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To be so torn over nursery decision

(23 Posts)
ThatWomanAgain Tue 23-Aug-11 23:41:45

MY ds has been at nursery A since 4 months. He's essentially happy but their were issues, basically boiling down to not been strict enough (I think) about allergies. He often had a red bum, rashes etc (though no direct feeding and reactions that were signifcant). The staff were great on starting but theirs been quite a turn over, some ok while some good remain. Bit more turnover than I'd like really. Garden is a TINY yard, hardly counts.

I've moved him to a busy bees nursery. It's super-strict on allergies and well run. However it has a different vibe, it's very loud and boisterous in comparison. The other is rather calm, possibly the larger rooms for a similar number of children affect this. It felt quite rough in comparison, the toddlers weren't nasty but were a bit high. The behaviour would have been cooled down in the old nursery. As the room was very small for 7 (all boy) toddlers there was no quiet space to hide, they were all poking and prodding a lot. DS is a chill out looking out the window type. It wasn't bad as in awful, but I'm wobbling that I've made a bad choice doing this move.

I'm feeling awful moving him from what he knows and the few staff he knows, but I'm aware he was about to transition rooms anyway. The nursery was less well round, but smaller. Busy bees felt quite over-whelming. As a plus it has a huge garden and is easily accessed from the room. I worried in his old nursery that the older rooms were on 1st/ 2nd floors so they were in a room all day.

The old nursery has some amazing staff, very loving, but also a highish turnover of poor staff. Busy bees has a stable crowd that seem ok but weren't really into it as much as the good ones at the old, a little robotic but doing all they should. Not so caring.

Have I done an awful thing moving a soft 15 month old for better facilities as I worry he was a bit under-stimulated? Also the allergies issue and nappies just couldn't seem to be addressed. On his third day at nursery he always had red sore bits (never at home) so either wasn't changed enough or ate irritating things.

Busy bees is very shiney, but didn't seem personal. I rather liked nursery C which DH said no to It was scruffy small and friendly, the polar opposite of the chain nursery.

Sorry so long, I'm stewing. Half feel like running back to A and saying I've made a mistake

AnnieLobeseder Tue 23-Aug-11 23:45:50

I couldn't get DD2 out of our local Busy Bees fast enough. It was overcrowded, noisy, dirty and the staff always seemed slightly overwhelmed. Horrid. But that's my personal experience.

If you're not happy with the old nursery, but not happy with the new one either, may I suggest you look for Option C, be it another nursery or a childminder?

Rowena8482 Tue 23-Aug-11 23:46:31

What made DH say no to C, when you liked it?

reallytired Tue 23-Aug-11 23:50:14

It takes time for a child to settle into a new nursery. There is no such thing as the perfect nursery and the toddler room often seems a bit boiterous compared to a baby room, even if you don't change nursery.

I think a good open space is really important for a two year old. Your ds is not going to be a timid toddler for long. He will need the exercise that Busy Bees will provide.

Give the new nursery a month and then decide.

ThatWomanAgain Tue 23-Aug-11 23:58:00

Rowena- DH said no to C as it was scruffy and untidy. I liked it as was warm and lots to do. Not like most modern nurseries with pretty furniture and carpet, more lino and newspaper covered tables with paint out.

Annie- It's not dirty, very clean. Staff seemed relaxed in their jobs and not stressed but I would say the room was pushing it for the number of children, nowhere to escape. He still naps in the day at odd times, he'd be jumped on here! He's used to sleeping on a cushion in the corner.

Reallytired- I've said this to myself. I do think the open space is important, plus they really seem to be teaching the children well. The old nursery minded them and they roamed a lot. Busy bees is more structured and I can see the transition to school. A weird part of me prefers the running free a bit more! I've been to enough toddler groups to expect the behaviour, the difference was they've always had the space for it.

ThatWomanAgain Wed 24-Aug-11 00:00:09

Part of me maybe just feels like I miss some of the staff and times at the old nursery. He's been there from so so young and I know some staff really care for him. It's just a few, who sadly in late afternoon are often alone in the room aren't so good.

MaMattoo Wed 24-Aug-11 00:10:12

Have had a friend pull out her 14mo son from busy bees for the same reason.s She has found something she liked eventually. IMO if it's going to be in the back of your head all day..move him to C. There are options and you are ok to be choosy. I think the nursery incl staff should be great as I am leaving my most precious son with them.

saintlyjimjams Wed 24-Aug-11 00:22:19

I don't think you need to be thinking about preparing for school when he's 15 months!

