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Is it the nursery I don't like or the fact that someone else will be looking after my PFB.

(27 Posts)
Bambinoloveseggbirds Tue 13-Oct-09 09:45:23

DH and I went to look at a local nursery yesterday and despite it ticking all the boxes, I am hesitant.
In no particular order - good points:
A dedicated baby room where the baby will only move up to toddlers when he can walk, not when he gets to a certain age
The staff ALL hold relevant qualifications surpassing the national target.
Low turnover of staff - shortest time someone had been there was 18 months.
Safe, warm environment
Fun and secure outside play area
Key worker system is 1 to 3 babies
Mums and dads can drop in at any time
Ofsted report was strong in every section.
They have at least 2 parent evenings a year plus holiday concerts and the like - parents welcome to come in and read stories.
Children are a good mix of nationalities
Work to a programme set by parents until baby is walking and up to toddler group
Although no specifics could be given, I was assured that the majoprity of babies are up to date on vaccinations
It was late afternoon when I went so all the babies has gone home but the toddlers I saw were charging around outside and looked happy

bad points:
Seemed messy to me, but then DH pointed out that I'm a clean freak and a nursery that doesn't looked lived in isn't going to be a good one.
Toys all seemd to come from IKEA. Again DH pointed out that IKEA is good value for money.

I am going to see another nursery this week to compare - we only have 2 in our village so it will be one or the other, but I'm thinking it may not be the nursery at all, just the thought of my baby taking his first little steps into a new world without me iyswim. I should also add that I am going to arrange a second visit to meet the key workers (I met the nursery manager this time) and we are only going to start DS off on 2 half days per week and he'll be 1 year by time he starts.

Any thoughts would be appreciated - particularly any points I've missed that I should have been looking for. Thank you smile Sorry for spelling, baby just woken up from nap

PoisonToadstool Tue 13-Oct-09 09:46:30

Ikea toys is a bad point? Really?

BertieBotts Tue 13-Oct-09 09:47:39

grin I think it will be fine.

Bambinoloveseggbirds Tue 13-Oct-09 09:47:51

Also meant to add that progress/behaviour journals are started when they arrive and handed to you when they leave the nursery so they have their own book until they start at big school, plus you can review indivdual needs for your baby/changes to the programme daily.

Bambinoloveseggbirds Tue 13-Oct-09 09:49:00

Poison, I know. My DH was hmm at my bad points.

PoisonToadstool Tue 13-Oct-09 09:53:30

I also think vaccinations are absolutely none of your business. My DS was in nursery for a year and no one ever asked me about it.

You are probably just anxious about the whole thing, which is completely normal. I hated my DS going to nursery - and when I was told he was moving from the baby room into the toddler room, I cried. I hated the idea. It seemed so loud and chaotic. But of course he loved it and thrived as he became loud and chaotic, as toddlers do... then I left work so removed him, and sobbed my heart out when saying goodbye to the staff!

A reality check is good, those plus-points are all strong, and I think gut feeling goes a long way - if you think it's a warm and welcoming place, so will your DS.

stillstanding Tue 13-Oct-09 09:53:41

Well, it sounds to me like a lovely nursery and the two "bad" points you raised really aren't bad at all. In any event I think it is a very good idea to see the other nursery so that you can compare.

I suspect that the main issue is that it is hard to accept that your DC will be looked after by someone else which is totally normal.

Having said that, I must admit that when I went through the same process checking out nurseries I came to the conclusion that although I saw some really lovely ones nursery-care wasn't for us and we ended up getting a nanny. It wasn't that the nurseries weren't great - some of them were - but I realised that I had some fundamental issues with nursery-care per se. Getting a nanny is very expensive but worth every penny imo.

BertieBotts Tue 13-Oct-09 09:55:24

Also I should just say, 2 half days per week - fantastic. I did a bit of casual work when DS was about 9 months old and left him with DP, my mum and my sister (so 3 afternoons a week for 2 weeks) - I was so nervous and feeling very PFB about leaving him, but actually, it was fine - and I actually really enjoyed it. I never thought I would feel that way, I have wanted to be a SAHM since I was a little girl, and I absolutely love being a SAHM and spending time with my DS, but I really enjoyed having a little bit of time out from him, and felt that the time we had together afterwards was better spent because I was more conscious that I didn't get to spend all my time with him and because the constant baby activities had a break as well.

The only thing I did insist on was that I spent at least half an hour settling him in with whoever he was staying with every time (I think I would have gradually stopped this as he got older but the work dried up ) - I don't know whether this is an option at nursery until he gets to know his key worker?

stillstanding Tue 13-Oct-09 09:55:47

On the ikea toys point, we have some lovely ikea toys and I really wouldn't hold that against them! Obviously though there should be a range of toys, including educational ones, which presumably they are?

stillstanding Tue 13-Oct-09 09:58:14

Oooh - missed the point re 2 half days per week. Agree with BertieBotts that that is great. Such a nice, gentle transition and think it would be great for you and your baby.

