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Nurseries in Docklands, especially Lanterns

(18 Posts)
TirNaNog100 Tue 26-Jun-12 19:12:24

I'm returning to work in September and am looking at childcare options for my eleven-month ds sad

We're looking at nurseries in the docklands. I've seen Lanterns, and liked it, but reviews on MN are very mixed, although the threads are quite old. Has anyone got recent experience, particularly of the baby room? We're also thinking of 'My Nursery' in East India Quay - has anybody used it?

I live in Greenwich (and work in the docklands) so any recommendations for childminders in either area would be much appreciated.

Please help - I'm very worried about leaving my baby and would be so grateful for any advice/recommendations.

trixietie Fri 29-Jun-12 22:46:11

Tir! We've just moved out of East London and obviously had to move nursery. My daughter, now 3.5 had been at My Nursery since September 2010 at 11 months and I can honestly say I cried my eyes out when she had to leave. I was terrified leaving her there but we've had the best experience with them, the staff are really lovely and caring, the reports when she left showed us just how much they understood the little lady. She has developed so much and most importantly was so very happy. I honestly can't recommend them enough , but with the caveat that every nursery is going to have it's little problems so much of it is down to instinct. I would definitely go and visit but would also say they're likely to have a waiting list so get there asap. I do also think they're planning a new nursery in Canary Wharf but don't know when. Any questions just ask! Oiche Mhaith wink

makeminemango Fri 29-Jun-12 22:53:25

Hi there. I don't have an recent experience with lanterns. DD goes to the Montessori nursery at Crossharbour which might be an option for you. The management can be downright scary & it seems to be a very top down approach to staff but DD is happy there. DS did well there before he went off to school & it prepared him well for school. I've had friends with kids at my nursery and they never had a bad word to say about it.

TirNaNog100 Sat 30-Jun-12 21:29:55

Thanks so much for the replies - I have no family in London and none of my friends have babies, so I need all the advice I can get!

I hadn't known about the Crossharbour Montessori but will look into it. I've heard only good things about 'My Nursery' - my only issue is that it's a little out of our way, so it would be harder to go there at lunchtime, which we could easily do with Lanterns.

Did you ladies find the settling-in period traumatic? My little boy's never even had a babysitter so I'm dreading it.

miranda1028 Mon 08-Oct-12 16:23:39

I would DEFINITELY avoid Lanterns. We had an awful experience there - I took my daughter out after the introductory sessions.
I had to return to work early, so my DD was very young when she went there and couldn't yet crawl. What looked to me to be a 2 yo kept trying to bash her on the head with a plastic toy. I asked the staff how old the other children in the baby room were and they told me they weren't allowed to tell me. The staff didn't seem bothered whatsoever. With the exception of one woman, I thought the staff were dreadful. Not only did they seem unconcerned about safety, they didn't seem to engage with any of the toddlers and were not very welcoming to parents.
The owner of the nursery did a fantastic sales job on us. She told us that the staff had been with her for several years (not true for the baby room), that the babies were separated by age (also not true), etc. I quickly found out why the deposit was so high -- she wouldn't return it after we decided to pull out our DD for her own safety. I've since found another thread on here where a mother had to take the owner to court (she won) to get her deposit back. They had left her daughter wandering around the halls!
I can't tell you how much I love her new nursery (Mudchute). The staff are fabulous and DD jumps out of my arms to go there each day. I've also heard very good things about My Nursery, Little Unicorns (it's expensive but good), and the Barkantine nursery (I've not seen that one). I saw My Nursery and Little Unicorns and liked them a lot - I'm not surprised that people seem happy there too.
I don't have any family here either, so I can definitely sympathize. My advice would be to see as many as you can and you'll quickly figure out which one feels right...and you'll be much happier leaving your DS there ach day smile

PuffPants Wed 02-Jan-13 19:28:59

I know this is an old thread but if the OP is still around, what did you decide? I'm considering Lanterns myself but the MN threads about it are not exactly encouraging!

