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.

acebaby Wed 19-Aug-09 18:57:06

lulujane: about the notice period... if the nursery can't demonstrate financial loss equivalent to 2 months fees because of your lack of notice they will have trouble with enforcing the notice in court. This is because the clause with the notice period can be challenged as a punitive clause under various recent unfair contracts acts (sorry can't remember which ones). A similar argument has been used to challenge bank charges.

The fact that you have signed the contract doesn't matter if the contract was unfair and illegal. I think it would be worth getting yourself proper legal advice (or doing some googling!). When you know the legal position, you should put this in a letter, along with all your complaints about the nursery, and send it to the head office (not the nursery manager). Hopefully then they will leave you alone! Good luck

JennyWren Wed 19-Aug-09 22:34:30

Well, your 10 month old would be in the baby room where my DS is, and I am really happy with it. The room leader is brilliant, as are the others. There is a new girl this week that I don't really know yet, but the other three are great. My DD was in one of the toddler rooms when she started and was very happy - her keyworker left on a sabbatical but is back now and I would be delighted if DS had her when he gets to that stage. The only room I have been less keen on is the very last preschool room. The staff in there somehow seemed much less motivated. As DD only went one day a week and seemed to enjoy herself I left it, but I might have looked for somewhere else if I needed more hours - instead she went to the local preschool in the village at other times (I only needed 9-6 care one day of the week).

Why not look at both, and compare them?

LooseyC Thu 20-Aug-09 14:58:04

Hi - yes good idea JennyWren, that's really useful.

The new Milton Park manager is coming from KU in North Cheam - if anyone has an opinion on how that nursery was run please let me know!

chakku Sun 11-Oct-09 23:33:57

Hello any comments from mum who have kids at Cambridge Long Road KU Nursery?

My daughter has recently started going there 2 days a week. I have been assuming that she is going to get better each day but ........

I have now decided to reduce this to 1 day a week and yes like some other mums I am frustrated that I have to give a 2 months notice.

IF

yummymummy80 Sat 13-Mar-10 15:32:43

lulujane!!!
I am currently thinking about leaving KU coz I find my daughter sobbing and left alone on her induction day. We even didnt start yet and they told me that I signed contract and Im obligated to give them 2 mnts notice. I think its absolutely terrible that they make you sign the contract and pay the sign in fee before you even try they nursery. Please let me know how did you dealt with them, would really appreciate any advice. Thank you

TiggyD Sat 13-Mar-10 21:09:01

I'm not a fan of any big chain nursery. The KU nursery I saw was tired, not greatly equipped, the staff weren't that good, and they didn't go outside at all. It did look expensive...at the front! The bits that parents would see were very nice. Try going to the back of the room and looking through their toy boxes. KU seemed to have a lot of broken or worn out bits. The art area was positively crap. No working pens, blunt pencils etc.

@Yummymummy80,
Have you tried threats?
Tell them if they insist you pay you will write a letter saying how in *your opinion* they're terrible and that you'll post on Mumsnet and other forums and put off as many potential customers as possible.

StephlB Wed 17-Mar-10 21:15:29

Hello - does anyone have experience of the KU nursery in Epping? We are moving there soon & my little boy is nearly 2 and has been at a nursery in London since he was 10 months old. Would appreciate any comments.

clazza40 Thu 13-May-10 22:37:40

Milton Park KU has improved so much. All down to personal preference but my 2yo girl is so happy there. These places do have periods of change but I'm happy with this one so far.

nomdeplum Fri 14-May-10 20:05:49

My child had his second day at KU today. I came back to collect him and watched a carer feeding yoghurt to him through the window. I went in, they told me he had a great day. I reached out to see the yoghurt box which was on the side to see what brand it was and I saw the expiry date on it was 6th May. Today is the 13th. I pointed it out. They told me it belonged to another yoghurt pot! (But somehow inside the empty yoghurt pot they've just fed to my son?!). I talked to the manager but she was being defensive and said she'd talk to her staff first. It really hurts when someone takes you for a fool. How am I supposed to trust them, I don't know.
Other than all this, my baby seems happy there!

