Finding the right nursery
Dinny · 21/04/2003 21:26
Hi, I'm looking for some tips and advice from mumsnetters in my search for a nusery for dd. Planning to got back to work part time when she is 16 months old. Have been to see lots of nurseries and think I have found 'the one', but how do you know you've chosen wisely? Can you ever 'know'? Any advice gladly received. Thanks.
WedgiesMum · 21/04/2003 21:37
I think you 'know' what is right. It's an instinctive feeling that it's right and that your child will be happy there. If you are happy with the general feel of the place and the people you've met trust your instincts, and those of your DD. My DD is very choosy about which adults she likes and her instincts are spot on and have been since she was very tiny.
Hope it works out fine. LOLxx
miriamw · 21/04/2003 21:43
I think that your instinct is probably pretty strong - I looked at several, and like you got the feeling of which one I was happy with. But different nurseries suit different children. The one I use is one of the few locally that have the children outside each day (even in the frost!), which ds loves. I did check staff turnover, and it was relatively low - only one leaver in the last 8 months (out of a staff of 20 or so), and decent age mix amongst the staff ranging from mere infants (I assume that they were all at least 16) to grandmother types. I use the nursery part-time, but they have shown themselves to be flexible eg when I have had to have a short notice hospital appointment. They took notice of what our routine is, and so they don't out him down for a nap on his half days as I prefer him to have a longer nap at home.
Sorry - this is rambling, but just to say it is worth going with your instinct.
Claireandrich · 21/04/2003 21:45
I have to say that I too just knew when I had found the right nursery for DD. She was starting when she was 20 weeks and I had her name down from just before she was born. As soon as I went round the nursery I just liked it. I had taken my MIL too and she felt the same. The staff, although young, were lovely, chatty and friendly. The were cuddling and playing with the children, the children, even the little ones, were happy and smiling and engaged in playing, being talked and read too, singing, etc.
So, yes I do think you do KNOW
Claireandrich · 21/04/2003 22:10
Dinny - I know how you feel. I was absolutely dreading leaving DD, and cried all the way to work after dropping her off the first day! However, she loved it and still does. She is now 12 months. She goes 2 days a week, and runs up to the door as soon as she is out of the car when we arrive. She has gained so much from being there, and is so friendly and sociable for her age. I truely believe that she has made greater advances in her development by going there. She loves it even more now she has moved up to the toddler class (as she is now walking so well) and gets to go on outings to the park, feed the ducks, etc.
AND, she still looks forward to seeing me every time I pick her up. When I go in the room she beams a beautiful smile my way, class out 'mamma' and throws her little arms round my legs. Even now it almost brings tears to my eyes.
So, don't worry. She'll love it! And you still get to be the favourite, not the nursery nurses.
miriamw · 21/04/2003 22:15
Ds started nursery at 18 months for 2 mornings a week, and it did take him quite a while to get used to it (the main issue being the separation - he was fine if I was in the room). It took 3 or 4 months beofre he truly settled, but now asks every morning whether he can go (currently in quarantine due to chicken pox!), and I almost have to tear him away to come home. It is a bit odd when I hear him saying things or singing songs that I have taught him, but he is obvioulsy thriving in the atmosphere - and it has improved his table manners no end!
Dinny · 21/04/2003 22:24
Claireandrich and miriamw, I hope I have your happy experiences. Are either of your nurseries in south london??!! I leave dd in creche at gym and she cries when I go, but when I peek through window she is playing happily. Cries and clings to me when I return though - does that mean she doesn't like it, do you think?
Marina · 22/04/2003 14:25
Dinny, I'd agree with Miriamw that staff turnover is a very reliable indicator of whether a nursery is a good one - nursery nurses are not well-paid and understandably tend to move on quickly if they don't like the management ethos. We chose our nursery in SE London because it had some older staff, too - I am very happy that there are qualified nursery nurses in their 40s and 50s alongside bouncy, energetic teens.
Happy staff usually means happy children in my experience.
And no, she is not crying because she's had a horrid time in the creche, I would not think...usually it's because she's pleased to see you but "anxious" about the change from being in creche to going home with you. It's all part of the separation anxiety thing and very common.
Soon the nursery staff will not seem like strangers - at their best, they will become proactive partners in your child's education and development. Our ds has flourished at nursery to the extent that even his finger-wagging grandmas agree it has been the making of him. Huh, don't know what that says about my parenting skills.
Good luck with the return to work - I know how hard it is, even when you are confident you are leaving them in very good hands.
miriamw · 22/04/2003 15:20
We're in Purley, so depends on how far south you want to come!
I agree with Marina, your dd is showing classic signs of separation anxiety, and looking to "punish" you when you return. The fact that she is happy once you are gone is very telling! But nusery set-ups are generally even better than gym creche types, even though the latter can be very good
Bozza · 22/04/2003 15:35
Dinny - good advice here. We chose DS's nursery when he was 2 weeks old and have been very happy with it (he started there at 16 weeks) and is now 26 months. He has loved it and thrived all the way through. We had a couple of weeks of crying when he moved from baby to toddler room and the same when he moved from toddler to tweenies (or whatever it is called). But apart from that he runs in every morning and appears to love every minute of it.
He is really sociable, loves children, interacts well etc. Having said that today is his first day at nursery without a nappy on and I have been quite anxious but I'm his Mum thats my job! Because he started at such a young age we never had separation anxiety (or maybe lucky because others do have) but I guess this might be something you have to deal with as youre already experiencing it at the creche. But being happy during the session is very telling IMO that she does actually enjoy it.
SoupDragon · 22/04/2003 16:46
I do think you "know" that you've got the right place. DS1 has been at his (near Purley ) for 2 years now, since he was 2, for 2 full days a week and he loves it. DS2 started in January and after a shakey start when he clung to me, refusing to let go, followed by Chicken Pox and another round of clinginess, he's fine! The staff clearly love the children too.
I guess you only really "know" after your child has settled in for a couple of months and you can see how they and the staff interact with each other.
Pancake · 22/04/2003 17:21
"Gut feel" is definitely a good indicator for a nursery. When I was choosing for ds1 I looked around all in the area and went with the one that "felt" best ... staff were happy, children were happy. DS1 has been there for 3 years now and ds2 started today. If you want more hard evidence on how a nursery is perceived then you should have an Ofsted report - just look it up on the ofsted website (www.ofsted.gov.uk)!
Claireandrich · 22/04/2003 18:01
Dinny - if your DD is happy when you are not there (which it sounds like she is) then she'll be fine. She is probably having a whale of a time. It's only when we are there that they tend to get clingy at all. DD sometimes has the odd moment like this but once I am not there she is great. Sorry - my nursery is in Doncaster, not very near to South London!
Dinny · 23/04/2003 22:08
Thanks, all - had a v hard time leaving dd in gym creche today as she is teething and extra-clingy. Went to pick her up after gym and she was having nappy changed & hollering at top of voice. Am now thinking "how can I ever leave her?" Pancake, thanks for hint - off to look at Ofsted site now.
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