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Nurseries

LEAPFROG daynurseries-what are they like?

26 replies

snowfallinthesahara · 14/05/2005 23:06

ive just registered ds 7 mnths old to start at Leapfrog next mnth when i get back to work,part-time abt 2 days a week.
i looked at quite a few and finally decided on this one but would still like to know if anyone's heard of them/knows what theyre like?

OP posts:
bubble99 · 15/05/2005 00:21

Leapfrog are a chain and, in my experience, chain nurseries tend to be OK if they have a strong manager. They often need to be prepared to fight the head office to make sure that resources are in place to provide good care.
My SIL sent both of hers to a Leapfrog and seemed reasonably happy with it. The staff/child ratio for children under two is 1:3. This seems OK with 18 month olds but has always to me seemed inadequate for babies. Just my personal opinion.
Some chains are very poor at keeping to OFSTED ratios and I think it would be wise to make a couple of unannounced visits. DH and I have recently set up a daycare nursery business and we interviewed a lot of staff who had worked in chain nurseries. One, who was untrained, reported that she was regularly left alone in the baby room due to a lack of staff. One well known chain regularly move staff around between branches for OFSTED inspections to give the impression of being fully staffed.

Hopefully your Leapfrog is up to scratch. You must have felt confident as you've already registered your DS. Ask lots of questions and keep an eye on the quality of the food they're providing. HTH.

NotQuiteCockney · 15/05/2005 07:50

I know a few people who've used a specific Leapfrog nursery in the City, very happily.

popmum · 15/05/2005 08:28

We use leapfrog (an old Jigsaw one - they bought a few branches) - it is fine - don't have experience of anywhere else. Whenever there has been issues (like food quality or staff ratios) I have always said something - and they've been very good about getting back to me & sorting it as best they can.
I complained about the menu (a la Jamie!) and the new one is miles better! So my advice would be to keep talking to the owners
My daughter has been there since she was 5 mnths old - but I am just about to give up work and she is staying there one day a week cos she has some lovely friends there

MaryP0p1 · 15/05/2005 08:32

My only experience of leapfrog from and employees point of view is

they pay a lot to look good but they pay their staff peanuts (often under minumum wage on the excuse of paying for their training), they expect long hours and the T&C's are pretty dreadful. I think to work there you have to be pretty dedicated.

I have never worked there but know people that have and most don't last long.

popmum · 16/05/2005 10:15

bump - am interested in any other comments

PiccadillyCircus · 16/05/2005 10:34

DS goes to a Jigsaw nursery (now owned by Nord Anglia who also own Leapfrog). He's been going there since he was 9 months and is nearly 18 months now.

We have been very happy with the care he receives there - the manager is very good (her daughter goes there and is around the same age as DS) and the staff are all very friendly. We like the fact that in his nursery there are a mix of younger and older staff; his keyworker has children nearly as old as me and is very good.

I think that although they are a chain nursery, it is important to look at the individual nursery and staff as that is where your DS will be going.

CathB2 · 07/06/2005 12:42

I agree it depends on the satff and definitely the manager, our leapfrog was also a Jigsaw and although DD is very happy and the staff have stayed the same, the standard of service has gone down in little ways (eg they no longer provide milk or nappies) apparently to what is standard elsewhere, fees unchanged however.

cod · 07/06/2005 12:43

Message withdrawn

hoxtonchick · 07/06/2005 12:49

i looked at a leapfrog nursery for ds. it was the only one which had immediate vacancies which made me a little suspicious. the facilities seemed good, but what i really didn't like was the way it was totally underground, no natural light. this was in central london though, so other locations probably have more space available.

Eldridge · 17/08/2006 22:11

Hi- I can see that the conversation about Leapfrog is pretty old but I went back to work fulltime in June 06,when my daughter was seven months old and she goes to Leapfrog. The staff are lovely and the children seem very happy. This is what attracted us when we looked around back in February. Our daughter seems to love it. All smiles and excited when she arrives in the morning. She had her first parents' evening recently and it was really useful. I know our nursery had a tough time via OFSTED previously but the most recent report showed a marked improvement. ANY VIEWS for 2006?

wannaBe1974 · 22/08/2006 06:52

our leapfrog was ex jigsaw and when it was jigsaw it was great but since being taken over the standards have dropped. This particular nursery is closing now due to the fact leapfrog are trying to cut costs. parents were given 7 weeks notice and all the staff are having to re-apply for jobs at other leapfrog nurseries. My sister's ds goes there full-time and she has had to put him into another leapfrog nursery, but the conditions there are less than favourable, 3-5 yo's on a 2nd floor so all having to come downstairs in a line to go outside, they had a bad ofsted report last year, and were pulled up on things like not keeping milk in the fridge.