CJ35 Thu 30-Sep-10 13:57:11

I have a 3 year old son who attends KU Milton Park nursery. I have seen from mumsnet that there has been a lot of bad press in the past regarding this nursery. I have been working in childcare for 18 years and decided to join this nursery as part of the management team as i felt that whilst it was going through a tough time it had masses of potential, some extremely dedicated staff, happy children and very supportive parents. We were reinspected in July 2010 and I am very proud to say that we achieved and OUTSTANDING ofsted grade. Now i'm sure you are asking could this just of been a one off/a good day. The nursery caters for approx 100 children per day... that amounts to 40 plus staff needing to know exactly what they are doing at all times. This doesn't happen as a one off in a day! This is confirmation that the nursery is striving every day to move forward and progress. Choosing the correct Childcare provision to suit your needs is essential. My son and I are both very happy there.

diphe Sat 02-Oct-10 00:27:17

I agree with you. In my opinion these practices are appalling. Warning to all mums thinking of starting their children. Do not in any circumstances sign a contract unless you've had a trial period.
Kids unlimited do not offer any trial period. Report your concerns to trading standards. It may not help you as you have signed a contract but if it gets brought to their attention enough it may be enough to make them change their practices.

MummyMole73 Mon 08-Nov-10 15:28:09

My toddler goes to KU Wandsworth - I can not fault them - they are loving and caring and he loves it there.

cal79 Tue 23-Nov-10 13:33:23

I get the impression that even though Kids Unlimited is a chain the individual nurseries differ greatly. Ive heard many good points on here and when I went to visit my local one 3 years ago I thought it was wonderful.

Unfortunately after sending my youngest child there for a year we discovered, after reviewing other nurseries and now after sending him to an alternative nursery for the past year, that actually it was pretty bad. We never saw much interaction between staff and children, my ds's keyworker was actually the deputy manager and so never spent any time in the room with him, we were promised lots of add-ons like yoga, baby sign but then told the staff couldn't do it because they weren't trained in it. I could go on and on but ultimately I feel strongly that the staff didn't care about my child (a big no no when it comes to childcare in my book). He is now in a lovely setting where there is lots of fun, laughing and jolliness (sp?!).

Its a difficult one because even after the settling in period with Kids Unlimited I felt fine. I guess the trick is to visit on a number of occassions, ideally with others (maybe grandparents) and compare them against the competition. Also, if they make statements about what they offer ask how they can back these up (eg, how ofter do you do baby yoga).

Sorry for the length but its something that really bugs me.

LouLou23 Wed 24-Nov-10 23:58:49

Hi
Does anyone have any experience of the Mackintosh branch in Manchester City Centre. I've been for a look around, it looks impressive, lots of good displays, photo's etc lots of talk of yoga, music, singing, dancing etc My only criticism is the extortionate fee. Having read this thread, first impressions can be misleading ! Any comments welcome.

I think looking for a nursery place is more important than buying a house and no harm will come from extra show rounds, come and see the nursery at different times of the day. Each parent will want something different out of childcare, the nursery is their to meet your needs, any worry is worth asking the staff team about. The fees are all inclusive of nappies, formula feed, breakfast, dinner and an afternoon snack also fruit throughout the day. That's a few less things to worry about.

Mummy2Bookie Fri 24-Dec-10 17:46:32

Lotster
Wh are you against male carers changing nappies? Not every man is a molester. I'm not a man, but I find that very offensive.

TiggyD Sat 25-Dec-10 18:37:22

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Mummy2Bookie Sun 26-Dec-10 15:56:25

Beggers belief that somebody believes that male carers should not change nappies when the recent highly publicised case of abuse in a nursery involved a woman.
I'm not trying to upset anybody, I just cannot believe what I have just read. It's made me so angry. Would love to read the opinions of other parents on this.

