendships and they make their own games up. Having the playground is good too, in my last nursery I'm pretty sure they never took him out.

My neighbour has a nanny who used to be nursery staff and they both prefer it. Obviously there's a lot more one on one attention etc..

Her girl is so good though, a rare find I think, really caring and reliable - my worry would be that when staff go sick at nursery they're quickly replaced so you never get let down. Plus my son really needs the socialising as my friends babies are all younger, and girls!

Let me know how you get on!

ScottishMummy Wed 10-Sep-08 18:42:36

i pay good money for my child to have grubby clothes.come home clean and im worried.grubby is good

when choosing nursery do some unannounced visits, chat to manager ask how they will implement the new govt guidelines for structured activities etc

all nurseries have good and bad branches

umma Thu 11-Sep-08 21:07:06

My little boy just started at Ku. Just one day at week. Seems to be going okay, he obviously enjoys it. I too was a bit shocked at the grubbyness thing but now I send him in old clothes!

No complaints so far...

LiegeAndLief Fri 12-Sep-08 12:55:25

I don't think the "brand" matters so much, more the manager and staff at the actual nursery. Ds went to a KU for a month (at 10mo) before I took him out - staff weren't particularly interactive, generally looked bored, didn't seem to do much with the babies so they were basically sat in the same room with the same toys all day. His new nursery is so much better and it is all down to the staff.

pattymc Sun 14-Sep-08 19:28:34

which KU was it?
I am looking around 2 more nurseries this week as feel the same about the staff at the nursery my ds it at - they look bored and I'm not convinced they are happy in their job - they didn't even pretend they were happy

pattymc Mon 15-Sep-08 18:07:20

first fill day at KU. I rang at 11.30am to see how he was getting on (friday I picked him up at 11.45 and he had been hysterically crying all morning apparently which is not like him at all). They told me he was sleeping and the other kids were eating lunch - not great start but better than crying I guess. I rang at 2pm and they said he was fine. When I went to pick him up at 4.15pm he was outside which was good and one of the staff handed me the form whihc tells you when they sleep, nappy changes and food they have eaten. on the form it said he had slept form 12.20 - 1.10pm so that didn't match up to what they had told me. It also said they had changed a wet nappy at 10.45am but when I dropped him off at 9.15am I know he had done a poo - it stank - so they got that wrong too. I'm under no allusions that those forms are always accurate but for the first day it really has given me little confidence. any advice for those first days at nursery - am I being over anxious?

pattymc Mon 15-Sep-08 18:08:14

sorry about spelling bit of a rush!

ECT Thu 16-Oct-08 23:35:23

Pattymc, how is your little boy doing now? My daughter is due to start there in a few months and I am already beginning to get really anxious at the idea of it and how I will miss her, whether she will be OK, whether KU is the place for her. Is so hard to know when all you've had is a quick showround..

lulujane Mon 22-Jun-09 21:04:47

Hi Everyone
Calling all mums out there who have pulled their child out of a Kidsunlimited nursery before the two months contract has expired. I pulled my son out after 4 days as i was very unsatisfied with the care he was given and his welfare at one on the kidsunlimited nurseries. They are now sueing me for two months money - is there anyone else who has experienced a similar thing - please write
thanks you xxxx

Nicocacola Fri 10-Jul-09 20:14:47

lulujane, the thing with KU is that it is all about making money. You need to give 2 months notice to reduce hours but only 24 hours notice to increase. I don't think that legally they have a leg to stand on when it comes to asking for 2 months fees, especially if you did not feel as though you were receiving the service you paid for or that they were not meeting his needs. As a consumer you have rights so if I were you I'd make a list of all of the problems you encountered over the four days and make it very clear to them that you will take it further via ofsted etc. I know at the nursery I used to work at, the manager once said to me that if a parent was completely unhappy with the service and pulled their child out of the nursery she couldn't do much to make them pay the months fees, she particularly made a point of telling me that there's no way that a 2 month contract would stand up in a court of law. Sorry I couldn't have been more help but I'm sure that them threatening to sue you will be a scaremongering tactic and that if it ever did end up in court I can't see them actually being able to claim for 2 months fees when you're unhappy with the service they have provided.

nurseryvoice Fri 10-Jul-09 20:59:28

Im a nursery owner/manager.
Unfortunatley if you have signed a contract and it clearly states in the contract about the 2 monthy notice then you will have to pay it. It will stand up in court you can have a judgement against you.

thats the legal stuff..
If someone wasnt satisfied with my nursery I would be mortified and not expect the money.
But my nursery is nicegrin and not experienced this.

You will find with nurseries especially nursery chains where the owner is not on site that staff motivation is not the best it could be. i have to continually remind staff about smiling, every few months we have to have a training session on customer care (and Ive got good staff)

LooseyC Tue 18-Aug-09 21:22:58

Hi, has anyone had any experience with the KU in Milton Park, Oxfordshire?

We signed up a while ago, visited it last year and it seemed nice. But last month it had a terrible Ofsted report - and although the staff I've talked to are desperate to say that there is new management and they have turned it around I'm having a serious wobble about sending my 2 children there. Any thoughts or comments appreciated.

JennyWren Tue 18-Aug-09 22:14:19

We use the KU at Harwell - having looked at both, we preferred the Harwell one. The old manager from Milton Park is the new manager at Harwell - she is great, and Milton Park has gone downhill since she left. It sounds as though they may have had a second replacement at Milton Park? - I don't know much about that one, I'm afraid. Maybe it would be worth looking at Harwell, too. How old are your children? I have/have had mine in the babies, toddler and preschool rooms, so I can tell you a bit about each age range!

LooseyC Wed 19-Aug-09 15:02:50

Hi - thanks JennyWren! I have 2 and they will be 23m and 10m when they are due to go to nursery.

There is a second recent replacement at Milton Park as far as I can tell - I'm actually hoping to go along next week to look at that one again but it's not the same as hearing what other parents say.

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