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Help me decide a nursery

(15 Posts)
Figmentofimagination Tue 30-Jul-19 22:41:31

Please help me decide between 2 nurseries. DH and I are going round in circles between the 2.

Background: DS 2 years 3 months, small for his age, shy, only started walking independently at 2, speech seems to be delayed (not had 2 year HV review yet but his paediatrician didn't seem overly concerned), as he doesn't string sentences together and most words are sounds (ello, iya, dink, go, no, dere, dis, da, etc).

I work full time with very generous flexi, DH works shifts evenings and weekends but hoping to move more to weekdays once DS is in nursery for a couple of days a week. DH currently only finds out his shifts the Friday, but works seem happy to give him set days if required.

Nursery 1:
- pay weekly
- can change days on a weekly basis, let them know the week before
- open bank hols 10-4 and between Xmas and NY.
- structured lessons as well as free play times
- some staff are trained in speech & language
- 2-3 year olds separate from older kids upstairs
- big back garden, but don't have access all day as are upstairs
- availability for all sessions now
- focuses on preparing for school - optional uniform, teaching children to change for mini PE lessons.
- occasional day out - beach, nursing home, pond nearby
- DS seemed shy and hesitant both times we have visited, played on his own.

Nursery 2:
- pay beginning of the month
- need to know shift patterns a couple of weeks in advance
- closed bank hols and 1 week between Xmas and NY
- limited availability till September
- 2-5 year olds downstairs together, worried tiny DS will get squished.
- open plan
- lots of free play, inside and outside. Doors always open to outside
- smaller back garden
- activities from outside sources - drama, football
- split into age groups for age appropriate activities
- focuses on lots of play and outdoor play to learn, kids can pick their own activities they want to do.
- lots of days out - park, library, pond, nursing home, beach etc
- DS seemed happy to play both times we have visited, interacted with others.

Both have small numbers for each age group, so don't worry about overcrowding, have rooms they close off for nap times, routines for meals and nap times, both seemed lovely, provide variety of meals.

So which one do you think is better?

OP’s posts: |
Doyoumind Tue 30-Jul-19 22:44:14

I would go with gut feel definitely. From what you've said, I would go with one. I don't think mixed ages works at that age.

mundaneflounder Tue 30-Jul-19 22:50:11

Worth bearing in mind with nursery number 1 that he would have to change room at 3. So he may only have a few months in the toddler room anyway. Then I assume he'd be downstairs with the older children with access to outside like nursery 2?

I agree with going with gut feel though. But perhaps a second visit to each is a good idea?

What are the staff like in each?

Figmentofimagination Tue 30-Jul-19 23:04:19

DH has had 2 visits, I've been once as DH went to visit a few before saying these were the top 2 picks.
Staff are attentive, they all remembered DH's and DS's name and the name of DS's teddy. At both, the person showing us around interacted with DS, got down at his level and played with him. Observing the staff with the other children they join in with the children, talk to them at their level, praise them.
Both also have really good reviews from parents.
Forgot to say, distance and cost isn't an issue either. Both have the same rate for full day, both are 7 mins drive from our house without traffic, and 4 mins drive from my parents (who are emergency pick up).
Both are also opposite direction from our work, but as it's a short distance between our house and the nurseries and close to my parents we are happy to deal with that. So average 30 mins from DH's and 40 mins from mine. Did look at ones between our house and work, but not suitable and would leave all emergency pick ups to me as DH unreachable whilst on shift.
With regards to gut, that's where we disagree. DH is leaving more towards nursery 2, I'm leaning towards nursery 1.

OP’s posts: |
Doyoumind Wed 31-Jul-19 01:09:20

Whichever you choose, you can always change your mind at a later point so don't get too stressed.

Figmentofimagination Wed 31-Jul-19 07:20:48

Thank you both for your opinions. Bumping for the morning crowd. smile

OP’s posts: |
Figmentofimagination Wed 31-Jul-19 12:25:33

Hopeful bump

OP’s posts: |
RaeCJ82 Wed 31-Jul-19 12:33:45

Definitely nursery 1. The flexibility is amazing. Plus, the mixed room might be a little too much, especially if your LO is small for his age. Plus, if his speech is a little delayed, the qualified staff will be able to help with that.

user1493413286 Wed 31-Jul-19 12:40:24

Is nursery 1 flexibility guaranteed? Nurseries have ratios and maybe they’re under numbers at the moment but what happens if they get more children and then want to tie you down to specific sessions.
I’d probably choose nursery 2

Figmentofimagination Wed 31-Jul-19 12:50:17

Nursery 1 say they have full flexibility, and have been since they started in 2003. They only have spaces for 8 2-3 year old, and also have some children who are only term-time.

OP’s posts: |
MindyStClaire Wed 31-Jul-19 13:11:51

On paper, No 1 sounds better to me. It's a good point about him only being in the 2-3 room for a few months, which did you prefer for 3+?

However, it's all about gut instinct for me as well. Which I know doesn't help if you each lean a different way!

insancerre Wed 31-Jul-19 13:20:46

I would say nursery 1
I work in a nursery and feel that small groups for 2 year olds is so important

AiryFairy1991 Wed 31-Jul-19 13:30:11

I think I’d pick option 2. Unless flexibility was especially important to you? I think the fact that your DS seemed to interact with other children there and it’s focussed more on free play would swing it for me. If his speech is delayed how to you feel about him having to undertake structured lessons?

Personally I feel that kids learn so much through free play at that age I’d be reluctant to send them somewhere that insisted on structured lessons tbh. However this is purely my opinion! Whichever have you the best feeling when you went is the right choice for you and your DS.

Figmentofimagination Wed 31-Jul-19 18:35:24

So far the majority have picked nursery 1. Thank you very much everyone for explaining why you would pick nursery 1 or 2. You have given me more to think about.

OP’s posts: |
Sauvignonblanket Wed 31-Jul-19 18:55:31

I would say 1 also. Worth bearing in mind also that it takes most children time to settle in - even if DC doesn't take to the nursery immediately doesn't mean it's not right longer term. Both mine needed a few sessions but then loved it, and they're v different characters.

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