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does nursery help / hamper development?

(33 Posts)
rhythm12 Wed 05-Nov-14 22:56:34

Does anyone with a developmentally 'forward' baby have experience of how nursery has helped / hampered their development?

At the moment I'm looking at putting my 10 month old into a nursery full time, I would be doing long hours and only really seeing her at the weekend. Not ideal, but I'm a lone parent and don't have a lot of choice.

So far she's doing pretty well development wise for her age. For example, she can identify the colour red, turn pages in books, sit and carefully study the pages, sit through long books (paddington, grimm's fairytales for example), make all the noises as we go through a book like 'Peace at Last', kiss the characters on a page if they are upset and always asks for more stories. Her vocabulary is already pretty good - she can say about 10 words. I started to teach her phonics, numbers and colours to see how she would get on and she's really obviously enjoying it. She can identify some objects, body parts. She's also moving around fast, a good climber and very interested socially. She's a very happy, mischievous, 'easy' baby unless she feels she's not learning something quickly enough, or I don't give her something she wants quickly enough - then she has a very quick temper smile

When I've been to look at nurseries I've got worried. They just seem like holding pens for babies? Some have seemed better than others but none have really left me with the impression that she will be progressing as fast there. They might sing a few songs at certain times of day but otherwise as long as the children aren't hurt, they are almost left to their own devices, is the impression I got? At one in particular I explained about the books we read and how much she enjoys them and a girl in the room started questioning me in quite a hostile way, as if I was either making it up or a parent who thinks their child is somehow a genius, which I'm not. At that nursery the only books they even have in the room for that age group are very basic picture books.

I know that a childminder could be an alternative, but I've seen a local childminder drag a girl in her care across the library pulling her arm, saying 'you little...' which was just horrible and it put me off childminders tbh.

Has anyone got advice - is it about finding a really top notch nursery, or asking them to do specific activities with her, or am I worrying about nothing? Have you found that going to nursery full time at this age has changed your baby's pace of development and/or general mood, for better or worse?

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 05-Nov-14 23:00:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

OpenSandwich Wed 05-Nov-14 23:03:49

They play a lot. That is what 10 month olds are supposed to do. As opposed to phonics.

rhythm12 Wed 05-Nov-14 23:38:50

Why such angry, negative responses? If you don't agree with my approach there are plenty of topics, maybe go say something nice and constructive on one of the other boards? If you read my original post properly you'll understand that my 10 month old is a very healthy, happy baby who spends her days playing. She's also really smart and it's already obvious that she enjoys learning. Phonics make her giggle. I don't see a conflict between play and learning. If anyone has a helpful, intelligent reply, thank you.

DuelingFanjo Wed 05-Nov-14 23:45:21

Get a nanny. They can do one to one stuff with her and it will probably cost the same as a good nursery.

In answer to your questions about being a 10 month old genius, my son went into nursery at 10 months and has suffered no ill effects.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 06-Nov-14 07:53:25

Apologies if my response sounded negative, but I am being partly serious. If you are already being obsessional about 'learning' and ten months, what will you be like wheelbase your child starts school? I think you are at risk of actually damaging your child by being so pushy! I know a mother exactly like you and her child is totally miserable at age six.

Recovering Thu 06-Nov-14 07:58:15

They will develop far better if allowed to play. We even looked for an infant school that emphasised play throughout foundation (and I, like most mm, am well educated with high hopes for children.)

I think up to 3 the ideal is one carer. So if you could properly research a cm (grill anyone you know at babygroups, get recommendations. I often see some lovely ones at a local farm and love how they interact.)

WorkingBling Thu 06-Nov-14 08:00:28

There's no absolute definitive answer. Childcare benefits depend in the child care provider, the child etc. We found nursery wonderful for dh, friends preferred a childminder

However, you do sound like you want quite a lot of control over exactly what your child does so I would agree with a pp that you need a nanny. Find someone who is willing and able to interact woth your child similarly to how you would.

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 06-Nov-14 08:08:31

Mine went to nursery full time aged 6 months. They are now 16, 15 and 11 and nursery did not hamper them or turn them into mini einsteins

I....look I know you want the best for your child which is great, but playing and singing and picture books are more than appropriate for a 10 month old.

