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Terrible start at nursery - please tell me it will get better!

34 replies

makedoandmend · 03/08/2009 17:45

DD 8m is not very good with people other than myself and dh (this started around five months). When she's with us she's a very placid, happy little baby.

She's started nursery and we've done the three one hour sessions where she was fine until anyone tried to pick her up. She just screamed the place down - real tears the whole deal.

Today we had the first half day (I'm doing two weeks of three half days and then a week of three full days before I go back to work as I'll be working a couple of hours away and wanted to be close by for the settling in bit).

She hated it - wouldn't take a bottle (she's usually bf) because she needed to be held to have it, wouldn't eat tea, wouldn't go for a nap. She was upset, teary (blotchy face) and gulping air and shaking when I picked her up.

Now I feel awful. Please tell me that it gets better! How long does it take/ should I give it before looking for other options? and is there anything I could do to make it better?

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navyeyelasH · 10/08/2009 10:00

makedoandmend, "what to look for in a CM/nursery"

I work as a nanny part time and a childminders assitant part time.

It sounds like your DD could do with a quieter setting with a fixed key person. So a childminder would be ideal or a small nursery.

If you go down the childminder route your DD would also be involved in lots of outings (normally, this does depend on the CM though).

My personal opinion is that generally (before I get flamed!) nurseries are no good for under 2.5's as it's all a bit hectic.

What other info do you think you'd need on how to "judge" if somewhere is good? Do you know how to look up Ofsted reports?

makedoandmend · 10/08/2009 10:08

navyeyelasH - I guess I don't know where to start! I've printed off half a list of CMs from the West Sussex CIS (printer broke halfway through ) so I thought I'd go on the ofstead site and cross reference. Then I'd contact the ones with vacancies and see what hours they can do/what other children they have/ pick up/late hours/ experience of babies?

Is it a gut feeling I go on? Is there a 'perfect' mix of ages? Where do they sleep etc

God I'm useless at this - I'm so desperate to get it right (and a bit stressed at having to start again) I'm doing a rabbit in the headlights thing.

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navyeyelasH · 10/08/2009 10:25

Makeondemand, don't panic it'll all work out when you find the right person your DD will settle easily.

I'd call CIS first and ask them for the list as the online list doesn't include everyone. They should also be able to tell you the vacancies.

Ring the ones who say they have vacancies first and check they do have vacancies. Then cross ref with Ofsted.

That's what I would do personally.

There is no real ideal age mix, as your DD is under 1 she should be the only baby and a good childminder could look after all of her charges regardles of age. I suppose under 2's would be good for your daughter in a social sense but in terms of attention providing over 2s might mean the CM has even more attention to give your DD.

The main thing you need to consider is rates, where baby will sleep (as in are you happy for her to be in a buggy, on the sofa etc), what they do in a day, and do you want DD to go on a school run.

IMO school run is a good thing, sleep should be in a travel cot, children should go out daily. But if you find a lovely childminder that puts their charges to sleep on the sofa it wouldn't be a deal breaker. For me personally.

You need to make a list of what things are non-negtiable and go from there.


makedoandmend · 10/08/2009 10:36

Thanks navyeyelasH - that makes things a lot clearer.

Looking at the ofstead site everything seems to be done by reference number. Do you have to get these from the CM? Or am I being thick and can you do it by name?

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atworknotworking · 10/08/2009 12:17

makedoandmend Because cm's work from home their address info is protected so you will need their URN number, If I were you I would phone your list first see who has vacancies, get address and post code then do a search for report, some minders don't give out URN until you sign up as people put false tax credit claims in, but they will show you their report when you visit, so if you get their address and post code you can do a post code search on ofsted website and find them that way, although their may be a couple living in the same area.

It is hard but I know you are making the right decision, your DD will be with the person you choose for a long time and will become her friend and yours too. All the trawling around websites and calls are well worth the effort.

If you go on the childminder, nanny, au pair chat, their are quite often people asking what questions to ask CM's their was a really good one last week with some fab questions on for parents to ask, also NCMA website has a fab booklet you can download go to library, parents and you will find it their.

Good Luck

makedoandmend · 11/08/2009 21:45

atworknotworking - thanks for all your help. I've been busy ringing and searching for the last two days and am starting to make headway (of course found a seemingly perfect CM just around the corner from me but she's full ).
Having probs with the ofstead site though. The only postcode search I can see asks for the parent's postcode and you can only do a search within a five mile radius so I can't narrow anything down. Am I being really thick? It's quite possible!

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atworknotworking · 13/08/2009 17:55

Did you get your list from FIS? if you did and some minders have a website address you may find a link to the ofsted report on their site. The only other alternative is to call the ones on the list and ask for their postal addresses, as you need to find ones convinient for you, you can then go back and put in full post code on the ofsted search, It is a chew on but worth the research, you will get a feeling from speaking to the minders and may be able to tick or cross off the list a few then and their. Also have you thought about which area to look at ie: some mums like close to home, some choose childcare nearer work not sure if you travel a great distance but might be worth looking at both ends.

Also ask the one you like the look of to contact you if she has a vacancy, things can change very quickly, or if she can reccommend anyone to you.

navyeyelasH · 13/08/2009 18:06

makedoandmend, no you're doing it right 5 miles is the smallest search area!

makedoandmend · 16/08/2009 19:41

Thanks everyone - just posted on my other thread re this nursery that I've taken dd out and am now actively looking for a childminder. I went back on Wednesday and found that, because she'd refused a bottle again, they hadn't bothered to give her any other drink for five hours. Another 'oversight'.

I'm now waiting to see if they'll try and charge me for a month as I'm supposed to give them a month in writing but I ended up just phoning to let them know. Personally I don't think I owe them anything apart from the sessions we attended! angry.

Thanks again to everyone for giving me the confidence to make the decision to make the change. Work aren't happy I'm taking the extra time but dd is more important.

We've seen a couple of lovely CMs so finger's crossed!

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