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Is this normal at nursery?

(21 Posts)
queenofsardines Wed 02-Mar-16 12:52:36

3 yr old DS has been attending nursery now for the last few months and has generally loved it. He settled easily, looks forward to going and only a few very minor issues have cropped up which have all been quickly and easily dealt with.

My question is really about what is the usual information for nurseries to give/involve parents with. Apart from the daily hello/goodbye at the door I get no information about what DS actually does there, no idea about topics, activities. I did raise this with the manager who explained that the children's learning journals are always on display and can be viewed by parents, but to be honest I do not have a clue where as the rooms are usually off limits to parents who do drop off and pick up at the door.

I don't want to come across as overly pushy and I do really appreciate the work the nursery staff do for DS but am I being unreasonable to expect a little more communication?

Paddingtonthebear Wed 02-Mar-16 13:00:11

Yanbu as such, but they have told you there is a learning journal so perhaps you should be a bit more forward and ask them to get his for you and go through it with you.

A decent nursery should always make time to chat to you at pick up about your child's day, even if it is sometimes brief and just "he had a really good day today". If he's been there a few months and you don't really know much about how he's getting on then yes they do sound slack.

Is it a day nursery or a less formal preschool term time setting? From what friends of mine say things seem to be a bit basic at pre schools

Daddypig36 Wed 02-Mar-16 13:03:50

We get told who our dd has played with. How many nappies she has had. What she had to eat. How she is devoloping. She is just nearly 2 if that makes a difference

MrsMilkyMoo Wed 02-Mar-16 13:06:57

DD is only 18 months but at our nursery we get handed her diary each evening which details what she's eaten, naps, wet/dirty nappies, and what activities she's done. They always take the time to go through it with us and talk about her day. The communication we get is excellent!

queenofsardines Wed 02-Mar-16 13:11:51

Well DS is toilet trained and not there long enough to eat meals so that's out. He is in each day mornings only as he just does it for him 15 free hours if that makes a difference...

Allyoucaneat Wed 02-Mar-16 13:12:03

Is it a private day nursery or a council run preschool? In my experience that makes all the difference.

At my son's private day nursery we were given a daily diary with what he'd eaten, nappies changes etc. member of staff would always hand over with a short chat and knew their charges well. they had three children each to look after 8am-6pm and we were paying around £50 a day.

At the council run preschool they had 50 children each day, for 2.5hrs per day. I relied on ds telling me what he'd done that day, eaten etc. I had very little interaction with the staff unless there was a serious concern. Each staff member had 8 or more kids each. It was free. Learning journals were sent home twice per term and snack options and main activities were written on a white board in the cloak room.

SweetAdeline Wed 02-Mar-16 13:12:05

Why don't you ask to see the learning journal?
DD's Montessori preschool have a poster up by the door saying what the themes are for the month and post photos on a private Twitter account but certainly don't give individual feedback every day. Howvever we are allowed to hang around at drop off in the morning and see the rooms/ask questions etc as the drop off period is quite long. They don't like doing feedback at pick-up because it's too hectic as everyone comes at the same time.

I think the sort of feedback Daddypig mentions would be unusual at preschool as opposed to nursery.

WatchingAndLearning Wed 02-Mar-16 13:12:57

The nursery my 2 boys attend gives us a small report everyday (piece of paper that we bring home) on everything they did on that day: what they ate, how much food (none, little, most, all, seconds, etc), what activities, nap times, nappy changes, if there was any accident/disagreement with another child, etc. They go through it with us at pick up time everyday. It's gives us reassurance and it's a great way to know what they've been up to. I wouldn't go without it and don't thing you're being unreasonable at all to want to know that. We also get their weekly menu by email every Monday so we know want will be served the whole week on all meals.

NerrSnerr Wed 02-Mar-16 13:14:12

Is it a nursery or a council run pre school? My 18 month is in nursery and we get a daily diary in a book we can take home if we want.

BettyBi0 Wed 02-Mar-16 13:14:18

Our nursery give a quick update every day with what/how much they ate and whether they napped. They'll tell you about nappy changes too if you ask. DD is just 2 so her days a pretty free flow play I guess.