Lotster Wed 29-Dec-10 00:54:49

Mummy2bookie - I've been pointed back in the direction of this thread by a fellow MN'er, who felt you were being defamatory about me (you may not have noticed but my comments on this thread are over two years old).

I would like to take issue with your attempts to put words in my mouth.

Let me be clear, I have made no suggestion that male nursery workers are molesters.

I have not said that I am against male nursery workers changing nappies.

I simply pointed out the KU policy at the time in my branch. I agreed with it.
You didn't seem outraged at the nursery's policy, just my agreeing with it?
You have no idea why I agree with it yet you are 'angry'.

Maybe it's because of my religion. Perhaps my culture. Maybe my personal history and resulting feelings. Or for the same reasons as the nursery, to protect their male staff from accusations from narrow minded people. Possibly because the male carers were like gold dust at the time and I wanted the maximum play time for my son with the only person who played footy with him instead of that person being stuck inside changing nappies all day. Maybe none of those - definitely NOT because I think male nursery workers are molesters.

I had a great relationship with that nursery and all of it's workers when my child attended, I came on here to make positive comments about it.

As for TiggyD, I wouldn't want you anywhere near my children in a professional capacity - not because you are a man but because you are foul mouthed and aggressive. I think your employers would be horrified and I'm glad to see MN has deleted your vile comment.

Mummy2Bookie Wed 29-Dec-10 09:10:23

Sorry lobster, you just come across as very 'anti male' in nurseries.
If that's your nurseries policy I hope they get sued for discrimination.

Lotster Wed 29-Dec-10 09:33:59

Well I certainly am not. You read in to it what you wanted to there. I also stated how happy it made my son to have men there.

If I could have persuaded the male carer to have been our babysitter I would have. He wasn't interested in the many offers he had for extra work. Or in changing nappies, so it suited him just fine!

Alibobbob Wed 29-Dec-10 10:42:41

I have read all the posts (currently having a battle with KidsUnlimited and wanted to read about other peoples experiences) I can't see anything in Lotster's post that suggests she is anti-male! it's a ridiculous suggestion, even after she has recently explained her two year old post!

I think it's Kidsunlimited who had the problem allowing male members of staff to change nappies but that was two years ago, hopefully things have changed at that nursery.

TiggyD Wed 29-Dec-10 12:43:02

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

Don't try to re-write what you said. You said in your opinion it's good that men don't change nappies. You are sexist. You tried to 'change what you said' in your later post saying you were only agreeing with their policy. (Trying to change what you said is quite common in internet forum. It doesn't work) If it is/was their policy then it is/was sexist and by agreeing with it you are sexist.

I do not tolerate any group being picked on by anybody. I will not tolerate your comments. To not speak out against abuse is to help that abuse continue.

Lotster Wed 29-Dec-10 13:11:47

Actually I did not try to change what I said at all. I just pointed out that I did not qualify my reasons for saying it. I still didn't have to.

You drew conclusions as to what I meant, incorrectly, and in a nasty abusive manner.

Even if I did feel the way you interpreted (which I don't, again), do you stand up in a doctors waiting room and scream at someone who is asking to see a doctor of any particular sex, calling them a c**t because they are simply more comfortable with it? No of course not. How dare you.

Please don't try to make my post about you and the chip on your shoulder.

And Ali, thankyou.

Alibobbob Wed 29-Dec-10 13:33:19

The nursery my little ones go to (yes it's a kidsunlimited nursery) had one male member of staff upto about 6 months ago, when he changed a nappy or took a child the toilet he had to leave the door open. I think this is more of an issue to be honest.

When I raised the issue they moved the changing table out of the toilet into the pre-school toilets. Don't ask me why!

to be honest I don't care who changes my child's nappy, male or female, I just want my children to be happy and clean!

