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Would these problems make you cross a nursery off your list?

(23 Posts)
dontrunwithscissors Thu 24-Sep-09 12:01:05

My DD (2.5) currently attends a local nursery full time. I'm about to go on Mat Leave, and I'm trying to decide whether I'll be happy to continue using it with both DC's when I return to work. I've always had my doubts about the place, but I'm wondering whether I'm just blowing everything out of all proportion. (It would be for 3 mornings a week from when the youngest was 6 months, and then full time from 10 months.) So, would these problems be enough to cross this place off your list, especially for a young child?

1) Every 5-6 months all staff are moved around between the rooms. I've been told that this is good for their work experience (to get used to working with lots of different ages). There's no key worker system - DD can't idenfity any of her carers by name (with the exception of one who happened to be rotated into her rooms each time she moved. She's now on Mat Leave).

2) There's no effort to stop parents/children tramping dirt etc inside (no shoe covers, children wear outside footwear). This is particularly true of the baby room - the carpet looks filthy, and I've never seen any evidence of carpet cleaning.

3) It's usually unbearably hot in there. When DD was younger, staff never seemed to notice if she was overheating.

4) During the summer she came home exceptionally thirsty (often crying for water, and would drink a full sippy cup and ask for more.) I mentioned this to the staff, and it would improve for a while and then go downhill.

5) DD's room often stinks of sh*t!

6) I've quite regularly witnessed the staff failing to follow child ratios. (For example, one member of staff caring for 11 x 2-3 yr old children for around 15 minutes.)

This is genuinely the best nursery in the area (I wouldn't send my dog to some of the others). Full time spots with CM's are like gold dust, so we'd be left having to hire a nanny if I rule this place out (not necessarily a bad thing!)

Thanks for any opinions.

booboobeedoo Thu 24-Sep-09 12:02:20

Cross it off

AnotherBloodySugaBabe Thu 24-Sep-09 12:04:30

Breaking rules regarding child ratios and a child not knowing a single keyworker by name = serious stuff.
I wouldn't want my child in a nursery like this.

ProfYaffle Thu 24-Sep-09 12:04:36

Sounds awful, am shock that it's the best in the area, we must be very lucky round here.

stealthsquiggle Thu 24-Sep-09 12:08:22

Cross it off. When I ask DD to name her friends at nursery, she names children and carers in equal proportions, and she certainly knows all of their names.

Spend your Mat leave looking for a nanny share, maybe?

Carmel206 Thu 24-Sep-09 12:09:59

Yes, leave. A child of 6 months is too vunerable to leave in a place like this...has any one ever inspected it?

PortAndLemon Thu 24-Sep-09 12:14:56

Cross it off.

dontrunwithscissors Thu 24-Sep-09 12:34:38

Phew - a strong consensus, then.

SugaBabe - we asked DD who looked after her at nursery. She answered with the name of the lovely woman who's now on ML (DD's been asking for her a lot since she left). When asked who else looked after her she answered "Amy" (who is her best friend at nursery.) sad She couldn't give us any more names.

It has been inspected (last time was just over a year ago), and came out with a good report. I was surprised there was no criticism of the lack of key worker system, or the state of the baby room.

Basically, we've never found a good childcare situation for DD since I went back to work. The nurseries truly are that awful around here. I recently went to look at the last local nursery that I hadn't seen before (as it doesn't take children until they're 2). I thought I should see it in case it could be an option for DD. It was one room, with children aged 2-5 crammed all together. The staff were sat in the corner talking - completly ignoring the children (and me and DD). The woman who showed us around didn't even look at DD. Quite honestly, I found it very upsetting that children were spending their days in that way. I left whispering a promise to DD that I will never, ever take her there.

