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to have doubts about this nursery

(22 Posts)
stickystick Wed 24-Jun-15 01:29:11

The manager and deputy manager never seem to respond to emails.
If they say they are going to ring on X day, they don't.
I had to chase them through head office even to get a visit arranged.
I had to chase repeatedly to get an offer letter confirming his place (nearly 8 weeks after me sending in an application, despite being told twice it was on its way).
The offer letter came just ten days before my son is due to start.
It was referred to my child by the wrong name, had the wrong start date, and told me to pay the wrong deposit and wrong monthly fee (20% too high).
The accompanying T&Cs were for a totally different type of childcare service.

Since first visiting about 2.5 months ago and then again 2 months ago, I gather there has been a change of manager. They said how great the old manager was when we visited but didn't mention she was leaving.

It isn't completely amazing in terms of OFSTED rating, or child behaviour, or premises, or food, or creative work. It is, however, part of a very well respected group of not for profit nurseries, and my son has a little friend who already goes there.

I feel like their admin and comms are so spectacularly bad that my confidence in them has been massively shaken. It doesn't help that I wasn't absolutely in love with it in the first place - however in our area there are very few alternative options.

Would it be unreasonable to bail for these reasons?

BlueStarsAtNight Wed 24-Jun-15 02:27:43

Nope not unreasonable, childcare is a massively important decision and if something doesn't feel right about the place then you should go elsewhere (assuming there is another option available that you ate more comfortable with!)

FishWithABicycle Wed 24-Jun-15 04:23:04

Trust your gut instinct. This is a massively important decision, you need to be confident about the people you are entrusting your baby to.

DancingHat Wed 24-Jun-15 04:35:48

They are parenting your child in lieu of you. If you don't feel comfortable then absolutely look somewhere else. Trust your instinct or you'll be looking out for issues from now on and your DS might be settled by the time you decide you've got enough evidence that it's not right for you.

CycleChic Wed 24-Jun-15 06:13:30

Ask the "little friend's" parents what they think of the admin, etc.

but no, YANBU to have misgivings about this, and to explore the alternative options (even if there aren't many )

GoodGriefCharlieBrown Wed 24-Jun-15 06:17:20

Well there are two issues really - my DS's nursery is appalling for that, always losing forms or never having blank ones so you have to spend time filling everything out for the millionth time, recording names, emails etc wrong. It's frustrating to say the least.

But - and it's a big but - the nursery itself is brilliant, really great facilities, structured days combining learning and creative play, great garden with challenging play areas, and most importantly lovely staff. It also got an outstanding rating for the last two inspections.

I'd be more concerned with the fact that you say it's well respected but nit particularly great. I can ignore crap admin because I know the care at DS'snursery more than makes up for that.....

Nolim Wed 24-Jun-15 06:18:46

Trust your instincts

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 24-Jun-15 09:49:52

If they're laxadazical in the admin side, (and calling a child or anybody by the wrong name is just rude and ignorant.) IMO. Of course those matters are going to make you question if using the nursery is the right choice. I agree about Liasing with other parents to see how they find it.
Or just trust your gut instinct and take him out.
However the admin side maybe bad, but the actual nursery nurses who would have played no part in the admin side may be fantStic.

reni1 Wed 24-Jun-15 10:22:43

I would find a different nursery, nursery age children do not communicate what's going on at all, so you a relying on nursery to keep you informed, this nursery does not sound like they will do this. What does the Offsted report say about home-school communication? Ask the nursery about this, too, tell them how surprised you are about their (lack of) communication and how do they propose to exchange information once ds starts?

granulatedhappiness Wed 24-Jun-15 10:30:41

My DD's nursery were rubbish at admin but the nursery itself was fantastic - lovely staff etc and I had a good feeling about the place the first time I visited. So, like other posters have suggested, trust your instinct.

Also, at most good nurseries you shouldn't have to schedule a visit. They should be prepared to show you round whenever you turn up. (I remember reading this tip somewhere!)

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 24-Jun-15 10:41:44

It Can also work the other way. The admin may be second to none but the care may be abysmal.

reni1 Wed 24-Jun-15 10:44:27

Without a doubt, Iliveinalighthouse, but a nursery cannot be good with crap communications since they look after lots of as yet nonverbal or early talker children so they need to talk for them to a degree.

haveabreakhaveakitkat Wed 24-Jun-15 10:45:14

I'd be a bit worried about the emails, phone calls etc. Parent communication should be high on their to do list. Managers aren't working directly with the children, they're 'managing' - which includes the most important job of communication! That in itself would put me off, let alone the incorrect forms etc. The manager leaving is isn't strange - they probably just give a months notice. If staff turnover is high it can suggest a problem but one member of staff in a large nursery every few months is quite normal.

textfan Wed 24-Jun-15 10:56:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TedAndLola Wed 24-Jun-15 11:14:35

YANBU. This would ring serious alarm bells with me and I probably wouldn't trust them with my child.

stickystick Wed 24-Jun-15 11:41:18

Its OFSTED was "Good", but a) that was nearly four years ago and b) most nurseries round here get a Good and there is huge variation between them.

His little friend's mother knows the nursery isn't perfect but she thinks it is the only possible option for her, so she focuses on its positive aspects and tries not to think about the other stuff. His little friend is also a bit more straightforward in the sense that he hasn't had the history of health issues and interventions that my son has had - he's a lot more confident and active than my son.

My instinct is telling me that if they don't notice or reply to my emails about coming to visit, or offer letters etc, then how are they going to read or reply my emails about, for example, my son's SLT programme or other care issues once he's enrolled? Whoever it was who said that I will be looking for issues from now on, I suspect you are right.

I would have bailed before now, probably, except that the other options are so limited. (Most childcare in the area is not designed for working parents, if you know what I mean...) Whatever I can patch together instead will involve an impact on other people, which means I will have to justify why I am bailing on this nursery, which is why I was worried about seeming unreasonable or overreacting.

reni1 Wed 24-Jun-15 12:11:08

OP, keep in mind that 80% of all nurseries are good or outstanding, so a "good" rating means no more than this one is not among the worst 20%.

CycleChic Thu 25-Jun-15 08:10:04

Whatever I can patch together instead will involve an impact on other people, which means I will have to justify why I am bailing on this nursery
Your boss, or your partner/the child's other parent? Either way, they have a legal and moral obligation to accept the impact. Frankly, if i were in your situation, no way in hell would I send my baby there!

popalot Thu 25-Jun-15 08:16:18

Bad admin, bad management I'm afraid. The 2 can't be separated. If they're this bad at getting your trade, imagine what will happen when you need to contact them about something serious. And if your child has issues then it's even more important that you can have open dialogue with them. You don't have to justify it to anyone, but what you said in your initial OP is enough justification!

treeshine Thu 25-Jun-15 08:28:02

YANBU - why would you send your child somewhere which is clearly run by incompetent idiots! I wouldn't waste my money. Find somewhere else with people you can trust.

biggles50 Thu 25-Jun-15 10:48:48

Always, always trust your instinct, don't question it.

reni1 Thu 25-Jun-15 10:56:52

It is really hard to leave your child at nursery at first, even if you totally trust them, I can't imagine what it must be like if you don't.

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