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Can anyone recommend a creche/nursery/childminder in Balham / Clapham area?

(6 Posts)
reesysmum Fri 29-Aug-08 19:20:44

Hi, I have heard nightmare stories about waiting lists for nurseries so am trying to plan ahead. I will be giving birth in November, and plan to return to work around 6 months later. What is the best option for childcare for a baby who is 6 months old? And can anyone recommend any in the Balham / Clapham area? Thanks so much..

minkybetty Thu 04-Sep-08 15:24:00

I visited alot of nurseries when I was looking for somewhere for my daughter. She is now going to The Baby Room on Webbs where she seems very happy. My little girl has been going since she was 11 months old (she is now 19mths) - it is a small nursery, which is why it is so nice - all the children eat their breakfast together and then go to their different rooms (3mths - 1yr; 1yr - 2yrs etc). They have lots of fun activities from music to messy play etc When it is fine they go out to the common etc They regularly come home with their "creative work" (lots of glitter) and often we get photographs that have been taken of them during the different activities, playing with shaving foam, paint, sleeping etc which is lovely as you can really see what they are up to.
Each evening you receive a card with what they have done, eaten, how much they have slept, how many times their nappies have been changed.
All nappies, food included in the fees.
I also use a couple of the nannies to babysit which is great.
Hope this helps

1dilemma Mon 08-Sep-08 23:40:18

Balham has few nurseries, Clapham is better IMHO. You will also find few who take children at 6 months.
Ecole des Benjamines has just moved its baby section into a new building Grove Hall (has a website) I looked round the school bit over the Summer and wasn't hugely impressed TBH (but I am on here thinking about posting a thread along the lines of no nursery I have seen is ticking my boxes what do I do?!!) Looking glass/Teddies in Balham/Tooting Bec take babies and I've liked when I looked round but I consider over £250 a week for a 2-3 yr old to be a truely outrageous cost!! Evelina/Eveline? spelling takes babies but again expensive and only takes a few. Elm Park in Clapham looks good but I don't think starts until 1. Can't remember about childrens centre at Clapham Manor havn't seen it but it looks great (as it should considering the huge tax subsidies it gets to care for about 12 children!!) There is an Asquith court in Balham but there have been 'issues' wiht other nurseries in the chain.
Looking glass/Teddies and Asquith have all had new managers since we looked first time round.
If you are in Old Town there are some good nurseries I have friends who use Bringing up Baby and like it.
Have you tried Childrens Information service to get a better list?

Whoopee Sat 13-Sep-08 18:45:31

1dilemma, what are the issues with Asquith? I've just asked the Lambeth one to take my nearly two-year-old daughter, but nothing's been put in writing yet so I'd love to know of any problems before I sign anything.

jaz2 Sun 14-Sep-08 13:17:17

My nearly 2 yo DS goes to Teddies in Balham, and has done since he was 8mo. Despite a few ups and downs (which I gather from friends with children at other nurseries are par for the course) on balance I have been very happy with it. He definitely enjoys it. It's clean, seems safe, the children have a variety of activities and there is a "happy vibe" about the place.

I did find it heartbreaking to leave him there at first, he looked so lost.

I have heard good things about Elm Park, and not such good things (recently) about Looking Glass. The Baby Room does seem to have consistently good reviews on MN.

Ultimately, go with your instinct: get your name down on 2 or 3 nurseries and visit them again a couple of months after DC arriving. I didn't realise how I would focus on the "softer" issues once DS was born. Also check when the nursery is busy: there is often a shorter waiting list if you want a place at certain times of the week.

1dilemma Wed 17-Sep-08 21:51:46

Sorry whoopee didn't see this until now is the Lmabeth one Balham I think it is?!

If you so an ancient search on here it will detail some of the issues, connected with ratios, managers, head office, food and money I think. Bubble99 had some issues so it might be worth looking under her name but it would be around 2 years ago at least!

When I looked round it had high levels of agency staff and appeared to have low levels of staff interaction with the children (one of the most important things to me!) like I say the manager has changed so things should be better.

I do know of someone who sent her dd there as a young child and I didn't hear that she had had problems with it IYSWIM

I'm guessing if you're using that one you're in that end of town, it's a bit of a nursery desert I'm afraid, I'd love to open a really good one around there.

Mind you if your dd is talking then she will tell you if anything is wrong I'm sure. It's a hard age to find good places for I think!

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