Fiveways preschools / nurserys(22 Posts)
Anyone got any recommendations / avoids for a Fiveways nursery? I'm looking for somewhere, but have just moved here and don't really know anyone to ask. I'd love to hear your thoughts - DS is two and has never been away from home before, so I'm getting a bit mixed up and emotional about it all.
So far I've seen and liked:
Dorothy Stringer preschool - staff were lovely, garden was great but seemed a bit chaotic. Not in a bad way, just it was really really busy with loads of kids running about like loons. It looked like great fun actually, but DS is quite a reserved little chap. Not sure if it would be a bit much for him.
Hollingbury Park Playgroup - again, the staff seemed nice (not as nice as Stringer though maybe?) and the new building is fab... was all up for it until a neighbour made a cats bum face and intimated that it was a bit chavvy . It seemed lovely and the kids were all delightful. It can't be that bad can it?
Brighton and Hove Montessori - seemed lovely, but just read the Ofsted report and its a bit worrying. Maybe I'm literally reading too much into all this...
Afraid I can't help but I'm watching with interest as I'm also looking into nurseries, poss in Fiveways. Also thought the Montessori seemed lovely but haven't read the Ofsted report yet... can i ask why it's bad?
For what it's worth, I don't think you're reading too much into things - t's a big decision and why wouldn't you want to get it right.
My dd is at fiveways and it is really brilliant. The staff are lovely and come up with great ideas for the children. With the new building there is big play area outside. They have an outstanding ofsted. But..get your dc's name down quickly as it is v popular.
Is Fiveways the one with the Children's Centre on Florence Road?
Fiveways is lovely and so is Dorothy Stringer but think Dorothy Stringer has very short sessions and long holidays so no good if you're wanting it as childcare if you're working.
I've had children at Fiveways, Dorothy stringer and Hollingbury park. All beautiful new buildings. There is limited outdoor space at Dorothy Stringer but they get taken into the woods next door and out to the fields to sing to the sheep that graze there sporadically.
The staff at the first two are brilliant, really warm, positive and creative. I couldn't honestly say the same for Hollingbury Park. I have 'ishoos' with the staff there.
Dorothy stringer has started to offer longer sessions so you can go from 9-3 but it tends to be the 2-3 year olds in the afternoon and a bit quieter than the morning sessions with the older children.
They are all pre-schools so follow the school year with half terms and holidays. Other nurseries are Strawberry Hill, Little oaks, growing up green, pumpkin patch and Hopscotch. I know people with children at all of them and they all seem happy.
DC has been at Brighton & Hove Montessori for two years and I can't speak highly enough about it. You'll probably hear the same from any parent who has kids there.
I think OFSTED reports are a bit like tripadvisor reviews - after reading them it's impossible to make a decision! Speak to parents I reckon for the real story - they're assessing the institution on a daily basis.
Both my 2 went to Fiveways, can't rate it high enough
Fiveways also do after school pick ups from the local schools (Downs at least), and have a very close relationship with the infant schools, The infants used to hold their sports days at Fiveways
My Ds is just about to finish at Dorothy Stringer to start school. It is very good there - he was probably one of the running loons you saw! They have changed the hours so you can do longer days if you wanted to but to be honest if you're a working parent I don't see how any of the term time playgroup/preschool ones could work for you, you would probably need a nursery, like Growing up Green(which is meant to be excellent). Otherwise like others have said, I know people at Fiveways, Pumpkin Patch, Hopscotch and Growing up Green who are all happy there.
I have talked to one parent who had a very bad experience at HollingburyPark and pulled her child out to send him to Stringer instead. Based on what she told me I would never advise anybody to send their child there.
Good luck and welcome to Fiveways!
Thanks everyone. I've heard such great things about Fiveways playgroup... unfortunately it's just a little bit too far away from us. I'm now thinking it's between Stringer (great, but afternoons only for my little one - a pain, because that's when he naps, but he might have grown out of that by September... also no chance of going back to work since the house are so short) OR Growing Up Green.