TirNaNog100 Sat 12-Jan-13 10:50:44

Hi PuffPants, sorry for the late reply - I only saw your message now. Well, I eventually opted for My Nursery. BUT he spent his settling sessions screaming his head off (from a baby who never cried). And I lost my nerve and found a nanny instead. He was happy with her from the outset, and, all considered, it was only a bit more expensive than a nursery and the peace of mind is beyond cost. Please do send me a private message if you wish to discuss further. x

racheyp Fri 05-Apr-13 20:03:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

bambino2013 Fri 20-Sep-13 15:40:12

I would advise anyone to steer clear of Lanterns-poster is correct-nursery manager is rude and arrogant and is all about makign money rather than the children. Sends snotty communications to parents and cannot take any constructive criticism. Little Unicorns I would highly recommend over this one!

Constancekmcl2 Sun 22-Sep-13 10:44:58

Hi Bambino,

I am going to view Lanterns Arts Nursery tomorrow ... indeed ... I read from OFSTED Report that Mudchute Farm Nursery is quite good thou ... but don't know whether their waiting list is really long or not ...

InStyle Sun 22-Sep-13 10:56:04

Ooh, I got a very bad vibe from Lanterns. They don't let you visit unannounced. The owner (calls herself the principal or something hmm) does these weekly talks, very strictly controlled - I arrived minutes late and was sent away to return the following week - staff were so rude about it - then you are shown around but it's done after lunch when ALL the children are asleep! I didn't see one awake child and the staff were all standing in ceremony in each room you were shown - and one would have been primed to do the talking, just all very unnatural.

Got a strong feeling parents would not be in control there at all, that you would be ridiculed for phoning up or attempting to stop by or making suggestions as to how they were looked after.

Really, really did NOT get a good feeling.

Nice facilities, lovely garden but personally wouldn't touch it.

Constancekmcl2 Sun 22-Sep-13 12:16:42


Then maybe I have to go there ( i.e. Lanterns Arts Nursery ) on time tomorrow for the visit.

- "My Nursery"
My colleague sent her son to "My Nursery", she said that it's good for her son. As far as my observation ( before I started my maternity leave ... I had to hand over all my work to this colleague ) ... she can keep calling that nursery ( I meant "My Nursery" ) to check if her son is okay or not. And seems the staffs are willing to answer to make sure the parents have peace of mind and can concentrate on their work. Maybe I will book an appointment with "My Nursery" as well.

- "Barkantine Community"
Just wondering ... anyone have feedback about Barkantine Community Nursery? Seems there is no comment about this nursery at all ... does it imply that --> No Bad Comment is then a good nursery?

- "Crossharbour Montessori Day Nursery"
Anyone can say something about this nursery whether it is good or not because ...
(a) I got a confused feeling ... they are quite misleading as they just put their outstanding 2011 OFSTED report on their website. But when we check from OFSTED report ourselves ... they had "3" before ... and then back to "2" recently. And according to one of my friends who works in the nursery industry, she told me that if a particular nursery receives a mark of "3" for more than two times ... they have to be out ( or maybe do a lot of things to improve ) ...

(b) Also, OFSTED check this website very often ... ( i.e. half year ). Again, my friend who works in the Nursery Industry told me that ... normally OFSTED won't check nursery that often except if parents, outsiders or even staffs complain about such nursery ...

So ... really don't know whether I should put my little daughter there or not when she is about 1 years old

- "Mudchute Farm Nursery"
Any pros and cons of this nursery?

Look forward to hearing from other mummies ^^

InStyle Sun 22-Sep-13 15:57:33

Mudchute is impossible to get into - they rarely even open the waiting list, but very popular because of the outdoor space.

My Nursery and Unicorns, I know people with children at both and are happy.

Are you working in Canary Wharf?

Constancekmcl2 Mon 23-Sep-13 08:50:40

I work in Central London but live in Canary Wharf area ... that's why need to look for somewhere near the house rather than bringing baby all the way to Central London ...

Oh Mudchute rarely open the waiting list ... OMG.

working2mom Thu 19-Nov-15 10:51:23

My daughter had been attending Lanterns and Montessori in the past. Now she's in another nursery elsewhere.

