After reading Liana’s comment on How much is enough? post, I reviewed my options and decided I had seen enough. From 7 nurseries, three were good candidates.
* Nursery A – I liked the staff, very sweet and carrying, the cook is a lady called Cecilia that you just feel like hugging all the time. The kids looked very happy there. Clean and organized. Close to a train station that is not great for me, but I could live with it. Opens from 8 to 6, but can start from 7.30 and finish at 6.30pm at an extra fee.
* Nursery B – Spacious, clean, the manager is very professional and a good salesman. The place seems to be very safe (or at least they try to send this message), with a no mobile policy (including visitors) and password/photo for other than the parents to collect children. The staff looked happy and having fun with the children, and the children were happy as well. The outdoor space is nice, with loads of activities for children of all age group. The kitchen (we weren’t allowed in, just a quick peek through the door) was big and clean. Close to a train station that works for me (3 min by car, 27 min walking!). Opens from 7.30 to 6.30.
* Nursery C – I really liked the baby room, where Laura would start. The key carer’s name is Precious, how cool is that? They have a board with all daily activities illustrated with photos of the children in action, not for the parents, but for the children to know what’s next. They have a separate room for the babies’ naps, very dark and quiet and they always check the room temperature and have check rounds every 10 minutes to see if everything is ok (most of the nurseries I visited put the cots in the main rooms when it’s time for nap). Each key carer showed me their rooms (babies, 2 to 3 and 3+). Price all inclusive (nappies, wipes, cream, formula milk). The other two rooms didn’t impressed me as much as the babies’ one – the 3+ actually made me scared – too crowded and smelling of poo (they keep the bathroom door open to encourage children to use the loo, which is a good idea, but…). It was the only nursery with water at the reach of the children I’ve seen. Another not very positive thing was that each age group had two rooms and they were connected by steps. Not sure about a 1 year old going up and down steps (trauma of falling at home). Opens from 8 to 6, extra fee for outside hours. Very close to a train station that is in fact part of our daily route to work.
I had to keep looking for the negative things in Nursery C, as I was really tempted to go for this one. I would love to have Laura looked after by Precious. 🙂 But in the end, Mr. C had the final word and we went with Nursery B, because of the opening hours. We do work long hours and it would be a pain to have to call every time we needed to take her earlier or pick her up later – Nursery C requires 24 hours notice, otherwise we pay double.
So today I sent our application form and was unofficially informed that we have a place for our little one from 15th of August. Happy, me? No, I’m now more nervous than ever. :-S