Nurseries in Herne Hill/Dulwich

(34 Posts)
MLWfirsttimemum Tue 05-Aug-08 11:10:07

Can anyone recommend good nurseries in Herne Hill (preferably)or Dulwich (North- or West)? And how far in advance should we sign up?? All these questions you don't think about before getting pregnant :-)

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firsttimer08 Tue 05-Aug-08 12:26:09

there is ducks which is part of dulwich college. we registered when i was 3 months pregnant and we're waitlisted for september 2010.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 05-Aug-08 12:34:21

Ruskin House on Herne Hill is very posh. I think it's nice, if you've got the cash.

Scarfmaker Tue 05-Aug-08 14:49:43

Hi MLWfirsttimemum

Have you thought about going down the childminder route?

If not, I've heard Asquith nurseries are pretty good and there's a nursery on Dog Kennel Hill called the Dulwich Nursery which has a good ofsted report.

I've also heard Nelly's on Turney Road is good but then their ofsted report isn't so good!

I was in Ruskin Park the other day and a nursery were there with around 15 babies and a couple of toddlers and the way the staff were talking to them was terrible.

Also, Mrs Babookaloo, sorry but I don't think Ruskin House is that good either.

Best of luck, MLWfirsttimemum, but if I were you I would start looking as soon as your baby is born.

MLWfirsttimemum Wed 06-Aug-08 13:56:03

Thanks for all your advice! I wasn't sure whether I was getting this organised a bit too early but it seems not! Scarfmaker did you mean that you saw people from Nelly's in the park and the way they talked to the babies/todlers was terrible? Why don't you think Ruskin House is good?

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crumpet Wed 06-Aug-08 14:09:40

My dd was at Ruskin House 5 years ago, and was one of the first babies in the new baby room. We were lucky in that the novelty of opening the baby room meant that the staff were very excited and enthusiastic, there were only a few babies to start with and all the equipment was brand new. Her key worker/main carer was lovely.

At that time they did organic purees etc, but this stopped once they went into the next room up. I was less happy when she moved rooms, the food seemed to be very baked beans-ish, and rather basic. All in all at that stage it felt very average, and I was glad when we moved house.

When we were looking the waiting list for all the nurseries was months and months - I think Nelly's told me their waiting list was a year long! Obviously this was all 5 years ago and not up to date, but HTH

chutneymary Wed 06-Aug-08 14:12:38

MLW, I don't know when you are due, but you should go and see nurseries asap as they all have (long) waiting lists.

I live in W Dulwich and round here everyone fights to get into Nelly's! People I know whose children go there are very happy with it. I could tell you stories about Asquith which would make your hair curl. However, one of my friends sends both her daughters there and she is OK with it. My neighbour sends her little boy to Ruskin House and she really likes it.

I think the best you can do is go round the nurseries, talk to the staff, ask to speak to some of the parents and get a view. What is important to you may be no biggie for someone else. My children go to a different nursery altogether (after a bad start at Asquith) and I am very happy with it.



chutneymary Wed 06-Aug-08 14:14:01

A friend who sends her DD to Nelly's put her name down the day after the 12 week scan. Said DD finally got a place afed 19 months! Get looking early!

Scarfmaker Wed 06-Aug-08 21:11:09

MLW - sorry didn't make myself clear - I said "a nursery " as don't know which one but it must have been a local one as they were pushing buggies - they headed for Denmark Hill way on way out.

As far as Ruskin House is concerned I've heard negative feedback from Mums I know but then again chutneymary's neighbour likes it!

Personal choice but I can say I wouldn't send my child there.

Scarfmaker Wed 06-Aug-08 21:11:21

MLW - sorry didn't make myself clear - I said "a nursery " as don't know which one but it must have been a local one as they were pushing buggies - they headed for Denmark Hill way on way out.

As far as Ruskin House is concerned I've heard negative feedback from Mums I know but then again chutneymary's neighbour likes it!

Personal choice but I can say I wouldn't send my child there.

Baconsarnie Wed 06-Aug-08 22:58:35

I enquired last month at Nelly's about a place for dc next year, and was told that the waiting list was "upwards of two years". This has made me panic a bit, as I thought I had loads of time (need childcare from about March/April).

MsDemeanor Wed 06-Aug-08 23:00:31

Do you need fulltime care and from what age?

MLWfirsttimemum Fri 08-Aug-08 17:24:42

Hi MsDemeanor

I need fulltime care from my baby is about 1 year old (December 2009, which is a long way off, but still). Initially considering nurseries because of the variety of carers and more children to interact with rather than a childminder where there is only one adult but in view of above feedback may have to reconsider

Thanks to all for all the feedback, it has been really helpful!

