Hunting for Nurseries
So, a few days ago we decided to start hunting for Baby Z’s day nursery where she would go for two half days. Seeing that she doesn’t have any siblings and even though we mix with other children including cousins on a weekly basis; all her interactions are where mummy or daddy are still in ear shot. So we wanted her to go some-place where she would become independent away from us, to help the constant attachment issues.
As I had heard about a few places in the surrounding area I decided to check them out. Somewhere local and affordable was definitely sought out for, as we don’t have money growing on trees (ah how I wish). The first place we went to was very decent, set up in a community hall, however Baby Z just kept looking for me, the room was too large with a split down the middle for the under 3s on one side and over 3s on the other. The activities were things she would do at home but the kids all seemed like they were in their own worlds. To be honest it didn’t seem like a place that really did much extra for the kids other than just the basics of babysitting which was a shame.
The second place we went to was recommended by a family member. Her daughters absolutely loved it there – I could see why. The staff were wonderful, it was again set up in a church hall but they had different rooms all filled with various activities like water and sand and another to role play in. What was lovely was that the kids came running up to us when we walked in and started to communicate with Baby Z. This was great as it helped my little monkey to wander off happily to check out what was happening. The price was also very decent but there were no free spots till September as they had been recently told to prioritise children that came from a government funded family rather than full paying families. So sadly, because of the wait it became a no too.
Another place we saw which became our last was a lovely nursery and it had everything. (I mean everything). The minute you walked in, you felt the atmosphere and the environment was just right. They had names on the coat pegs with coats and bags hung along the corridor. The walls were colourful and inviting and the staff were fantastic. Baby Z just felt right, she was straight into the classroom showing off her puzzle skills and communicating with the other kids. The set up was organic and it was literally what I was looking for. Somewhere Baby Z could go and mingle yet still learn a lot rather than just get baby sat for half the day. Which after viewing this one made me feel about the others. The down side which was a big one… It would dig into our pockets hard with money that we sadly don’t have. 40 quid per half day was not going to go down well. But after looking at all of them, all I could think was this was it!
I felt so angry that parents of a 2 year old had to pay full just for a simple thing like a decent nursery. Why can’t the government start paying a certain amount when the child is 2 rather than starting the free 15 hours a week when they turn 3? Not all parents go back full time after they have a child. I certainly didn’t. My husband stayed full time but I went back part time. Just because childcare is so pricey, it wouldn’t have made sense me even working full time as most my wage would go to childcare. So in the end we are just as worse off as people without a job, all the money my husband earns goes on bills, the mortgage and well more bills. My little wage goes on food shopping, the petrol and well that’s it. I’m broke after that. So there isn’t any spare money for us to put Baby Z into something that could ultimately benefit her. Honestly the government need to look at their criteria with a magnifying glass because not everyone is getting a fair deal. They need to look at everyone and lower the set criteria to benefit all families that still don’t have enough at the end of the month so that their kids can still get what’s best for them.
But right now for us and Baby Z; we’ve ended up putting the nursery idea to a halt until she’s 3 so that once the free funding hits in, we can put her into a decent nursery that will benefit her progress and not feel like she’s only going there to be baby sat. In the meantime, she’ll continue to be home schooled and mingle with her friends and family on a weekly basis.