Lanterns- my daughter was placed in the baby's room. The staff there were usually part-timer. This means, the information and observation of a child would not be fully known by the part-timer staff and they have to rely on other staff for more information. My child attended 5 days a week and when picking up my child by end of the day, they report based on what's written on a piece of paper. If you have other questions, they weren't able to give more information. I think their activities are not organised well. As far as I have seen, the babies there mostly spent their entire time in the same room, play the same stuff. Their garden is super tiny and there isn't much outdoor activities. Also, the staff has been neglecting my child sometimes whenever she poo and they did not change her. I've told them about this problem and they only apologize. I can also tell that my child was very sad each time I come to pick her up.
I have decided to move on and it will take you 6 months to get back your deposit. Whatever emails you sent to them, they will ignore you completely. Also, in my opinion - the owner who is an ex-ballerina is not really keen on the matters in the nursery, she's more interested in running her dance studio. Overall, I strongly would NOT recommend Lanterns to any parents. It's the worst nursery you can get.

Montessori - slightly better than Lanterns. Activities are organised well and they do have a big garden for any outdoor play. However I noticed that they do allow sick children in to the nursery and may be contagious to other children. The staff knows your child well compared to Lanterns. Didn't spend much time here, as moving elsewhere.

Now my daughter is in the best nursery ever with so much better care (not in Docklands). She loves everything about it and been happy everyday. I can see a huge improvement on her learning, knowledge and speaking.

Mamae15 Tue 07-Jun-16 00:45:10


I would like to share my experience which I had by visiting Lanterns nursery.
Unfortunately I had a bad feeling about the place, the manager who owns the place was more interested in selling more than the children. I read some of the comments above from 2012 and 2013 sadly I can only agree with them. I have a 6 months year old and I'm looking for a nursery. And though this place looked "pretty " but there was no soul, the staff were not free there was tension and I find strange the fact that all was too organised and neat been a nursery children play etc, and there were all sleeping. There was no life, the atmosphere was negative for me.

Please can anyone help as I'm still looking for a nursery at present in the area of East London E14.

Thankyou in advance.

Overtaxed Mon 17-Oct-16 13:09:25

I can't say anything positive about Lanterns, either as a day nursery or a Saturday dance/arts school.
It's purely a cash cow for the self-inflated ego of a "Principal" who is rude, arrogant and condescending.

Sunny3D Fri 09-Dec-16 20:51:13

About Lanterns..... I agree with above 'cash cow' comments and somewhat arrogant, not caring and definitely money hungry manager. Greed really shines through everything they do. The politeness is quite artificial and I honestly feel they care only about money. Teachers are quite good though but even they look unhappy and tired as if there is something not right behind the scenes perhaps?..
As someone mentioned it above, manager mostly cares about her saturday school. The arts were important aspect why we chose this place, but there is misleading marketing for sure. This is a quote from their website : "Professional teachers of the performing arts join the school staff on a daily basis offering workshops in music, movement and drama."
I need to tell you people, this does not happen there! It is a downright lie. There are no performing arts teachers coming in to work with children within the nursery's daily schedule at all! (The regular nursery teachers are the ones singing and 'dancing' with them just at the level as it would be expected at whatever regular nursery in general.) Not to mention 'on a daily basis'. It does not exist. It is a regular nursery with nice teachers and quite spacious inside place, (tiny outside garden), but only connection to arts is that children paint a lot. There is a dance studio inside the nursery, but it is used as 'run around and play' place rather than any organized dance activity. Even Ofsted pointed it out in their last rapport so obviously they still do not care to make an effort. The studio really is for the saturday 'dance school' which has nothing to do with the activities the children get on a daily basis monday to friday at the nursery.
My child was old enough to tell me all this at home so no, we did not appreciated to be lied to like this and that is why we left. Of course, I talked to the staff as well, to make sure it is really true.
The fact that you only get your deposit back after 5 months is quite telling as well, as I have not encountered it anywhere else when looking for a nursery place.
I can not recommend this place due to it's dishonesty as we felt tricked believing it was really an arts nursery as they have marketed it. And if you lie about one thing..... you probably lie about many others.

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