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Looking Glass and Teddies in Balham/Tooting

9 replies

akrbmum · 17/07/2010 10:59

Hi, we viewed a number of nurseries yesterday around the Balham/Tooting area and have basically whittled it down to these two.

I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with either Looking Glass or Teddies and could offer some comments good or bad? We're hoping to make a decision by Monday and there are pros and cons with each.

Thanks all!

OP posts:
PennyTassoni · 18/07/2010 08:56

I used to work for a large daycare chain - suggest that you find out what the staff turnover is - if it is a happy place, staff tend to stay for four years plus. Look also at the settings Ofsted reports - choose the one that has good or outstanding. A satisfactory rating means just that.

sailingby · 18/07/2010 21:48

My DS has been at Teddies for 3 years and has always been very happy there and DD is also now attending (and is also hugely happy). DH and I have also been very pleased with the nursery, tho at the end of last year there was a significant turnover of staff, and at the time it made us uneasy. That said, the team that they have now are super (some really OUTSTANDING staff) and Bright Horizons (who took Teddies over last year) seem to be on the case in terms of making sure the nursery is on a steady footing - and are very willing to talk to parents about plans for the future.

Compared to some of the other nurseries in the area there is (in general) a high staff turnover. You either seem to get a nursery which keeps staff for 10 - 15 years, or ones where staff change every year or two. The last OFSTED was a number of years ago - it wasn't outstanding - but again - it was the "feel" of the place that made us decide to send DS there.

I haven't heard particularly good things about the staff at Looking Glass - but I'm sure that there are parents of children there who would challenge me on that!

How old is your DC and are there any particular pros or cons that you are concerned about?

akrbmum · 20/07/2010 15:15

Hi thank you so much for both responses.

I really liked Looking Glass but the things I liked were educational and quite irrelevant at moment as DC in only 2. It's also a huge nursery with a real "business" feel to it, which is a bit off putting.

In contrast Teddies felt cosy and I agree with you in that we just loved the feel of the place. You just get that feeling don't you when you walk in the door don't you? The children all seemed incredibly noisy, happy and outgoing!! The only thing that worried me was the fact that most staff have only been there a year, but the lady showing us around was incredibly transparent about that, and I'm just hoping that ties in with when they were taken over and now things are going to be more stable.

I feel greatly reassured to have heard from you, and that both yours are really happy there. That's helped massively in making my decision.

Thank you so much again.

OP posts:
sailingby · 20/07/2010 20:40

Glad it was helpful.
Staff turnover wasn't due to the takeover, I think it was a clash of personalities with one or maybe two people. Staff turnover is always hugely unsettling for the parents - but I don't think the children really suffered (DS certainly didn't - from what I could tell) - all the staff they have had (even with the turnover) are focussed on keeping the children happy and engaged in acticities (and it is possibly the communication with the parents that suffers during "change"). However in general communications with parents tend to be good - especially if you actively seek it!

I hope that whatever you choose works out 0K - I wish some MNers had provided feedback - and you'd have got a "rounded" view!

shand · 21/07/2010 16:05

Hi, I am thinking about sending my baby to Looking Glass nursery. What have you heard about it?
I would be grateful for any feedback.
She will be 10 months by the time I go back to work.

sailingby · 21/07/2010 23:34

Shand: the only negative thing I have heard about it is staff/child interaction in the playground.

But the choice of nursery is about the feel of a place - which is a VERY personal thing. To clarify, I never went to visit Looking Glass (too far from where we live). I would expect all nurseries to have pros and cons.

I hope my original post was clear - I can only vouch for happy children at Teddies, and repeat the comments I have heard about other nurseries.
With all the nurseries I considered I went to visit them twice: the second time was very much to observe the staff at work (and let the "sell" wash-over me. You're "the customer" so no need to be apologetic about wanting more information / more viewings.

capturethemoment · 02/05/2011 22:23

im thinking of sending my son to bright horizons balham what is it like i went for a show round but felt like i was being rushed by the manager but the children did seem very happy and the staff i did talk to showed how much they cared for the children in their care especially the pre-school room

capturethemoment · 17/05/2011 22:01

my husband went for a second show round to see for himself how the nursery was. he was shown around by a senior member of staff, he liked the way the young lady asked about our son first and spoke to him about how old he was and asked him if he would like to see the nursery.Also liked the fact she asked if he would like to see the whole nursery or the room my son would be in and the garden. my husband said there was a very good atmosphere in the pre school room and the children were very happy and the lady that was doing the show round introduced my son to some of her key children that came to say hello which was very nice. my son loved the nursery and didnt want to go home as he wanted to play with the other children, because of this show round we were thinking of a full time place but there was a big waiting list and we needed care right away.
thank you to the pre school room leader that show us around and the young man in the room teaching Spanish he was very friendly

Sarahmarie1981 · 18/01/2013 18:29

Hi there

I am moving to Tooting next month and I am currently looking for a nursery or childminder to look after my little boy for 3 days per week when I return to work in July. He will be 9 months old.

Can anyone recommend a nursery or childminder in the area?

Thanks v much.

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