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AIBU to just not like nurseries very much?

(200 Posts)
HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 08:21:56

Before I had my own child I occasionally had to spend some time in nurseries as part of my studies etc, this made me decide I didn't want to work with children, NOT because I don't like the kids but because I don't really like the environment. Thought I might feel differently with my own BUT went to visit a nursery yesterday, thought this would be the one, lots of likeminded friends love it and send their kids there, but just came out feeling completely uninspired.
It's a general feeling of discomfort but here are some specifics:
They said they would 'assess' my 2 year old, is this really necessary?
They seem to be trying to impose structure on children who are too young to understand it and they just look totally mystified.
They write down virtually everything they do which seems a bit uneccessary.
They showed me the toilet/changing area and it occurred to me that DS would be having his nappy changed by someone other than me or his dad and that makes me uncomfortable.

Am I missing something? Is there a sort of nursery I could try and find which is a bit more 'free range'? I love the idea of forest nurserys where the kids are outside all the time but I can't find any near us.

Thankfully we don't need to send him as at least one of us is at home all day, but just wondering why I feel like this when most people seem to think it's a good thing.

p.s. really really no offence to nursery staff who I know are very skilled, love kids and have mountains of patience.

shesariver Thu 17-Jan-13 09:58:19

Dont get the big deal about someone else changing his nappy, what did you think was going to happen and what is it about this that makes you uncomfortable?

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:01:16

I was very uncomfortable indeed about strangers changing my DD's nappy. Family and trusted babysitters only.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:21


I understand exactly what you saying. The thing that is interesting to be, is that only understand it via listening to what is said on Brithish based forums/blognewspaper article etc.

I never got any crap, (well there is always one, but very much teeny tiny minority and most of it retrosective from my HE "community) for using nursery (1-3). The vast majority of women seem to work here after having children, possibly due to a lack of option (no child benefit, child tax credits, no nothing...oh except some people get 1000 euro on off payment that ismsupposed to try and make people have more children). You either send you kid to nursery or the army of nonni provide the childcare. No nonni, no choice but to use nursery. And even the people with nonni often use nursey too so their elderly parents just have to top and tail the paid care.

When it came to materna (3-6) you actually get crap if you DON'T send your kid, becuase it is viewed as an essential part of a child's education, there is not a whiff of formal teaching aside from a little bit of letter/number work for the older kids when the little ones are napping. The education is all through play and is about learning to get alone with other half pint sized people.

I don't know why it is such a hot spot over in the UK and such a non issue here.

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:52

Spero, because it's my opinion. I don't think it benefits babies, children under 3 years old to be in communal childcare. I'm not saying it's a bad thing! It's like when people say "There is no nutritional benefit to breastfeeding past 2 years" or whatever. That might be true, but if it suits you and your child, there's no harm in it either - carry on.

Surely there are many things in parenting/in life which are neutral. IMO nursery (under preschool age) is one of them.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:12:09

It's horses for courses really. I was uncomfortable with the idea of a CM and a 'home environment'. I visited a few nurseries, and found one that I loved. DS LOVES going to nursery, he does a huge range of activities that I wouldn't never be arsed think to do with him. He comes home covered in glitter and paint and sand and god knows what else. The nursery workers are lovely, warm and friendly and seem to really enjoy looking after the babies. The food looks better than the stuff I cook, and when we go to pick him up he is always busy making a mess or playing or having a cuddle etc. They are also really good with him if he's a bit under the weather or teething. It doesn't have as good facilities as some of the nurseries I saw, but I just felt comfortable there.

It's natural to get annoyed when people start throwing out comments like 'I wouldn't send my child to nursery until they were verbal' or that it 'doesn't benefit children at that age'. Well, it benefits my child, it's the best set up for my family and that's all that really matters. I would argue that my non-verbal child is much safer in an environment when he is never alone with any of the nursery staff, than he would be with a group of children and one adult anyway.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:14:16

Oh, and as for nappies. That has to be my least favourite bit of parenthood so far. I'll gladly palm that job off on anyone (if they would let me), sorry!

PaellaUmbrella Thu 17-Jan-13 10:14:21


When my mat leave was coming to an end, I had every intention of returning to work part-time and placing DD in a nursery. I went to look at one - apparently a very good one - but the whole thing made me feel quite uncomfortable. The general feeling of discomfort that you describe.

Ultimately it led to DH and I having a big rethink, and I decided I would be far happier staying a SAHM for the time being.

For me, it was also partly to do with the assessment and recording side of things - I felt they spent way too much time telling me about it. At the time, DD wasn't walking, and I didn't like that she would be lumped in with bigger, more mobile babies. I also didn't want other people changing her nappy / putting her down for naps / feeding her.

However, I probably wouldn't have started a thread on it here - lots of people have to use nurseries, and lots of people choose to, so it's bound to rattle a few cages.

tethersend Thu 17-Jan-13 10:21:12

Have you looked into parent run nurseries or cooperatives in your area? DD1 was at one from 2.10 and thrived. They are usually cheaper too, as staffed (not exclusively) by parents.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 10:28:36

thanks tethersend I'll do a google search.
As for the nappies, not sure what bothers me, don't think it's very logical!

