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What should a nursery be doing?

(15 Posts)
Slavetominidictator Fri 30-Aug-13 12:58:56

I took my dd in to her nursery for her first visit yesterday for 90 mins and then again today. I go back to work next week and she will be there every other day. It was just awful. Two girls in a room with six babies/toddlers. There seemed to be no activities, just holding clingy, crying babies and leaving others (also crying) to fend for themselves - and that is in front of a parent. My dd is 15 months, been walking for 5 months, says about 30 words and is v keen on going outside, opening things, generally exploring. The other babies she will be with can't walk, can't speak, so I asked if she could move up and apparently she can in November. That leaves two months plus of this situation.
I decided on a nursery setting as I thought she was bored by just me and that nursery would provide a more structured set of activities, as well as a bit of socialisation.
Do I have unreasonable expectations here? What would you expect to see in a 90 min visit in a room for 12-18 month olds? And I am aware my being there may have made them behave differently, but I was pretty shocked by how bad it was. When she screamed because I was leaving, they made extremely half hearted attempts to soothe her, no concerted effort at distraction at all. Am I expecting too much?

Slavetominidictator Fri 30-Aug-13 13:00:47

And apologies that this is so long - I am now massively anxious and wondering if I can find a decent child minder by next week .....

olivo Fri 30-Aug-13 13:03:23

Was it like that when you looked round, before you registered her there?
Did you look for a plan up on the door or wall? I think they have to display their plans and themes, ours certainly did.

Puddlet Fri 30-Aug-13 13:04:28

That sounds really worrying. Maybe have a chat with the manager and see how she responds?

pongping Fri 30-Aug-13 13:04:34

No way I would send my child there, not even as a stop gap. Agree you should be looking for a childminder urgently.

We've had two settling in sessions this week for our (older) DS. We spent the time with his key worker, doing whatever took DS's fancy while he got used to her, building up to hopefully leaving him for a short period next week. While there we saw happy, free-flow play with engaged, interested children. The atmosphere and facilities were fab.

Your DD deserves better.

olivo Fri 30-Aug-13 13:05:50

I an typical day, my DDs, at that age, would h ave done some form of messy play, played with the natural boxes ( cant remember what they are called, boxes with all the touchy feely things) played with musical instruments, spent some time outside with the walkers or whatever.

Dackyduddles Fri 30-Aug-13 13:06:02

It's simple. It's the wrong nursery. Why on earth did you pick it????

aliciagardner Fri 30-Aug-13 13:06:04

My DC was older when he started nursery but that doesn't sound right at all to me for 12-18 months. I'd look elsewhere - this sounds like the particular nursery, not nursery setting itself. My DC loves nursery and they do loads of structured activities, plus plenty of time outside, walks in the woods, etc with him. I would not send my DC to the nursery if you don't feel 100% happy with it.

Good luck finding somewhere quickly, I'm sure it's doable if you do lots of phoning round and visiting in the next few days.

olivo Fri 30-Aug-13 13:07:28

What is the criteria for each room? Is it age related or development related? What you saw does not sound good, but there may be other toddlers there who were not there when you were there, more your DDs age etc

pongping Fri 30-Aug-13 13:07:37

I was also told that, although they had planned for me to leave DS for a short while yesterday, they didn't think he was ready. So we will do it next time and have an extra settling session.

They were clear that his wellbeing is paramount - asked for family pics etc to put on the board so he could show people, asked me to write out words in his other language so they could understand him, talked for ages about his interests etc.

AFishWithoutABicycle Fri 30-Aug-13 13:12:54

Don't do it. I wasn't happy with my daughter nursery and felt constantly worried about it. I thought I was just being ridiculous unitl I moved her and it was like a weight off my shoulders. Her new place is wonderful.

MissOtisRegretsMadam Fri 30-Aug-13 13:16:09

It is a ridiculous ratio of 1 carer to 3 babies and it takes enthusiastic, experienced and caring staff to make it manageable.

Is it a private run nursery or run by your local authority? In my experience council run nurseries where the staff are paid by the council are generally better. This is because the staff are paid a decent wage and they have access to better funding and training. Sometimes they have extra staff above ratios or have students as extra pairs of hands.

Other than that have you considered a childminder? I know you are back at work next week but if you end up unhappy with this nursery it may be good to consider a change.

Slavetominidictator Fri 30-Aug-13 13:26:49

I am definitely trying to fin an alternative. Thank you for most of the replies.
It seemed fantastic when I was shown around a few months ago - lots of playing outside and activities, with far fewer kids to staff than this week. I suspect part of it is she's just too old for her room now and there isn't a space for her in the next room.
That ratio seems bad to me, but I didn't know if I was expecting too much. It's a nursery which is part of an independent prep school with a v good reputation....
They told me her routine but they just weren't sticking to it when I was there. I have two friends who have kids there the same age who are apparently v happy so I just wasn't sure I was being reasonable.
Thanks v much for clarifying.

olivo Fri 30-Aug-13 13:51:02

Please don't think all nurseries are like this though. We have just come to the end of. A 6 year relationship with our nursery and i couldn't do anything but praise them. Their care of my DDs has been second to none and they have helped DD2 with some very specific issues.

Childminders really work for some people, nursery really worked for us, but we had a complete and utter faith from day one, nothing to make us worry, so you do right to look around.

Good luck in finding something that suits you both.

Middlesexmummy Fri 30-Aug-13 16:29:11

Hi , at your babies age , shouldn't she be moving up to another room ??? My lo was 13 months when she graduated from the baby room . The one she s in now is great . They have access to the garden , do singing , messy play etc and she loves it !

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