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Mothers' Stories

Maeve's Mum

Rachel DouglasIt was 2008, we had a 6 month old baby girl, Roisin, and no family support in Cardiff, so it was important to find a nursery that would be reliable, knowledgeable and supportive. We were daunted. Each nursery seemed notquite-right: too noisy, too disorganised, a little grubby.

I made an appointment to meet with Ceri at Daisy Day in Llanishen. Initially when I walked through the door, I felt a calm and relaxed feeling. The paraphernalia of small children was everywhere with coats and bags on pegs and pictures on the walls. One door opened and the sound of active children filtered into the hallway.

I was impressed by the way the older children were interacting with each other and the nursery staff. Each room seemed suited to its age group. Although Roisin was only tiny, I felt reassured by the happy environment in Busy Bees and Wise Owls. Upstairs, in the Baby Suite, the babies were being fed in their high chairs. It was organised chaos, the staff unfazed by toddlers more determined to wear their dinner than to eat it. Boards on the walls listed dietary requirements of each child, showing that each child’s individual needs were catered for. This felt homely, and fun and run by professional, experienced staff.

When I returned the following week with my husband, he felt similarly impressed. Ceri talked us through the paperwork, making it easy for us to understand and sign up.

The settling in sessions were tough. Leaving a six-month old baby with strangers was never going to be easy; but, we were assigned a key carer and she listened to my concerns and she hugged Roisin as I walked out the door. When I returned, a long hour later, Roisin was happily sitting in the middle of the room, delighted to have other children to watch.

Roisin went to Daisy Day for three years, progressing through the rooms, Caterpillar, Butterfly, Busy Bee and Wise Owl. She left when it was time to go to school nursery. For those years I was utterly confident that she was getting the best possible care. She enjoyed such a range of activities from arts and crafts, to exploring the outside world and toddling in the park. Daisy Day nurses were helpful at every new development stage: weaning, walking, toilet training. Most days Roisin would toddle in without even looking over her shoulder to blow a kiss. On days when she was feeling a little more clingy there would be someone to peel her from my husband’s leg or coax her from my arms. We could go to work knowing that she was happy, well cared for and stimulated.

Four years later, when my second daughter Maeve was born, I didn’t visit anywhere else. Why would I? I knew she would get the best care possible in Daisy Day. Maeve is different to her older sister in many respects. But like Roisin, she smiles as we walk in the door in the mornings and she goes straight to the girls in Butterflies without even looking over her shoulder.