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Normal, or not?

20 replies

gourd · 04/09/2014 13:52

  1. 1st day at daycare (private) nursery. DH dropped off DD with a plain Greek yogurt. At the settling-in half day the previous week, they only had sugar/flavoured ones (I was early collecting her so I saw the yogurts) and afterwards she told me she had a “horrible yogurt” and we would prefer her to eat plain to took some in for her. When DH arrived to collect her that evening they told DH, no yogurts from home are allowed “due to allergies” yet DD was standing there holding a bag of Haribo sweets and eating them. I was very shocked to hear this. I am shocked they don't have a no sweets policy but think that if they don't, they should have checked with us first that it was Ok – it isn’t OK as she isn’t allowed sweets at home. They were given out by a child who's birthday it was but I know many private daycare places do not allow this so was v surprised.

    One day two they gave DH diet sheet to complete so we can state on it that we don't want DD to eat sweets etc. Good, but still irritated that they didn't do that before DD started there.

  2. DD is 1st in through the door in the morning (it supposedly opens at 7) DH has been dropping her at 7:10am. I only found out today (as I also went with DH to drop off today) on day 4 that they are saying the nursery playrooms aren’t open yet when DD arrives, as no one else is there and taking her into the very cluttered, small admin office – they have been doing this all this week. DD said today “No I want to go upstairs” (meaning into the playrooms) so clearly isn’t happy about going into an office for however long it is that she is in there. I do not know how long DD is in the office for before they open the pre-schoolers playrooms but they advertise that they are open from 7am and on the forms we agreed we would drop her at 7 so they do know she is coming then. If I'd know they had bene doing this all week I'd have asked DH to say something but only found out this morning after we had dropped her off when I commented that perhaps someone hadn’t turned up for work (as she’s been arriving at around 7am all week)..He then told me that DD has been going to sit in the office all week.

    I do find all this very strange and am quite angry that she is not allowed to go and play when she gets there especially as they know she is arriving then. I assume they don't have staff in early enough or something but if they have staffing issues or staff are on holiday or off sick they need to arrange to cover that, I don't think it is right that DD is sitting in any office on a daily basis even if it's only for short period (but I don't know how long – I will ask when we both go to collect her tonight). We are paying for a day so she ought to get a full day.

    Am worried as I know DD is one of 3 kids who are there full time (10 hours a day in her case). The other pre-schoolers are all funded-only so term time only, 3 hours a day, so she sees kids come and go. I just hope they arent waiting till 9am or something before they are letting her into the pre-school rooms.

    DH just says it’s probably normal and happens at all nurseries behind closed doors, but is that really the case? I only know one other who uses a nursery and she says she is sure this does not happen at the one she uses tho her child isnt first though the door...
OP posts:
Flexibilityisquay · 04/09/2014 13:55

I'm not sure what is normal or not, but what matters is what you are happy with for your DD, and this nursery doesn't sound like it!

insancerre · 04/09/2014 17:52

How many members of staff are in at 7?
Legally they have to have at least 2
I manage a nursery and we open at 8. There are always 2 of us at 8 and 2 at the end of the day.
Our room is always set up and the children are able to play with anything at any time
I have worked in other settings where all the early children go on one room before the staff start arriving but the children were free to play.
Sitting in the office is not the norm and i would question the manager about why they do this
I have worked in a few settings ant the worst ones were the ones that had mostly funded children
The funding doesn't cover quality staff or experiences for the children
Are there any other nurseries you could consider using?

insancerre · 04/09/2014 17:56

Also have they risk assessed the office as to its suitability for children.
My office door is open all the time as it is off the playroom but I don't allow the children in
They know this and stop in the threshold and talk to me all day. Its like there is am imaginary line they can't cross :)
I don't think Ofsted would be too impressed by the quality of provision on offer at your nursery.

nutdust · 04/09/2014 18:06

Your DD is doing 5 x 10 hour days and you are most worried about YOGHURT?!?!

CultureSucksDownWords · 04/09/2014 18:07

Nutdust, how is that helpful?

Charlilou490 · 04/09/2014 21:14

That's not normal at all! The rooms should be ready for the children to enter at 7am.

