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Finding out about whether you have secured a place a nursery for your child

(3 Posts)
Lepidoptera Tue 16-Aug-11 11:43:47

Hi there,
I'm new to Mumsnet & this is my first post.

Our DS is 9 & a bit months old now. We began looking at nurseries in January 2011.

We registered at one nursery in February 2011 for a full-time (5 days a week) place starting in October 2011 when I go back to work full-time. Several of our friends have had their children there & are exceptionally happy. This nursery says they operate on a first come, first served basis for places. So, I inquired when I would find out whether or not we had a place for our DS. They said, 'July or August timeframe.'

Based upon that comment (since it is so close to when we do actually need full-time childcare!), we then decided to register at a second nursery (again, recommended by other friends) in April 2011. We registered for a full-time (5 days a week) place starting in October 2011.

Well, we actually prefer the second nursery. And the Principal there told us that in order to secure DS a full-time place we may need to start him in September 2011 instead of October. We said we were not averse to that.

It is now mid August and we have heard ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from either nursery in respect to the status of whether or not our son has a place.

I called the second nursery (our preference) a few weeks ago & left a very pleasant and detailed (i.e. all of my contact info. clearly stated) message on their answerphone indicating that I'd like to know the status. To date I have received no call back. I realize they are busy, etc. but 2 minutes to return a phone call?

My husband has begun to ring them to see if he makes any more progress. He actually spoke to a human this AM & she said she couldn't tell him as there was a power cut, but would tell him when the power was back.

I'm getting a bit nervous & stressed because I am scheduled to restart work in mid-October and I want to have my childcare all sorted long before then. I don't want to be running around at the last minute trying to find DS care.

In addition, since I have to tell work at least 8 weeks before I plan to go back, if I have to use up my holiday to care for DS until the end of October, I still need to know from the nurseries (either way).

So, my question is: is this normal that neither nursery has gotten back to us re: our son's place? Is is also normal that for full-time slots they wait until soooo close to the start date (i.e. less than 8 weeks time in advance) to tell you?

I'm beginning to wonder should I be looking at new nurseries? I prefer nurseries because we want DS to be around lots of other children of various ages. But should I give up on nurseries & start looking for a nanny/nanny share or a childminder?

Any thoughts?

BranchingOut Tue 16-Aug-11 15:24:14

I don't think this is a good sign from either nursery. They should have a way of predicting when a place might become available eg. that older children are moving up to school, younger children move up into the toddler room etc..

Write them both a letter making it clear that you need to have an indication of whether or not you have a place asap. If you don't hear back within a week then look elsewhere.

By all means also have a look for nannies/childminders. I am just starting my son (rising 2) at nursery and, although it is an excellent nursery, I don't regret that he didn't go there at a younger age. The care may be good, but I think that the amount of cuddles, physical contact etc possible with a 1 : 3 ratio is just not ideal for a younger baby. Obviously this is a personal opinion but it is based on what I have observed during our settling in period.

Lepidoptera Fri 19-Aug-11 16:59:16

Thanks for your note BranchingOut. As it ends up, my husband found out the status quite quickly. We are all sorted now & have a full-time place at nursery for our DS.

I do think, however, that if we hadn't have called (i.e. clarified that we were still interested) we wouldn't have heard... So, I am glad we did bug them!

Thanks again.

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