So back to my question (yes, it's really all about me), has anyone been taken to court over non-payment of the two month notice period?

hermioneweasley Wed 29-Dec-10 13:39:12

my son went to the KU nursery in leeds and it was brilliant. I have to say i think it's down to the staff though as opposed to KU. What really struck me when we visited was the manager showed us around and she knew every child and hte older ones were running up and cuddling her. my DS was incredibly happy there (and several friends send their kids too).

dids35 Wed 29-Dec-10 16:11:57

Hi,
Lots of Kidsunlimited nurseries have male workers and yes they do change nappies and toilet children. All staff leave the door open when changing children as it safeguards themselves so no allegation can ever be made.

marysia Thu 06-Jan-11 13:54:58

Hi, does anyone have a child at Ku in Manchester, at Macintosh Village? I have a 1year old child and i'm looking for a good nursery. I've been to KU this morning and my first impresion wasn't good. Like some mums said the staff looked bored, messy rooms...

Please help.

jane85 Sun 09-Jan-11 18:47:00

Hi,
I am a primary school teacher have two children attending this nursery. I can say without a doubt that the staff are dedicated to creating a happy and engaging environment for my children. The atmosphere is always positive and my children are kept busy throughout the day with a range of activities. I would say the rooms can appear messy while children are engaged in activities during the sessions, but this just means that the children are accessing the resources that are available and having fun with them! I would be more worried if I walked into a room full of children and it was spotless! I can only praise the hard work that goes into caring for and educating my children at this nursery! Talk to the nursery about your concerns-they are very approachable!

cinpin Mon 10-Jan-11 20:25:12

After working in nurseries temping , Iknow most of these diaries are made up at the end of the day because they cannot remember.You cannot always write it down as you go along.

ann33 Thu 03-Feb-11 00:32:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

vis Thu 03-Feb-11 22:34:53

this is to ann3

I presume you have put your concerns in writing esp. about visitors onto nursery site etc?

Have you also contacted Ofsted re your concerns re accidents etc?

IF not could I ask why not?

dids35 Fri 04-Feb-11 13:25:28

ann3

My children are at kidsunlimited Didsbury and love it there.I have had no problems. There is a mix of young and mature staff, perhaps in the room your child was in there were younger staff? I know they have a 2 month notice period but they explain that when you sign up.Could the nursery worker have had their own child there and the boyfriend been picking him up? I know there is a few staff who's children go there.

veejaay Mon 07-Feb-11 00:56:08

Has anyone had any experience of the branch in islington? it's new and looks great but you never know. i am of the mindset that it's all about money first.

AKMD Mon 14-Feb-11 11:16:37

I visited my local KU as the website looked really good. I was appalled. I walked into the baby room and it was like zombie land, with the babies and toddlers standing dotted around the room, staring into space, while one member of staff was in the kitchen and the other two were chatting on the sofa. The cots were in the main play room and when I asked about nap times, they said that the babies were just put down to sleep when they go tired - so how were they meant to sleep properly with other children playing around them and bright lights? The outdoor equipment was faded and dated and I was told that the babies hardly ever went outside. Awful.

I have since met up with an old schoolfriend who used to work there and she said it was just like that - the staff didn't really care, didn't play with the children much and were basically babysitting.

That was the Luton branch.

Bestmalecarer Thu 17-Feb-11 20:38:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dof2 Sun 03-Apr-11 07:58:25

TiggyD, you posted a comment/suggestion on Sat 13-Mar-10 21:09:01 - Have you tried threats?

This is not the way to handle a situation and by the very fact that you have admittance that you are 'not a fan of big chain nurseries', clearly demonstrates your negative bias toward them. Threatening anyone is immature and does not address concerns you may (justified or unjustified) in an appropriate or mature way.

I personally think others will read your comments (as I did) and immediately recognise this is the WRONG way to take up an issue. Simply ask for a meeting and an opportunity to talk to the manager (or a senior manager) about your concerns.

