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To consider a nursery where the children don't get to go outside?

(56 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Wed 29-Jun-11 14:12:56

This is kind of hypothetical, as I don't have DCs yet, but DP and I are hopefully going to start ttc next year and I am already making hideously premature plans getting excited.

I also plan to sign up for nursery basically as soon as we start ttc because I know about the difficulty of getting places.

So.... where I work there is an on-site nursery. A colleague uses it for her two DCs and loves it. It is about 2-3 min walk from my office, so if anything ever went wrong, I'd be there like a flash. DC would commute in with me to work and we could spend lunch together sometimes, etc. I would probably also get a discount as a staff member, though not much of one.

There is also a nursery about 15 min walk away from where I work. It is highly rated, and another colleague uses it and loves it.

The difference between the two nurseries is that the first has no outside area. Instead, they have this weird 'open basement' set-up - kind of hard to explain - where the bottom floor is just below ground level and has safety bars around it, but is otherwise open to the air - bit like an underground parking garage. The children play there every day, but they're not out in the sunlight.

The other nursery has a garden where the DCs go out when it's not raining. Colleague A says the on-site nursery is fine; Colleague B says she can't imagine not allowing her DS to play out in the sun 5 days a week. I have to say I'm leaning towards convenience - but am I being unreasonable/ neglectful??

worraliberty Wed 29-Jun-11 14:14:50

Kids need sunshine. They can also learn a lot about nature from a garden.

itisnearlysummer Wed 29-Jun-11 14:15:18

I'd go for the inconvenience and the outdoor play. smile

Oh and the rain shouldn't prevent them from going out. That's what wellies and raincoats are for!

tazmin Wed 29-Jun-11 14:16:15

why have kids and dump them in a nursery all day?

just dont bother and get a cat

ShushBaby Wed 29-Jun-11 14:16:16

Not unreasonable or neglectful as such, no. But I would not be happy for my child not to play outdoors at all, five days a week. Playing outside is one of the great joys of childhood, not to mention surely being great for their health. Plus, they sleep better when they've had lots of fresh air, and that's not to be sniffed at!

Euphemia Wed 29-Jun-11 14:17:40

Does it have to be a decision you can only make once? Could you chose the nursery that's further away initially, and if it proves too inconvenient, swap to the other one?

Personally, I chose a nursery for DD where there were gardens and loads of space for them to run about, ride tricycles around, etc.

The nursery we chose was close to home rather than work, which let me have a day at home to myself if need be (for example if I was ill) and it wasn't far to drop DD at nursery, whereas at the time I worked 30 minutes from home so a nursery near my workplace would not have been so handy that way.

This also meant that DD had wee pals to start school with, whereas if she had been in a nursery near my workplace, she wouldn't have known anyone when she started school.

Ragwort Wed 29-Jun-11 14:17:42

Definately the second option - 15 minutes is still very close to you - and children (well, everyone) benefit from time spent outside. I am surprised that an Ofsted registered nursery can operate with an 'underground' area as the trend is very much for full access to outside areas at all times.

Euphemia Wed 29-Jun-11 14:18:00

Tazmin That was uncalled for!

holyShmoley Wed 29-Jun-11 14:18:17

well i'd wait until and decide between them on actual viewing. When i did that the one closest to work was discounted because of some very serious issues.

Numberfour Wed 29-Jun-11 14:18:27

I know of a nursery like that near where I live and I would not have sent DS there had I needed a nursery for him (I childmind so he was with me til pre-school). There is something about grass and sand and wind and sun and rain and clouds that an undercover parking area just cannot give a child no matter how cheery it is painted.

You are not being neglectful. You are not even being unreasonable! But everything will most certainly be different for you when your children arrive so don't bother making any kinds of decisions about their future til then!

mamalovebird Wed 29-Jun-11 14:20:58

I went for inconvenience and a massive garden/adventure playground set up. Kids need to play outside and take in a bit of nature. My DS goes bonkers if he can't get outside. He also loves getting soaked in the rain, giggles like a loon.

A bit of advice given to me by one nursery manager when I was looking when pregnant; go back and visit your chosen nurseries once baby is born because what you look for pre-baby is completely different to what you'll look for after they arrive, which was very true in my case, you view the world so so differently once they're here compared to before they're born.

dreamingbohemian Wed 29-Jun-11 14:21:55

I would use the on-site one at first, when DC is a baby and you might want to be closer -- little babies don't really need a garden anyway. Then switch to the other one when they start toddling around.