By the way, I say DD is full time, but since I've spotted more and more problems I've been limiting her time as much as possible. She'll have been there less than 20 hours this week (as thankfully I have a lot of flexibility with work.) She has one full week left and then relatives/DH will be caring for her until my ML starts. grin God, I feel really awful now.

cat64 Thu 24-Sep-09 12:44:45

Message withdrawn

dontrunwithscissors Thu 24-Sep-09 13:12:32

cat64 - there's also the nursery I visited where the member of staff showing us around took us to the baby room. There were about 5 children sat on the floor with no toys, and none of the staff interacting with them. The room was dark with nothing on the walls (no colour anywhere). One of the women in there said "You really can't do anything with them at this age - they're too young. We tend to just leave them." hmm (I can still remember that word for word, more than two years later.) So, yes, the current nursery is a diamond in the rough by comparison.

Anyway, I've been looking for a CM for the better part of a year. The problem is this is a middle class area, but with lots of SAHM. Consequently, there aren't many childcare options suited to those who work full time (ie lots of people use CM's/nurseries, but very rarely to support two parents working full time). Having gone through the list of CM's from my local authority, just over half work odd hours (only part of the week, or don't start until 9am, or finish before 5pm, or work term time only.) Of the remainder, I've crossed some off the list (from advice/speaking to them.) So far, I've never been able to get a spot with anyone who's suitable. I'll try to find a CM for both DC's, just in case I'm lucky, but, failing that, I'm pretty much sold on a nanny now, even though it will absolutely kill us financially.

LynetteScavo Thu 24-Sep-09 13:18:29

From what you've said, I wouldn't send my child there!
Hiring a nanny sounds like a good idea!

LynetteScavo Thu 24-Sep-09 13:21:39

Just read your last post, son't run...I'm shock

Would hiring a nanny really be that much more expensive than paying nursery fees for 2 DC's?

choosyfloosy Thu 24-Sep-09 13:29:25

Jesus! [scuse language]. Pull them out, no question.

Employ a nanny but work out what you can pay gross, what the equivalent net figure is EXACTLY and try not to go above it (a lot of nanny candidates will quote you a net figure and if you are anything like me you will struggle, every time, to remember whether this is the same as your gross budget).

If you are offering a proper full-time job, that's good news - I think some nannies are struggling a bit to find full-time work at the mo.

Tell everyone you know you are employing a nanny and looking for a share, and make sure you check with the nanny you employ that they are willing to look after more than 2 children.

We found our best nanny-share through the residents' association newsletter, and anotehr great nanny via gumtree/[local city].

cat64 Thu 24-Sep-09 13:32:30

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stealthsquiggle Thu 24-Sep-09 13:33:41

OMG dontrun - where do you live?

Although it has to be said I only looked at one nursery for DD (the one she is at) so I have no idea what the others in our area are like. I looked at several for DS (in a different area) and the one he went to was fine when he went there, IYSWIM, but by the time he left (because we were moving) I had already decided that I would not put another baby in there as it had gone downhill so much.

If the childcare situation is that dire then I would have thought you might well stand a chance of finding someone in a similar situation to do a nanny share with?

dontrunwithscissors Thu 24-Sep-09 13:56:16

I live in NE Scotland (in a nice suburb, but next to a city which has historically suffered from a lot of social deprivation - high unemployment, low wages, low cost of living.) There are some nice nurseries here - it just seems none of them within a reasonable distance of us. What amazes me is that her current nursery, and the one I mentioned with the babies have no problems filling spaces. (That's one reason why I wondered if I was being a bit precious about the whole thing.)

The cost of the current nursery (after discounts, but before childcare vouchers) will be £304 a week for two children. I've been working on a figure of £9 gross for a nanny, but believe I could cope with someone for just 4 x 9 hour days, which would cost around £346 inc. employers' NI but excluding additional costs of food, kitty money. That would probably be about £40 per week more than we could afford (although right now I don't care - we have savings.) It's possible we could get someone for less. I doubt there's much demand for nannies around here - I don't know whether that's a positive factor for us finding one or not. I think a nanny share is highly unlikely - I've also spent time over the last year looking around for one - although I could have probably put more effort into it. I remain ever-hopeful, though....