You have a lot to learn about how to deal with people/business and your advice to date is questionable!

TiggyD Sun 03-Apr-11 19:04:04

@*dof2* - YummyMummy said:
"I find my daughter sobbing and left alone on her induction day. We even didnt start yet and they told me that I signed contract and Im obligated to give them 2 mnts notice. I think its absolutely terrible that they make you sign the contract and pay the sign in fee before you even try they nursery."

I suggested:
"Have you tried threats?
Tell them if they insist you pay you will write a letter saying how in your opinion they're terrible and that you'll post on Mumsnet and other forums and put off as many potential customers as possible."

In short I suggested she do what anybody should do when faced with bad service and that's not to just accept it but to make a fuss. Complain. Go to the newspapers. Tell everybody you know. Write to watchdog.

TiggyD Sun 03-Apr-11 19:06:30

I see from your other post that you work for Kids Unlimited dof2.

"Hi,

go and have a look at the new Kidsunlimited nursery in Esher, it certainly has a WOW factor and the team were lovely. "

NatH1988 Wed 01-Jun-11 18:30:30

Hi, we are just about to enrole our daughter into a Kids Unlimited Nursery, and they are running a promotion where if you are recommended by someone who already uses the nursery that person gets £50 off their fees and we would get the joining fee waved. As we dont know anyone who is already enroled just wondered if anyone is interested, nothing dodgy just thought we could save someone £50. if interested just email me prosonixs@hotmail.com.
cheers Nat x

ptolemy Wed 01-Jun-11 22:34:15

wow i have never seen so many name changes in one thread to make out like kids unlimited is the best nursery chain out there

the lengths some places will go to because the service they offer is not good enough is just wow heres a thought improve your service and you wouldnt have to name change so many times to try and "prove" your nursery chain is the "best"

Ispy1 Tue 07-Jun-11 23:10:36

I have been working as an early years cover staff in various nurseries across London, for more than 3 years dues to university commitments. I am 26 years old with a degree and working with young children is my passion. I have been working in the early years field for 9 years and I wish I could advice every parent in selecting a nursery. I have been SO SAD!! And disappointed at how those ‘nurseries’ who claim to be providing high quality practice!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be very careful where you place your child particularly ‘private nurseries’ , this includes ‘kidsunlimited’ which I have worked in many times. I am not going into detail of what I have seen and experience, because it’s so appalling that I would put you off. I must say there are many nurseries that are great, however, the point is that no child should experience what I have seen in many nurseries, no matter how much the fees are!!!
These are some of the things you should question and watch out!! Nurseries that have
• Many, young staff (16,17....) they pay them very low wages and normally charge parents very high fees. The highest I was told by a worker was £1000 for baby place ‘kidsunlimited’.
• Regular agency staff (like myself, a stranger to you and to your child)
• Tooooooooo materialistic: claim to do baby massage, learn foreign language, over the top decorations that make you go wowwww ‘this must be good’! (it’s your money they want!) Do you see children ‘s work being displayed? or is it really just photocopy pictures that children just colour in or collage.
• Know the ratio between staff and children e.g. a level 3 staff to 3 children under 2years.
Please do
• Ask to see the planned activities
• Collect your child sometimes earlier than the nursery anticipates ( what happens when you there)
• Don’t just collect your child and go home straight away, stay and look at the practice and environment and what your child enjoys!