CagneynotLacey · 04/09/2014 21:19

I think that's dreadful. She shouldn't be shunted into an office - why can't she play in her normal room? That, coupled with the sweets/yoghurt incident, would make me think hard about finding somewhere better.

Only1scoop · 04/09/2014 21:27

The going into an office sounds a bit odd....

The not filling in requests and dietary requirements prior to starting seems a bit lapse.

As long as the yoghurt was in a fresh pot to open and not 'home made' then dd nursery would allow it.

Our nursery often give out sweets to take home when a child leaves etc but if a parent has requested no sweets they wouldn't put them in bag. Same with birthday cakes etc.

MummyBeerest · 04/09/2014 21:29

Totally inappropriate. If they open at 7, the rooms must be accessible to the children. Their staff ratio should cover the morning tasks needed.

Their food policy sounds so lax that it can border on dangerous for children with allergies.

I'd leave.

Curiouslygrumpycola · 04/09/2014 21:37

My ds's nursery opens at 7.30am. From 7.30am he can be led straight to his usual play room and help himself to breakfast items that have been provided and play. What time is your child getting breakfast at? I would be concerned about the lack of detail. If my child was in for ten hours I would not be happy with a portion of that time being in the office!

threepiecesuite · 04/09/2014 22:06

I'd want to be 100% happy about a nursery my child was spending 50 hours a week at.

wingcommandergallic · 04/09/2014 22:14

My DD spends 10 hours a day in childcare (when I can get out of bed early enough) and this isn't normal. The only occasion she was in office was the one time I was unavoidably delayed and arrived after the closing time. 2 members of staff were present. All other times when I picked her up at 6, she would be in her normal room. However if there were only a handful of children left, they would all be in the same room with the appropriate number of carers.
The yoghurt thing sounds a bit weird too.
Bring up with them that you're not happy and if they don't respond well then I'd consider looking for alternative child care.

gourd · 06/09/2014 14:40

Thanks for replies. I asked them about opening hours/rooms being accessible and yes they only have 2 staff there first thing and DD would be on her own till about 8 anyway. There seem to be only 4 kids there for a full day. They said they will either open pre-school playroom when DD arrives or else put her straight into the breakfast room where there are crayons and paper etc till others arrive for breakfast at 8. I am not happy with the nursery really but there is nothing else at all open long enough hours on our side of the town - it would take another 20-30 minutes with DD in car to get home from anywhere else - though since we cant afford the only other one anyway there really isn't anywhere else. No CMs in area that go to that school and who have a place. I really wanted DD to go to school nursery but had to v sadly call them and cancel her place there due to having no CM in place (Our brilliant CM was suspended 6 weeks ago until a bail hearing involving a family member, noting to do with her and doesn't seem to be any case against the family member anyway so all v sad for her and for all the families who now have no childcare) and no other CM in area to drop/collect her from the 3 hours a day school nursery setting. V sad. DD misses her friends from CMs and was set on going to school nursery. She now wears her new school uniform to go to the daycare nursery. Her mate form CMs is currently at home with Dad whilst Mum works full time (as a hospital doctor) as they cant find anywhere they are happy with. They are thinking of moving to another town where Mum works in order to find a nursery/school since Mum doesnt work here any more and Dad doesn't work till childcare is sorted so either way DD has lost her best friend. Shes made friends already at day care though so that is something good. Probably the only thing..I still work part time (28 hours) so I can spend an extra day a week with DD so at least I can cover the stuff the school would have done (a bit) and take her out to park, museum or swimming etc on that day but I am not happy. I wish I could just not work so she could go to the school nursery but it's not an option and there is no-one else to drop/collect so we are stuck with this private daycare place till school when she can use the 2 hours a day (non ofsted registered) after school club. I will have to adjust my start/finish hours so I come home 2 hours after DH in order that I can cover the 2 hours before school, so no more family teatimes next year, unless a new CM registers before Sept 2015 and can drop DD off... :-(
The only other option is to drag DD on M-way 2-3 hours a day to where we work to a nursery there tho actually the one at my work is not good either.. Am thinking of getting term time only school admin job in our town for Sept 2015 when DD start school, so I can drop her off (and DH or I collect from the after school club) and we'd then be covered for school holidays but I would face drop of several K in salary here. Would save in terms of school hol childcare though, and get to spend time with DD. Plan relies on there being a job here and cant find anything at the moment. Still no other solution to current problem though except not work but then harder to get something next year... This is the stuff noone tell you about when you become a parent. This is much harder and more important than tears and tantrums.

