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aibu to ask what you really think of nurseries and their staff

(384 Posts)
questioningmouse Sat 04-Jun-11 13:15:46


GypsyMoth Sat 04-Jun-11 13:19:20

i always got the impression they didnt want to be there to be honest! but this was few years back now..

Weloveguineapigs Sat 04-Jun-11 13:23:58

You will be roasted and probably me too but here is my answer.

I am glad I never had to use one. I think it is like any job you will get some fantastic employees working in the field and some awful ones. Unfortunately if you get a bad one the outcome is too awful to contemplate.

I think such an important job and it really, really is should be extremely well paid and considered a high profile career choice but it never will be until the importance of caring for the next generation is recognised by the powers that be.

I think nursery care is stressful for every person involved, child, mother, staff and I feel very lucky it is not a choice I had to make.

Weloveguineapigs Sat 04-Jun-11 13:26:18

Sorry, "mother" should have been parents. I am a lone parent.

YellowDinosaur Sat 04-Jun-11 13:28:53

I can only speak about the one nursery our sons went to and it is fantastic. The staff are concientious and caring and I never had any qualms about leaving my sons there.

Like anything there will be good and bad nurseries and staff so I don't relaly htink you can generalise like the OP is trying to. If you are thinking about putting your child in nursery you think about what you are looking for, visit a few, and make a decision based on that.

'Unfortunately if you get a bad one the outcome is too awful to contemplate' - yes you are right but my personal feeling is that children are a lot safer in a nursery where there are several people looking after them. I know there has been a well publicised case recently of abuse in a nursery setting but I personally would be more concerned with leaving them with a childminder at an age when they are too little to tell you if there is a problem (neglect or lack of stimulation being more likely than frank abuse) and there is only one person there.

YellowDinosaur Sat 04-Jun-11 13:31:10

And tbh I haven't really found it stressful apart from the initial settling in period. I have found my sons to be happy and well adjusted and actually more relaxed in the company of others than friends children who were cared for by their parents / childminders / nannies.

Shaxx Sat 04-Jun-11 13:31:57

The one I've used for my boys is really good. The staff are all friendly and are all lovely and cuddly with the kids.
Thats what I liked about the nursery when I went to see it.
At the time it didn't have a great Ofsted but that didn't matter to me.

Whenever I was there, children were always being picked up, cuddled and comforted which I think is more important at that age, and they all looked quite happy.

pommedechocolat Sat 04-Jun-11 13:34:00

Think the girls that work there are all very very sweet and really care about my child. Think the nursery is clean and friendly. No bells, no whistles, just cuddles and stickle bricks. To be absolutely honest and a bit mean none of the girls are very intelligent but that does not matter at all. They are good at keeping children happy, safe and entertained.
I absolutely couldn't be happier with my childcare and quite frankly couldn't give a flying fuck about any smug sahms who spout total arse licking bollocks about things they know nowt about. Weloveguineapigs I am looking at you here. Nothing stressful about nursery for dd or I.

lynehamrose Sat 04-Jun-11 13:34:58

We have a fabulous one locally and I would have chewed off my right arm to get my ds's there- unfortunately we couldn't afford it, and used a (also fabulous) childminder.
I'm not sure what your intentions are op- how can anyone possibly generalise? Its like asking, what do people think about schools? Or hospitals . Or shops and their staff. Or anything really.

lesley33 Sat 04-Jun-11 13:36:14

I think babies and young children do much better with one person looking after them like a childminder or a nanny, rather than a nursery. Group care situations are good when children get to the age of playing with other children. But very young children don't really play together - although they will play alongside each other.

I think babies and young children need to bond with a small number of people who are looking after them e.g. parents, GP'S and childminder. In a nursery situation staf are looking after a group of children together and so you get a flattening of emotion towards children by nursery staff i.e. they may like your child, but it would be rare, given the circumstance for them to love your child.

Unlike childminders, nannies, etc. who do often end up loving the children they look after.

ilovedora27 Sat 04-Jun-11 13:36:42

I work in a nursery and I live it so much. Its a fantastic job, and I love all the children and staff. The staff are my best friends and I am lucky to have met them.My child comes to and so will my next one. I am very lucky to be able to work there and its a lot of fun.

