N has mixed childcare. I wanted him to go to a day nursery so he could interact with lots of other children, enable more structure and school preparation as he gets older, and also have less holiday worries than might have cropped up with a childminder. OH wanted him to be looked after by family, so luckily we’ve managed to have the best of both worlds – and he gets to see his cousins lots and sometimes his dad during the day when he’s working near home and able to pop in. The only nightmare with everything is obviously if he’s ill (or holidays that family members are having, although nursery is usually flexible enough to let him have a few extra day here and there – more money for them obviously).
Nursery are on the warpath about their latest inspection though. I didn’t really find the report very truthful given the care and provision that he has, but there was a meeting yesterday to discuss moving forward, planning and response.
I thought that more parents would care (let’s face it, we pay enough money for them to provide excellent care that works within the required framework), but there were only about 8 families who had a parent turn up. I was the only one with a child in the youngest rooms, so it was interesting to hear the other parents of children in the room N will be going into in January as they said the report did highlight areas where they should be looking to improve.
One parent was a Primary School head which was helpful to get her insight into EYFS frameworks and what nursery providers have access to in terms of support, and all in they got a lot of good feedback and suggestions of actions they could and should be taking that parents would like to see. Although they do ask for parental feedback quarterly, we don’t hear back the outcomes or general results, so hopefully now we’ll get that feedback and be able to continue to make suggestions that are workable and will further improve the development planning for the children.
One positive thing about getting an unexpected report is that it means they’ll have to work hard to prove to everyone how good they are. I know my expectations will now be higher as I’ve got a better idea of development framework they have to provide and therefore what I can look out for and suggest. I liked the nursery and chose it (as all the parents there admitted) because of the good quality environment, outdoor provision, and extra-curricular opportunities the children have, but obviously you want your child to also develop alongside or better than their peers going elsewhere. My bugbear is the admin side of things – their communication is pretty rubbish about certain things: I appear to miss out on information so I have to chase it up, there’s been mix ups about holiday time off that they did then get sorted out quickly. Organisation is one of my strengths so I suppose I notice that more frequently compared to others who might be less concerned, but I’ll definitely be watching out for improvements on that side of things, as well as brilliant personalised learning journals and daily books as N gets older and progresses through.
What great ideas does your nursery (or general childcare) have in place that you think every nursery should do? (and I’ll borrow the idea with pride!)