My advice is free, I am here for the children!

tbalpha Wed 10-Aug-11 18:04:12

Hi Ipsy1. I understand that your experiences have caused you to have a negative view of KU, but I have worked for the company for around seven years now, and a lot of the things you say contrast with the actual ideals of the company. I understand that you have worked in the South, my experiences are in the North, but I supposed it depends on who is running the nursery, and if they comply with the company's rules. Here are a few things that don't match with what you have said:
1 Where I work, we have a bank of relief staff, who are employed by KU, and are familiar with children and parents. Relief staff are only used in emergencies.
2 The KU Clubs/Core Curriculum are regularly carried out (yoga, physical activities, cookery and gardening club, and baby sign) and parents are asked to join in whenever they are free.
3 Our staff always have planned activities, as well as key areas to observe regarding their key worker group. Planning is displayed for parents to see, and discussed regularly
4 We have child led and adult led activities going on from the moment the nursery opens until the moment that it closes. Our children don't all arrive and leave at once, and parents often pop in throughout the day to peep in on their child, to make sure that they are ok
5 There are many young staff, and I'm sure they oly get paid minimun wage, but this is unfortunatley common throughout businesses nowadays. The less experienced staff are always balanced out with more mature staff, to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Ratios are always maintained.
6 Finally - we are not allowed to photocopy pictures to colour in (this is a company rule accross the board)

I don't mean to disprove you, as what you say may well be true, but don't be put off the whole company. There are obviously things about my job that I complain about, as very few people love their work, but I can honestly say that excellent care and education is provided at my nursery, and the others that I have worked in up North.

tikatika Thu 08-Dec-11 21:02:01

Hi
I visited KU in regents place. I was a bit worried when looking around as they were not that many toys for babies and few babies were crying with no one paying any attention.The carers looked bored as well. Has anyone tried this nursery before.

fullofxmascheer1 Sat 10-Dec-11 11:16:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I have my child in a KU nursery up north.

I collect them at a different time each day.

I very happy with this particular branch of the nursery - and my child doesn't want to leave at the end of the day.

They have alot of things going on. They do KU active and have Christmas and summer fairs, and my child's work is displayed. My child comes home with alot of artwork. I havnt ever seen photocopied colouring sheets, and I look out for all these things as I work in education myself.

My child LOVES their keyworker.

I am happy with it, and dc is well settled there and always welcomed with a hug.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Jan-12 09:26:58

Knowing what I do about KU nurseries with my professional hat on, I am not sure I would be comfortable sending any child of mine to any of the branches around here.

cath100 Mon 20-Feb-12 12:11:28

Hi i recently moved my children to the regents KU from a different nursery. I really like it so far. They have divided the baby room so that the litttle ones have more quiet areas and the older ones have more chance to explore. the new manager was really up front aout it, she said it didnt work before. I would rather put my child into a nursery where they deal with issues and are up front than a nursery that just lies to parents.
plus they just introduced free 2 months settling in, so any new children will find it easier.

LouiseB2girls Sun 04-Mar-12 07:52:55

Are any of the above bad reviews related to the Epping KU? I am looking for a nursery for both DD's and am just about to sign up and register them to attend KU. Prices seem reasonable but did notice a few snotty noses on my second visit!?! Finding it hard to find anything that is better, this one is already 15-20 mins from home and am due back to work in may, anyone know of any better ones, I live in Broxbourne area and have to travel into city for work.

SS3J Mon 23-Jul-12 18:39:27

My advice would be to avoid Kids Unlimited. My experience (only one branch admittedly) is that the staff are very young and inexperienced and do not engage particularly well with the children. Your child will be kept safe there but will not be nurtured emotionally or stimulated educationally. Also, simple things like wiping noses are not taken care of as well as they should be. The staff don't smile much and therefore neither do the children. The toys are shappy, damaged and grubby. Books are torn and do not get replaced. The initial impression I got is of a rather run-down and sad place.
I wholeheartedly agree with Ipsy1 - that is my experience of nurseries so far. I would say, if you have to use one and cannot arrange any other form of childcare then be very careful which you choose and try to avoid your child having to be there all day every day.

CheekyKangaroos Sun 09-Sep-12 22:49:52

I have children at KU Wandsworth and have had experience in all rooms over the past 3 years.

