We are just moving into Long Lane. Does anyone take their children to daycare in the area?. The best we have found is St.Patricks @ Waterloo, which is nice but we would like closer. The one behind Tesco's has a waiting list. Does anyone know of closer centre's ?
There is a local mums and baby/toddler group called Friends of Mini Mints which is held in the hall opposite the fire station on Southwark Bridge Road. They run childcare information evenings and have a pack which they can give you. There is also a local Yahoo group called Borough Babies which is worth becoming a member of for local advise on baby related topics.
There are a few horror stories on the forum about Bright Horizons. My brief experience of the one in Borough was that is was corporate, clinical and staffed by people on minimum wage who didn't really want to be there. My son hated it, but others seem to think it's fine. It's expensive and it is run for profit, that's all I can say.
Personally if you can get a place use a non-private nursery. They tend to be staffed by more highly paid, better trained staff. For example, those children's centres run by Southwark have a MUCH tighter Ofsted inspection process than those in the private sector. They also focus on a more structured early years programme of child development - many private establishmenst are just day-care, nothing else.
In a children's centre the staff are often trained as formal early-years educators or even teachers, they will be on a good salary with pensions and training and have very good terms and conditions. Private nurseries are often staffed by 'childcare assistants' on 6/7 quid an hour, who have very little early years development experince.
You could try Kintore Way, which is where my kids went and it is marvelous. It's heavily subsidised meaning the rates are good. Friends who have had kids at the Ark also rave about it. Coin Street is also good I've heard.
It can also depend on the age of your child/children - there tends to be waiting lists at good/popular nurseries for babies/younger children whereas it might be easier to place an older child -three/four years.
And if you can be flexible with days you might also have a better chance of moving up the inevitable waiting list.
It might be worth considering a childminder until you can get a nursery place. Southwark Council have a list of registered ones.