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BUSY BEES DAY NURSERY (FORMERLY LEAP FROG) COLCHESTER - ADVICE NEEDED PLEASE

17 replies

sammiea · 08/09/2008 20:50

Hi there

Wonder if anyone can give me any feedback on this nursery, decided to sign my little lad up to here last week and today he had his first settling in day, was only an hour but im not sure what to expect.

Hes just turned one and when i arrived the children were playing outside, which was fine but upon looking round there were quite a few things that my little lad could have picked up and placed into his mouth - i informed the staff that he would have to really be watched as was still a baby and is at the stage of picking anything and everything up and placing into his mouth, they said ok they would keep an eye on this.
I went to fill out the relevant forms and then went back out to the garden to see how my little boy was getting on, i couldnt see him and was told he was round the side of the garden in the playhouse, so went round there and he was just coming out of it, but the staff were not watching him.
I felt a bit weird around the other kids as there were two little girls both around 1 1/2 crying their eyes out and were just being ignored by the staff, one of the staff even looked at one of the girls and just chuckled at her crying, i felt like picking the poor little things up and cuddling them, another baby was toddling about with a streaming nose and if it was me i would have wiped the poor kids nose but they just ignored the fact that it needed wiping. I dont know if it was me but i really didnt feel at ease of leaving my little baby with them, i know i would give him constant one on one where they cant obviously but i dont want him feeling lost, alone and wondering where is my mum - hes stil a baby and i want him treated as a baby not as a toddler than can do lots for themselves, i want them taking as good as care of him as i would if he were with me at home, i dont want him crying his eyes out and being ignored - he has another settling in session tomorrow between 10.30-2pm and i am to leave him this time but i am so worried something is going to happen or hes gonna get himself really upset The girls that work there seem sooo young and not mothers themselves and that doesnt fill me with the greatest confidence.

Any advice or any reviews on this nursery is much appreciated as i can find any parent reviews for this nursery.

Many thanks )

OP posts:
Twims · 08/09/2008 21:13

I haven't had any exerience of this particular nursery but worked in a couple in Colchester.

It doesn't sound fab but 1. your son was playing in the playhouse you don't say he was unhappy, perfectally acceptable, 2. two children were crying, not fantastic bt unfort some toddlers cry if they can't have their own way had 1 been told off for snatching, pushing, biting, climbing up the slide, 3. a child had a running nose and you wanted to blow it for him, if a child is playing in the playhouse happily and you leave them to play and they come out with a runny nose does that make you a bad mother/nursery nurse.

"The girls that work there seem sooo young and not mothers themselves and that doesnt fill me with the greatest confidence"

Can I point out that the reason the majority of nursery nurses are under 25 is that it is hard to live on less than 13k per annum.

No they're not mums but the majoity are trained in childcare of children under 5 - did you have this training before your child?

One of the best nursery nurses I know completed her 2 year diploma and started work alongside me at 18 - she was/is fab and the children loved her, she dealt well with all situations and at 20 became a room leader.

Hope tomorrow goes better for you both

ethanchristopher · 24/09/2008 20:23

i'm going for a settling in session at one near me in cambridge

imo i think maybe they were just having a bad day or something because these chain nurseries tend to be well run because they have to keep all the branches open.

when i go for mine i will have a look out for this kind of stuff and if i see anything similar i think i will retract my decision about putting ds there

Mung · 24/09/2008 20:29

sammiea I can't really help you with this one, but have you thought about also posting a question here?

I hope you find the answers you are after.

babbi · 25/09/2008 14:06

To be honest I think your expectations are too high for a group setting childcare arrangement.
You say that you would like him to be as well cared for as you would do yourself at home , that is never going to happen when he is placed in a nursery where there is a ratio of 1 carer to 3 children (at best ).To say "the staff were not watching him" is a bit unfair , the fact is they cannot watch every child all of the time.

What you saw is how it is going to be for your son , only you can decide if you will leave him there.

cashy · 25/09/2008 14:21

sammiea - my DD 8 mths is in Leapforg nursery in Portishead and we love it. Staff are young (one older woman in her baby room) but very attentive and caring. I often see the older toddlers and pre-schoolers playing outside when we're dropping off/picking up and there is invariably crying/shouting/telling's off going on. But all done in an appropriate manner. I've dropped in unannounced a few times to see my DD happily playing on her own whilst staff attend to other babies. She's always safe and i'm confident they know what they're doing.
Settling in hour is really hard to get to know the nursery and to know whether your DS is happy. Most importantly, you need to feel happy and confident otherwise you will both be stressed! Have you tried other nurseries in the area? Maybe you'd feel the same at the other ones too?

Scarfmaker · 25/09/2008 20:58

I wouldn't leave my child here - 18 months is far to young to leave to wander around the side of gardens and outside on their own (more or less).

If the staff can't watch every child all of the time they shouldn't be let outside where anything could happen. It only takes a split second and one could choke or fall over and nobody would see what had happened.

What would they put in their accident book then?