Having done a bit of looking up on the internet, it appears that leapfrog are £10000000 in debt, so tbh I would be cautious of putting my child in one now for fear of closure.

droitwichmum · 24/08/2006 22:59

I had no complaints about the Leapfrog I use until they decided to close it! We haven't been given a good reason for it but reading the last post mightg explain it. Apparently 3 or 4 are closing. Ours goes at the end of September Staff are generally very good and are now being made redundant

wannaBe1974 · 29/08/2006 17:41

actually they've been very deceptive. apparently they've told parents they're closing 3/4 nurseries, but actually they're closing 35 nurseries country wide. They have also told their staff that they're "not looking to close other nurseries at the moment. Imo that doesn't sound hopeful of a long-lasting group.

reddimother · 04/09/2006 10:02

Our Leapfrog nursery has been given 8 weeks notice before closure - leaving staff, parents and children in turmoil. We have spent hours scouring Birmingham trying to find a suitable nursery and avoiding other Leapfrogs because they cannot be trusted. Over the last 12 months, I have watched them pour money into their other 2 nurseries, whilst the Bristol Road nursery has been left to rot. Staff have been fighting a loosing battle and I have had a constant battle with Head Office over their lack of support for staff, parents and children alike. I have now found a brilliant nursery and would NEVER recommend Leapfrog to anyone. Staff morale is at an all time low (understandably) and the children are suffering because of this. My daughter leaves at the end of September and I will be glad to see her leave! Leapfrog - you should be ASHAMED of yourselves. wannabe1974 is right - you ARE deceptive (and probably a few other things which I had best not post on my message!)
PS - Thanks to the staff at Bristol Road who are continuing to show dedication and commitment to the children, despite their uncertain futures. Those at Aston and St James - BEWARE!

usandbump · 06/09/2006 09:44

I'm on the south coast and the reputation of ours is awful and Ofsted recently inspected it and recorded it as unsatisfactory with a few points they have to put right immediately. I also work in a private nursery so here alot abut it through colleagues and I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

usandbump · 06/09/2006 09:44

'hear alot'

alibubbles · 06/09/2006 17:39

Our local one was a Jigsaw too, got a really bad Ofsted, I know several mums who have moved children out. I got two who had been there, and the little one really blossomed with me, mum said he had been miserable, and just thought he was a miserable baby, poor thing! Always very short staffed too.

CurrantBun · 07/09/2006 15:42

Anyone have any experience of the Leapfrog nursery in Highlands Village, Winchmore Hill? It's our closest one but from what I've seen of it and the staff I'm not overly impressed. We're hoping to only have to use nursery care for 2 days per week so if it isn't too bad it would be the most convenient option, but I'd rather go a bit out of my way if the standards are poor.

meb2006 · 12/09/2006 08:41

for the lady who posted re highland village - I have heard that woodburry is better? I would be interested to see what else you have found as I can't seem to find any nursery in the area with current vacancies. Thanks.

mumofben · 23/11/2006 13:28

I know this is an old thread, but have looked around a leapfrog today and am considering it for ds who will be 6 months when he will go, in Jan.

It seems fine, we went unannounced, and the babies looked happy and clean and occupied. Asked about closures and manager said there had only been 2.

Does anyone have any up to date news or further opinions on them?

mumofben · 25/11/2006 12:48

bump. any more comments before I sign on the dotted line?...

wannaBe1974 · 25/11/2006 13:03

the staff member who told you it was only two nurseries was either not aware of the full facts or has been told that's what she had to say. I had it from a reliable source that it was 35 nurseries they closed, and that the reason was because they are £10 million in debt.

Following on from my last post, my sister put her ds into another leapfrog nursery, whose conditions had been so bad that they had got a truely horrendous ofsted report last October, were re-inspected in February and got a satisfactory report. However, when my sister put her ds in there she was so dissatisfied with them that she removed him after just two weeks, and has written to ofsted to complain about them. Problems with this particular nursery were:

staff failing to comfort unhappy children. Her ds was left screaming with no attention from any staff, considering he was new to the nursery as well.
Parents being deceived about the menu. Menu on wall claimed "all fresh foods with wholemeal bread etc". children were given white bread, and were given spaghetti hoops 4 times in 7 days, even though the menu stated otherwise. And they were only given fruit once a week.
And the manager's 9-year-old daughter was allowed into the baby and toddler rooms to play, unsupervised, with the children after she returned from school. Absolutely not on IMO.

Obviously not all nurseries are the same, but I think this particular chain have a very bad name and I would think twice before putting my child in one again tbh.

Eldridge · 08/12/2006 20:05

WELL MY BRANCH OF LEAPFROG IS GREAT. My daughter continues to be very happy at her particular Leapfrog. The staff are lovely, she is well-looked after.

It is fab that there are facilities such as this where people can share ideas and vent but have a thought for the rest of us. If more and more bad publicity is generated (whether it's certain nannies, Leapfrog, breast v bottle or whatever), then fewer and fewer people will want to find out for themselves about LF and other nurseries. This does not bode well for the poor parents who want the best for their kids and hope to god the nursery doesn't close down because of the MUMSNET witch-hunt.

I was really worried to hear all the negative stuff said about Leapfrog - as we both need to work, nurseries are hard to come by and this one is particularly convenient.

I was so agitated that my husband in turn got concerned and wondered if people (like me clearly) have nothing better to do than slate things on a national website and generally scaremonger and cause well-intended mums distress.

He clarified with the manager. Yes, there have been closures where after the mergers there were two or more of the nursery in one town. Clearly, as with any major merger or acquisition there is financial fall-out afterwards.

S88AHG · 10/12/2006 21:40

I am sure everyone understands what you are saying, but i think when it comes to choosing childcare for our precious litlle ones we want as much info as possible to make sure we are making the right decision. I dont think anyone here is trying to dis respect Leapfrog, just people giving their opinions and information found when reasearching for their own purposes. i am glad you are happy with your Leapfrog nursery as are many others, but there is always 2 sides to every story and I think that is why people pose a question on here to get an overall view of something. no offence intended to anyone here.

WonderCod · 10/12/2006 21:42

salisbury
i hear BAD htigns
kdis not takend fom parents and engaged
parents haev to FIDN thigns ofr kdis to do
crap

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