nurseries in Haringey

(25 Posts)
mrsbaldwin Mon 12-Jan-09 17:57:44

I'll get the ball rolling with a thread about nurseries in the borough. Maybe others with views/reviews wanted to post to this thread also? If there is some good material it could be saved for posterity!

My baby is not due until March 2009, so I can only report what I've observed on a couple of visits to nurseries in N22. Readers should note I have no experience with nurseries and babies - so I can only say what I saw and how I felt after my short trips.

I've been to Noah's Ark in Mayes Road and Bowes Park Nursery near Bounds Green Tube to have a look.

Bowes Park has a slightly better OFSTED score than Noah's Ark but I liked Noah's Ark better of the two.

Here are my bullet points on each:

Noah's Ark:
*loved the manager, a petite livewire called Effie. When I visited it was Children In Need day and she was dressed as Wonder Woman. She was informative, 'can-do' and all the children seemed to like her - as we toured the nursery they all came to show her things
*it's independently owned, by her family (she runs it, her dad and uncle bankrolled, I believe)
*it has an unprepossessing location on Mayes Road opposite the job centre, but once inside I felt a bit like I was in a nice parallel universe
*the staff were a mix of ages and ethnicities (the latter reflecting the kids) - running the baby room there was a young woman and an older lady
*the kids looked as if they were all playing happily (apart from one wailing toddler whose mum had just dropped him off, who was getting a cuddle from an NN)
*I didn't see lunch or menus - but my other half did when he went (the managers mum is the cook)
*it was clean as a whistle and everything not being used was tidy
*it takes 40-50 children tops (so quite small)
*the downside - the premises are not the most spacious you've ever seen and the outside space is tiny although nicely decorated and maintained

Bowes Park:
*it's a bit larger than Noah's Ark - maybe 60-70 children.
*the premises are much larger - on two floors with a big garden
*again staff were mix of ages and ethnicities
*it has an Outstanding from OFSTED on food and peeping into the kitchen I could see why - a chef in whites was chopping and stirring away. The menu looked delicious
*but it was quite untidy (and this was at 0930/1000). NNs had taken charges into the garden and left two rooms in a big mess - toys scattered all over the floor. (Note: this could be normal for a nursery for all I know - all I'm saying is I thought it looked a bit chaotic)
*as me and the NN showing me round went upstairs another NN was coming down carrying a full binbag. It suddenly split, cascading dirty nappies down the stairs. This was very unfortunate and the mess was cleared up whilst I watched.
*the nursery was out of leaflets and paperwork for me to take away and the computer for more to be printed on was not available because NN in charge had forgotten the keys to the cupboard. Again, could happen to anyone. However I gave my address for these to be posted on to and nothing ever arrived.

I'm going to see the Orange Nursery at Turnpike Lane in the next few days, so perhaps I'll be moved to report on that too.

What do others who use these nurseries think?

Can others report on nurseries elsewhere in the borough?

Mrs Baldwin

mrsbaldwin Fri 16-Jan-09 13:21:07

And my thoughts following a visit to Orange Day Nursery at Turnpike Lane, for posterity:

*quite new, just over a year old (opened October 2007)
*premises are a large Victorian house opposite Turnpike Lane tube, but set back behind the small common - good location for pick-up and drop-offs for Tube-commuting parents
*very clean and tidy all round
*kitchen clean, menus looked very nice - choice of purees or 'proper' food for weaned babies. An efficient and kindly-looking lady chef in whites etc
*could take about 60 children although there were nothing like that number there when we went (a Friday morning) - maybe 20-30.
*super-professional lady manager, who previously managed Bowes Park Nursery and two others
*owned by a nearby firm of accountants
*good sized garden with decking area, sandpit, herb garden, outdoor toys, buggy shed etc
*takes babies from about 6 months

So what did I think?

I thought it was well-run, the kids looked happy and the NNs were nice and smiley. I thought the toddler room was particularly good - whilst we were there they did show and tell, then cookery, all going with a swing. I thought the manager was very competent and experienced.

All the NNs I saw were at the young end of the spectrum - so whilst they were nice I wondered about the collective level of experience. One baby, who looked to be about 1, who the manager explained was having some settling-in anxieties, was crying when we arrived and crying again when we left - but the manager herself prompted the NN to check there was nothing causing discomfort (eg nappy) before settling her into her pushchair, acting as a comfort object. Great that the manager can give clear direction to junior members of staff and I'm sure the baby is well-looked-after - I'm just making a point about experience really ... from the perspective, of course, of a person with no experience of settling crying babies as my DS has not arrived yet

The manager made a comment to me similar to the one I remarked on Bowes Park Nursery on the separate thread about Bowes Park - when we admired the sandpit she said 'lots of the boys like to dig here'. I'll spare everyone a second round of feminist diatribe, but the remark sounded a small off-note with me.