Journey Wed 29-Jun-11 14:22:25

I'd prefer the one that had outdoor space.

I can't believe you're even thinking about things like that when you're not even going to be TTC until next year. It's a bit bizarre.

ddubsgirl Wed 29-Jun-11 14:26:02

why wouldnt you want a child to play outside?kids need sun,air,rain,snow etc apart from being fun its healthy too,rickets is back on the rise due to kids being stuck indoors all day.

SenoritaViva Wed 29-Jun-11 14:27:02

I wouldn't dream of the one with no outside play area.

I am afraid I am a bit with journey here, you do seem to be getting way ahead of yourself in planning and if there are some problems (which I sincerely hope there aren't) you will be setting yourself up for further disappointment.

FakePlasticTrees Wed 29-Jun-11 14:29:32

I'd go for outdoor space too. 15 minutes is nothing.

I'd also wait until you've had your child, you will look at things differently and you will know what your DC's personality is like and which would suit better. (You also might not want to go back full time, so need to find a part time nursery place)

Mind you, if it doesn't cost much to put your name down, do that with both and then decide a couple of months before going back to work.

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 29-Jun-11 14:33:34

I agree with dreamingbohemian. Babies don't really need a garden. Go for convenience to start with and then switch when your toddler is walking and will benefit from outdoor play.

Also ask whether the staff take the children out, say to the park, each day if they don't have a garden. If they do this might remove the need to have an actual garden with the nursery.

RevoltingPeasant Wed 29-Jun-11 14:36:07

Thanks all -

Shush but the 'area' is open at the sides, iyswim, so they would get fresh air, and they can go on trikes etc in that area. Just not actually get rain/ sun on their faces.

Euph and dreaming that is a good idea - switching - I could have the baby close to me at first and then move him/ her as a toddler. Hmm!

Journey is it really bizarre? confused I thought I was being sensible! The thing is, with both of these nurseries, you have to put your name down pretty much at conception or you won't get a place till they're over a year old. My colleague who uses NiceOutdoorNursery just put down for her second child - the box with the child's name/ birthdate says 'Not yet conceived'!!

Apparently this is common according to the nursery manager there.

Am I a loon?

RevoltingPeasant Wed 29-Jun-11 14:37:27

DragonTat they don't, I know from my colleague who uses it. They sometimes take them for outings/ trips but not to parks etc - it is a city centre location so that would be difficult with loads of 4yos I imagine.

SuePurblybilt Wed 29-Jun-11 14:40:47

I'd speak to the on-site one - outdoor play is an essential part of the Early Years Foundation Stage and they must be fulfilling that to some degree. Maybe they have daily walks/trips to the park? That can offer much richer outdoor experiences than wheeling round the same old concrete yard on a ride-on every day.

mamalovebird Wed 29-Jun-11 14:41:12

not a loon, I had to put my name down for a place when I was 6 months pregnant and that was for a space when ds was 10 months old, the waiting list was so long.

RitaMorgan Wed 29-Jun-11 14:42:44

1 - I would never choose a nursery without outdoor space. I used to work in a nursery that just had a little yard instead of a big garden and that was bad enough! My ds is only 10 months but LOVES the garden at his nursery and squeals with excitement to go out whenever he's there.

2 - I wouldn't choose to commute with a baby. Sounds like a nightmare.

3 - I would go and visit my baby at lunchtime. You would just be creating two separations instead of one - very upsetting for the child. Don't go in to them unless you are taking them home with you.

SuePurblybilt Wed 29-Jun-11 14:43:45

Oh, x posted, sorry. Computer mega slow today. I don't understand how they're managing then - have you read the Ofsted report?
If there is some open-air access perhaps that is the loophole. I would investigate both thoroughly and make a decision based on which one makes you happier to think of your child there. You can compensate by spending a lot of time outside as a family, outside of working hours.

RitaMorgan Wed 29-Jun-11 14:44:03

I put ds's name down for nursery when I was 4 months pregnant btw - got a place when he was 7 months old. Good nurseries often have 12 month+ waiting lists for baby spaces.

cat64 Wed 29-Jun-11 14:47:32

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