Questions for childcare providers

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cluefree
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by cluefree »

We’ve had to choose preschool and primaries for Pete without being able to visit, Ken. It’s not ideal but it’s ok. I just asked the preschool if they’ll hug her when she gets upset. They’ve been absolutely amazing and I’m sure you’ll get a feel for how things are by speaking to the staff.

I’m very lackadaisical compared to a lot of parents, I think, but most nurseries etc seem fairly similar in what they offer. There won’t be anything they’ve not seen/dealt with before. It will just come down to who you like the best, I reckon.
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Beatrix
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Beatrix »

I don’t know how to phrase it quite, and I’m not sure if I’ve already said it, but my friend told me that she feels like it’s a good sign when the nursery/CM makes you feel like your child is one of their favourites. This is absolutely how I feel when I pick M up, whoever is on the gate is at pains to tell me she’s had a good day and something they’ve enjoyed about her that day. Also when I drop her off they greet M first, and then me. The preschool have managed this too, and she only started in Feb, so I’ve not been able to go in.

I really don’t know how you establish whether you’ll feel that beforehand though other than going in gut feel and talking to the staff and actually asking them to reassure you!
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Kenickie
Kenneth Attenborough
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Kenickie »

That's reassuring, Cluef, and that makes total sense, Beatrix.

We went to see a nursery this morning and I loved it. The staff have seemed really helpful and great communication from the outset, and when I asked what the logistics of the tour would be (ie could we both come with Topsy and Tim in a pushchair) they were like 'of course, we can spend most of the time talking outside so they can explore the garden' and just seemed really welcoming. The person who did the tour asked loads about Topsy and Tim, and seemed really keen to try and adapt things for them if needed and to go along with what what we want. Eg they'll be going straight into a room that's for 2+ normally as there's no point putting them in the baby room for 2 months, and in that room they all sit at the table to eat. She asked if this is what they do at home, and when I said they're still in highchairs she said they could bring some in for them if we wanted to stick to that, or try them at the table to see how they get on. Not a big thing in the grand scheme of things but it just seemed she had a great attitude to things.

I also asked about their key people and if they'd have the same one, and she said that they'd discussed it and thought it might be better to have different ones (which would be my preference as I don't want them seen as 'the twins') but they would be happy to go with what we wanted - I thought it was quite sweet that they'd thought about this sort of thing already even before we've signed up.

Their outside space is AMAZING, so I think they would absolutely love it there.

The only slight downside is that this one is the furthest out of the three we've narrowed it down to (this one, zoo one, and nearest one). I guess it's tricky as we can't have a tour of nearest one for a couple of weeks, and not sure when the zoo one is doing tours. So maybe seeing them in person might sway me more towards them. It's only a couple of minutes more, so although that would add up to about 10 mins extra a day if we're wfh and doing drop offs, I don't know if that's enough of a difference to be a consideration? Probably not.
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Beatrix
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Beatrix »

They sound great. I wouldn’t let the slight extra distance put you off if you decide it’s the one you like most. So much about what makes you feel more comfortable is knowing that someone is giving consideration to the same things you are - sounds like this place is and that’s really positive and shows they definitely have the children’s needs as individuals as a priority.
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purple_dress
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by purple_dress »

That sounds great. What is the parking like? Ours had a dedicated car park and that made things so much easier and less stressful. The other two I looked at were both a lot more difficult to park.
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Princess Morripov
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Princess Morripov »

purple_dress wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:33 pm That sounds great. What is the parking like? Ours had a dedicated car park and that made things so much easier and less stressful. The other two I looked at were both a lot more difficult to park.
Yes! Definitely worth considering this. When it’s raining and pitch black and cold in the winter trying to grapple two small people into the car is really unenjoyable :lol:

That sounds really positive. Biggie eats at a little table at nursery now, it’s really cute seeing them all sat round the table if we ever pick them up a bit earlier.
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Kenickie
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Kenickie »