Bambinoloveseggbirds Tue 13-Oct-09 10:03:22

Thank you all. Poison, I know vaccines are none of my business but i asked anyway re herd immunity.

We have IKEA toys at home!!! I don't know what I was expecting, some pristine place with unused shiny toys just waiting for MY DS to use.

I'm glad I started this thread as I feel a bit ridiculous now and for good reason blush

Bambinoloveseggbirds Tue 20-Oct-09 12:55:36

Can somebody please tell me to stop being a twat. I tried to check out another local nursery but they only take under 2s for a minimum of two days per week as they feel half days don't let them settle in so well. I'm now, a) worrying that the second nursery might have a point re settling in and the original 2 half days I wanted to go for might not be enough even thought the first nursery can cater for that
and b) worrying that, because there are only 2 local nurseries that take under 2s and one of them can't do half days, that I haven't researched alternatives enough. There are other nurseries but they start at 3.

DH thinks I'm mad and said he is really happy with the first nursery and even said "don't I get a say too, he is my DS as well", which made me feel bad. The first nursery is our only choice now if we want to start DS on 2 half days so we are going to see baby room key workers on Friday - I really hope I like them.

mrsbaldwin Tue 20-Oct-09 17:45:46

I went to see four local nurseries when I was doing my research!

In the end it was my DH who chose the nursery DS is now at - because I couldn't seem to decide between two in particular. I ceded the point to him because I accepted I wasn't being quite rational.

And you know what - the baby is fine. In fact I'd say he seems to be Britain's happiest baby. He squeaks and grins when he sees the NNs and doesn't seem to care a jot that I am leaving (which on balance is great - better than howling).

Bambinoloveseggbirds Wed 21-Oct-09 09:35:09

Thanks MrsBaldwin. DH loves the first (and only) nursery we have looked at and I think DS will end up going there as it does tick all the boxes for us, but we are going to look at a couple more just to compare. Obviously if we see a stand out one, we'll reconsider, but DH says I'll always find something that isn't right hmm I ditched even going to look at one last night due to ofsted report so our options are limited for comparison.

KnackeredOldHag Thu 22-Oct-09 23:07:52

When ds1 was born I had to return to work after 6 months maternity leave. It was hard to leave him at nursery to start with and I cried when looking at places, but, he settled down and although I must admit there were problems with the place we chose, overall I'm glad he went. He absolutely loved his nursery and at 4.5 and at school he is much more confident and sociable than many of his peers and he also hardly ever seems to pick up bugs (he was ill for the first 6 months of nursery and nothing since).

I think you should see more than 1 nursery so you have a reference point, but the one you describe sounds wonderful. The only thing you need to bare in mind is that at a year when he starts he will go through typical "separation anxiety" age and you may find that he cries a lot when you leave him. How the staff deal with this will be very telling of how good they are.

MrsArchieTheInventor Thu 22-Oct-09 23:16:13

Hi Bambinoloveseggbirds - your post will strike a chord with any parent who has a child in nursery. For what it's worth, I returned to work full time 6 months after DS (now 6) was born and part time 7 months after DD (now 8 months) was born, with DS going into nursery 5 days a week and DD being cared for on by DP's parents. There's something reassuring about the fact that when DD takes her first steps, if they're not with me they're going to be with people who love and care for her as I do, wheras with DS it didn't 'click' that that was the issue, I just knew I wasn't comfortable with something.

Instinct should tell you quite a lot about a nursery. They all smell slightly pooey, they're all messy and noisy, and I'd be worried about a nursery that wasn't these. If they have an open door policy that allows parents to inspect them at any time I'd say that's a pretty good indication that they're comfortable that the practises and procedures are good.

It does get better, honest! smile

Bambinoloveseggbirds Sat 24-Oct-09 22:15:23

Soooo. I went to meet the baby key workers at the nursery yesterday. They were just normal girls, they didn't put an OTT show on for me either, just acted fairly chilled and natural (one was in a chair, one on the floor). If anything, I felt a bit like I was interrorgating them and making them uncomfortable, so I'm not sure what to make of it.

3 of the babies were asleep at the time - one in the key worker's arms as he was teething and having a bad time of it - the other 2 in the sleep room. They looked so content asleep. The baby that was awake is moving up to toddlers soon and she is the neice of one of the key workers so they looked very at ease, as you'd expect. I sat DS on the floor and he went straight for the toys and didn't seem at all worried about the other baby wandering round or the staff.

