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Urgent Advise Needed - Running out of time!!!!!!

(15 Posts)
Macey78 Mon 25-Jul-11 01:11:57

Apologies if this is not articulate as it should be or goes on...getting a bit stressed about the situation.

Our DD turned 1 a week a go and I return to work on Wednesday working 3 days, DH works 3 days (Mon-Wed). Plan was/is for DD to go Nursery Wednesdays (1 day a week) with a view to increase this to 2 days at perhaps 18 months (never really occurred to us that she may find it harder/longer to settle) so we visited 3 nursery's (in hindsight should have visited more).

We started our settling in sessions last week:
Session 1 - 1 hr with me in the room - seemed to go ok (first time so have nothing to compare the experience with) DD held on to my hand most of the hour, wasn't keen on the other children getting too close, she will be the youngest others being 14 mths plus, she would perhaps walk up to the other children touch them however if they made any sudden movements or a loud voice would run in the opposite direction. I thought this was a good start!

Session 2 - 2 hrs with me leaving after 20mins, when she noticed I wasn't there the tears started and I could see a member of staff working with DD distracting her and singing to her, cuddling her. The toddlers had afternoon tea in the dining room and DD did not eat anything accept for the raisins offered. Total crying time approx 1hr 25mins

Session 3 - 2 hrs This time DH decided to come along and support and see how things are going. DD is a real daddy's girl and if both of us are standing together she will always choose him. Anyway she hold on to DH hand the whole time and eventually we managed to sneak out after 20mins. DD cried the entire time left.

Session 4 - 2hrs We decided that DH is not to come as he is more of a distraction for her. There was a change in the staffing and the women who had been looking after Ana not there, in another room due to staff shortages although I would have liked continuity for DD. I left the room after 10mins, DD crying, while sneaking a peek into the room without letting DD seeing me (which I had done the other sessions) I just felt that this worker was not cuddling DD enough as DD would have her hands held high and nothing just talking and singing she would perhaps go to pick her up if she saw me peeking tea time DD made to sit on a chair when the other worker had allowed DD to sit on her lap and the whole time at the table DD had her hands held towards the worker saying just old me all the while crying...DD had a bowl of soup in front of her and a sandwich. After Tea could not listen to her crying anymore and went in. The worker said she did not touch her soup. Well it's a new type of food and not something we have at home on a regular basis, also explained as stated in all my forms DD is not a self feeder needs help. She also said that DD was 'popping' on her all the time I explained it could be her nerves and it's not unusual for DD to 'Pop"

As I was leaving was introduced to someone who is going to be DD keyworker and DD has never met her before so she will be traumatised again by this new person.

Do you thing we should:
1 - Leave nursery until she is a little bit older
2 - Mum has offered to have DD on a Wed for a couple of months although she lives some distance away DD is familiar with her and we will be reassured.
3 - Not sure if I was nit picking however I thought the nails on the women for Day 4 were quite long for working with wriggly toddlers and am sure DD has a scratch from one of her nails.
4 - Each room has a radio/cd player am convinced I heard something like capital or kiss - we don't really expose our DD to that type of music at this age.
5 - When singing to DD they only seemed to know Twinkle Twinkle which we use at sleep time or old McDonlads sorry they also sang raining man which I didn't really approve of. (Although nothing wrong with the song itself)
6 - Had said to the nursery DD loves to read and likes having a pile of books she can approach, choose and bring to you to read to her, noticed that the books are in a cupboard that no one can barely notice they are there
7 - The toddlers beaker are kept in a box by the sink however have explained that DD points and grunts mainly to communicate and if she cannot see it cannot tell you she wants it
8 - On our last session it was a Fri pm and the manager was not there but there really seemed to be an air of that friday feeling, perhaps if DD was enjoying herself may be I would not have been erked by it.
9 - have got in touch with some of the NCT mums and a couple of the toddlers are going to a particular nursery should I try putting dd somewhere where she may be familiar with other DD's

Any advice appreciated, I know I have gone on a bit and some of what I write about is perhaps nit picking

Many thanks in advance

Dysgu Mon 25-Jul-11 01:31:31

Hi - it sounds like it has been quite a stressful week for you.

Can I ask, what made you choose a) a nursery and b) this nursery for your DD?

I have 2DDs and work full-time, as does my DP. The only way we can feel comfortable with choosing to both work full-time (we could manage on less money) is because we have such excellent child care arrangements.

