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to question staff capability at new nursery?

(13 Posts)
canadajin Thu 25-Aug-11 12:51:22

Just came back from settling in session at new nursery for DS & DD. It's a brand new nursery, open less than a month, and terribly convenient location as am starting back to work next week part time.

DD (10 months) is settling well. DS (2) is a pretty easy going child, with the odd two year old wobble/clingy times. Has been in a different nursery since he was one, for max 1.5 days per week. Never any problems. He had his first settle on Tuesday. We walked into the room and were ignored completely for at least five minutes while staff person finished paperwork with another mum & child (there were no other children in the room).

Today, we arrived and assistant manager had no idea who we were (despite having met her previously and knowing that we were scheduled to come in as saw the nursery diary). At the same time the nursery phone rang and someone else tried to come in to the building. She flapped around looking very disorganised and uncomfortable.

DS cried a bit when I left the room, but nothing too much, just regular slight clingy-ness and new environment. Policy at nursery is that parents have to stay in the building for all settling sessions hmm but there's no waiting area so I was outside his room reading a book (no where else to go but he couldn't see me). He stopped crying in less than 5 minutes and then nursery phone rang again. And again. And again. Eventually DS's keyworker came out into the hall to answer it holding DS who promptly bursts into uncontrollable tears having seen me. Took another 10-15 minutes to settle him.

Am furious that she would do that knowing I was there (it's the only place to sit other than in the toilet) and shocked that phones ringing and more than one person needing attention at one time seems to stretch the staff so hard they get in a flap.

Have now told them I'm not confident about their current processes as for the next couple of months they'll be doing constant tours and settling sessions until places fill up. Threatened to pull out DC's and return to old nursery.

Am I overreacting?

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 25-Aug-11 12:53:37

If you are not happy with the nursery, take your children somewhere else.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Thu 25-Aug-11 12:53:38

I don't think you are over reacting at all. It sounds as if they are understaffed and undersure of themselves.
Would it be really inconvenient to put your DC back in the old nursery - assuming they have places of course.

canadajin Thu 25-Aug-11 12:58:19

Old nursery would add a one-hour trip each way for drop off/pick up.

Trying to understand that there are obviously going to be teething problems with any new business, just think nursery workers should have more sense then to parade slightly out-of-sorts two year olds in front of their mothers.

Would giving them 3 months to improve be too generous?

RitaMorgan Thu 25-Aug-11 12:58:36

I wouldn't be happy - don't they have a receptionist/administrator/manager to answer the phones etc? The childcare staff shouldn't be trying to do both.

cookielove Thu 25-Aug-11 13:01:04

As and experienced nursery worker (9 years) several things concern me about your post about the nursery.

- The staff in rooms answering the phone, why is the manager not doing this?

- The fact there is no separate waiting area for you, no other room you could have sat in, no staff room?? If they are asking you to stay they should be providing you with an area to do so.

- The fact that you had to stay, at my nursery parents stay with child for first visit, this can be worked around with multiple children, and on the 2nd visit we ask that the child be settled for 10mins ish, and the parents leave for around an hour. It makes me wonder how the staff will cope when he starts?

I have no issue with the fact that the phone will be ringing and there would be tours as that is just goes hand in hand with the fact that this is a new nursery opening and they will need to fill it.

DogsBestFriend Thu 25-Aug-11 13:01:14


So you were ignored for 5 minutes and that started the ball rolling for your list of concerns.

You really think that it's important to fuss about being ignored for 5 minutes by someone who was busy with another person at the time? A bit rude, yes, an acknowledgement/hello/smile would have been the thing to do but hey ho, a bad nursery it does not make.

New nursery are going to get more calls than an established one, there's going to be more demands on them initially and they are trying to inform and deal with you as well as deal with these things, hence the flap. They probably know exactly what you're thinking of them whilst dealing with these demands, hence extra flap. That doesn't mean that they are going to harm your DC or that they'd flap if, heaven forbid, a DC got hurt and needed first aid for goodness sakes!

As for the taking of DS to answer the phone, it's not clear whether there was anyone else who could have taken over his care at that point or not. Nonetheless he cried. 2 year olds do. He will not be scarred forever, he will not remember it when he's 10, it is not the end of the world. Chill out for gawd's sake, you'll make yourself sick with worry for no reason!

cansu Thu 25-Aug-11 13:03:08

I am really surprised that parents are expected to remian in building. Both my children have attended nursery and once I have handed them over I have left and then have phoned or arranged for key worker to phone me to say they are settled and happy. Surely short stays or this kind of system would be better than having parents sitting in hallways for hours on end?? Madness.

SurprisEs Thu 25-Aug-11 13:04:50

I'd give them 2 weeks and then I'd put my child somewhere else. Any longer and I think staff would get comfortable and assume you were ok with it.

canadajin Thu 25-Aug-11 13:08:26

Cookie: I agree. They've said they'll take the 'no waiting area' as feedback and both staff present said the the 'parents on site' policy is new to them. I've only had one previous experience settling in which was more like what you described. I think it's ridiculous to have me sitting there (though was, quite frankly, nice to read a book).

cansu: thank you. I'm not the type to get fussed about things like this. Hoping it was just an unfortunate series of events that got me worked up.

canadajin Thu 25-Aug-11 13:09:44

Sorry DogsBestFriend - meant to say thanks to you. Bleary-eyed from 5.30am wake up call.

DogsBestFriend Thu 25-Aug-11 13:11:43


Others have far more experience than me, I'm just going on gut reaction as a mum of far older DC who, I have to confess, hazily remembers being incredibly fussy and PFB when they were small.

ToothlesstheDragon Thu 25-Aug-11 13:56:18

find the waiting thing a bit weird, Ds starts nursery for 2 mornings a week next month. His "settling in/trial" is 1 hour where i leave for that hour, so there will be no chance he will see me.

I think what you witnessed may just be "new business syndrome" things will be a bit hectic until they settle down. #its the same with any kind of business, dont think it would be any different for a nursery.

You could give it a few sessions, see how your DS are settling in. If you're really not happy, have a look around for a nursery closer to you, or more convenient. Its not going to be good in the long run if you're constantly worried about your DC whilst they are there. You need to be 100% happy with the nursery.

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