In summary then - would I be happy to sign up my child for Orange. Yes definitely - the two points I make above are very minor niggles. However I personally still like Noah's Ark the best of the three - NA, Bowes Park and ODN - that I've seen.

Perhaps I'll report again when DS has (been born and) started attending.

Hope other people looking for nurseries around Wood Green/Turnpike Lane find this thread useful.

Mrs Baldwin

Bumbee Wed 21-Jan-09 00:27:35

Hi there, I am the mum of a 2yr old and she at bowes park nursery. i can reassure you this is a really excellent nursery. the staff feel like family now as she's been going there part time since she was 8 months old. The atmosphere is so warm and friendly all the children adore the staff, and i feel genuinely happy and safe in the knowledge that my dd is ther whilst im at work. they have loads of great activities ( i know this as they give me a blow by blow report in the evenings and my dd tells me another 5 times on the way home!) and the outdoor space is really important and means even the babies get lots of fresh air and its a safe environment where all the children have room to play. the food looks amazing and im quite ashamed of my food in comparison.. my dd had paella the other day and chicken biriani last week! all cooked by the lovely chef.
I was so nervous about nurseries when i was looking around and i remember i was so shocked when i was looking at some!and some childminders where there were practically wall to wall children!
I went to see noah's ark too on two seperate occasions , and whilst i thought the staff and the baby room specifically seemed good, I was surprised that at both visits the toddlers were sat infront of the TV watching cartoons. This was at two different times of day! could have been a fluke. I do think the outdoor space is important and noah's ark is just that bit too small. but i suppose it is very close to a park.
I went to orange nursery too but it was brand new when i went for a visit and had very few children enrolled I was surprised they didnt have proper food preparation and relied on purees and jars which i gues swas because they hadnt employed a cook at that point. i was also surprised that all staff were agency staff and none had more experience than a year. i imagine they have some full time staff by now.

other nurseries i looked at but was toolate for the waiting list or couldnt afford were;
1 Greygates in muswell hill which was amazing and would have been my first choice had there not been a 1 yr waiting list! if you get in as early as you are you might be ok.:-)
2. active learning in Crouch end - this was pretentious and full of twoddle! andat £83 a day overpriced! and the manager was clearly only interested in the money. it was the only nursery where they completely ignored dd and didnt fuss over her. one for ultra yummy mummies who beleive in sensory zones and yoga for 3 month olds! or maybe i saw it on a bad day ! either way i hope my experience is helpful.
good luck in march xx

dempsie Thu 22-Jan-09 22:03:13

Ever thought of a childminder?

mrsbaldwin Fri 23-Jan-09 09:59:37

I will need childcare for a baby from about 3-4 months. Not many childminders in my little bit of Haringey seem to take them that young.

I've been to see a couple of childminders who live close to me.

Unfortunately you are too far from me Dempsie (I live on the Wood Green side of the park).

mrsbaldwin Fri 23-Jan-09 19:04:50

BTW Bumbee, you have written a helpful review of BPN!

How interesting that they were watching cartoons at Noah's Ark. I think I will ask them about this (without saying I read it here). I feel like telly at nursery shouldn't be needed - but then what do I know ... yet

dimi09 Thu 29-Jan-09 19:50:49

thanks Bumbee
my little boy will joing Bowes park in Aug when 11 months, that was more or less my impression form the visit and the reviews, good to know it is true.
thanks again

McGuck Fri 06-Feb-09 12:51:02

My daughter is due to start Bowes Park in April and is only 7 months so this is really helpful Bumbee. Just wondered did you find your little one got ill when they started? People keep telling me the first few months at nursey are a nightmare with illness, also how are BP if your baby is ill? Do they insist you keep them off for long periods?

Turniphead1 Tue 10-Feb-09 17:06:20

I am very surprised at children watching TV at a nursery in anything other than a oneoff.

GreenPenguin Wed 11-Feb-09 22:40:35

anyone know anything about the Surestart one in Noel Park?

chouilla Fri 24-Apr-09 02:38:57

Hi there
I a mum of a 18 month old boy struggling to find a decent nursery. I am doig a run to all the children centre in the next few hours, putting him on the waiting list (pembury, woodside, noel park, rowland hill, park lane). I am also due to visit Orange nursery in the afternoon so I will report on that . I visited Noah's Ark and the TV thing really put me off, it is on their daily routine 30 min so as the premises can be clean, I reckon around midday and then in the afternoon (that is what I have been told). The food given looked like fast food to me so I would say no way. Really the TV really put me off. My son went to Asquith Nursery in Finsbury which was really nice but now it is a bit far for us.

ticketybookin Fri 24-Apr-09 10:14:11

DD is at Orange and she is really happy. The staff are lovely with the children - lots of cuddles particularly for settling in babies. They also do all sorts of activities - messy play, cookery, (not sure how much baking they do at that age??), music etc. The outside area is really nice - with a special decked area for the littlest ones to separate them from rampaging toddlers! They also provide suncream/sun hats for summer (not sure if all places do this) but seemed a good sign to me. Food is v. good and probably more varied than I cook at home!

