A Parent's Journey...

As a cooperative we value and understand the need for parents to choose the best nursery for their child.  It can be a daunting and anxious time for parents who have bonded with their new baby and been the main carers in the start of their lives.  The thought of leaving your baby with someone you don't know in an environment you equally don't know or have any expertise in choosing can be a very stressful time.  At Childsplay our staff and procedures are built around this understanding and we support all parents who make their initial inquiries into the type of care we can offer them as well as their child.

We hope that your exploration of our website will alleviate your concerns, anxieties and questions that are circulating in your mind, but in a further attempt to put you at ease please read the recent and ongoing journey's of some of our current parents.  These reflections are based on real life experiences and feelings from parents who were once in a similar position to you.  There is support at our cooperative... and it starts from the first contact you make with us and grows beyond the time you leave.

Claire & Tim - May 2015

"It’s something this family of four all agree on – it is a great place to spend your early years!"  

One of the first things we did on finding out we were expecting our first child was to book a visit to Childsplay.  We had seen a friend’s child go to Childsplay and had some idea about how good it was.  We knew if we were going to leave our child anywhere it was only going to be with the highest standards of childcare and we had heard all about Childsplays’ committed staff, their wonderful organic food and their glowing inspection reports from Ofsted.  So our first job after leaving the hospital from our 20 week scan was to book ourselves a place.  We knew we wouldn't find anywhere better.  That was the logical thought process of two people without children. 

However, once our daughter was born she obviously became the centre of our world.   As her mother I could not imagine being parted from her.  There was a very loud voice in my head saying that no matter how good any nursery was it would always be second best to the care I could provide.  I spent 6 months convinced I would win the lottery so I wouldn't have to leave her.  I didn't.  It was with a heavy heart I turned up on the first day to settle my daughter in nursery.  I was convinced no one could care for her like I did.  I had never been away from her for more than a few snatched hours.  I couldn't be expected to just hand her over.  We were now fully paid up members of the emotional, guilt ridden word of parenthood. 

Luckily, we were not expected to just leave her with strangers.  Childsplay knows there is no bond like a parent’s.  They don’t expect you to just leave your child.  We had a two week settling in period where my daughter and I got to know a person who was soon to become so important in our lives – her keyworker Wendy.  Wendy spent time getting to know our daughter and dealing with maternal anxieties.  Even as besotted (neurotic) first time parents we could tell that Wendy knew what she was doing and our daughter was happy and relaxed in her company. 

Fast forward 6 years later and our second child is coming to the end of his time at Childsplay.  He has a completely different temperament to his older sister.  He is outgoing and boisterous where she is sensitive and gentle.  We have seen two very different children thrive in the environment offered by Childsplay.  Not only has Childsplay convinced us that our children were in a safe and suitable environment it has also challenged a number of assumptions we held about childcare for very young children.  We are often told by the media, well-meaning relatives or “experts” that nursery is second best.  Now we are moving in to the world of being parents of two school aged children it is perhaps time to look back and ask would we do it again?  Our answer, a resounding yes.  Financial reasons meant nursery was not a choice but a necessity.  However, we are able to see the benefits that being in a social environment brings to very young children.  They learn to share from day 1, they negotiate with peers, they eat in a social environment and learn to try new foods.  We are perhaps the only parents ever to have experienced a toddler tantrum from a two year old demanding broccoli and couscous for breakfast (we haven’t been able to live up to the high culinary standards at home). 

And so it is now time to say goodbye to a place that has played an important part in our family for the last 6 years.  We have benefited from the knowledge of stuff in all things related to young children and we have made friends who we will stay in contact with long after our children have left their nursery years behind.  If you are reading this and you think nursery may be an option for you our only advice is come and have a look at Childsplay.  It’s something this family of four all agree on – it is a great place to spend your early years. 

The Johnson Family - May 2015

"Mummy why can't I go to Nursery today, I love it with my heart!"  

As a parent choosing a Nursery for my children was a daunting and surprisingly challenging task. One of which I took very seriously, as I knew my children would be spending a large proportion of the working week in their care and therefore the pressure was on to make the right informed decision. A decision that I knew would help shape their early development and set the president for their learning experiences. Also as a working Mum, for my own piece of mind, I needed to ensure that I was happy and confident that I was leaving my children in a place that I was 100% happy with.

After looking at several nurseries, whilst pregnant, and drawing a blank a suggestion was put to me to think about Childsplay. At this point in my search I was starting to get a little concerned, as everywhere I had previously looked at, just didn’t match up to my expectations and aspirations for my child. However from the moment I stepped through the door at Childsplay I knew that this was the place I wanted my children to attend. I cannot begin to fully explain what it is about this Nursery, but it just has that something special and unique about its provision. It is something that can’t be captured in a snapshot Ofsted rating, taken in a photograph or even be put into words. It is an ethos, a feeling that you get when you are in the building when you see the staff interacting with the children and when you see the array of thoughtful learning opportunities that the children of all ages are being provided with.

Needless to say I put my child’s name down for a place. As far as I was concerned this Nursery stood head and shoulders above any that I had viewed. (Believe me, being a Primary Teacher I had done my background research!) More recently I have had a second child and now my two children both attend Childsplay. I have a 1 year old in the Baby Unit and a 3 year old in the 3-4’s Unit. I can honestly say that from the moment my children entered the Nursery I felt at ease that they are being cared for in a safe and caring environment and also that they are being nurtured and stimulated. I feel assured that I am leaving my children in a place that offers them a wealth of experiences and encourages them to become independent, question and move forward their own learning.

I cannot praise the Nursery highly enough for the quality of provision and the care and attention the staff have for all of the children. The children are offered a wide range of learning opportunities that are exciting, stimulating and link in to their individual interests. A favourite of my daughter’s is the amazing outdoor environment that they have, which is a hidden gem, used to encourage all types of play situations and promote and develop language development. I am regularly amazed by the imaginative things that staff engage the children in from ‘Outdoor Mud Kitchens’ to ‘Scarecrow building’ there seems to be endless things to excite the children. My 3 year old daughter also takes part in 'Forest School' which once again broadens their experiences and provides an additional educational opportunity for them to develop a vast number of skills in a safe, well organised environment away from the Nursery.

The staff are approachable and knowledgeable of my children's needs and level of development. They offer daily detailed feedback about their day, which is really reassuring and makes me feel like they have an interest in my child and also makes me feel like I am not missing out on key aspects of their development. The Nursery hold Open Evenings throughout the year which provide opportunities to meet with Key Workers and to discuss the children's progress and staff provide detailed profiles. The whole ethos of the Nursery is that of a calm positive learning environment which values each and every child for what they contribute. They very much focus on the ‘whole child’ and nurture them and encourage them to take responsibility for their own actions and consider the feelings of others around them.

My children are both very happy to attend Childsplay, in fact on the days my daughter is not there she asks to go and each evening when we drive away from the Nursery she waves goodbye and asks when she will be back. She talks fondly to family and friends about her time at Nursery. Something that sticks in my memory from when she was 2 was when she woke up and said "Mummy why can't I go to Nursery today, I love it with my heart!"  As a parent what more can you ask for? That for me was a sure sign that I had made the right decision.

We understand the importance of choosing the right nursery for your child, for more parent testimonials please visit us at Day Nurseries UK