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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.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Thu 17-Jan-13 11:02:55

I really dislike nurseries and after school clubs and that general type of mass childcare. I know sometimes it is very good. Just a lot of places are grim.

I was amazed how grim, frankly, when I went to collect a good friend's children (aged 9 and 6) from their 'summer holiday club' - it was just awful, so so depressing. People seem to like this place but I couldn't wait to get out of there.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Thu 17-Jan-13 11:05:26

and yes I'm lucky enough to be at home with mine...I'm not an excellent mother by any means but to me it feels preferable to leaving them with strangers, I don't know why, I think memories of going to holiday clubs myself - I just found it horrible, you never know who you will get, and a strange adult who doesn't like you let alone love you is just hellish. It was like being in prison.

I'm sure many childcare settings are really good. But I still hate the idea of it.

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 11:07:45

Or hone educate

Just want to underline here....not that anybody said, but I am sensitive to this lable getting a bit "tight". Home education MAY be about people having issues with institutions, other people caring for their child. But for some of us it is just that the schools near us are a bit/a lot crap.

My kid is offically home educated, but in reality taught by teachers in a class and they have a pastoral officer too, so there is more than just me involved in his edcation and care. I more "policer of homework" than teacher of child.

Plus I palm him off send him to a massive youth club almost everyday where they have staff to teach/care for the kids needs and he spends an inordinate quite a bit of time under the eye of mates' parents too cos he goes to play.

Thank you.

You may now ignore my kneejerk "oh wait, hang on, there is more to it than just that" panic based fear of sterotype ingraining by accident. Home education is changing like it always does (like anything always does for that matter) the next "big wave" is proportedy going to be people like me.

Not that there is anything wrong with choosing HE becuase of other things. It's just that the popular idea that this what it is all about it doesn't fit lots of people who do it.

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 11:13:01

Loquace I HEd my brother for over a year, I am certainly not anti HE. Just pointing out it is the only way of guaranteeing they aren't ever looked after by "strangers" (personally I consider the nursery staff as family friends and I know DS does). I know the majority don't HE for this reason and indeed do send their kids to various clubs activities etc.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Thu 17-Jan-13 11:13:12

If you don't want to use a nursery then don't. But if you want to use childcare of any flavour (nursery, childminder, nanny, other family members) they're going to have to change nappies

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 11:13:35

To say 'it doesn't benefit children' is palpably NOT a neutral statement. Or certainly won't be interpreted as neutral by many. Fine to say 'it doesn't benefit MY child'. I don't know anything about anyone else's child, so I will believe you.

But if you start speaking for ALL children I would llike you to produce some properly peer reviewed and replicated research, and not simply wave one of your well thumbed copies of Oliver James latest misogynistic wank fests.

This is a general 'you' of course, I am not picking on anyone in particular.

And to say a baby benefits from only a mother's care, with no respect at all, is utter crap.

Had I been requiried to give up my career and be a full time mother, I have no doubt at all I would have quickly tipped over the edge into poverty and depression and and my child would have suffered greatly. As it was, we both got a break, she got well cared for and stimulated in a clean, warm, loving environment and I much more enjoyed the time we had together. I echo the poster who cheered at the thought of someone else changing the nappy.

You see, sadly my crystal ball was on the fritz when I got impregnated by someone I thought was lovely but turned out to be anything but.

milf90 Thu 17-Jan-13 11:14:17

yes they do have to assess children, its part of the eyfs to do a 2 year check and it goes hand in hand with the 2 year check the HV does.

childminders have to do this too.

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 11:19:34

Nappy changing is intimate? Not the way I did it.

Fair enough, absolutely legtimate points. For some people the notion of 'family' is all encompassing and they want to keep their children very much within that domain. Not knocking that, I am sure it can be lovely and supportive.

I am also sure there are instances when it is oppressive and abusive. For me, I want my daughter to find a network of people who love her and are interested in her, not really fussed if those are blood relatives or people she finds along the way who interest and engage her. I am not particularly moved one way or another by the notion of 'family'.

so that is interesting to explore. I guess if 'family' is very important to you it is going to seem weird to ask others to carry out the 'intimate' family tasks.

Like I say, absolutely fair enough. But that doesn't entitle you to then speak for ALL children and ALL women and make sweeping generalisations which are inflammatory and unhelpful

Spero Thu 17-Jan-13 11:21:56

O just noticed that rather choice phrase from Locketjuice 'it doesn't matter what any working mother wants to argue'.

Unless you have been devoting the past 20 years of your life to cutting edge research into child development Locketjuice, what amazing, breathtaking arrogance.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 11:25:29

Blaues, thanks I had a look at the list and non near me, we are not a very progressive city!
It's been nice to hear from people who feel the same, as I was concerned that I was being totally illogical and depriving DS of something that would benefit him.
Sorry if I've annoyed people with this thread, looking at it from a different point of view I can see how it might come accross.
LaCicc, well that's my idea for tomorrows discussion out the window then wink

Iggity Thu 17-Jan-13 11:26:55

My DC has been at nursery since 13 months, initially part time and now full time. I won't witter on about the positives or the negatives as all childcare has both in my view, including being looked after by parents.

However I think the nursery experience has made me less comfortable about my DC being looked after by a CM.

