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Can I have your positive nursery experiences please?

(22 Posts)
WhoahThere Mon 01-Aug-11 09:11:35

DD will be 11mo when I go back to work 4 days in November. My preference is for a childminder but I haven't seen a single one that I like enough to leave dd with. I have, however, had a nursery recommended to me which I'm going to visit this week.

Can anyone reassure me that a good nursery can provide the level of care that a relatively young baby needs?

Very stressed!

mousymouse Mon 01-Aug-11 09:16:12

I have 2 dc at nursery (oldest starting school this summer).
they are both happy and love it there.
both started full time when they were 10m old.
as others will probably tell you, have a look at childcare in your area. speak to/visit a number of childminders and nurseries and let your gut feeling decide.
with our nursery, I knew as soon as I entered the door that this is right for my family. staff are lovely and cuddly and do sooo much stuff with the children. it is not a case of dumping the dc and picking them up again, they have a really busy day painting, messy play, trips to the park, softplay...

SurprisEs Mon 01-Aug-11 09:28:03

My dd is now 2yrs and went to nursery at 7 months. There have been some issues but they were easily resolved.
There are loads of activities to get involved in, the staff are approachableand the facilities are clean. The food is of good quality.
It has been great for dd social development.
I think the most important thing is to build a good relationship with you Childs key worker in order to support your dc development together

AKMD Mon 01-Aug-11 12:42:23

DS went to nursery from 8 months and is now 17 months. He has formed real attachments to his key workers, who give him a lot of 1-1 attention. He only goes during term-time so now it's the summer holidays he keeps asking where his key workers are!

The nursery DS goes to is a small one but I looked at several and this one felt right. Have a look on the internet for a list of questions to ask when visiting nurseries and childminders, work out what is important to you and go from there. For example, something important to me was that DS had free access to an outside area in all weathers. The nursery we chose has an open-access policy and snowsuits for the winter, rain and snow.

CMOTdibbler Mon 01-Aug-11 12:48:49

My ds started at nursery at 4.5 months and had a totally positive experience. It was small, and the baby room v small and staff changes kept to the absolute minimum with always one of the two leaders in there.

thehairybabysmum Mon 01-Aug-11 12:52:28

Both mine (now 3.9 and 5.5 yrs) went to nursery from 7 months old, 3 days per week.

V. good nursery, small baby room and low staff turnover. They have both loved it (youngest still does) and made some very close friends whilst there.

I have found it to be a very cuddly and loving environment for them.

IMO it is preferable to a childminder as there are a range of staff all with different personalities. Also on apractical note you are never going to have issues with your childcare provider being unable to work if they are themselves unwell.

SurprisEs Wed 03-Aug-11 20:53:07

I think when looking for a nursery it is important to view it without an appointment.

olibeansmummy Fri 05-Aug-11 14:15:18

My ds started nursery at 4.5 months as i was at uni. He's always loved it and you can tell the staff really care about the kids. He is also in a small nursery, the baby room has a maximum of 6 babies. He has a great relationship with his key worker and they always make time to tell you about his day even though he also has a book that they write in. They do loads of stuff and helped me potty train ds, which I think is part of the reason why it only took a week and a half smile. One think that made me feel like is made the right decision was the other day when his keyworker put out her hand and ds took hold of it and toddled off, it just seemed so natural smile

bessie26 Fri 05-Aug-11 14:32:58

DD1 started nursery when she was 11 months old and absolutely loves it. We've had phases where she screams blue murder gets upset when I drop her off, but when I peek through the window 30seconds later she's tucking into her breakfast or playing with her friends! These days she's more likely to cry when I take her home!

We looked at 3 nurserys & this was the only one we felt comfortable with. The lady who runs it showed us round & all the kiddies were running up to her to say hello & she knew every single one of their names.

DD1 has been there almost 2 years now & we booked DD2 a place as soon as she was born!

DontCallMeBaby Fri 05-Aug-11 14:41:51

DD loved nursery - she's 7 now, so left three years ago, and still has fond memories. We had to go back in and visit at least once a week throughout her first term at school as she missed it so much. Lovely place, with low turnover of staff and a good variety of staff from very young girls to much older women (I liked this a lot - plenty of 17yos who can give fantastic care to young children, but I think a bit of a mix is best).

Meglet Fri 05-Aug-11 15:20:23

DS has been at nursery since he was 18mo, he starts school next month <<sniff>>. DD started when she was 12mo.

TBH I only visited one nursery but had heard loads of good things about it and as soon as I saw them my gut instinct was it was a great place. Mixure of staff ages, young girls, couple of lads and older women with their own kids and low staff turnover. IIRC the manager has been there for almost 10 years and so have several other members of staff.

IMO a nursery does provide a wonderful level of care for a baby. They will have a staff ratio of 3:1 in the baby room, bear in mind they will be sitting down on the floor with the children playing, boshing things, doing messy play and singing all day - no one is rushing off to do the laundry, supermarket, MN. Enough staff for cuddles if someone is upset but TBH most of the babies seemed thrilled with the freedom of play, DD found it far more fun than being at home. The dc's nursery has everyone eating at the same time but the babies could nap when they needed to.

These days they are an extension of our family, they advise on potty training and behaviour and have even babysat for me.

