A huge thank you to one of our mummies for sharing her recent experience of her little one starting nursery life below…
“Being a first time mum the word ‘nursery’ struck the fear of god into me! I just wanted to pause time and stay at home with my wonderful little boy forever, but needs must I had to go back to work when he was one. The first nursery I visited with Patrick was Jollies (which set the bar very high ahead of the other look arounds I had booked). I knew straight away I wanted Patrick to go to Jollies without even visiting any other nurseries, but my family encouraged me to go and look around others even if it was only to confirm my gut instinct.
The minute you walk into Jollies it is like walking into an extension of you home, such a warm, welcoming, and friendly environment. First impressions that really stood out to me were; the rooms layouts, wall displays, the kitchen (all freshly made food everyday), learning and play resources, the outside space and play areas are fantastic. Another pointer that is super impressive is the length of service that Jollies staff have, I know that nurseries can have high turnover, and this was something I was particularly worried about, but it really does speak volumes about a place with how long their staff have stayed! I booked for a second look around with my partner which only solidified my decision.
There was a settling in day for Patrick before he started, which I was absolutely dreading as for a year me an P had spent so much time together, I honestly didn’t know how he (or I) would cope. He had been breastfeed, contact napped, attachment difficulties to me when he was going through any developmental leap, and very hard to settle/ or go to sleep without mummy’s milk (you get the picture). I dropped him off for first his 2 hour session and I sat in the car and cried by eyes out as I had never left him with anyone but his dad and my mum and dad for short periods of time. I felt like I had abandoned him with very nice strangers, the guilt was overwhelming. I got picture updates on the parent Elog from his settling in session which reassured me so much, he was absolutely loving life having snacks, playing outside and getting to know his key worker and little friends. When I picked him up, I cried (he didn’t) again but this time it was relief because I knew we had made the right decision and Patrick was going to absolutely love his future at Jollies. The relief factor was massive for me, as it made my return to work so muc easier, it was not focused on leaving Patrick, it was about me establishing myself back into my HR career I and finding my feet as ‘Ailidh’ again not just Patricks 24 hour mum.
Patrick now gets out of the car waving when he realises where he his (this is something he only does when we go to see his grandparents). When we go in the door he is so happy to see the AMAZING staff in his room and I know he is set for the day, off he goes and plays, which makes me so proud that he has gained so much independence and it so reassuring seeing him so happy in his room. The nursery routine suites Patrick so well, we replicate this at home now too and his sleeping patterns on a night have drastically improved. I was so worried about his naps at nursery as I thought he would never sleep there, but he has been doing 2 hour stints!! (The staff are clearly magical nap fairies). He has always had sleep struggles on a night but being at nursery is defiantly helping him link his sleep cycles better.
When your phone pings and it is the parent Elog it is the best feeling of the day! I absolutely love the picture updates that you get sent. To see him happy, settled and absolutely living his best life in the thoughtful updates, just allows me to relax and get on with my work. I never worry about how he is, or is he ok? The daily log report that you get at the end of the day is also incredible, to see what he has eaten, when he has napped are fab. The meals that they get are so varied and healthy Patrick is a real foodie so he especially loves this. It is nice on nursery days that he comes home happy and full and only needs a small supper if he is hungry. So it’s a lot less stress on timings, to not need meals prepped and ready for after pick up before the bedtime routine begins!
The staff have been absolutely incredible, I cannot stress this enough in words, to hand over your child and say see you after 5pm is massive, and I have always been able to walk out of the door reassured Patrick will have the most amazing day. When I go and pick him up, he is always busy playing or reading or climbing on the slide and stairs, he is actually never ready to come home and I never feel bad about the length of time he is there. Nothing is ever too much trouble, and you can tell all the all genuinely care about Patrick. The daily activities that they get up to are great so creative and lovely to see him learning and having a good time with all the different resources that we don’t have at home. Another thing that I love is how much time they spend outside playing, what ever the weather they are wrapped up in their suits, or in the shade with hats and sun cream on they get play time outside.
Recent staff comments that have made me smile from just this week are ‘he was born to be outside and free, he is so independent, ‘he has done really well with his fork today, I guided his hand when loading his food’. Just little things like provide affirmation that they know him so well and spend time having fun and helping him develop.
I hope it comes across, but I absolutely whole heartedly know I made the best nursery choice for Patrick, and I cannot wait for him to spend the rest of his pre-school days at Jollies, loving life having fun and learning with his little friends and staff
Thank you so much Jollies!!!”
Patrick, Ailidh and Eddie
Should you be considering starting nursery in the future and you’d like to come and visit and see if we are the right place for you and your little one please go to our website and click on the ‘enquiry form’ button and we’ll be back in touch soon xxxx