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Should I change nurseries? Advice

(13 Posts)
peacefuloptimist Wed 11-Dec-13 11:11:12

I posted a while ago asking advice about whether or not put my son in a nursery setting or with a childminder as I was going back to work part time. Well as I had little time to decide I opted to put him in the nursery at my workplace as I would be close by to him if there was any trouble. He has been there for a few weeks and despite my worries has got on really well. He likes the staff there and enjoys the change of scenery (he is there once a week the other days I work he is with my DM).

However I have serious reservations about the nursery. I mentioned it in my previous thread. It is an open plan nursery so all the children are in together and they dont separate babies over the age of 1 from the other children (some aged 3-4). They do group potty times with the kids (when I first went to view the nursery they asked me whether my son was potty trained - he is 15 months by the way) which I am slightly uncomfortable with but I dont know why. But most of all the thing I dont like is that they dont assign a key person to your child and have only a few members of staff (Im scared of outing the nursery on here so wont mention the exact number) for all the kids so if one of them leaves the room then automatically there are too many children (in my opinion) for the staff to supervise adequately. This is especially concerning for me as my son is in with children much older then him. Essentially I have a problem with the general lack of organisation of things. When he is there I genuinely dont know what he has eaten (they dont give you a set menu for the week or tell you in advance what they are eating that day and this is a concern because we have dietary restrictions for him), what he has done, when he went to sleep and how for long and I feel awful that I am unaware of these things. I do like the members of staff there and my son seems to enjoy it (though he is always shattered when I pick him up) but I just feel so uncomfortable leaving him in a nursery that I have so many doubts about.

There is another nursery close to my workplace that I visited and liked. I was really impressed with their organisation (they give you a menu list for the whole month) and their personal style of care i.e. key person to your child, personal folder, plans and baby room for 1-2 year olds. I like the atmosphere there more as well but I am worried about how my son will react as he tends to be quite sensitive and seems to have a good relationship with the staff at the other nursery. I need to decide before the holidays. What do you think I should do?

peacefuloptimist Wed 11-Dec-13 11:17:02

This is my old thread if your interested

MrsSpencerReid Wed 11-Dec-13 11:17:12

Aside from the staffing issue, and there are ratios they should be adhering to, I would want to know what my DS had eaten and how long he had slept. This impacts our evening together-does he need an early night or can we have some play time, will he want a second tea or can I get him home without screaming for food!! Personally, I'd change nursery. Do you think raising your concerns would change anything? Hope you manage to sort it, it's bad enough leaving them with someone you trust completely!!

peacefuloptimist Wed 11-Dec-13 11:26:03

I know what you mean. He is normally with my dm and even then there are some things she does with him which I dont like (lets him watch a lot of tv) but I wouldnt say anything because Im grateful that at least he is with someone who loves him. They do try to tell me what he has eaten but because he doesnt have a key person they are giving me a rough estimate and cant tell me exactly what he has had because they have their hands full. Another thing which I dont like which is going to sound controversial is that there are men who work there who always seem to be in the back rooms or answering calls etc but when I come to collect my son they are in the main nursery walking about or something. It just seems weird to me because at the other nursery I went to visit the person taking me around introduced me to everyone even the staff in the nursery for the 3-4s. Yet in this nursery they seem a lot more secretive about who actually works there and what goes on during the day. It is the most convenient one for me because its at my workplace but I just feel a bit uneasy about how its managed.

clarinsgirl Wed 11-Dec-13 11:26:50

I would expect a nursery to provide a diary sheet / email at the end of the day confirming food, sleep, nappies and activities.

Assigning a key worker is also standard practice. Unless there are very few children then I would expect some sort of segregation just to manage staff ratios and activities.

Group potty time seems strange to me, I'd expect a separate area for nappy changing and a bathroom for toilet / potty.

Have they not asked you about allergies?

You could raise these issues with the nursery but as there are so many it may just be simpler to move him.

peacefuloptimist Wed 11-Dec-13 11:27:45

But my son like it!

peacefuloptimist Wed 11-Dec-13 11:29:58

Im worried about the risk of moving him and him not settling in the new nursery. Or is it that if they settle in one place quite easily they are obviously not fussy and will settle fine in another.

clarinsgirl Wed 11-Dec-13 11:33:21

Then try talking to the nursery.

Your concerns relate to safety though so I'd be inclined to prioritize this over what DS likes. BTW, he will probably like a new nursery too ��

peacefuloptimist Wed 11-Dec-13 11:38:31

clarins my previous thread was about my worries about ds settling in to a nursery at all. Eventually I realised that my worries were unfounded (he didnt even cry the first day at nursery hmm) so thats why Im a bit hesitant to move him but at the same time I have so many problems with the first nursery I dont even know where to start with regards to speaking to them.

clarinsgirl Wed 11-Dec-13 16:52:20

What about taking him for an induction day at another nursery? See how he gets on. He may well settle really well and then your decision is much easier. Good luck.

ZaZazebra Fri 13-Dec-13 08:51:28

I think the lack of key person is not the end of the world if you're comfortable that he gets enough time love and attention from all the staff in the room and each is capable of providing you feedback on him. But that doesn't sound like the case. Not being able to provide feedback on eating / sleeping times just smacks of informality to me and if they can't get those basics right then it makes you worry about other things. I have moved my DD who is now 3, twice. The first was at about 18 months and it was a forced move because we moved house to a new city. It did take a couple of weeks to adjust but she was essentially fine.

However in due course we realised we disliked the nursery because it was very disorganised, we had concerns about security / they used to lose items of clothing etc. We dithered for a long long time about whether to move her or not (didn't want to disrupt her, was not easy to find a nursery that was as convenient location and opening hours wise etc) but eventually we moved her at 3 and I wish I'd moved her sooner! In hindsight the old nursery was just truly awful and the new nursery is very well organised, run like a nursery should be run, she is clearly much happier etc.

I'd go with your gut feeling. Children adapt very easily to a new setting especially at 15 months. Good luck OP!

LucyLui25 Fri 13-Dec-13 17:08:36

The statutory guidance (which all settings must follow) states that 'each child must be assigned a key person' this is not an option, they are breaking the terms of their registration if they are not doing this. If you have these concerns you should really speak to the manager. If your concerned about ratios etc. speak to the manager, they should have all this information to hand and should be able to answer all your questions/ settle your concerns quickly. If they are unable to do that then I would definitely be considering a new nursery. If you do leave, I would strongly advise that you contact Ofsted, ideally though you will of spoken to the manager before hand.

Regarding the mixed age ranges, my setting does this, and it means we have to employ extra staff to make this viable, however the entire ethos of the setting is based on individual needs, even the routines fit in with individual children. It can be done, if organised and managed properly

moogy1a Sat 14-Dec-13 11:52:14

Group potty times? That would have me out of there just for that.
Children should go to the toilet / potty when they need to, not when it's convenient for the staff.
By law they HAVE to assign a keyworker.
Unfortunately. I've heard of many nurseries where pottying / sleeping is done for all children at the same time rather than catering for different needs.
I'm biased, but that's why a childminder can be by far the better option as your lo would be treated as an individual.

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