I would say that don't worry if they won't let you visit without an appointment. I had to make an apt to visit the nursery for the first time. They just don't want strangers visiting when the kids are eating, napping or start and finish of the day when it's busy with lots of adults coming and going. These days I (and the other parents) can come and go as we please so see nursery at lots of different times, the staff don't beat the children with sticks when the parents aren't around!

reallytired Fri 05-Aug-11 15:30:32

DD started nursery at 9 months. It took about 6 weeks to settle and we did have tears every morning. It is scary for a baby to left at the nicest of nurseries or a childminder to begin with. They have no clue what is going on, or know their carers.

However once dd got to know her keyworker there was no looking back. At the age of two dd asks to go to nusery on my days off!

HerdOfTinyElephants Fri 05-Aug-11 15:37:22

DS (now 6.5) went to nursery at 9 months and DD1 (now 3.5) at 12 months. Their nursery had good staff conditions -- better than legal minimum staff:child ratio, shorter shifts than usual in the nursery business, etc. -- which meant they had very low staff turnover and very good experienced staff across a range of ages. They both built up great relationships with several staff members and DS still has animated chats with lots of them when we are picking up/dropping off DD. There is lots of outside space, rabbits, chickens etc., and the food is all cooked on the premises, plenty of messy play and activities. DS says wistfully now that he wishes he were still at nursery.

HOWEVER, it does have a huge waiting list. There's no way anyone could apply in August and get a place for November; in fact someone applying this August for a place next November would be cutting it fine (I am aware this is madness). It may not be quite so bad in your area, though.

Sirzy Fri 05-Aug-11 15:39:59

I live the nursery DS goes to. They are very caring, great at communicating and DS loves going there.

He has asthma so i was worried how they would cope with that but they are fantastic with it and happy to give inhalers when needed and good at judging when that is.

I think with any form of childcare you just need to follow your instincts. Its not that nursery is better than a childminder or vice verca just some child care providers are much better than others.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Fri 05-Aug-11 15:45:18

Probably not as young as you'd like but dd 3yrs told me when leaving recently that she loved her nursery worker, I'd only ask if shed had a nice tine grin

mymumdom Fri 05-Aug-11 15:48:07

Mine all started nursery a little older than yours, at 14 months. I prefer nursery to a childminder or nanny as you don't need to worry about illness, family emergencies or accidents rendering your childcare incapable.
The right nursery will be a wonderful place for your 11 month old.

notnearlyasblondasiwas Fri 05-Aug-11 15:52:48

My DD was 11 monhs when starting nursery, it took her a month to settle (she goes full time) but now she loves it - on saturdays she stands by the door shouting "nursery!" and is very [hmmm] when i say she is stying home with mummy and daddy. He staff are lovely and ithas a very low turnover. I think as said above, go with your instincts and youwill make the right decision

musicmaiden Fri 05-Aug-11 16:07:08

DS, nearly 2, has been going since 10mo and really does enjoy it. He's never really cried on drop-off even when small (it's not a given that they will be upset) and has a big smile and is off with his little friends as soon as I wave goodbye these days.

He has a wonderful day doing all the things I unfortunately (in our tiny flat that's up for sale so needs to stay clean-ish) don't have the chance to do with him – messy play, water play, painting etc. They take them outside as much as possible and the staff are very loving.

Only you know the personality of your DD and what sort of care she might respond better to. Some kids thrive in nurseries, others need to be older before they can handle it and need longer one-to-one care, IME. Go with your gut.

notcitrus Fri 05-Aug-11 16:36:00

My ds started nursery at 11mo and loved it - given that one staff member could sit on the floor and cuddle up to three babies at once, he probably got more cuddles when he wanted than at home! And the exciting toys he loved, and a bit of interaction with other babies.
He's always been a baby who just wants lots of attention and is less fussed about who is giving it, but having 4 staff in a room with 10-12 babies, they always seemed to be getting attention the moment they wanted it. The staff also treat the children like small colleagues and are always thinking of things they can do together.

Go with gut instincts over Ofsted reports or word of mouth, though - Ofsted rates paperwork over staff attitudes, and gossip can be out of date or coloured by one experience.

Nagoo Fri 05-Aug-11 16:48:36

Mine will be 13MO when she starts at DS's old nursery.

I'm happy with it, lovely atmosphere, decent food and well behaved children, committed staff smile

You'll know if you like it smile

HoneyPablo Fri 05-Aug-11 16:55:21

I work in a nursery and the children tell me every day that they love me. They are always giving me hugs and kisses and one little boy has just started crying when it is home time.
Most early years workers are there because they really like children and enjoy being with them. It can be stressful but it is very rewarding. We go above and beyond to make sure that they children are given the time and attention they need.
I have been involved in early years for 20 years and in al that time I have only met one child who did not settle in nursery and was taken out. He had other things going on in his life though, which didn't help.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Fri 05-Aug-11 17:55:20

Both my DSs went to nursery at nine months and loved it. The staff were incredibly warm and caring, they really got to know both my boys and noticed immediately if anything was wrong with them or if they seemed not quite themselves. Loads of cuddles, lots of warmth and love and outdoor play. They spotted DS2s glue ear before I did blush, they taught DS1 to blow his nose (not a job I was doing well with!) and have generally been like a team of fabulous nannies. They still ask after DS1 (just finished Reception) all the time and have lovely chats with him if he comes in with me to pick up DS2. Also their pre school teacher was so good that DS1 could read before he started school.

Can't recommend them enough.

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