I can't really think of anything bad to say except that I thought they would have made more of an effort to sell the place to me but they didn't. DH pointed out that their job is to care for the babies not market the nursery. I just don't know. I think my PNA is taking over my rational thoughts and I am a glass half empty kind of girl anyway. I might just have to let DH make the decision for me. He said that if it doesn't work out, we'll take DS straight out, but he is confident that it's a good nursery. What is wrong with me, I will have so many decisions to make for DS and feel like I've fallen at the first big one.

Bambinoloveseggbirds Sat 24-Oct-09 22:16:07

Forgot to add thanks to Mrs Archie smile

purepurple Sun 25-Oct-09 15:06:58

Your DH is right. the nurery nurses in the baby room are there to care for the babies, not sell the nursery. That's the manager's job!
From what you've described, the nursery sounds great.
I work in a busy nursery. It is not clean and it is not tidy and it smells of poo. But that's what it's supposed to be like.
When the children go home it gets cleaned.
Be very wary of over-clean clinical looking, sterile nurseries.

Children + fun = mess.

Bambinoloveseggbirds Sun 25-Oct-09 19:44:39

Purepurple, thank you, and, you're absolutely right. I am going to look at another nursery this week to compare, but on reflection, I am feeling a lot better about this one. The fact that I can't find anything bad to say should be telling me something. I think DH can see things alot clearer than me.

missmay Mon 26-Oct-09 21:22:44

god its so hard leaving your children with someone else...i empathise with everyone having to do this like i am at the moment...

mrsbaldwin Tue 27-Oct-09 18:25:04

Bambino - don't worry about the young NNs marketing skills. Do worry about their caring skills. Did you think that they looked like they looked after the babies nicely (and maintained good standards of cleanliness etc in the baby room). If so that's great. Marketing abilities are an extra. If young NNs can 'sell' as well as look after babies that might mark them out for a promotion later - but a lack of selling ability doesn't mean they can't look after babies.

Look at it this way - if they were that good at selling they would be working in sales, not in a nursery!!

Bambinoloveseggbirds Tue 27-Oct-09 22:23:50

Mrs B, you're right. I think they care for the babies very well from what I could see. As mentioned in previous post, one of the NNs was holding a baby that has been teething and in pain. The baby had fallen asleep in her arms and she'd been in the same position for 45 minutes - she joked that she had a dead leg, but she didn't go and put him in a cot even though there were a couple not being used at the time. I think that really stood out for me as very caring and kind.

Bambinoloveseggbirds Tue 03-Nov-09 10:19:35

Just a quick update. Went to look at another nursery and I got that "you'll just know when it's right" feeling despite it probably not ticking some boxes, mainly financial and logistics.
This nursery does a minimum of 2 days per week for under 2s - we wanted 2 half days. The baby room is 3 months to 2 years - the other one was 3 months till walking.
It's further away from home (15-20 min walk) but quite near MiL should there be an emergency.
As it's minimum 2 full days it will cost us double what we would pay at the other nursery but from 2 years, you can book sessions instead of full days.
There were 4 NNs running the baby room. Ratio 1:3. All been there quite a while - shortest 3 years, longest 10 years.
They are all qualified NVQ level 3, and 2 had nneb diplomas.
When I asked what kind of activities they did, the NN gave me a list of stuff whereas the NN at other nursery just said "messy".
I think the turning point for me is that these NNs seem far more experienced. they are older and more qualified whereas the other nurseries baby NNs were a lot younger - that sounds terribly ageist but I'm being practical.

Money is an issue but DH says we'll manage. I am going to go back to look at the other nursery one last time as it struck me what was wrong - every time I've been there (well, twice) I've only seen 1 baby and a couple of children (although I heard a din coming from the 3-4 room). Two babies were sleeping last time which can't be helped, so I am going to go at a busier time. DH said I had question marks over the other nursery from the start, and I think he could be right, I felt my face light up yesterday when I saw the children - they were all sat in chairs in a circle having their tea and I could picture DS there. I feel a bit tearful now blush

mrsbaldwin Tue 03-Nov-09 17:31:35

Bambino - if you got the feeling that's great! Finances aside, remember also with the half fays/full days thing that actually your DC will be asleep some of the time.

So let's say you're paying for 0800-1800, a 10 hour day. But you may not send the baby for that whole time - let's say you drop off at 0900 and pick up at 1600. And in that 7 hour period the baby will probably be asleep for a minimum of two hours, maybe three hours, plus an hour eating and drinking. So there is 3-4 hours playtime. Put like that it doesn't seem so long, does it? The two full days would give your baby a chance to bond with the carers (before being whisked away again if it were half days). MIL being near is also good - because for the first few months your DC will catch a few bugs and maybe you'd need MIls help once or twice.

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