I had no concerns with my eldest while they were in the previous room but since they have moved up they have not progressed and is unsettled, which makes it difficult for me and my husband at drop offs. My eldests current room is not hygenic and doesnt seem to offer age appropriate resources. I expected the older room to provide more stimulating activites. There has also been a big staff turnover recently and for the amount of money i pay i expect to at least recognise most faces (and i dont).sad

My youngest was very young when they started, just like most mothers i had a strict routine of which both my child and i were able to follow accordingly, however, over the last month their key person has changed their routine dramatcially, it's very difficult for me who then has to deal with an over tired/hungry baby at night angry.

Overall i think you should think carefully about what you expect from a nursery and if KU meets that. hmm

worldofmyown Thu 20-Sep-12 20:16:10

I worked at ku wandsworth a couple years ago and i wouldbt recommend it at all! I was there when the parents werent and especially the baby rooms.... the children were left to do what they wanted. all a show! I used to run around trying to entertain all the children cause no one could be bothered. in the end i felt so down with the atmosphere i had to leave. To be honest it could be completely different.now. i would be so interested to know who has left :-)

ValJones Fri 28-Sep-12 14:46:57

My 17 month old is at KU at Esher and loves it there. It is managed very well (my impression of it) which I believe is the key to a good nursery. It is clean, the staff can speak and write correctly, and the kids seem to have a varied day schedule. My other daughter's nursery had 4 different managers in 3 years, and numerous staff coming and going!

My husband and I have been very impressed with the nursery, and obviously don't want to leave our daughter there, but I have to work and all you can do is be the happiest you can be when leaving them.

ManicMums Wed 09-Jan-13 12:05:31

Unfair contract terms

In case this helps anyone, I got into this situation with KidsUnlimited but it ended with them ceasing to pursue me for the money. After a few settling in sessions, it became clear this was the wrong choice and my son was in too much distress, so I pulled him out. There was a 2 month notice period. I'd signed for 4 days per week so I received a bill for about 2000 pounds for a place that wasn't going to be used. Although I had failed to fulfill my contractual obligations there are various pieces of consumer protection regulations that were on my side. Several practices by this company could be considered unfair. These are basically a) requiring parents to sign a contract to even reserve a place, b) not offering a trial period before you are tied in for 2 months, c) a punitive cancellation fee of 2 months rather than the industry standard of 1 months fees. I looked into these points in detail and got legal advice. As I understand it the following arguments apply:

a) "Requiring contracts to be signed to reserve a place" - requiring contracts to be signed rather than reserving a place with some suitably sized deposit could potentially be considered an offence under the misleading omissions section of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. You have to be careful quoting this though as it is criminal law and whether or not they are breaking any law can only be decided by a judge in court after a case is put forward by Trading Standards, as I understand it. The argument is that requiring customers to sign at the enquiry stage is much too onerous, and by not offering to secure a place before full commitment, the company are potentially misleading customers into making a decision to sign the contract they might not otherwise have made. Because there is no way to reserve a place without signing, the pressure to sign is increased because you might fear you might lose your place to another child.

b) "Not offering a trial period" - Similarly, under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, not offering a trial period could be considered an offence under the misleading omissions section, although this could only be decided in court by a judge. Not offering a trial period does not respect the parents' legitimate interest of ensuring that the setting is a good match for their child which can arguably only be ascertained by the parents after the care has commenced. If it turns out to be the wrong choice, you're already fully committed and expected to pay up. This is not the industry standard practice. The National Child Minding Associating recommends a two to four week settling in period and that during this period it should be possible to end the contract without the usual notice period since it is perfectly normal for it to take a while for the relationship between the child, childminder and parents to settle down.

