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nursery not taking babies outside

(42 Posts)
Summerdays2014 Fri 17-Feb-17 18:43:20

Hi,

A week ago I asked how often your nursery took the babies (my son is 13 months and can walk) outside, and was very surprised when everyone said it was all the time! I said I didn't think my son has been out since starting in January, people suggested he may have been, but it wasn't written on his sheet.

Well, he hasn't been out at all. When I asked they said they try, but it's hard getting all the babies downstairs and dressed and out.

This doesn't sit well with me at all. It was a beautiful day today and I feel sad that my son wasn't outside.

In general I'm happy with the nursery, my son has settled very well, seems happy, is eating, napping and happy with the staff. Would not going out be reason enough to move him? Or would this be an over reaction? It's a small nursery so I usually see the manager whenever I pick my son up so I'll mention it. Not sure what to say though... I hate confrontations and making a fuss. I feel like I should have asked more about this when we looked round...

Thanks all.

Gladiatorsready Fri 17-Feb-17 21:47:22

Oh that's a tough one, when will he get the chance to go outside? Is he moving up a room soon as he can walk? I would be inclined to keep him there if he is likely to get some outside time soon, although I would be a bit bothered that they find it a hassle to take them outside... I mean the children are likely to be there most of the day, surely with the ratios the staff would only have to dress a small number of children each. Maybe you could mention it briefly to the manager in a friendly way, something like now the days are getting nicer should you bring in outside wear/wellies for the garden and see what they say. I also hate confrontation so probably would try and ask it in a roundabout way

furtivefeline Fri 17-Feb-17 21:54:36

Is he there full time? And how much does he enjoy being outside? I think our nursery takes DC outside most days when the weather is reasonable. DD doesn't seem to mind staying in, but DS really enjoys being outside. Mine are only there 2/3 days per week though, so not the end of the world if they don't always get outside. If they were full time I'd be more bothered. I'm sure outdoor access is one of the things that Ofsted considers to be quite important.

Waggamamma Fri 17-Feb-17 21:58:57

How many hours is he there? If close to full time this would be a deal breaker for me.

My sons nursery hadn't taken the children out since November until this week sad. I wasn't happy with this, but he only does 10-15hrs a week so I just make sure he gets plenty of fresh air with me and his dad on his days with us. I don't understand why they haven't been out as they have lovely outdoor space, well equipped accessed directly from each room via patio doors. I think the staff just don't want to stand in the cold and can't be arsed changing them all into outdoor shoes. Unfortunately it's the only private nursery in our area and we need the childcare.

wrinkleseverywhere Fri 17-Feb-17 22:01:23

I'd definitely want mine outside every day unless there was a blizzard or a gale. In the baby room (up to about 18mths) they got taken for a walk every morning & were playing out at various times in the day. We had to provide them with snowsuits, hats & gloves. Their outdoor area had fake grass so they didn't get muddy if they were crawling or falling down at lot.
In the next room (up to about 2.5yrs) they were our morning & afternoon. From then on, they were in free flow rooms. It did mean nursery was always cold with the doors open much of the time but you quickly learned to send them in in several layers.

Summerdays2014 Sat 18-Feb-17 07:26:45

Thanks everyone. He does 3 days a week and 1 day a week in the school holidays (I'm a teacher)
The outdoor area is lovely and they showed us it when we looked around. The ofsted report (published just before he started) said to get to outstanding they needed to make sure there were more opportunities for children who liked learning outside. So you'd think they would be on it...

longdiling Sat 18-Feb-17 07:32:36

'too much hassle' is a terrible reason not to take them outside! Of course it's hassle getting them all bundled up - I'm a childminder and find it a right faff - but that doesn't mean you don't do it. I would keep on and on about this if I were you. Take it higher and see what the nursery manager says about it.

theothersideoftheworld Sat 18-Feb-17 07:33:46

This is why mine go to a child minder. My eldest went to nursery to start and I realised that their idea of getting them outside was putting the kids in buggies and wheeling them round the park. No running about etc at all.
With my CM, they go to the park, the woods, petting farms etc. I often get a bag of muddy clothes at the end of the day which is great!

EsmesBees Sat 18-Feb-17 07:34:11

I think you should raise it (without being confrontational). You are paying for a nursery with outdoor space, it's a fair question why it's not being used.

It might be worth finding out what the situation is in the toddler room (which I presume he'll be moving to soon?). They might find it easier to get them out everyday as they can all walk.

insancerre Sat 18-Feb-17 07:36:05

If it is too much hassle to take the babies outside as a planned activity, how will they cope if the fire alarm went off?
I would ask them every day at pick up if they have been out and if they say no ask them why
They probably need to reconsider having the babies upstairs if it's too much hassle

insancerre Sat 18-Feb-17 07:37:37

And I would be mortified if any of my staff told a parent that we didn't do something as it's too much hassle

Zippidydoodah Sat 18-Feb-17 07:37:49

They should be taken out daily, whatever the weather. I wouldn't be impressed at all!