DH loved Growing Up Green... but I dunno. I felt it was just a bit too busy.
Aghgghghhh.... At this rate I will never chose...
I know several children at Growing up Green (both sites) and the parents are really happy. TBH though when I looked round (Preston Drove) 2 years ago, it all seemed a bit segmented and disjointed small rooms, and the outside space a bit sad. Which is why I sent DS (at 23 months) to Pumpkin Patch. He was very happy there (2 sessions a week) and loved the staff.
I moved him for pre-school (at 3y3m), partly as we'd moved to another part of Brighton, but also I wasn't as happy with the pre-school room, it just seemed a bit frantic and impersonal. BUT again know children who'e stayed there until reception and been happy and fine.
I haven't looked at Pumpkin Patch yet, maybe I should? So many options round here, it's doing my brain in! This week we're going to look around Little Oaks (it's new apparently), Joyland, Strawberry Hill, Early Years and The Wishing Tree (which is a bit far out for us, but has good parking).
I even went as far as Hove, to look at Blueberry but didn't really love that either.
Maybe I'm just being too fussy? I just want somewhere bright, clean, friendly and fun. Preferably run by cosy late middle aged ladies. With a garden. And great food... and... and...
Better find somewhere soon though, DS is at that boundary-pushing age and we're likely to drive each other mad if I can't find somewhere for him to let off some steam!
Jess can I ask what happened to your friends at HP playgroup? I've heard so many people make unappreciative noises about it, but no one seems to be able to pin anything down, IYSWIM? Before hearing these things I think it was my favourite option - maybe PM me if you can?
Thanks again everyone
My 14 month old has been at Little Oaks in Fiveways for a few months now and the staff there have been great. I can't imagine being as upbeat and happy as those girls are all the time. It was a rocky first few weeks for him but now he is sleeping up to two hours at a stretch and even eating food we wouldn't dream he'd eat: a testimony to their patience and skills.
I love having a little report of his day's activities when we pick him up and a chat with the staff too. We visited all the nurseries in the area but the clincher was when the manager got a big old grin out of our son and I thought to myself, 'that's all I need to see'.
Although this thread hasn't been used for a while, I'm interested in finding out if anyone has had a child recently or a child going to Hollingbury Park play group. The thread wasn't very positive and wondered if it could have improved as looking at pre-school nurseries in the area. Thanks !
Both my children went to Hollingbury Park Nursery and they loved it! The staff have always been great with me and my children. I found it to be a happy, safe environment. Both children learnt lots and had a really happy time there. Also, one of the main reasons I chose the nursery was that as a parent I was welcome to look around anytime, no need for an appointment unlike some other nurseries. I found that really open and reassuring.
I've just moved to Preston Park and have a toddler who'll be 3 in October. Just wondering if anyone knows about free state run pre-schools in the area? I've moved from London where there seemed to be loads of them, but all I can find are paid for nurseries. I know we get the 15 free hours in the term after she's 3, but just wondering what the free options are. I'm confused!
Thanks to anyone who can help
lots1980, I have also just moved to the area, there are a couple of nurseries I know that accept the grant (because I've asked just them) so your daughters first 15 hours would be free at Dorothy Stringer Playgroup, Patcham Village Pre School, My First Friends in Westdene, Hollingbury Playgroup (think that's what it's called), generally if they are a 'playgroup' or 'pre-school' they will offer the grant, and actually most should offer funded places, even if they are private nurseries. I found it the opposite in London, maybe it was the area I was living but hardly anywhere offered the grant, and even those that did whacked a big premium on top so it's a revelation that my daughter can go to nursery for free down here! Good luck with finding somewhere.
Thank you for explaining! I've decided to go for Dorothy stringer and maybe one session a week at hopscotch if you're allowed to split the grant. All the best with finding one
Defo have a look round strawberry hill, excellent outdoor space, lovely caring staff. The children all happy and well looked after. 10/10
growing up green guilty of green washing. Pick your kid up early and you will see them in a disposable nappy eating white bread sandwich bought from the coop. not organic. disgraceful. liars
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