I am also insanely curious how you teach phonics to a baby.

mipmop Thu 06-Nov-14 08:10:13

There's loads of evidence on the subject. For children younger than three the important thing with substitute care is that the child forms an attachment to a care giver who is responsive to the child's needs. Your child's emotional care is paramount, as this is when your child's long-term expectations of the world and their response to anxiety and depression is set. Regarding learning , children (like adults) learn best when they are happy, content and curious. At the preschool age your child should be in an environment where the child can follow their own natural curiosity. Much better for a child to be hands-on engaging with the world than to be directed. You may find Oliver James's book "How not to f* them up, birth to three" answers your questions.

SilverStars Thu 06-Nov-14 08:11:36

1:1 care sounds ideal. Nurseries are cheaper as they have more children per staff. However, nurseries may be advantageous for mixing/social skills?

rhythm12 Thu 06-Nov-14 09:10:06

scarlettsmummy2 lol the thing is you don't know me at all, I'm not 'obsessional' in the slightest and the way you aren't engaging your brain before jumping to all sorts of conclusions only comes across to me as hugely unintelligent. I could equally and easily say 'I know someone...' and give a positive example.

I'm really surprised at the assumptions and reactions on here, as if somehow by talking about learning I'm not allowing my child to play or sitting them down classroom style (or would expect that from a care giver). It's kind of tedious. are you honestly saying that if your child showed an obvious delight in e.g. longer books (squealing with anticipation, grabbing and turning pages, looking at things on the page, pointing, tapping a new book to ask for it to be read to her, getting very upset if you don't read it to her) that you would refuse that and just stick a small picture book with fluffy chicks or something in the corner? How is that kind, or helping that child?

Jackiebrambles Thu 06-Nov-14 09:20:51

The thing is they change so much at that age OP, what your child is interested in now will change when she can walk and get into all kinds of new mischief (emptying kitchen cupboards etc).

I do think though that a nursery will not be teaching your child phonics at 10 months.

If that is what you want then I agree with other posters, you need a nanny.

I don't know about a nursery helping or hampering my son because I have nothing to compare it to - but he's very happy and learns new things every day, and he's 22 months so that's enough for me.

EmbarrassedPossessed Thu 06-Nov-14 09:22:58

It sounds to me like you would prefer a nanny, as you child will get 1:1 attention and the nanny will be your employee to direct. Childminders can't offer 1:1 as they are highly likely to have other children in their care.

Fwiw, my DS was in an excellent nursery (3 days a week) from 11 months and imo it has been a great thing for him. It is a really good nursery which doesn't have any vibe at all of "holding pen". The staff have always been aware of my DS's needs and given him appropriate learning through play opportunities. He loves it there and has made lots of little friends.

Nishky Thu 06-Nov-14 09:27:34

Suggesting that other posters are hugeley unintelligent (ignoring the appalling grammar) is not necessary.

ghostvitruvius Thu 06-Nov-14 09:31:55

If the childcare provider is going to be doing a large amount of the care during the week, then a nanny or childminder who your baby can form a strong attachment to will be better for her development.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 06-Nov-14 09:34:38

Under the age of 2, get a full time nanny, really. Not full time nursery at that age, if you have an alternative.

ReallyTired Thu 06-Nov-14 09:48:26

Finding good childcare is hard. There are some appalling nurseries who know how to jump hoops and please ofsted. With a childminder it is a bit of a pig in a poke. Some childminders are amazing and others should not have care of a hamster!

If you are looking for good nursery then a good indicator is how long the staff have been there. If there is too much turnover in staff then your child will not have continuity of care. It's good to have a mix of old and young staff so that the 16 year olds do not have sole charge of a baby. However the RIGHT teen can be very good at running after toddlers.

I feel outside space and the opportunity to run about is vital. Children need to learn to develop gross motor skills before their fine motor skills. Children do need plenty of free play to develop language, social skills etc.