Thinking back to when DD1 first went into childcare, she had a fabulous childminder - we wanted something similar to a home-from-home setting but chose a CM who worked with another CM and an assistant so never closed due to sickness as we required 100% reliability due to my being a teacher and unable to take time off and DP working on the mainland and being unable to get home quickly.

Anyway, I have nothing against nurseries and when CM gave up her business so go back to university we did look at a nursery for our 2DDs - and found a lovely one. We ended up finding another excellent CM though who we have used for the past 2 years.

Again, we can only work and be happy because we are 100% happy, comfortable and confident with our childcare arrangements.

Therefore, I would say that, if I were you, I would give up on this nursery and find something that you are really happy with. If your mum will help out for the time being then I would take her up on that offer. Then, once you are settled back at work, use your days off to find alternative care that really suits you.

Good luck.

savoycabbage Mon 25-Jul-11 02:54:59

I do too, think you should take up your mum's offer for a while. Then you can take some time to find somewhere that you love.

Then you van focus on settling her in there. You are not comfortable with the nursery and your dd will be able to tell. The childcare that my dd went to was great. I was pleased to be taking her, wondering what lovely things they were going to be doing.

Macey78 Mon 25-Jul-11 07:50:36

Thank you both for your reply. I think one of the reasons we chose a nursery is that we have friends outside London whom have toddlers in nursery and could not rate them highly enough however when looking into nursery's in this part of London nothing seemed up to the standard that friends said they have experienced. We also thought it may be nice for her to develop her social skills and meet new toddlers. Also lot's of people seem to have quite a positive experience.

This particular nursery really was the best of an ok bunch had a lot of outside space accessible to the toddlers and DD loves being outside and the staff seemed friendly (when I think about it now bar the manager 90% of the staff look under 25 nothing wrong with this but is that normal?)

I had considered a CM however DH was concerned saying who is policing the CM when officials have been and gone, I am going to call the council and get a list of CM's in the area and book some appointments.

Am going to call the nursery this morning and explain DD is not ready and we are considering other childcare options until she is a little older.

Feel relieved having made this decision, now just need to get my head round the fact I am actually going back to work after 14mths off.

Macey78 Mon 25-Jul-11 12:31:39

Called the nursery today explained we are looking at alternative methods of childcare. They said that they will keep the deposit as they need 4 weeks notice. I would have thought that as DD did not actually start why would they keep the deposit, did not have the energy to drag this out.

princesbold Mon 25-Jul-11 13:19:49

Macey, most children will go through the same anxiety you have spoken of, nurseries are very used to dealing with it, your observations are however a little concerning, the live radio broadcast is not good as guests and presenters famously blurt out foul language, television is just as bad. You mentioned books, these should always be available to all nursery children. These two things alone would be unacceptable for me and I would simply judge the nursery management as incompetent. You are stuck with the loss of the deposit as you will have reserved the space for a four week period, a decent and competent nursery manager would be understanding and perhaps offer you your deposit back. I would. Some children are never happy at a nursery but in my experience it's less than 1%. Be very careful with childminders they very rarely have the correct or sufficient insurance, be sure to check their ofsted registration certificate to see how many children they are allowed to care for, ask what arrangements are in place to cover if they are sick, ask about having to pay the childminder when they are on holiday. Ask the childminder for CRB checks for anybody who may come to the childminders home. Childminders will have the radio on and the television.

LIZS Mon 25-Jul-11 13:34:04

I would be wary of friends enthusing over their own children's nurseries. Parents can be famously defensive of their parenting decisions whether they are truly satisfied or not . Having said that standards can vary hugely from one to another and if you aren't comfortable leaving your dd there then don't. However many of your concerns would pale into insignificance over time and your dd probably would settle fine with consistency and adapt her routines to the theirs. I don't think familiar "friends" for example at this age would make much odds if other things were ok, she would learn where her beaker was kept nor would a 2 month age gap be a problem as developmentally she would change and soon a younger child would arrive. Forfeiting the deposit is pretty standard, it will be hard to fill her space within the next 4 weeks especially given the time of year with holidays.

Macey78 Mon 25-Jul-11 19:58:52

Thank You princesbold and LIZS. There is some really useful information you have both given me and to perhaps I should keep certain things in perspective. Think when I am back in the world of work I probably will do.

One of the reasons we chose this nursery is that it had a better ofsted report than the one where some of the NCT babies go and we did not want to just follow the pack.

DD used to go to 2-3 classes a week up until 3 months ago and think I should have continued as it would have helped her build confidence and be used to others around her. DH is going to take her swimming and a Tiny tots session at the end of the road and I will do a music class with her on a Monday.

