Warning: This could be a very controversial post… 😉
When Miss NHM moved up to pre-school, when she turned three years old, we made the decision to move her to another nursery.
She started at her original nursery when she was five and a half months old when I had to return to work.
Moving nurseries was a tough decision but I’m very pleased to say that we haven’t regretted it.
I just wish I had done it earlier, but I didn’t want to be one of “those parents” who moved their child because of the wrong reasons.
Next time I’m not going to be so worried about what other people think!
We paid an absolute fortune for Miss NHM’s original nursery. I stupidly believed that you got what you paid for. Turns out this was a big misguided belief.
Now that Miss NHM has moved nurseries she is like a different person.
She used to get very frustrated and we had a lot of meltdowns which were partly due to being very tired but now I realise were probably due to her being bored.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The guilt comes and goes ;-).
I know that nurseries have an incredibly tough job to do. Lots of children to look after, government policies, paperwork, etc.
As a parent though, my child’s interests are my priority.
If this post helps just one person who is worried about their child’s nursery, then this post is worth it.
Evidence of a Good Nursery
Are there lots and lots of toys for the children to play with?
Now that I can look back I’ve realised that in Miss NHM’s original nursery each class she moved up into had less and less toys.
The place where she currently goes has about 8 different areas in the room, full of different toys and activities.
Are the children allowed to play outside?
I found that the more outdoor activities there are, the better.
We have friends in Germany and they have playschools who spend their WHOLE time outside, regardless of the weather (they have a gypsy caravan for when it’s really bad). This is such a fantastic idea!
Does your child bring home multiple pieces of art work?
It’s only now that she’s moved to another nursery that I’ve realised that Miss NHM rarely brought art work home with her from her original nursery.
If she did bring something home it was normally once a month and it was invariably a paper plate with some felt pen on it. Nothing more expensive than a paper plate. No sequins, crepe,paper, etc.
In her current nursery, she brings home at least three different pieces of art work a DAY, often with a theme attached, so a paper bird, or a drawing of a crocodile or a model of a monkey.
One of my favourite creations that she bought home recently was an aeroplane made out of a wooden peg and lolly sticks. Very cute.
When you pick your child up, are they doing something potentially dangerous that you would never let them do at home?
I once picked Miss NHM up and she was standing in the middle of the play garden swinging a toy mop around her head.
The staff member told me she had had a brilliant day, whilst my child continued swinging the mop around her head, where she could have potentially hurt many children in the process of her actions.
I literally wanted to slap the staff member.
Is your child more intelligent than the staff?
Yes, this is harsh, but it’s something to look out for.
Are there children fighting, screaming or hitting each other when you pick up or drop off your children? If yes, does anyone stop them?
Many times both Mr NHM and I has to discipline our child and other children in Miss NHM’s room.
The staff were either too distracted or maybe they just didn’t care, that they didn’t stop the children from thumping each other, which horrified me on a number of occasions.
Have you ever seen your child be “picked” on by other children in the room?
It broke my heart the day I saw this.
As if there isn’t enough guilt about putting my daughter into nursery at such a young age, then seeing her being picked on when she was two and a half, by children bigger than her, and nobody stepping in.
Are the nursery flexible or expect you to fit in with them?
I have heard horror stories of parents not being able to pick their children up early from nursery. The children HAVE to stay for the times they are booked in.
This is rubbish. You have paid your money and it’s more important for you to spend time with your child than for them to stay in nursery because that’s what nursery wants you to do.
What is the food like that is served at nursery?
This is my only small criticism of Miss NHM’s current nursery. At her original nursery everything was home made and cooked on site and she had lots of what I would class as healthy meals.
At her new nursery they have been served pizza, sausages and jelly. I let it go because it’s not worth it and if this is my only criticism of our new nursery then I’m fine with this!
You need to be happy with your childcare arrangement’s
Ultimately you need to be happy with your child care arrangements.
I was never happy with the class Miss NHM moved into when she was two.
With hindsight I realise that we should have moved her then.
I’m fairly sure that her behavioural issues then were the result of her being bored. I’m convinced of this as we rarely have a problem since she’s moved to a new nursery.
We only looked at two nurseries and I know now that you really do need to look around.
Ask for recommendations from other parents and go with your gut feel.