juliem1967 Tue 28-Apr-09 17:11:20

Does anyone have a baby at Active Learning in Crouch End and is so would they recommend it?

shisho Fri 24-Jul-09 09:07:17

I am now pregnant with my second child and I intend to send my baby to Noah's Ark in Wood Green. I agree TV is not ideal, however it is only on for a short time whilst some of the other children go down to sleep. I once did a settling in period with my daughter during this time and it was only on for 10 mins. Some chidren had books and drawing materials. 2 or 3 children were actually looking at the TV so I really see no harm in it at all!!
Chouilla, I find it quite unreasonable for you to say that Noah's Arks Menu is "Fast Food". If you see their menu you will see all the lovely meals that they are being offered each day. I have passed that kitchen everyday where I see the cook freshly preparing the meals. How is cous-cous, pasta, rice, fish and vegetables fast food? I completely disagree and I would HIGHLY recommend Noah's Ark to anyone!!

Aranea Fri 24-Jul-09 09:09:23

I have no experience of putting a baby into nursery, but I do have a preschooler and have heard nothing but negative stuff about Active Learning. In fact apparently two children escaped and got quite a long way before they were picked up!

mrsbaldwin Wed 19-Aug-09 21:25:15

Chouilla - my DS has done a month at Noah's Ark - I've found them great, manager very responsive etc. I personally don't care much about 30 mins TV - whenever I leave DS with DH I come back and find them watching rubbish on Channel 5 and I am betting whatever Noah's Ark is showing is better than that!!!

elkiedee Wed 19-Aug-09 23:45:29

mrsb, glad to hear that nursery is going ok.

Emmy76 Tue 01-Sep-09 21:28:35

My little one is at Orange Day Nursery and is really happy there. She's now been there for almost a year. There are some agency workers/students but a number of the staff have been there throughout and are evidently really experienced. They have always been quick to pick up on problems, e.g. rashes/ear infections etc. There are lots of cuddles and the staff are really friendly. To be honest, although I was really nervous about sending her to nursery (and it's really tough visiting nurseries when you're not feeling too sure about the idea of anyone else looking after your baby), I'm really happy with our choice. They do far more activities and have a far better range of fresh cooked food than I could muster at home. I'd thoroughly recommend it.

Thandeka Tue 01-Sep-09 21:56:50

waves at Mrs Baldwin! (didn't realise you were THAT close- am N22 too!) Hope the freelance after mat leave is going okay- my freelance is taking off but go on mat leave in jan. Gulp!

Yay for nursery tips. I have only seen bowes park as I walk past it on way to tube.

twelveyeargap Tue 01-Sep-09 21:59:01

My childminder is near Bounds Green station. Maggie Ryan She LOVES having really little ones. I don't think she has space right now, but is extending and should have extra spaces from around October 09 I think.

She is a childminder with childcare assistants, so currently up to 9 children at a time I think, but mostly over one-year olds. My son was treated like a star when he joined at 5 months.

Mine only go one day as week. She's currently not open on Fridays, but not sure if that will change after the extension.

(She's changing her status to "childcare on domestic premises" so she can do the Early Years stuff and have a proper nursery for the older ones be eligible for the nursery education grant.)

Might be of use to anyone looking in the near future.

cmcloughlin Wed 16-Sep-09 13:59:52

I'd be interested to hear any experiences of local nurseries in crouch end. I know that Stonecroft and Campsbourne are supposed to be good, v long waiting lists but wondered whether anyone had any experience of Montessori and any more feedback re Active learning nursery?
I am expecting my 2nd child in February and ideally would like my 2 and a half year old settled into a nursery for a few mornings a week before then. Any suggestions v welcome.

elkiedee Sat 19-Sep-09 00:52:34

CMC, is your child 2.5 now? When does s/he turn 3?

What kind of budget do you have? I think some of the private nurseries cost twice what the Council children's centre ones such as Stonecroft and Campsbourne do. Might it also be worth looking into playgroups?

cmcloughlin Wed 23-Sep-09 11:23:14

Hi Elkidee
I have a moderate budget, say £40 per morning but I am hoping to find somewhere that accepts childcare vouchers. My daughter is 3 in February. She's already on the list for Campsbourne, but if there is a place she wouldn't be eligible until next September and she's on the list for Stonecroft too (we registered her at 6 months) but prob should have done at 1 month to get a place in time. It felt too weird when she was so little thinking about her childcare, but hey, i will know next time!

mrsbaldwin Thu 24-Sep-09 10:01:48

Hi there Thandeka!!

I hadn't logged into Local for ages and then saw your msg!

Can't believe you also live in N22

Let me know if you want to meet for a coffee sometime.

elkiedee Fri 25-Sep-09 00:40:04

MrsB, how are things going? I've assumed you're back at work but if you have time off and would like to meet for a coffee/wander in a park somewhere let me know. I'm back to work myself next month.

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