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19 weeks pregnant and I've heard I should be signing up to nurseries...?

33 replies

G1nger · 30/04/2011 19:24

This feels all too much like the film Baby Boom, where the mothers are all sat in the park discussing the clubs etc that they booked their still in utero babies into... But is it true? My friend says I should be putting my name down for nursery placements now.

Your thoughts please?

If it helps to mention, I'm in West London.


OP posts:
Wigeon · 30/04/2011 19:27

Quite possible, depending on when you are planning to go back to work (don't know what West London's like). Only one way to find out for definite - give a few local nurseries a call. Nothing to loose by finding out from the horses' mouthes as it were.

Cattleprod · 30/04/2011 19:29

Only if you want/need your baby to start nursery when they are still very young. Many don't take them until they are 1 or 2 years old anyway, so not so much of a hurry.

If you can be flexible with the session times you will get a place quicker too.

CMOTdibbler · 30/04/2011 19:31

Its quite possible - depending on the days you'll need and when. When I was pg, I knew I'd be going back ft when ds was 4 months, and they had a 6 month waiting list for baby places. Where we are now, one nursery has an 12 month waiting list as the children all stay till they start school, so they all move out at the same time

Northernlurker · 30/04/2011 19:32

Yes actually you probably should be thinking about this if you want to go back to work. Any good nursery will have a waiting list of several months and it takes time to have a look and make a choice. I put dd3's name for a place at 13 weeks and I was taking a year off - so 18 months in advance. That was a nursery I had used before though and I knew that was what I wanted. If your friends are putting down names now that means so are all the other parents and you could miss out if you leave it till the baby is 6 months old.
If you aren't going back to work and you will just want some nursery school time at some point then no you don't need to stress at this point.

trixymalixy · 30/04/2011 19:33

Depends what waiting lists are like where you are. I made the mistake of waiting until DS was born despite being told by friends that waiting lists were long. He didn't get a place at the nursery until 18 months after I had put his name down. Didn't make that mistake with no 2, I applied for a place aftery 12 week scan!!

Guacamole · 30/04/2011 19:34

Yes, yes... I had loads of problems. I've been on one particular waiting list for a year. I don't need it anymore but I'm staying on the list just to find out how long I can be on there for!

RitaMorgan · 30/04/2011 19:37

I put ds's name down in April, he was born in August and he got a place in April (aged 7 months).

purepurple · 01/05/2011 08:16

cattleprod "Many don't take them until they are 1 or 2 years old anyway, so not so much of a hurry."
Many nurseries will take babies from a couple of months old. Not sure where you got your information from.
G1inger The best nurseries have a waiting list for babies, because they are so popular. The best way to find out if there is a waiting list for the nurseries in your area is to ring around and ask. You will need to plan ahead, especially, if you need to be certain of getting baby in nursery on certain days.

Cattleprod · 01/05/2011 10:01

purepurple - DS's nursery take babies at 1 year, several others in town don't take them until they turn 2. This is why there are huge waiting lists for the nurseries that take babies from 2 or 3 months old, because there are fewer of them, and very few places available. So if you want your 3 month old baby to have a place, particularly full-time or if you need specific hours, then you will have to get on the waiting list before they are born. If you don't want them to go until they are a bit older, say a year or 18 months, then you don't need to sign them up while they are still in utero. OP didn't specify.

notcitrus · 01/05/2011 10:55

Certainly worth thinking about now before you get too tired, especially if you want lots of days (Wednesdays in particular), before a September and if there aren't many locally.

I got panicked by mummy friends just before Christmas (ds born in Sept) as I wanted to go back to work the next August - I talked to nurseries in Jan, luckily one was great and next to my rail station, and got the last definite place to start in summer. As it happened I was happy not to use Weds so someone else could, but that was 8 months in advance. In my area (SW16) there's one nursery with an in-utero waiting list but the others are more like 6-12 months if you want nearly-full-time. If you just want a couple half days then many will be able to slot you in any time.

My local nurseries either take kids from 3-6 months (in practice there's often none under 6mo), or start from 2 years.

G1nger · 01/05/2011 11:01

Thanks, Ladies. That's very helpful. I'll definitely make a few calls and start looking around.

OP posts:
Mandy21 · 04/05/2011 15:03

Like the others have said, it depends where you are and when you intend to go back. The nursery that I wanted is well known to have a fabulous reputation and only have a very small number of places (maximum of 20 places in the baby unit). I applied in Nov / Dec 2008 just after my 12 week scan - I didn't need a place until May 2010 as I was intending to take a full year's maternity leave, but all the places had already been taken so I went on the waiting list. A place came up a month later (I think someone lost their baby) and I got a place.