We shall be looking into childcare for when she is 18months.

redglow Mon 25-Jul-11 20:26:40

Hi I have temped in nurseries and would never send my child to one. I got told off for cuddling babies as they all would expect it. I think most childminders are ofsted registered so they would have to have insurance. Some people convince themselves that nurseriers are great. I think they are better for older children not babies.

Macey78 Mon 25-Jul-11 21:29:20

Thanks for that info dd really loves cuddles and mum is actually really good with her.

princesbold Tue 26-Jul-11 07:28:32

You can't always tell how good or bad a nursery is from the ofsted report, it is just a snapshot, on a day when the staff will do anything to impress an inspector.

sleeplessinderbyshire Thu 28-Jul-11 19:06:52

hate to be a dissenting voice here and clearly you have to go with what is right for your dd but I think there's a bit of a touch of PFB syndrome here. My dd has gone to a superb (and oftead outstanding) nursery since 5 months old. Perhaps I had it easy in that she was there for ages before she started getting separation anxiety. she's a total fussopot and never eats there xcept breakfast but as we struggle to feed her at home this is not a surproise and at times she'll try things there she'd never touch at home.

I have to say I did stay and play for an hour the first time, then left her went for a massage and came back 90 misn later the next time and then just left her for a session. I think a lot of your OP is about you not being ready to leave her (the hanging around looking through windows etc) if your mum is happy by all means use her for childcare but I think you are beeing a teensy weensy bit unrealistic here

MrsVidic Thu 28-Jul-11 19:13:52

Hi my dd was the same- so I opted for a cm for a few months then moved her to nursery once she was more confident (as the cm did school runs the pick up/ drop off didn't work well for me as I do shifts)

She now loves nursery- also sleeps at my mums once a week which she loves too.

Weissbier Sun 04-Sep-11 12:06:37

Macey, initially I think it's normal to find one or two things in every nursery that will give you a heart attack but you'll feel much better about things like long nails once your DD settles. They don't have to use the same routines, songs etc that you do at home, children are very quick to catch on to what is done where and by whom, so it's more important that the individual be consistent than that everything is always the same.

But what really strikes me about this is that it doesn't sound like a very well-organised settling-in period. I don't know who told you to sneak out of the room but that's not a good idea (at least, I've been taught by DD's nursery and indeed every nursery and childcare professional I've ever met that it isn't). You should say goodbye to your child so they know you are going, this way they learn that you leave and that you also come back (another aspect of this process is: when you come back, you take them home, don't reappear and then leave again or phaff about talking to staff for ages - they need to be safe in the knowledge your appearance means end of nursery and time with you now). Secondly, the same one parent should do the settling-in period. It can make sense for it to be dad as a lot of kids are happier to let daddy leave than mummy, and dads are often less nervous themselves, but I'm sure you're right that DH sometimes coming wasn't helping.

Thirdly, over here (in Germany) settling-in lasts for four weeks usually, depending on the child: a week of building up amount of time spent at nursery with you there, then a week of being left for 20 mins, then an hour, then two, then three etc, and with fewer hours again after a break (eg the weekend), until they are fine. Of course I don't mean it should all be done like in Germany but my sister back in the UK insisted on settling her second son for four weeks, not one, and it really helped.

So all in all while tbh I think there's nothing on your list of numbered points I would worry about unduly I DO think their handling of the settling-in is a big deal and also you are right that continuity is important. It will never be perfect as people will be ill or on holiday, but for example I ask myself why the nursery did not ask you to postpone your DD's start date until her keyworker could be there. I also wonder why they did not structure the settling-in better and guide you. You seem to have to been listening to crying outside the door for a hell of a long time. That must have been horrible for you, and they should have told you when to come in, not leave you to have to make the decision, and to my mind it should have been a lot sooner too.

I wouldn't conclude that this experience means your DD is not ready for nursery but I might well take up your mum's offer until I found a place with better settling-in, or a CM or whatever you think is best.

Groovee Sun 11-Sep-11 10:11:11

I've been a qualified nursery nurse for 14 years and have around 18 years experience of working with children. I found full time children took up to a month to settle and that part time children took longer 6-8 weeks to settle. I do think you've expected your dd to go to nursery and be fine and not bargained on her going through the natural stage of separation anxiety which is very common at around 8-15 months.

Many nurseries round here no longer offer 1 day a week as it can be too long between the sessions. Children can easily forget nursery that they go to on a Monday and it can be a huge shock.

Other children can just not be suited to nursery and a childminder or Nanny is a far better solution. I hope you can find what suits your daughter.

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