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Feedback on Trafalgar Day Nursery?

(6 Posts)
TwickKat Tue 10-May-11 22:04:27

I'm thinking of sending my son to Trafalgar Day Nursery in Twickenham when he is 8 months old.

Does anyone who either has a child currently attending, or having attended recently, have any feedback on the place?


Jasbro Wed 11-May-11 22:08:06

I'm afraid I don't have any personal experience of that nursery, however I am a childminder with vacancies living just round the corner. I provide a loving and warm home environment, but we also socialise with other children and visit playgroups every day, and your child would benefit from sharing with and learning from other children of different ages. If you are considering childminder care as an alternative option, please do contact me for more information. You can meet local childminders at the Stay and Play sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 9.30 at Welcare, Twickenham Green - it is a great place to get to know people informally whilst you are considering childcare options.

ticklebug74 Fri 03-Jun-11 22:34:25

I can highly recommend Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery in Campbell Road, Twickenham (just around the corner from Trafalgar). Both my kids go there, my daugher has been very happy there for 4 years!

Ifonemust Sat 04-Jun-11 15:33:56

I am a working mum with two children and can not decided between a homely enviroment nursery for my two DD or the more corporate style..... in ideal world I would love to stay home but unfourtunatly I need to work I have tried Twickenham, Richmond and Isleworth.I am so horrified at some of the places I have visited around twickenham other than opening up my own (not something I want to do) or leaving work which at the moment I can not afford to do. what shall my partner and I think about. Is the small private owned nursery style better than the big chain ones. also is it better to have them supply the nappies/milk or me, and is this why the fees are so high in this area. My niece goes to a reasonably priced nursery in chiswick but has to supply her own nappies ets.

any help appreciated

BugsAndButterflies Sun 05-Jun-11 21:49:52

I had a bad experience with Trafalgar nursery back in 2005/2006, and eventually moved my child away from there to another local nursery that I was much happier with. I know lots of other mums whose children have gone there, some of whom also moved their children, and others who stuck it out but were not 100% happy with it.

One problem (of several) that I found was that they had a high turnover of staff, and, as they were a chain, they also used to move staff between nurseries quite frequently to balance their ratios. For example, if their nursery in Richmond had too few senior staff because somebody was off sick, my child's key worker might be drafted in to make up their numbers, which disrupted things for us. (That happens to a certain extent within all nurseries, but in my experience the effect was greater in this commercially run chain of nurseries as it seemed to operate with minimalist staff-children ratios). Also, when my child was there, they would do things like allow the nursery to be used for filming training videos, photography for childcare books, or to provide training for several college students at a time. The effect was that they had a significant number of strangers passing through, with apparently little regard to how that might affect the children. Other problems at the time were poor food, indiscretion in dealing with complaints, a general coarseness and/or coldness in manner of a small minority of staff, and a defensive management style which discouraged people from raising issues. I also noticed that their Ofsted report used several of the same phrases that the manager used in her sales pitch to prospective parents, and praised the nursery for having policies that I knew were not always followed by the staff, so I have never since particularly trusted Ofsted reports as a true reflection of a nursery's performance.

The nursery has had a couple of high profile issues, including this one from which I believe they were cleared of any blame (but those of us who were there at the time will never forget the horror of it), and a scandal involving a particular member of staff in 2010 which I won't link to because the nursery itself wasn't named in the news coverage (though they were obviously responsible for his recruitment, training and management).

The nursery has a different manager and staff now to when I was using it, so I can't comment on its current status. All I would say is, go and visit as many nurseries as possible. Look beyond the decor and the policies, and judge them by the warmth, love and respect with which all staff treat the children, including the shy children who don't naturally gravitate towards them, and the mischevious children who require more patience and skill to care for. A good nursery worker should have an obvious aptitude for the job, as no amount of training can compensate for a basic inability to relate to children with warmth, affection and intelligence.

fidgetsmummy Sat 11-Jun-11 16:54:41

Hi twickkat, My dd is at Trafalgar nursery & i have heard from other mums & dads about past issues but these seem to have all been resolved. The new manager took over last year I think & they had ofsted in not long ago which was really good. I used to wrok in nurseries and things do change so the past can't be used to put you off. My dd is so happy at nursery and I have no issue leaving her there compared to the others I went to see nearby. Go with your gut and ask the staff and manager about any worries you have, that is what maade my decision. good luck with it all x

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