Don't worry about phonics. Children pick up phonics really quickly at four or five years old. Even if a child is capable of learning phonics sooner it's not a priority at ten months.

museumum Thu 06-Nov-14 09:58:28

My son loves his days at nursery (three per week) but he's only there eight hours so not very long days and has breakfast and dinner with us at home.
He does not know phonics, colours or numbers at all (he's 14mo) but his fine and gross motor skills are very good. He's an investigator and explorer so free play really suits him. He also loves the painting/gluing they do. And he loves the regularly changing play equipment in the huge garden.

For some reason he has advanced more in things like self feeding with cutlery from copying older toddlers than he did when he only had adults around to copy.

Nursery is absolutely right for us.
But if your child prefers 1:1 activities like looking at books and if you're talking about long days then I'm not sure nursery is right for you.

treadheavily Thu 06-Nov-14 10:11:50

A good nursery will have a calm atmosphere with free access to different spaces. (Indoor and outdoor) and lots of resources (dress ups, books, blocks, play dough, water play etc)

Good nursery teachers will teach literacy and numeracy often through song and rhyme, story telling, family play (bashing about with the pots), sand play (terrific for little scientists and mathematicians.) there shoud be lots of talking whether 1:1 conversations (nappy time is a key opportunity) or group times (shared stories and song).

So yes literacy learning is there in its appropriate form but not in a sit down let's study quietly sort of fashion.

I agree that it sounds as though you would be more comfortable with a nanny who can provide the 1:1 you prefer and a more specific learning approach. The nursery style is play-based learning.

unlucky83 Thu 06-Nov-14 10:31:15

I would strongly disagree with your approach - they do need to just play at that age - and even if they start school 'advanced' if they go to a decent primary unless they are geniuses they more or less all level out by starting secondary. Natural intelligence is important - children can be hot housed, tutored to a degree but it will all fall apart at some stage. And the less bright, but well tutored child will be under incredible pressure to keep up with the genuinely brighter children - not good for them.
However my DD1 (bright enough) went to full time nursery from 3 months - I spent time with her weekends and evenings. I thought (wrongly) they would taught to read by sight reading at school and I really didn't want that -I wanted her to learn phonics. So I taught her to read, through games and reading etc from an early age, it was never a battle or a formal approach ...almost instinctively. She started school a fluent reader - reading the computer screens etc waiting for the teacher to load games etc. Bored with the library as they were all 'baby books'. (Iirc her reading age at 4.5yo was 8 or 9). This after being 'deprived' at nursery most of the day. I actually don't think I did her any favours - she didn't learn to when she did have to try to learn something -couldn't instantly do it - her default was she didn't understand and couldn't do it!
(DD2 if anything I held her back reading - now at 7.5yo she is fine, next to top set in reading etc..more confident in her abilities - also bright enough)

ReallyTired Thu 06-Nov-14 12:27:42

I feel for the OP. I don't think she is being overly pushy. She just wants the best for her child.

Intelligence is partly genetic and partly developed by environment. Quality of early years experiences do make a difference to children. I have two children and they are very different people. I only make a limited difference to my children personality and academic attainment.

I did teach my son to read before starting school as I did not want him to learn by mixed methods. I don't regret it one bit because synthetic phonics did not have such a big role in the curriulum back then.

If money was no object, I would suggest a nanny until your child is potty trained and then a part time montesouri based nursery until school age (3 -4 mornings a week) with wrap around care provided by the nanny. Sadly few people are in the lucky position where money is no object.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 06-Nov-14 13:08:40

I am not unintelligent! The obvious incorrect grammar/ wording on my last post was a result of autocorrect on my phone changing words!
My point actually was that going on about phonics for a ten month old is at best bizarre, and exactly the kind of thing the handful of tiger mothers at my daughters school would have been doing five years ago!

EmbarrassedPossessed Thu 06-Nov-14 13:44:36

I wouldn't (and didn't) bother with phonics at 10 months but the OP is obviously enjoying trying it with her DD. It's also clear that her DD is enjoying it too and is having plenty of opportunity for free play. So I don't think it could possibly be harmful or problematic - I wouldn't even describe it as bizarre, simply uncommon.

littleducks Thu 06-Nov-14 13:57:46

How is your child developing in terms of her other milestones? Is there a 12 month check in your area with a health visitor?

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