The nursery saga – emotional rollercoaster

January 24, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Posted in Baby Care & Health, Daily Life, Work & Life | 4 Comments
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Just a quick update on the nursery situation as it develops!  This is an update from events of last Friday – and a huge thank you to all the lovely ladies on Twitter for their advice and support, you really are a lovely lot!

For a quick update on the nursery move background, here’s the original post.

So, we’d decided to move the bear and although a hard decision, decided it was right for the whole family.  On Monday I went with the bear for his first of two one hour long settling in sessions.  I came home in floods of tears.  They weren’t expecting us, couldn’t find the all about me pack I’d completed, they were short staffed, didn’t really seem interested, a young staff member looked bored and had to keep asking another staff member what to do.

I left wondering what on earth we had been thinking in moving our precious boy from his safe comfortable nursery to somewhere new.

We had the second visit on Friday and it was horrifying.  There’s no other word for it.  For a second time I left sobbing, trying to make sense of what we’d just experienced.  Husband came with me this time, so he could see for himself and we could share our opinions.

Now, this could turn into a pretty long rant, so I’ll try and keep it brief.  I’m quite glad to be writing this now rather than on Friday as it would have been a really emotional outpour!

We arrived at the lunchtime switch over, with 14 children in the room with two staff members.  One little boy remained in a dirty nappy for most of our hour long visit.  I wanted to pick him up and tell someone to change him.

Again staff looked bored and disinterested.  I feel really strongly that anyone working with children should have a Mary Poppins like nature and should see their job as a career, their calling, not just something that pays the bills.  The bears keyworker who I’d met on Monday strolled past and barely said hello.

A young girl returned from her break stinking of cigarette smoke.

Another staff member encouraged the bear to do some colouring and presented some chewed old crayons.  She asked if we wanted to leave him – I replied, as politely as possible that I didn’t feel comfortable.

They grouped for a sing song and stumbled through a few nursery rhymes not knowing all of the words.  One verse of heads, shoulders (whilst seated) concluded the 5 minute session.

One little boy was continually being told to move, stop what he was doing, or come over here.  He retreated to the play kitchen area and hid inside the washing machine.  My heart broke and I couldn’t stay any longer.  I bundled the bear into his coat and we left, with false parting words that we would see them on 2nd February, ‘the start date’ – not without being handed an invoice.

As soon as we were outside the relief of taking my beautiful baby out of the place rushed over me.  I cried all the way home, and then some.  I cried as I called our existing nursery, asking for our son to be able to stay there after all.

This sounds like an overdramatic, over protective mummy statement, but it was more like an orphanage than a nursery.  Children ambled around like zombies with no interaction or stimulation.  I wondered how any parent could feel happy about their child being there.

It’s made us realise why we pay the fees we do for our nursery – the staff are trained, loving and passionate about the children they look after.

This is the best bit – I emailed the nursery to tell them we wouldn’t be taking a place, they didn’t even ask why, just stated that we would need to be 8 weeks of fees under their terms and conditions!  They’ll have a fight on their hands for that I can tell you – I’m tempted to report them for the things we experienced.  No child deserves to spend time there.

All parents are protective over their children, but this just made me realise how vulnerable they are – and the worry that lies ahead of us for the next 18 years!  We’re so lucky to have children and it’s made me realise too, not to take one single day for granted.

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4 Comments »

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  1. That is shocking. I think you should report them, it may prompt a visit. Your instincts were right. 8 weeks of fees? Yeah, right! x

    • They seem to have gone quiet since I suggested it wasn’t appropriate to demand money from us after the experience we had there. They’ve never asked what concerned us so much though!

  2. you should report them! I would have done the same as you and ran away as fast as possible xx

    • Had a long chat with the owner yesterday after she sent us a really long letter with loads of inaccuracies – staff must have given her their side of how they think the visit went, but when she spoke to me she was horrified and said of course they wouldn’t pursue the fees.
      I said if she could give me her word that she would do something about it, then I’d leave it in her hands rather than report it to Ofsted. She assured me that it would be dealt with immediately so I hope it will be for the sake of the other babies there.
      x


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