On the subject of Early Years Teams/Local Authority, the nursery isn't in partnership with the Local Authority, although it's applied to be. It's been a while since they put the application - no news of whether they got it.

nurseryvoice Thu 24-Sep-09 13:59:18

How sad.
However it reassures me again that the nursery I own, manage and my own baby attends is excellent.
The owner/manager has to be interested, keen, knowledgable and experienced with half a noggin of a brain.
These type of nurseries infuriate me, I think it is odd sometimes that parents do not even look around mine but plump with the first one they see.
Still we're always busy as we have such a good reputation.
When parents do look around mine I always ask them if theyve seen any others and even say to them its always worthwhile to see a few, I am that confident that mine is better,

What people have to realise is, that running a nursery is not the way to make a lot of money (if you are doing it properly) but the benefits of having a well run, happy nursery for children is so rewarding.

I would not send my child to your nursery it sounds poor. You may have to travel further afield.

Carmel206 Thu 24-Sep-09 14:03:15

I'm screaming (inside!!)gone beyond [shocked] and angry..we pulled our DS from nursery and have a nanny now for DC for so much less than this but I just think this is so terrible..what about all the other children in these awful places - can you not highlight this to Ofsted -surely this can't be acceptable - bad as I think our nursery was - absolutely nothing like any of the things you have described happened there -do you know any of the other parents? Do you think they might be interested in either pooling resources with you for a nanny share or if you could find a parent who is also fexible with work hours maybe between you, you could cover child care - (after your ML of course) honestly anything is worth trying to get your children away from this.

dontrunwithscissors Thu 24-Sep-09 14:11:54

Nuseryvoice, I did travel further afield initially. We had a CM set up who let us down a week before I went to work. We managed to get a place at the most wonderful nursery, but it added 1.5 hours on to our day. We moved her to the current place (10 minutes walk from home), as - at first - it seemed very good. The doubts started to set in after the first 6 months or so, and have gradually grown. When I found out I was PG with #2 I decided to grit my teeth and go on ML as soon as possible and get her out of there.

(Unfortunately the first nursery we used now seems to have gone downhill, I believe due to problems getting staff. I read the most recent inspection report, and it said that the inspectors had to intervene to prevent a potentially dangerous situation. It's a shame as the owner was fantastic, and completely committed to the nusery/children. It's very sad that her business seems to be going downhill.)

dontrunwithscissors Thu 24-Sep-09 14:24:12

Actually, that's not true (above). I always had a feeling that something wasn't quite right, but I couldn't identify anything at first. Anyway, I'm settled upon not using the nursery when I go back to work (I was already leaning very far towards this.) I'll probably use a CM for the 3 mornings from 6 months (as I think I'll be able to find a CM for this.) Then I'll hopefully be able to find a nice nanny. Oh, and my sister's just emailed and offered to look after DD a bit next week as she's taking some time off work grin. She knows it's DD's last week coming up, and has told me a few times she hates the place.

stealthsquiggle Thu 24-Sep-09 14:48:14

I have to say, every time I hear such a horror story (and it's not unique - it's hard to make a profit out of early years care and still recruit and retain good staff, etc, so there are lots of poor nurseries out there still) I thank my lucky stars for DD's community-based, not for profit nursery with it's staff of a mixture of mature and young women who all genuinely love the children and it's management who push training and development to the top of the priority list, always. Any small niggles I have get put into very clear perspective.

Great that your sister is going to have her - it sounds as though your DD is going to have a ball - she'll be disappointed to settle down at home with Mummy when your ML starts wink

nbee84 Thu 24-Sep-09 20:55:25

Nannies will usually undertake all nursery duties - so will change childrens beds, do their washing and ironing, cook fresh foods and stock the freezer, tidy and clean their bedrooms and organise their toys. This will leave you with more quality time with your dc, so look at the extra cost as in investment in that smile

floatyjosmum Fri 25-Sep-09 00:36:36

tbh i wouldnt be going anywhere near it!

i removed dd from a nursery after 10 weeks of 1 session per week whilst i was at uni (she did 2 full days at another nursery who couldnt fit her in on the other 1) as i was unhappy with things that are not as bad as what you have described!

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