OP posts:
gourd · 06/09/2014 14:42

BTW DD at nursery 40 hours ( 10 hours x 4 days). I work part time, 4 days week.

OP posts:
SolomanDaisy · 06/09/2014 14:48

Could you do a nanny share with the other family?

Littlefish · 06/09/2014 14:52

Could you afford a temporary nanny to cover you until the CM is back in business? It realise this means another change for your dd, but to be honest, the nursery doesn't sound brilliant.

I would be worried about her being one of only 3 pre-schoolers, and the only one doing extended hours. It's absolutely not on to keep her in the office between 7 and 8!

The nursery where I work is open from 8 until 5. That means that from 8 until 5, we are there to work with the children.

gourd · 07/09/2014 17:40

There are around 30 pre schoolers but only 4 are there all day using it as day care, the rest are all 3 hours a day am or pm only or part time. Nanny share is a good idea but the other family who also lost out need totally different arrangements 6 days a week one pre schooler and one baby of 1year so i dont know how we would work it - but can we use childcare vouchers for a nanny? The ones ive seen on line just seem to be babysitters and fees are almost as much per week as we pay a month so even sharing it looks twice the cost which we cant afford and is one reason why we only have one child!

OP posts:
gourd · 09/09/2014 15:03

Replying to one of the posts above: Dd usually eats breakfast with us at 6am so she doesnt really need another one tho i dobt know exactly what tine they have it, but they only have horrible Kellogs cereals anyway which we dont have at home so she often doesnt actually eat breakfast there. Food is dire there generally, but luckily small portions so DD comes home hungry to eat for an hour at tea, usually stuffs down plateful of vegetables and protein followed by punnet of soft fruit or apple and pear. She ate nearly half a chicken on Monday plus green salad, mange tout and sweetcorn then half punnet of strawberries and a fig. I just have to allow her an hour to eat tea now. They eat v little fruit or veg at nursery & its good that portions are small as its just junk food - heavy on fat, white wheat based carbohydrate, mashed potatoes, a lot of dairy and processed meat which we dont eat at home (bacon, sausages, fish fingers, burgers none of which DD has ever eaten before). They also eat deserts every day but theyre not the sort of things id make at home, all packeted things like red jelly, cornstarch based pink coloured deserts and squirty cream from a can. None of which we ever eat as theres no poibt theyre horrible & dont have anythibg in them thats wirth eating, and so all new to DD. DD eats what shes given at nursery but then complains it was "horrible" afterwards having eaten everything on the plate which is quite funny, but why is institutional food always so dire?! She took homemade meals for reheating plus snacks to CM's for past 4 years & i liked this as i knew she was eating well & I could plan our weekly meals to make sure she had variety each day & didnt get too similar a meal for both lunch at CMs and tea at home. At least its only for a year till school when she can take packed lunch again. I dont understand why there is no packed lunch option at this nursery but they dont allow it so we are stuck with dire "food" for a while. Dd is extremely happy at the moment though, and seems to be really enjoying herself there despite our general quality/safety concerns. She comes home every night full of beans telling us who shes played with and excited to go again next day & she hugs her friends & a few of the staff tight befire saying goidbye - so it must be ok? Aargh!!

OP posts:
TantrumsAndBalloons · 09/09/2014 15:11

In your situation I really would be looking for any other form if childcare.
All 3 of my Dcs went to full time nursery from 6 months. IME what you are describing is not "normal" or a good standard for a nursery.

Littlefish · 09/09/2014 18:03

Gourd - a little off topic, but all children in reception and key stage 1 are now provided with a hot meal every day, free of charge.

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