Swifey Sat 18-Feb-17 07:39:07

My ds has been in nursery since he was 12 months, and pretty much without fail they take them outside everyday. Ds has only been walking since he was 15 months, but they still took him out. They have an undercover part, for really wet days, but it's still outside. They also have a mud slide and an outdoor kitchen in the meadow. They often go for walks too, and take buggies as well for the ones that can't walk. I would be very upset if they didn't take them out! We provide full suit waterproofs, wellies and changes of clothes.

ohgoshIdontknow Sat 18-Feb-17 07:47:01

I would definitely find a new nursery. This sounds lazy in the extreme. And your baby needs the vitamin D!

longdiling Sat 18-Feb-17 07:48:10

You can't help but wonder what else is too much hassle for them - it's that attitude that would suggest moving him not necessarily the being outside. Taking very good care of babies and toddlers IS a monumental hassle in one way or the other.

Takfish89 Sat 18-Feb-17 07:49:18

I think not getting them outside because it is too much hassle is a worrying comment. Children need to be outside and getting fresh air (we all do it's good for our mental health). It also breaks the day up and gets children exposed to all the elements ect. The nursery I use ensures the children are out twice a day. As my son grew older I found that too restrictive and asked if they would consider taking the children on trips or to the park and they said no. I found a childminder for the school transition and he spent most of the summer with her in the park. He had a wonderful time and it has made me rethink the whole thing. My daughter now goes a couple of days a week to the childminder and a couple to nursery. I would raise it with the nursery manager. Highlight this was also mentioned in the ofsted report as an area for improvement. You don't have to be agresssive just point it out in very neutral terms. If they refuse to change policy then I would really look at exploring different options I was always really reluctant to move them but actually at 13 months they would be fine.

RoganJosh Sat 18-Feb-17 07:50:31

I guess they just worded it badly and meant that it cuts into their time for doing something else. I'd hope anyway...
They still need to work on it though, I agree they should be taking them all out every day.

insancerre Sat 18-Feb-17 07:53:03

Rogan, there isn't anything that they do inside that they can't do outside

Semaphorically Sat 18-Feb-17 07:55:09

Just to add to the chorus of "babies need to get outside as much as possible". I think this is important and I would certainly raise it in a "this is very important to us" way. It's worrying that they see it as optional. In the UK if you wait for a perfect warm day to go outside you'd never get any vitamin D at all!

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 18-Feb-17 07:57:07

shock. That is not on. My 4 year olds has akwYs loved going outside. His nursery has a fab outside area.

I think he went out every day rain or shine and only went 2 sessions a week until his free hours started. Even if it was only a few children - one if the jeybwirkers took them out. In fact, I have fond memories of his old key worker standing outside with them all wrapped up in pouring rain whilst DS and another little boy happily pointed out cars and lorries through the front fence!

BoboChic Sat 18-Feb-17 07:57:32

It's really bad for DC's developing eyesight not to go outside. And there are all sorts of motor skills that won't develop optimally unless DC go outside and run around with balls/scooters and play on climbing frames/swings etc.

Ankleswingers Sat 18-Feb-17 08:01:12

Totally unacceptable. I say that as an ex Nursery Manager now working on the other side of the fence.

Children should be outside every single day. There should be times allocated within the daily timetable in which outdoor play is scheduled in.

They need to have a serious look at their planning allocation if it is "too much hassle" having the babies upstairs. This would worry me too from a health and safety perspective. What if, heaven forbid , there was a fire?

Alarm bells are ringing for me here and if I were in your shoes, I would be finding another Nursery sharpish.

Good luck.

ohidoliketobe Sat 18-Feb-17 08:01:39

This would concern me as a parent.

EYFS encourages outdoor play. My DC's nursery has a large enclosed play area at the back, it has a big last canopy so they can play out in all weather. Its sectioned off with a little area for the non walkers and toddlers, and pre schoolers have the main section with scooters and trikes and a mid kitchen (thank you Vanish). We are told to send them in with appropriate outdoor clothing - wellies, hats and scarves in winter, Sun hats in summer etc.

As PP has said - if they find it difficult to get them ready for outdoor play what else can they not be bothered with the hassle of?

Zippidydoodah Sat 18-Feb-17 08:03:34

The preschool my dd attends has free flow to outside all day long- which is how it should be. Obviously a bit different for babies/young toddlers as they can't walk but they should still go outside (as I said before!) just reinforcing the fact!

They have a supply of wellies, umbrellas, waterproofs etc and they do things like using soap bubbles in the rainwater puddles

AllTheWittyNamesAreGone Sat 18-Feb-17 08:06:57

Too much hassle to dress a baby for outside and walk down stairs?
I'd not want such inept lazy sods looking after my baby. I work in a nursery rain or shine, sunny or snowy we go out.

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