If you're uncomfortable move him. We had a very bad experience with a chain nursery (not busy bees). Had some time out then went for an owner run nursery, facilities not as great as the chain one but fantastic, kind, motivated staff. All three kids went there in the end.

ThatWomanAgain Wed 24-Aug-11 00:49:48

I've ended up sittting here crying over this.

Thinking I should stop mucking him around and send him back to A. He was settled and content there. Sadly after I gave notice they cut out the nappy rash issues and got hotter on allergies.

The bottom line is just they, if a bit inept at times, seem to really care about him and know him. Also the nursery has quite space. I can't imagine how stressed a quiet child would be in a small room with 7 hyper children all day and no escape. It seems so intense. When I viewed I was shown a much bigger room with half the number of kids.

ThatWomanAgain Wed 24-Aug-11 00:51:58

Plus, although bust bees have a garden which is great nursery A get them to the park/ shops quite often which busy bees don't seem to.

Pandemoniaa Wed 24-Aug-11 00:55:41

Firstly, you shouldn't need to measure the quality of teaching. In fact, teaching, in a formal, getting ready for school sense, has no place at all in the life of a 15 month old baby.

Secondly, send him somewhere you feel most comfortable with and where you feel he will get the care he needs and you want for him. If this is in an environment that is slightly untidy, so what? Far better that he is at a nursery that suits him than one that is a shiny hellhole.

ThatWomanAgain Wed 24-Aug-11 01:01:03

Pandemoniaa, I think being new to nurseries I've fallen for all the shiney show and bollocks. DH has been big on learning. Frankly I felt almost depressed to see him sitting in a chair as he 'should' whilst frequently 'asking' me if (by pointing and noise) if he was allowed to go to the ball pit/ toys. He's almost too well behaved, I feel it's at the expense of exploring and enquiring at times. He's such a good child, askes to do things. It's easy to get trampled a bit or ignored whilst attenting others. You really could ignore him all day if he had access to food and water.

Pandemoniaa Wed 24-Aug-11 01:10:30

He sounds like a really lovely little boy. Which is why I think he would do best in a nursery that treats him like an individual and which values exploration and self-discovery.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 24-Aug-11 01:11:59

Gt him back to his old place...really, as long as there is SOME outdoor space that's secondary to caing staff. Caing staff trumps a big garden any day.

At `15 months he should be roaming free most of the time...certainly not sitting and asking to go to the toys.

Dont feel bad! We all want the best for them and sometimes grass seems greener. Your instincts matter.

Wabbit Wed 24-Aug-11 01:21:09

I think I would take him back to nursery A, he's already got secure attachments to the staff there and everything is familiar...

I think it's a gift when your child is happy in a nursery - really, however good staff are, not all children will enjoy being in even the very best equipped nursery.

He does sound like a lovely little man smile

ChunkyMonkeyMother Wed 24-Aug-11 07:18:42

I feel your pain! I just moved my DS (2) into a ne nursery, from a local one that just was not up to standard - The new one is in a different area and the kids are all a lot more rough and ready, this one seems a lot more hussely and bussely (I'm keeping that one lol) but thats because the kids are all together in the main room and have constant access to the garden which has fantastic facilities.

I was a bit upset that he didn't settle very well in the new place and thought I'd go back to the old one to get his stuff back and perhaps see if his place was still available - I am SO glad I did it, when I went back I thought "Christ, is this how he was?" The babies were like little zombies, all a bit distant and so so quiet it felt wrong! They too were on the second floor and had only a very small yard - I was very glad I went back as it just showed me that kids aren't supposed to sit and look out of windows all day, they are supposed to play and explore etc.

sleepyhappymummy Wed 24-Aug-11 10:27:43

I did the same, moved my ds from a shiny new chain nursery, to a more independent one which is more grubby. I think of the new one as being well loved & enjoyed!

I wondered whether it might be better for you to think about these two nurseries independently from each other: just because the new one isn't living up to your hopes, doesn't detract from the fact that you moved him from the old one because you weren't happy with it. I would trust your instincts re the old one, perhaps give him a wee while to see if he settles, and if not then maybe look for something new?

It's so hard, I totally empathise with the guilt, but always always trust your instincts - if you feel something isn't right, it probably isnt.

Could you consider a different childcare solution like a childminder or nanny share or something, which might suit his nature?

