Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Another day, another expert... with another view

Child psychologist Steve Biddulph has been in the news today. In his latest book, "Raising Babies - SHould the under threes go to nursery?", he asserts that sending children under three years of age to nursery can damage "brain development and development of empathy and trust".

It's one other piece of research and only deals with one part of the jigsaw of trying to balance work life, family life, the short-term needs and the long-terms needs of the whole family.

I should be glad to have more information to help us make our decision, but it's already difficult enough finding a good nursery without being told the whole idea is bad from the start.

We've been having a few second thoughts about which nursery to use. Firstly we turned up to our chosen nursery to find Oliver still sitting in the same wet bib he had been wearing when we dropped him off three hours previously, despite the fact we left clean bibs and asked they make sure he is changed. The next time we picked him up he was sitting in the same bouncy chair as he had been the previous visit and looked thoroughly downhearted. Even when he saw us he still looked upset. We couldn't help thinking he had been left there for longer than we'd have liked. All this and he has only been there three times.

So we've been to visit a couple of other local nurseries. Elm Cottage is only two minutes walk from our house but is the most expensive we've looked at and due a rise of 5-10% in June. We visited it yesterday and were impressed by it.

Today we visited The Orchards, where our friends Dawn and Simon have their child. It was similar to Elm Cottage but with a bigger play area outdoors and a slightly better ratio of nursery nurses to children overall (though they both had 3-to-1 in the baby rooms). On the down side it is about 1.5 miles away in the wrong direction for work.

So the next few days will see us weighing up all the options again, safe in the knowledge that no decision is ever final!

Steve Biddulph's website is here.


Reservoir Mog said...

From a childless observer:
One - you can only do the best you can, with the facts available at the time.
Two - when he's a foul teenager (and yes he will be, it's a rite of passage) then EVERYTHING YOU DO IS WRONG. And it will be backdated to 8 September 2005.

Anonymous said...

Here's another anti-daycare website with a similar opinion to Mr. Biddulph...

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