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Does this sound right?(5 Posts)
First post!...My Daughter is 17m old and she has just had her first 2 settling in sessions at nursery. The initial viewing of the nursery (I did this twice) lasted around 2 hours each and it all seemed great. The staff were lovely and my DD was running around and playing on her own with no issue - playing with other kids and babbling away to the staff. However the settling in sessions were a very different story.
1 - I was told during the viewings that they would see whom she warms to and then the key worker would be assigned - however on the first SIS I was told who her key worker was as there had been a few children move around - I was surprised at this but did not question it.
2 - The feel of the rooms were entirely different to when I visited initially - much less action and the workers seemed a lot less interested (not saying it was bad - just a very different experience to what was portrayed at the viewings)
3 - DD became very upset on the 2nd SIS whilst I was out of the room - I stayed for as long as I could but then had to go in to settle her. She was then fine and I left again only to hear her screaming - I decided to leave her (slightly heart breaking to listen to) and then one of the staff came into the office and said she had been sick. I came in to find her standing in the middle of the room screaming, trying to catch her breath, with one of the staff near her but not really comforting her, she was still vomiting so I picked her up immediately. The other staff member disappeared and her key worker seemed more focused on cleaning the vomit than helping me settle her. I was then shown where to change her and no one came with me however after a few minutes one of the managers came in - but again did not seem too bothered even though DD was still very upset.
4 - After I managed to calm her down we went outside where there must have been at least 20 children of all ages playing with 3 workers watching them from what I could see - at one point the chef came outside and 2 of the workers went to speak to her leaving just one staff member looking over the entire group.
After this I decided to call it a day as had been there for roughly an hour.
I feel that there was a vast difference from what was portrayed at the viewings to what the days would actually be like (maybe this is why they make appointments, as other nurseries seem to let you turn up anytime) and am now seriously doubting whether this nursery is the right one. I understand it's a huge change for DD going to nursery but this just did not feel right..
Sorry for the long post!!
If it doesn't feel right then don't use them. There will be days in the future when your 2/3 yr old throws epic tantrums about not wanting to go and it is so important to have full confidence in your childcare to cope with those days!
I normally say go with your gut instinct when it comes to childcare. It sounds like your arranged visit was like an exhibition for Ofsted and now you are seeing the reality. Have you spoken to anyone about your concerns?
When my gs started nursery i did not have a good feeling about the worker who he was assigned to , but waited to see if he would settle down. He didn't and he and we suffered until we decided to try another placement . He took to the new worker immediately and there were no more problems. Wish we had moved sooner.
Sorry to hear about your experience, OP. I can see why you're feeling a bit unsure.
I work in nurseries and I just wanted to add my twopenneth...
- you said that when you went back into the room after your DD was sick that a worker was near her but not comforting her. It can be awkward when a parent is in the room as well as you, because you don't want to tread on their toes, especially when a child is so upset and they just want their parent. It's possible that they were comforting her and just stopped to let you 'take over' when you came in.
- you say noone came with you to change her. Assuming this was in a separate changing area, nurseries have staff:child ratios they must stick to, as I'm sure you know, so it could have been that noone was able to leave the room to be with you as they needed to stay to keep ratio. I agree with you this would have been considerate of them to do, given the circumstances. Then again, it could not have been the case at all and they just didn't want to.
- it's really important for any bodily fluid i.e. sick to be cleared up asap, as it poses a risk, so I'm glad to hear this was done as a priority.
- your fourth point doesn't sound great though... One of my pet peeves at work is staff standing around chatting during outdoor play. We're there to supervise/play with/watch the children, not to socialise
- at your viewings, did you have the opportunity to step out of the room and leave DD to play? If you stayed with her, that probably why she had such a good time, as you were there too. Then when it came to the SiS and you left, this is why she understandably became very upset. This is of course normal, but hard on both sides. It doesn't mean she will continue to do this though, as hopefully in time she will get used to it and have a really good time.
I agree gut instinct is good and ultimately you must feel comfortable where you leave your DD, but I'd encourage you to consider some of the potential explanations I'd mentioned.
Hope that's helpful, good luck with it all!