Getting more info than "yeah, she had a good day, was playing lots" is pretty hard. They do have individual folders but tbh they take a while to get updated and are full of really jargony nonsense. I'm much more interested to hear who she was playing with, or if she was mainly painting or sticking or what stories they had.

blamethecat Wed 02-Mar-16 13:15:38

As well as a comment on if he has had a good day we get an e-mail to detail what activities he has done, nappy changes, what he has eaten etc. We also get a fortnightly e-mail newsletter to tell us what they have planned and suggest things we can do with him at home, we get his learning journal sent home probably 3-4 times a year to look through and note any 'achievements' in and we have an annual parents evening. DS is currently there for 2 full days but will increase once he gets his funded hours.

queenofsardines Wed 02-Mar-16 13:16:05

It's a nursery. They do 3mths to 5yrs, some full time and pay fees, some do part time NEG on academic term times.

Shirkingfromhome Wed 02-Mar-16 13:17:55

We get a handover sheet with nappies, meals, naptime and a brief description of that ds has done for the day (what he's played with, reading, songs, activities). He's there two full days (but we did used to get one for half days too) and he's 2.5. It's a private nursery if that makes any difference.

happystory Wed 02-Mar-16 13:20:15

I think it's poor that you don't get updates. As someone else said, ask to see the learning journey. We do a settling in report after 6 weeks, termly updates after that and post topics on a whiteboard and on our website. Sounds like their 'partnership with parents' isn't working too well!

backinschool Wed 02-Mar-16 13:24:15

We used to get a little daily report from the nursery but it took quite a bit of time to fill them in and that was time that the staff could have been doing activities with the children. Most parents agreed it was a waste of time. Now they have a whiteboard by the door and they write on it the main activities they are doing/have done that day and what they are having for lunch/dinner. I prefer that but we do get a chance to speak to the staff at pick up and drop off. I don't always hear what DD2 has done but they'll usually say if she's had a good or quiet day, who she has played with and they'll speak to me if she has particularly enjoyed anything or done something new. I know the staff well (DD1 was there too so I've known them for 5 years) and I trust them to give me any feedback I need.

insancerre Wed 02-Mar-16 13:33:17

I run a nursery and this is how we communicate with parents
Each child's key person makes a point of chatting to each parent on drop off and collection

We have a diary that we share between home and nursery and to talk about what we have been up to

We have a board with the termly and weekly planning on

We email the termly planning out to parents and ask for contributions towards the learning

We have a private Facebook page where we post photos of activities and post updates about events coming up

We have a monthly newsletter that is emailed out with paper copies on the notice board that gives ideas for activities and explains what we have been doing or will be doing

We send out text messages for important and last minute announcements

We have parent consultation evenings twice a year with a written report on their progress

We have the child's learning journeys available to view all the time

We offer 1-1 appointments if parents request them to discuss development

We are in the process of setting up a system where we can email a daily diary to each parent

If you nursery don't do any of that is hen they are a bit pants

Maybe you could make a suggestion for the parents comment box

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Wed 02-Mar-16 13:37:11

At our nursery each room has a whiteboard where the staff write what's been served at mealtimes and what activities they've been up to. They also have a print out up on the wall which shows what topics they're covering each month - DS is in preschool room so it's usually a letter, a number and a topic like 'animals' or 'people that help us.' His key worker or another staff member is always happy to update me on what he's been up to at pick up.

Millionprammiles Wed 02-Mar-16 13:57:35

Up until age 3 dd's nursery puts charts up of what meals were eaten, naps and nappies. At pick up the key worker is also happy to chat generally about the childs day, activities, behaviour etc. The staff are busy looking after the kids so most parents don't tend to expect a long chat.

It helps I think if you ask specific questions rather than relying on the staff to guess what info you're most interested in as parents vary.
Now dd is 3.9 I'm most interested in her behaviour (did she listen and help when asked etc) and any key developments or unusual activities she enjoyed. Other parents might be worried about how their child is eating or whether they're playing well with other kids etc.

Focus on your main concerns and ask about them.

Millionprammiles Wed 02-Mar-16 13:58:33

Incidentally dd's nursery also keeps learning journals but I've always found it more useful to speak in person to whoever has spent the most time with dd on the day (who might be someone not responsible for completing the journal).

TiggyD Sat 05-Mar-16 10:52:59

I get no information about what DS actually does there, no idea about topics, activities. - Very poor communication and parental involvement.

the rooms are usually off limits to parents who do drop off and pick up at the door. - Danger sign! I would never use a nursery who does this.

It's a bad nursery. I hope it shuts down soon.

queenofsardines Sat 05-Mar-16 11:47:19

Thanks for all replies. I suppose the way it sounds does imply dodgy. To update you I did request to see the learning journal again and got a great chat with his key worker to look through it all. It does seem like some great stuff is going on there and DS is always happy to go and comes out smiling.
I'm more satisfied about it now, just think poor management if anything is down to parents feeling needlessly shut out.

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