c) "punitive cancellation fee" - If they took you to a civil court (or you took them) this is the bit of legislation you would need to rely on. It is a piece of civil law called the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999. In particular, any term which demands that a consumer pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation when they fail to fulfill their obligations could potentially be regarded as unfair. As the 2 month fee can be extremely large, it could potentially be regarded as a deterrent and as such is a "disguised penalty" under these regulations. As such, it would be unenforceable in court. This interpretation is more likely given that contracts must be signed to even reserve a place, which means that the 2 month fee could be regarded as a huge deposit, which is lost if the place is not taken up. Also, the nursery has a duty to mitigate losses. In the daycare sector where a large company accepts new customers on a regular basis and many nurseries have waiting lists, it is unlikely that they can justify a sum of this magnitude in court. You can demand a justification of their losses bearing in mind their duty to mitigate

You can write a letter to head office explaining your position, but try to sound reasonable and tell them a settlement you would be happy with. You can tell them you will forward the contract to Trading Standards/take legal action if the issue is not resolved. It is a good idea to tell Trading Standards anyway so that they are aware people are unhappy with the trading practices of this company. If they get enough complaints they might take action against them. In your letter, give them two weeks to reply. They have a 28 day complaints procedure so you might not hear back within this time frame. Hopefully it doesn't go any further but if the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, I was told it is better to take them to court first where you rely on point c). It never reached this final stage for me.

By the way, here is an article about another similar case ("Charged for a nursery place that never materialised", Money, Guardian) about someone who signed the contract and then didn't take up the place at KidsUnlimited.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/apr/24/dear-anna-nursery-fees-kidsunlimited

Good luck if you're in this situation!

racheyp Fri 05-Apr-13 20:04:26

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

playtime1 Thu 25-Apr-13 21:34:54

Hello all,

I am looking to start up a nursery in the same area of Kids Unlimited Millshouses.

I am just doing a bit of market research and wondered what parents wanted from childcare in the area???

I would appreciate any comments you had to give!

Thanks

whatsoever Thu 02-May-13 18:17:41

I visited my local KU (Hulme) & it was my least favourite of the 5 nurseries I visited. It seemed a bit grubby, a lot of staff were introduced to me as relief staff, normally at our Didsbury nursery, usually in a different room etc (so I felt there was a lack of consistency) & it was the only nursery where the manager was there, but delegated showing us round to someone else.

Kids looked perfectly happy though ( to give it some balance) & they rang me for feedback afterwards where I told them the above - all credit to them for that.

CunningAtBothEnds Thu 02-May-13 18:22:08

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whatsoever Thu 02-May-13 18:24:16

Oh and the staff were all very young, forgot to add that. The nursery we ended up going with had a high proportion of much more mature staff & a very low staff turnover. And they talked about love & care. KU just talked about activities - I'll go with the love & care every day of the week.

nannynick Thu 02-May-13 18:40:11

KU have had a change of ownership. They are now part of Bright Horizons (who over the past few years also brough Teddies and Casterbridge). Read more about sale of KU to Bright Horizons.

So I would expect there to be some changes over the next few months.
Will be interesting to see what differences parents and children notice.

whatsoever Sun 12-May-13 19:50:28

That's interesting. We have a Bright Horizons near here but I was put off by the tag line "family solutions" as that implies your children are problems.

flower1727 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:56:51

I'm a degree qualified practitioner and as part of my degree training I had to spend time in another nursery other than the one I worked in and can say I was appalled by KU in Chineham. The toys were dirty, one member of staff swore in front of the children! The planning of activities weren't age and stage appropriate which was only limited to the mornings session. The staff did not engage with the children, the children lacked attention and stimulation. The area manager told me that some of the staff didn't know how to feed a bottle to a baby and need to be told when they walk in the room, you would think this would be part of the training before they are left unattended with somebody's baby. One child held another child's head under water and the staff just sat there. Agency staff were left on their own in a room. It's still under the same management. Safe to say I complained about their practices and would not go back to the shoddy environment and certainly would not sent my child there.

Martin31 Tue 09-Sep-14 10:57:22

Over rated , they think about offset not about kids - best would be if parents stay and look after their own children and still pay for it . Management is poor and to be fair I don't find them as good as 2-3 years ago - If I would have choice today I would not put my kid to their nursery

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