With my oldest, I left it until after the birth (just afterwards) although again I took a year out so it was about 11 months in advance and my 1st choice was full. I had to use another nursery whilst I was on the waiting list for the 1st nursery which offered a place about 18mths later - so I swapped to my 1st choice nursery about using a 2nd choice nursery for about 8 mths.

stegasaurus · 13/05/2011 11:40

Yes. Nobody warned me about this. DD is 3 weeks old and I am going back to work next Feb. We need 3 days a week and my work can be reasonably flexible about which days, but have tried 3 local nurseries who have said they don't have a place available. One told us parents are booking places when they are 1-2 months pregnant, but we hadn't told anyone about the pregnancy at that point and certainly hadn't given nurseries a thought. We aren't in London either

princesbold · 13/05/2011 17:37

If you want your first choice of outstanding nursery in some areas even the point of conception could be a year too late to get a place.

Sistermoondance · 18/05/2011 09:20

Blimey, I am now worried! I live in Hampshire and I want to go back to work in 3 months and only now sorting out a nursery place for DD. Both the places I have looked at (and I know people who send their children there) have still got places.... But there are so many nurseries I didn't know where to start. After reading this, I am now worried they are not good- hence why they still have availability!

Good luck!!

mousymouse · 18/05/2011 09:22

really depends, afaik, community nurseries are only allowed to put actual babies on the waiting list, not unborn ones.
my dc started nursery at 10m old and I put ds on the waiting list at 3m old and got the place. similar with dd.

princesbold · 18/05/2011 11:10

Nurseries with places available are not necessarily not good, some nursery operators choose rather restrictive trading terms that makes it impossible for some parents to be able to afford, they will ask for huge deposits, even a months fees in advance on top of the huge deposit and an insistence that fees are paid only by direct debit. They might also charge for the extras separately, meals and snacks, nappies and creams. So if you have a couple of thousand to spare you might be quite happy, for the majority however that's just not the case. Childcare charges are by far the biggest most parents will experience in their annual household budgets.

KvetaBarry · 18/05/2011 11:14

yes! I put DS down for our work nursery when I was 5 months pg - he got a place when he was 1 year old, and I'd been back at work for 4 months already! luckily he and I were not keen on his carer at the time, so moving him to nursery worked really well for us, and he adores it there now (most of the time!).

Mum2be79 · 21/05/2011 07:47

I'm 7 weeks pg.

I've already requested brochures and started my research. I live in the East Riding and I don't think we have a huge problem with waiting lists. But I am going to put down his/her name in August to begin Nursery Sept 2012!!

catsareevil · 21/05/2011 08:08

I agree, if you want the have the nursery of your choice you are better off booking ASAP. The last 2 times I booked the nursery space at 6 weeks pregnant. I did mean that the nursery were almost the first people who knew, but if I had left it later then I might not have got a space, and I have seen from the experience of friends what a complete nightmare it is if you need to go back to work and dont have childcare.

porpoisefull · 21/05/2011 08:16

I live in West London and I went back to work when DS was a year old and booked a place for him when he was 6 months old. I suppose it can't do any harm to ring up a couple of nurseries and find out what their waiting lists are like, but it sounds a bit early to me.

GwendolineMaryLacey · 21/05/2011 08:24

I had a place booked after the 20 week scan and had to pay £200 for the pleasure. DD didn't start until she was 13 months old.

MrsNursery · 21/05/2011 23:01

I know it feels a bit hasty, but in all honesty by the time you have viewed and realised exactly what you are looking for, time will have flown by, The number of parents that would call last minute when I was managing nurseries, frantically searching and then unfortunately end up with their 4th or 5th choice, It's a sad fact but the reality is that all the great Nurseries will be filling up fast or have large waiting lists, If you view now it will ease a lot of pressure, you can feel confident you have found the right place as each nursery differs dependant on size, staffing, ethos and resources. I would start enquiring and get a feel for availability and bare in mind especially in London they will want at least a months deposit to secure which is usually non-refundable if you cancel the place, so make sure you are happy with your choice,
I have created a free website to help when Choosing Childcare, I hope it helps
Best Wishes Mrs Nursery

princesbold · 22/05/2011 09:48

What other business that parents deal with on a daily basis gets a months money up front. Its a crime !

PamSco · 22/05/2011 10:01

I'm in the position of wanting a particular place for location and they will take my name and money upfront (15 weeks pg here) but won't confirm the place until a month before I want it 11/2012!!!

That seems completely out of order if they cancel then I can't go back to work.

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