I dont think its possible to do as much with the children outside of the nursery as it is in. The children have constant fun things to do and places to go. I know if I didnt work there it would be very difficult to offer as much as my nursery offers to the children.

DuelingFanjo Sat 04-Jun-11 13:38:20

I am putting my boy into one in Set. So far most of my dealings with the staff have been good. I had a tour and met a woman who used to care for my workmate's daughter who is now 22, she's been comitted to the job all these years and I like that there are people there with lots of experience.

I imagine most nursery staff are more qualified in childcare and regulated than I am.

ilovedora27 Sat 04-Jun-11 13:38:55

Lesley - How wrong can you be I love my key children loads and see them all the time outside of work and they always want to see me. I see all the children from the previous years and keep in contact with the families.

pommedechocolat Sat 04-Jun-11 13:42:52

I think there are definitely a few of the nurses at dd's nursery who are coming to love her.
I also think children start to play together a lot earlier than people think.

peppapighastakenovermylife Sat 04-Jun-11 13:43:32

'In a nursery situation staf are looking after a group of children together and so you get a flattening of emotion towards children by nursery staff i.e. they may like your child, but it would be rare, given the circumstance for them to love your child'

Um...have you used a nursery lesley? My nursery has 8 max in the baby room with at least a ratio of 1:3. It usually has 2 students as well. The same staff work in that particular room every day - so the same 3 are there day in day out. They have a large room in a house which is laid out like a room at home / childminders would be and generally very happy and colourful.

Why would it be rare for them to love a child but you assume a childminder definitely would? confused

The staff in my childrens nursery are fantastic. They notice if the DC's have new clothes, a haircut, a small bruise, say a new word, do some random new physical thing. They wouldnt recognise these things if they didnt pay them attention, know them and so on. To be honest they recognise things more than DH does hmm

I have 3 small DC's meaning I have the same ratio when I am at home alone as they do at nursery.

SmethwickBelle Sat 04-Jun-11 13:44:09

I love the nursery DSs are in, it is a safe and stimulating environment. I really respect the staff, I haven't ever felt like they didn't want to be there, the staff are motivated, engaged and well trained.

DontCallMePeanut Sat 04-Jun-11 13:46:52

I can't fault DS's key worker. Or any of the other staff. The nursery is in a slightly rough area, and this is reflected in some of the parents/families I see when dropping DS off. But the key worker is quick to let me know of any issues that have come up (very rare) and very caring for DS. We literally have to drag him away some days. grin

ilovedora27 Sat 04-Jun-11 13:47:14

It doesnt sound like Lesley is the type of person who would have a job in the care sector thankfully. It is impossible not to love the children in your care after you spend all those hours with them and it would take a very cold hearted person to not get emotional when they leave.

lynehamrose Sat 04-Jun-11 13:47:58

Would love to see the evidence of a 'flattening of emotion'.
And even when the staff don't love the children, since when has love been a pre-requisite for every relationship a child builds? Yes, I can see that the primary carers ie parents need to love their child for it to grow in an emotionally healthy way, and most children are loved by other people too - grandparents, friends, aunts uncles etc- but honestly, do you expect them to be loved by everyone - their school teachers, neighbours etc etc?

Nursery is no different to Many other settings a child will find itself in. There is nothing magical about it, and the age children go to nursery or school varies widely across the world, so there is nothing magical which says a child of 3 needs to only be with people who love it, but once they turn 4 and start school, then they are fine with a capable and good(but not loving ) reception class teacher.
Op - I think you are stirring.

HorseWhisperer Sat 04-Jun-11 13:50:06

We did not send our dc to nursery until they were about 3 years old.
We have 4 dc - the oldest two boys are now at pre-prep and prep. ds3 is still at the nursery and dd will start there in January 2012.

We did a lot of research and visited lots of nurseries before we settled on the one we now use. Our criteria was that the nursery had to be well thought of by parents past and present. DH and I had to have a good rapport with the staff, and we required that they had a 'door open' policy for parents wanting to discuss their children's development; the teachers also had to be good, kind people.