Good luck!

summertimeblews Wed 24-Aug-11 10:31:20

why would you leave your kid somewhere you werent 100% sure about? Id have to be mega mega happy before I would consider leaving my child anywhere, let alone for the majority of the time.

If a child cant speak, it cant tell you its being neglected, ill treated, abused or just unhappy. It relies on you.

umf Wed 24-Aug-11 10:48:56

IME non-chain nurseries are the way to go. Also, trust your instincts about atmosphere.

I would:

- revisit nursery C (perhaps with DS?), spending at least an hour there and preferably two hours.

- either move DS back to nursery A (with the advantage that it will still be familiar to him) or move him to nursery C (if you feel it's better for the age range he's now entering).

Good luck - and no, of course YANBU to feel like this is a big deal.

AnnieLobeseder Wed 24-Aug-11 11:51:33

summertimeblews - and your post was helpful how? How lovely it must be to have a choice about not using childcare. Sometimes you have to leave your DCs in a setting you're not 100% happy with in order to provide a roof over their heads.

Have another look at Nursery C, OP. No need to get upset, just get plans in place to make sure you have all your options properly assessed and then decide where to put him.

PrincessScrumpy Wed 24-Aug-11 12:03:55

dd was so unhappy at nursery A at 1yo that I pulled her out after 4 weeks and put her with a childminder. DD was much happier and settled into pre-school brilliantly at 3yo. A term later my cm resigned and I put dd into the preschool full time. The ofsted of the new nursery is amazing, but so was the old nursery. I've gone by how settled and happy dd is. After a day at nursery A she turned from a confident little girl to a very whiny clingy one - something was wrong. With the cm and then the new nursery, we've seem her personality develop but not change completely. Take your son's lead.

A CM could be a good option - I've met good and bad ones, dd's was fab.

ThatWomanAgain Wed 24-Aug-11 12:28:13

Childminders are
1, Gold dust round here, believe me I've looked MANY times.
2, Unaffordable for my working hours.
Just not an option, even if I magically found one I would be paying more than I earn. It's the different between about £48 and £70 a day.

I've slept on it. I'm going to give a week at the new nursery to check it's not the shock of change. One post got me thinking, that maybe the kids aren't so quiet as there's loads to do. He's pretty adaptable and can be lively when he wants. I saw a snapshot. One think that rationalises it- whatever I thought in retrospect every child looked happy. No tears or lonely ones, grins and tearing around and eager to interact. It can't be awful I guess. I'm going to keep an open mind for one week. Maybe ds will come out of his shell and maybe it was just a noisy time, they had handed out shakers. Yes the behaviour was calm at A, but maybe that's not so great. I'm going to take the idea of picking up a few bits of stuff to check it out again with fresh eyes. I remember for me the final staff was half term, I took him in at random times rather than the usual pick up and drop off times and that's what triggered the worries. I never caught them doing activities, they were frequently out of ratio and often chatting in corners. The good staff member would be in the office trying to do all the profiles herself.

I'd sum up the staff like this, Nursery A had a few WOW staff, BUT had a lot of crap too. So at certain times he was only in the care of crap ones, ones who ignored him and couldn't get their heads around allergies. His profile is very good, but only one person contributes to them. The others I doubt could. At B the staff don't seem so wow on first glance, but then neither do any stand out as crap. They all clearly do their jobs as they should, even if they're not so effusive. At A there have been things like 10 months old in a room on their own. I don't think it's worth staying for just a few staff, who could leave at any point anyway. Probably better with a stable trained staff as a whole.

I don't want to yo-yo him around, I'll give Busy Bees a go. If he's happy and smiling then I'm OK with it, however I judge it myself. At A thinking about it he has become desperately clingy of late, which is out of character. He's the kind of toddler who will toddle off with anyone who smiles at him. He loves easily. HE didn't react badly to any staff at busy bees. There's one at his old nursery that he runs away screaming from!

ThatWomanAgain Wed 24-Aug-11 12:31:24

Also I think he's the type of child who likes nursery, he's quiet but very social and thrives on interaction. He likes lots of other adults and children. HE loved his old nursery, it was FANTASTIC at first which is why it was hard to see the faults. Good staff left, standards slipped. When he was tiny it was wonderful, as he's growing though there's not enough stimulation. I think there' been a change of management quietly, it's not official but the older woman is never there now. I think she's semi retired and manager in name. IT's more business like, the fees went up sharply and staff went around 5 months ago.

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