He is starting school in September and we are trying to manage the logistics of this but sending him to a CM is probably not something we will be comfortable with until he is a bit older. I'm not really sure where the feelings come from as one of my sisters was a nanny but it's the thought of them being with just one person and no-one else seeing what is going on if something happens.

curryeater Thu 17-Jan-13 11:28:02

I met a childminder who had worked in nurseries and set up on her own because she loved the job but hated the institution she had been working in: the lack of flexibility and the impersonal approach. I am sure some nurseries are lovely but for babies and little children I get a bit freaked out by them. I know this is partly projection because I did not like school and I am very much a homebody. I hope that my children will feel almost as at home at the CM eventually as they do at their real home, so that a large part of their day is spent chilling, playing, exploring, reading etc at one home or another. My preschooler goes to preschool too, but that is only a few hours a day which I think is about right for her.

I had to send my dc1 to childcare at 9 months and the first place I phoned up to ask to come and have a look around, the person who answered the phone had a very brisk attitude and barked at me " the fees are £x per week which covers nappies and formula" and I was almost tearful at the assumption that my baby was going to go onto a full-time formula-fed conveyor belt. (she never had formula in the end, pathetic I know but it mattered to me)

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:28:25

I dont like nurseries or any early years childcare really,but i understand other people feel differently and thats fie.

If you want something free range then really you cant get more free range than at home!

Steiner do kinder groups but you have to stay with them until they are free,they are quite costly too.

one thing that confuses me is when people say "oh hes SO ready for nursery,hes bored of me now haaha"

how can a 2 yr old be bored of you?you must be pretty boring.

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 11:29:28

If you are thinking of looking at Steiner I would do a search on MN first - past threads have got a bit... odd. Just be aware - I thought they sounded lovely when I first read about them too!

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:29:38

I also see a lot of childminders about and i would never leave my kids with them,they seem really snappy with them and always seem really stressed out.You never know what they are like once you leave and that wouldnt sit well with me.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 17-Jan-13 11:30:18

For the record, I study from home, and intend when I've finished to work from home (with DH looking after DS as he works evenings). I'm really glad we decided I would work as I really feel the benefit of having a break and doing something a bit more intellectual, so completely get why people feel it's beneficial for them to work as long as they know their child is well cared for. Also feel like if DH didn't care for DS a lot, he would need to go somewhere else for childcare, as I've noticed when it's just me and DS for a few days we can get a bit ratty with one another.

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:30:35

steiner ones are a bit odd in that they can take the whole fairies and elves thing and present it as real to kids,but imo that is no more strange than presenting god as fact!

SashaSashays Thu 17-Jan-13 11:31:15

Completely agree that it depends on the child/family/individual situation which is why I don't think it's ok to make blanket statements.

"It doesn't benefit children", is that all children? How would you know? If there are other parents clearly saying it benefits their child who are you to argue, where's the evidence.

I use nurseries. Have my own business so I've used nurseries from when all my DC have been young babies. I prefer them to a cm, which i have tried, because I don't like dealing with just one individual, their personality and that most things are done to their preferences. I like it being an 'institution' because there are procedures, menus, different people to speak to, if there's an issue you can take it further up etc. I liked the cms I used but little things would piss me off and was much harder to raise than with nurseries as everything is much more personal.

Sme of my DC have enjoyed nursery more or less than others but, to be blunt, tough. Someone needs to care for them and its not going to be me, and I have no proof they wouldn't be as stroppy with me as the workers.

Nappies element seems irrelevant to me personally as its present in all elements of childhood care. It's even like when they go to play at a friends house when they first start school. Often at that age they still need help with going to the toilet. Unless you are thoroughly vetting all friends parents its unavoidable.

fromparistoberlin Thu 17-Jan-13 11:31:53

i agree

thats all

I would use CM. or even better a friend that has children of similar age and wants the £££ to be honest

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:32:42

btw they dont HVE toassess your child,you can refuse,i have had no hv checks as i didnt want or need them.

LtEveDallas Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:13


I have worked in 2 nurseries both for a fair time, and would never send my child to one! The atmosphere once parents have left completely changes, its obvious staff had favourites, the manager was so disrespectful towards staff it was uncomfortable, and the children were plonked on the floor with 3 teenagers supervising that didn't want to be there and we're awkward with the children when they were told to interact


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

You did report these Nurseries, yes?

AmberSocks Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:35


VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:36

My DS is looked after 1 day a week by his Grandpa. Except he isn't my DH's biological dad, so is he still "family"? Does it matter? He knows and loves DS which is what matters to me.

I can't see a huge point in nursery for littlies for the sake of it (ie not for childcare), not least because of the cost, but as it happens I think DS does gain something different with everyone he is looked after by (including on a regular basis me, DH, my Mum, MiL, FiL, my sister, my brother, brother's GF and yes, nursery).

Loquace Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:44


Oh no love, I didn't get anti HE from your post...I just wanted to plonk the "but that is not why every HEer does it" in there, cos while I do understand why often people think issues with institutions and other carers is more often than not part of the package ....I get fed up with dealing with kneejerk judgements based on the most overegged assumptions of the tightest possible sterotype...that don't have anything to do with my choice.

I am slightly obsessed quite keen on pointing out at every available opportunity that we are not the cookie cutter, homogenous group that some people including rather a lot of HEers think we are.

VinegarDrinker Thu 17-Jan-13 11:37:41

" The atmosphere once parents have left completely changes"

Well ours is run by parents (in conjunction with paid staff) so that definitely isn't true of all nurseries smile

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