That's really funny as I was just coming back to add that I think the parking is the other downside of the one I went to see today! The zoo one has a massive dedicated car park, I think the nearest one has their own car park. The one today it's just street parking. It's in the middle of a big suburb and so not a particularly busy road but it's just on street car parking and would be a bit annoying with two of them if it ends up being car -> pushchair -> nursery each time and I hadn't even considered doing it in the cold and rain!
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Kenickie
Kenneth Attenborough
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Kenickie »

Beatrix wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:21 pmSo much about what makes you feel more comfortable is knowing that someone is giving consideration to the same things you are.
Yes, I've been struggling to articulate this but I think this is really key to what we're looking for.
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Kenickie
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Kenickie »

So I think we've made our decision!

We saw Nearest Nursery the week before last and really loved it, essentially it was very similar to Street Parking Nursery in the things we liked, but their own car park and a bit shorter drive, and also their outside space is brilliant but it's sectioned off into different parts so they'd just be in with others around two years old as the bigger children have a separate bit. Also my friend's children go there and she really rates it and I think we're quite similar in our outlook and parenting opinions. The manager who showed us round seemed to know the children there really well and was really interested in Topsy and Tim.

We saw Zoo Nursery today and it's brilliant in lots of ways - great ethos with a focus on emotions, fantastic outside space with just a fence between them and the giraffes and zebras so the children can watch them all day. But, they don't seperate by age after two, and they only have two different rooms, so they'll be in a room of 35 kids, with them being the absolute youngest and the others potentially up to 5, which seems absolutely crazy and also a massive adjustment. I don't know if I'm being precious about it and it's more normal than it seems (everywhere else I enquired about would put them in a room of about 12 of children their own age) but I'm just worried that they'd get lost in the mix and just keep being barged over by bigger kids. I think we'd consider it in a year's time when they're more used to childcare and a bit older and more robust but I think I'd just be worried about them there at the moment.

All the poor communication has put me off too, plus they didn't ask anything about them during the visit which didn't allay my fears of them not getting enough individual attention. Also, I think they'd just spend all their time rampaging around outside, as they're totally child led, which would be lovely for them in some respects, but Nearest Nursery said they're child led but also encourage them to do new/different things, which at their age is what they need a bit -I don't want someone to pin them down and make them do a painting or anything, but it would be nice for them to give things a go that we don't do with them as they get plenty of aimless outdoor rampaging time with us. ;)

I feel a bit sad in a way as I love a lot of the stuff about Zoo Nursery but we both had the same gut reaction to being told that they'd be in a big mixed age room so I think we'd be silly not to listen to that.
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Beatrix
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Beatrix »

I’d definitely be feeling the same from what you’ve said, Ken. M’s nursery has three distinct rooms and while they have opportunity to mix they do all have different themes of the week and activities set up around them. I’m glad you’ve found somewhere you really like, I saw lots of nurseries and they were fine. Until I turned up and saw M’s nursery and I just loved everything about it. I’m excited for A to start and so are they.
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Kenickie
Kenneth Attenborough
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Kenickie »

Thanks, it's nice to know I'm not just being ridiculous!

Will A be starting soon?
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Beatrix
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Beatrix »

I don’t think it really matters whether you might be perceived as ridiculous (you definitely aren’t) as you’ve got to do what’s right for you and your family.

A starts on 1st September, so not for a while, but almost exactly the same age as M started, just shy of a year old. She will go straight into two days per week, but with her older sister (and favourite person) there too I think she’ll be just fine. I absolutely love the woman who runs the baby room, she’s utterly brilliant and genuinely one of the most compassionate people I’ve met.
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Froozy
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Froozy »

Definitely sounds like you've made the right decision, a massive room with all ages in sounds unusual. I think it's a bit like buying a house - some places just click and everywhere else looks a bit wrong in comparison.
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Kenickie
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Re: Questions for childcare providers

Post by Kenickie »

That's very true Froozy.

I bet A will adjust really well knowing that her sister is there, and it must make it so much easier for you knowing that she's going to be so well looked after.
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