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rubythroat Sat 30-Aug-08 20:49:04

Hi I was with a friend at Brockwell park paddling pool and witnessed dreadful treatment of a group of toddlers and babies, who were from Ruskin House. I was so shocked that I called ofsted to complain - the carers didn't respond to the childrens needs and they were v distressed. I have friends who use Ruskin and it is expensive and sells itself as a top notch nursery, the quality of care/carers we witnessed was miles from the spin.

webchick Tue 02-Sep-08 12:27:00

I have used Asquith in West Dulwich which was good (from 2003-2006). It has since changed management several times and the rooms have been re-jigged. I cannot say how the care is now but when I used it it seemed good. I now use Hitherfield Childrens Centre which is excellent; cannot rave enough about them. Nelly's opened just as my DD left Asquith.

There is a new nursery opened up on Rosendale Rd here if thats any help:

webchick Tue 02-Sep-08 12:28:32

DulwichDolly Tue 02-Sep-08 13:10:33

Ofsted views:
Ruskin House Ofsted report Feb 08..Summary- not very promising

My views:

-Admin - appalling, bad manners from management team.

-Rooms- not neat enough, not well ventilated

-Staff- tension between staff, hierarchichal issues, many times not enough key workers to cover the established ration of worker/baby.Not certain that real love and affection were provided to the children.

-Food- salami, crips, chocolate were served when "good bye parties" were orgnised to the babies going up to the other class or leaving the nursery.

If you have read the report, satisfactory is only one step away from inadequate. My gut instinct is that the staff are not treated well by management. Also it truly feels as if this is run as a business only and not an educational establishment.

I was very disspointed and after a short period I decided to look for alternative childcare in the area.

I would not reccommend to anyone to send their kids there

LoloMum Fri 27-Feb-09 14:21:16

Hello. It's a real shame when you read through the msg post above, I have sent my daughter to RHS and now my sons attend the nursery.

During my daughters time there she absolutly loved it, she grew in confidence and really came along with her reading and french.

My boys are 2 now and all of my children have been there since they were 6months old.

I think what they do at the nursery is great, my boys are fed well, get good rest and are full of stories to tell me when they get home.

The staff are lovely and very warming, helpfull and caring. You really can see the passion that they have for the children, which I think is one of the most important things.

It's very clean there and they have an onsite house keeper.

Management deal with any worries or concerns and are there most weekends painting or putting new things around the building.

I really would say go and have a look around and cast your own opinion.

I think it's like a home from home for my boys. I wouldn't dream of putting them any where else.

paz1 Wed 10-Jun-09 11:19:45

Hi - just saw this thread and thought I should add that we pulled our child out of Ruskin House within days of starting. Our experience echoed many of the points made by Dulwich Dolly.

espanolita Mon 15-Jun-09 01:40:52


Can anyone give an oppinion about "Dreammaker Day Nursery" which is in Wapping (near St Katherine's Dock) and "My Nursery" which is in Virginia Quay (near East India DLR)? We are looking for a good nursery for our 4 month old and we have liked these two so far. Can anyone recommend a good nursery in Wapping/Canary Wharf...

Waiting for your responses.

Thanks a lot!

mummySE24 Thu 24-Sep-09 10:10:47


I have been reading all your reviews and am worried about sending my daughter to Ruskin House. My partner and i visited there and were not impressed. The owner seemed to have a business mind than one of a place to care for children. The baby room was shocking, there was no air conditioning and when we asked they said they would sometimes open the windows but surely that is a security issue as it backs onto a main road. The ofsted report is only satisfactory and there have been complaintrs registered on site. All the other nurseries have waiting lists. I dont know what to do. Does anyone have a good childminder in mind???

MarshaBrady Thu 24-Sep-09 10:17:27

I wouldn't recommend Ruskin House either. We used it 2 years ago and left as the best staff did. The turnover of staff was huge.

It is so hard I know, as it was the only available nursey at the time. I think their high prices attract people unfortunately.

Blu Thu 24-Sep-09 10:27:25

If you are in Herne Hill get registered childminder lists from both Lambeth and Southwark. The Southark ones used to be mich more informative than the Lambeth lists.

Also register with - some good childminders advertise there but are not on council lists.

All nurseries seem to go up and down, nothing like an up to date visit, and recommendations from people who use them NOW.

I pulled DS out of one S London Nursery, and took him to another where it was brilliant. Now, 5 years later, I suspect that the 2 respective nurseries have swapped positions!

corblimeymadam Tue 29-Sep-09 13:45:26

Message withdrawn

MLWfirsttimemum Tue 27-Oct-09 08:05:11

Hi Mummy SE24

A bit late in answering, but I decided against Ruskin House (as a result of my visit to them but backed up by the reviews here) and although I am on the waiting list of Nelly's that may be years. DD starts 2nd Steps nursery in December for her settling in period. It's just around the corner from our house and I am very hopeful. It only got satisfactory in the Ofsted report but this was in 2006 and I can see that they have implemented a lot of the recommendations. I certainly got the impression that the children were loved and taken care of and since my DD is 12 months old this is the most important thing for me at the moment.

Good luck!

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