I'm not an over-protective mother (i've three of my own) but I childmind an 18 month old and 22 month old and I have to watch them all the time as they are still basically babies.

cmx2 · 04/10/2008 23:01

i have visited a leap frog nursery not far from colchester and there is nothing on this planet that would make me leave a child there. sorry.
i cm and i was shocked at the state of the equipment in the baby room, it was disgusting, the amount of 3 to 5's in the older room was so high (although with in their allotted numbers) the kids could barely move. if i provided those kind of conditions in my setting i would be out of work.
yes the staff were young, not they were not mothers and i firmly believe it makes a lot of difference to the care they give.
i left feeling so upset that parents choose to leave babies in these places, they should be in childcare with cm's as imo babies under 2 to 3 years need one to one at home type of care, only as they get to 3+ do they need to experience institutional care and then only for 2 or 3 half days a week till they are at school.

teser · 18/12/2008 11:08

twims
grow up! my wife works @ busy bees colchester and is 34 so not a child. can i assume there is not a single item at ur house that a child cannot pick up ? can i also assume you are able to monitor ur child 24/7. seems to me you do not live in the real world. there is no such thing as perfection. but if the staff are as bad as you make out how come you are the only person to notice this and no other parents? or official bodies. i will gladly place my child in busy bees colchester as i trust the compatence of the staff. i hope you found this helpful. LET A CHILD BE A CHILD!

underpaidandoverworked · 19/12/2008 19:44

Why not use a CM instead - home from home environment, maximum 3 children under 5. We're now inspected the same as school and private nurseries, have to do the same paperwork and follow the same curriculum guidelines - and we're probably more flexible!

Twims · 19/12/2008 19:49

Teser what exactly was wrong with my thread have re-read it twice and can't understand what you took offence at?

wheresthehamster · 19/12/2008 20:01

Think teser meant the op not you twims!

oneyummymummy · 23/12/2008 18:30

Well I am a nursery nurse and up until I had dd was a room leader, not in colchester, but in london, and I think you concern is valid!!

Children should not be left crying and being laughed at...even if they were being told off for something, the nusery nurse should be explaining to the child why the behaviour is not acceptable and distracting them from this with something else to do!

A child running around with a runny nose is not the end of the world, they child probably has a cold and you cannot wipe their nose every two seconds, so was probably off playing for a while.

And the staff should be supervising ALL areas of the garden, they should be spread out over the garden to cover all areas...obviously this cannot be a constant i.e a child may have accident and nursery worker would have to attend to this, however I would say go with your gut instinct. Maybe if possible see them indoors playing and see how this goes, do they play with the children? get down to thier level and engage them? Area ll areas of the room supervised at all times?

At the end of the day, the care in a nursery should equal the care given at home, that is why children are given key carers, they should feel safe in thier environment....a mother would not laugh at her child who is crying, even if they are in the wrong!!!!

As for the carers being young, i don't feel that this has any effect on the level of care, i was 18 when I started as a nursery nurse and I knew a lot of other carers a lot older who were less qualified and less enthusiastic about the job!

You should look at the situation and think did you just pick upon little details because you were emotional about leaving your ds?? Because this is perfectly normal to feel overly protective when they are not in your care....but if you have real concerns take them up with the manager and take time to look at other nurseries in the area, both you and your ds have to feel confident and comfortable for this to work!

Hope this helps a little....~I did go on a bit!

oneyummymummy · 23/12/2008 18:35

Also look at the ofstead report for this nursery...I still don't know how to post links, but if you google ofstead reports their website should come up! Take time to read through how the areas are marked, you should be looking for marks above satisfactory (for a very good nursery) although satisfactory means just that....that they have passed all minimum requirements and are going along ok!

AngelNanny · 08/01/2009 22:57

I would not place a child there and i have worked in many nurseries and as i nanny. I don't think the age of staff should be a concern as i am young myself and have been room supervisor and also all sole charge nannying, it all depends on the person rather than age.

However children round a corner out of site, especially at that age is not exceptable neither is children crying being completely ignored! You are not being silly or over protective, you have been a mother and have every right to be concerned.

I no there is one leap frog nursery somewhere(can't remember where) which was shut down by OFSTED and consequently was taken over by busy bees, hence mayb some old staff were kept on, i don't know, but maybe an explanation.

Maybe discuss your concerns with the manager at the next settling in and see her response but its your feeling that ultimately count.

Good Luck with whatever you decide.

naturalbornmum · 09/01/2009 00:00

Follow your insticts. You are not happy with this nursery so please don't send your DC.
I think it is totally unacceptable for a 1 year old not be supervised at all times! I get the feeling that you are not getting a good vibe. I hope you work something out.

nurserynurse · 22/01/2009 17:52

as this is one of my first replies, This subject on Busy Beez has probably been resolved by now but, I worked for a busy beez in Birmingham, and they had a berry tree on a hard tarmacked area , They just brushed the falling berries under the shed, i tried and tried to get them to chop it down, but hey no joy, Some times the bigger a nursery chain gets, its more about money, I guess some , not all nurseries up and down the country, let things slip or don't see certain things in the play area. personally, i would avoid busy beez like the plague . they tend to have a high turn over of staff to, The only positive thing i can say about busy beez, is there web site is good. they promote learning, but can't even spell Beez correctly what message does that send out to children , lol

Applemad · 28/01/2009 10:16

Just thought you may like to know, the plural of Bee is Bees, not Beez as was suggested in one of the original postings, so looks like Busy Bees aren't as daft as was suggested (I know this has nothing to do with the main subject of the posting but as I know a couple of people who work for Busy Bees and who do a fantastic job I thought it only fair to respond to a suggestion that they were not educating the children properly, even if it was suggested tongue in cheek!!)

Check this link out if in doubt ...lol

Click Here for definition of plural for Bee

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