Eight months have passed since we started at the nurseries, during which Pallino has been going to Nursery #1 on Mondays and Fridays and Nursery #2 on Wednesdays and Thursdays (you can read the beginning of the tale in this post and this one). Nursery #1 is cheaper for us and has a very nice garden, where Pallino spends any not-rainy day, but it’s less organised and the manager recently left leaving a mess behind, while the carers are OK but we’re not enthusiastic, they don’t seem to stimulate the children that much (probably all related to the lack of management). Nursery #2 is a lot more expensive, but the carers are nicer and the activities more engaging, including a higher level of communication with us parents. Note that the price should not make a difference: the first one is cheaper for us because it’s subsidized by L’s workplace, not because it’s actually cheaper.
During the last month, we’ve been offered a full time position (finally!) in both nurseries. After a quick calculation, we had to accept that we definitely cannot afford Nursery #2 for five days a week. We want to have five days a week even if I still work four days a week, because I would like to have some time for myself, or to attend parents meetings, or to sleep, or anyway to stay with Pallino… maybe I’ll go back to work full time later, but at least for this year I want to keep the option open not to take Pallino to school every day. We don’t have any help and I promised myself I would take it easy at least for the first year. And I think it would be better to go to one nursery only, not two. This would allow him (and us) to socialise better and take part to all activities. I don’t want to take a decision only for my convenience though, when Pallino will have to spend there so much of his time.
We spent a few days (over)thinking about what to do. We contacted all parents we knew with children at Nursery#1 to know how they were doing. Invariably they said: the place is OK, but there are issues with the management, and older children get bored because there are not enough activities. But they still keep their children there because of the discount they have. So it’s not ideal but not so bad that they had to find an alternative. Eventually one mum, whose child has just left the nursery and will start school in September, said that her child was seriously bored during the last year, so her suggestion was to keep Pallino there until he’s 3 and then change school.
I liked the suggestion and started researching. There are a couple of schools very close to our place which offer also a limited number of places in their nursery school (the class which children attend after their third birthday). We will have to enter another waiting list and hope for the best, but it might work.
The last thing to do (to be honest it should have been the first, but it was a weekend) before taking our decision was to talk with Pallino’s carer in Nursery #1. She was happy to see us and she showed us Pallino’s learning journal, where she’s recording his progress and taking pictures of significant moments. It was nice and I think she’s doing well. Maybe not my kind of person, but very maternal, and Pallino seems to like her. Talking with her made feel better. At the end of the day, at this age he needs to be loved, to play and to be fed, without too many sophisticated structures.
Eventually we accepted the place at L’s workplace nursery, but we haven’t canceled our place in Nursery #2, so we will have to pay both in September. And this is because L still thinks that Nursery #2 is a lot better. And he’s stubborn. I’m afraid this is not the last episode of the Nursery Tales…