TheBrideofMucky Thu 17-Jan-13 10:28:50

I'm sorry you feel like that but I work part time and absolutely love my son's nursery and he loves going. The staff are all young and vibrant and lots of fun (most of them are sisters/girlfriends/friends of friends as we live in a small town), they do all kinds of activities with the children and the general atmosphere is warm and caring and energetic. They have an outstanding rating and I would rather stay there for a cup of tea with them all rather than go to work in the morning!

I hated his first nursery though and ended up taking him out. That was a horrible feeling so yanbu for it.

ICBINEG Thu 17-Jan-13 10:30:07

Ohhh actually it hadn't really occurred to me that someone new would be changing DD's nappy. First day proper at nursery today!

I am suffused with a warm glow. Every nappy I don't have to change is a good one! But good luck to the poor soul who has to do it...

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 10:31:01

I actually feel similarly but DS (23m) is just about to start in his second nursery!

Nursery 1: maximum 9 children 6m-4, 4 staff. Free play all day except snacks and meals. Lots of Outdoor play. Lots of affection. No paperwork sent home, ever!

Nursery 2: maximum 16 children, more often 12, aged 2-4. Very high staff/children ratio. Free play with loads of creative stuff on offer (visiting specialists for music, art and dance). Daily trips to the park, weekly day of forest school at local farm. "Learning records" only for children there over a certain no of hours. Parental involvement hugely encouraged (either on the committee or as helpers).

There are nurseries out there that are less structured than others for parents/ children who prefer that. No 1 is a workplace nursery (left as DH left the job) & no 2 is run by a parent co-operative.

The nappy/toilet thing you may need to get over, or just not use any childcare ever.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:33:58

"However, I probably wouldn't have started a thread on it here - lots of people have to use nurseries, and lots of people choose to, so it's bound to rattle a few cages."

Surely it is in the interests of everyone to know why some parents are not at ease with nursery care?

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:55

Nappy changing is intimate. Like giving a bath. Many families prefer those intimate tasks to remain within the realm of the family.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:36:22

Well yes Bonsoir but unless they are not going to use formal childcare, they are going to have to get over it.

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:39:01

I don't think the attitude "they are going to have to get over it" is a healthy one when it comes to examining which intimate family tasks one feels uneasy outsourcing. I think that the outsourcing of family life ought to be scrutinised much harder - there is a lot of throwing the baby out with the bathwater going on.

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:41:54

If you are going to use formal childcare, and the child is going to be there for more than a couple of hours, they are going to have to have their nappy changed. If that makes you too uncomfortable to allow, then you wont be able to use formal childcare. That's the end of it really. Unless you're going to leave work every time your child has a poo.

LaCiccolina Thu 17-Jan-13 10:42:59

There was a thread recently about what u hate on mn. This thread sums it up perfectly. It's not an aibu at all thread. It's barely a topic! Poster just puts I hate nurseries essentially. Reason? Someone else will change nappy.

It's exasperating. This one even has some deeper knowledge of 'institution'! Are u against school? Be home taught then yes? It's just so ridiculous. Do u have any idea the background work a cm does? Do u think she's some quasi stepford wife/Disney mother baking biscuits? Or a professional submitting paperwork to ofsted to be accredited on a regular basis?

It's just such a non discussion, just be a sahm. Quite why the need to post though then is beyond me. Everyone just picks the best they can in the area they are. Most of us don't bother to put a post on that though because its not interesting to others. This is the Facebook equivalent of 'I had a toasted sandwich and hate tomato in it'!

A discussion would have been "I saw xyz at the nursery am I right to be concerned?"

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 10:45:24

It's not just childcare settings - a lot of children in Reception classes still need help with going to the toilet. You have to choose childcarers you trust, then make a decision to trust them. Or hone educate.

The vast majority of sexual abuse is within families.

FeistyLass Thu 17-Jan-13 10:46:19

YANBU I felt the same and was lucky enough to be able to keep ds at home. We also went to different classes and groups.
Last year, I did start ds at pre-school. Even now, I still find it too structured sad but I think I'm comparing it to a Steiner school we visited which was very child focused and very relaxed. Sadly it was at the other side of town and we just couldn't get the logistics to work but if you have a Steiner nursery nearby then it might be worth a visit.

BlauesPferd Thu 17-Jan-13 10:53:26

Have you heard of/thought about Steiner Kindergartens? There aren't that many, but they are certainly less 'restrictive' - to the point of perhaps being a bit lentil-weavery?! My local one is here: St Albans Steiner Kindergarten
I took DS there once for a chat and he had a bit of a run around and really enjoyed it. They only take children from age 3 though.

BlauesPferd Thu 17-Jan-13 10:55:13

Oh, X-posted Feisty smile

Locketjuice Thu 17-Jan-13 10:56:26

Spero not saying its black and white at all but in my experience I saw the parents being told something completely different and the staff acting completely different as parents were around. It makes me wonder as I have quite a few friends who work in nurseries who would say the same thing and that's all different nurseries/prices/ages.

And doesn't matter what any working mum wants to argue. There is no better care than that of a mother. Fair enough you may have to work but not like most.. NOT ALL weren't aware of that before falling pregnant

BlauesPferd Thu 17-Jan-13 10:57:19

Oh, and if you are interested (sorry!) there's a full list here:
Steiner Early Years

EasilyBored Thu 17-Jan-13 10:58:51

'There is no better care than that of a mother'

What an utter pile of flaming bullshit.

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