We prefer traditional, academic teaching in a relaxed environment. The teaching/fostering of social skills, including kindness, empathy and politeness were also a must. And we found a great nursery in central London which ticked all the boxes. And so far, so good. Upon leaving to go to pre-prep at 4+ years old my two oldest ds were very independent, academically able (reading very well at 4 and doing good basic maths), and enjoyed the creative subjects.

ds1 was incredibly shy when he first started and nursery worked with DH and I to help him gently along with his confidence. By the time he went to pre-prep he was playful, happy, confident boy. And I know that it is because of the wonderful guidance by his nursery teachers. The Headmistress gave us great advice about other schools to consider as son became older.

In a nutshell I adore our nursery and the staff are fab, they have provided a safe, nurturing environment for our children to develop.

I don't think that I could have sent them to nursery earlier than 3 years old. We went to playgroups paint pots and playgroups at our local library etc when they were smaller.

MissTinaTeaspoon Sat 04-Jun-11 13:52:37

My dd has thrived at nursery. She is always excited to go, and comes home with lovely stories of the things that they have done that day. The staff are fantasic, and she is very attached to some of them, and I know for a fact that they dote on her, it's plainly obvious when I pick her up and drop her off. She is quite upset whenever we mention the fact that when she starts school in September she won't be able to go there anymore. The nursery cares for a diverse group of children which I believe is important for her social development, and she is learning how to behave in a social setting rather than the one to one that she gets at home. Yes we are very lucky that the nursery that we chose is a good one, but it can't be the only one!

I think that it is very unfair to critisise other peoples' childcare choices as some posters have done. We chose the option that works for us, I wouldn't dream of critisising my friend's choice to send her dd to a childminder, that's her choice! It is even more unfair to say that sending a child to any form of organised childcare is wrong, firstly without any family around I don't have a choice, and even if I did I would still want my dd to spend time in an environment where she is expected to interact with other children. To say that I have caused my happy, secure child unnecessary stress is completely unfounded and insulting.

WidowWadman Sat 04-Jun-11 13:53:28

I love my daughter's nursery (and so does she) and believe the staff do a brilliant job. As I'm now on mat leave again, I have reduced her hours and I actually feel guilty that I can't afford more than one day a week, as she keeps asking to go there. The staff treat the children with real affection and do so much to entertain, support and teach them.

When my daughter started at 9 months they carried her in a sling a lot and now the first thing she does in te morning is to run to all the nurses to give them a big hug. Flattening of emotions? Nonsense.

GastonTheLadybird Sat 04-Jun-11 13:55:40

I am very happy with my nursery but I did see a couple and they do vary in terms of standard. The baby room was great, they had three babies in each baby room with one member of staff and a trainee in each - that's a better ratio than you get with most childminders!

Now my daughter is in the pre-school room and I couldn't be happier with them, yes the staff aren't all the brightest but that's fine, preferable even. How satisfied is a massively bright ambitious 25 yr old going to be playing with children all day? Some of them however are bright and are doing degrees and get involved with strategy, it is good that there is a mix. We also have a couple of older ladies who just adore children, again, so nice to have the variety.

There downsides to every childcare setting - I see Nannies and Childminders who barelY interact with the children they are caring for and spend toddler groups chatting on the phone/Facebook. Some of them are nothing short of amazing in the way they play with and care for the children.

It's just a personal decision and one that many of us have to make. The alternative to using a form of childcare is for all children to have one parent at joke which IMO is neither possible or even desirable.

FrumpyPumpy Sat 04-Jun-11 13:56:27

I love the nursery DS goes to. His key worker tells him she loves him every day, he is stimulated and learning all the time. He started there at 9m but if I'm honest I would have preferred that to be closer to 18m. He spends a day with grandma and a day with me, then 3 in nursery. There is a lovely mix of staff of all ages and they have lovely strong bonds with their key children. I am happy with our choice.

ilovedora27 Sat 04-Jun-11 14:00:11

Gaston - I am 27 and have served in the military and I also hold a 2:1 degree. It doesnt matter how intelligent you are in life, some people are just born caring people and want to look after others. I hate the idea that you must be thick if you enjoy looking after people.

I cant get my head round people who dont enjoy playing with children, especially when you see threads on here about people who dont even enjoy playing with their own! Thats nothing to do with intelligence, it depends on the personality type of the person involved

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