It was more or less a 5-minute walk from the school, to Lillie Road Fitness Centre. As soon as we entered the centre, there was a long queue of people, waiting to be seen. The receptionist spotted us as we approached the counter. My first impression, was that the receptionist was not welcoming, and that the entire place would not be welcoming. The receptionist asked us to sign in, and rather than escorting us to the crche, she gave us short, imprecise directions that said: “through there.” So, we decided to use our common sense, and follow the directions on the wall.
When we eventually found the crche, we stood outside for about 3 minutes, before the receptionist approached us, and said (a bit more freely, and optimistically than at the counter) “You can come in you know!” As soon as we entered, all went silent. The supervisor broke the silence by laughing. There were two ladies, one was in uniform ,and one was in casual clothing, and children surrounded them both. There were only 4 children (2 babies, and 2 toddlers). Soon enough, one of the toddlers had to be taken swimming, which only left 3 children!
The 2 ladies were very welcoming; they spoke to us frequently, kept us company (as well as playing with the children) and were always wearing their smile. The environment was not the atmosphere I had in mind before coming. I had expected it to be full of loud, messy, stubborn children. I had also expected more children to be there, with a load of stressed out adults, close to ripping their hair out, and bloodshot eyes!
However, the atmosphere was very calm, there were few kids, and the staff seemed to be enjoying their selves, as well as “laid back” about their jobs. After settling in, I noticed that the staffs were somehow trying to impress us, as well as make us feel welcome. We sat down and observed the children, and how they reacted to the adults. I noticed that one of the babies – Charlie, would burst out into tears each time an adult were to leave him alone. After observing for about 35 minutes, we decided to ask our questions. The questions were answered in detail, and were not “blunt” answers.
Before leaving the crche, we asked if it would be possible to come and visit again. The staff agreed, we confirmed our visiting time and date at the reception desk. The receptionist looked half asleep at the counter! My Account Of The Crï¿½che At Lillie Road Fitness Centre- 2nd Visit. As soon as we reached the centre, we spotted the receptionist at the desk, staring in to space. When we reached the desk, the receptionist did not acknowledge us, so we signed in. Without the receptionist uttering a syllable, we made our way to the cche. Finally, we reached the crï¿½che. The environment seemed livelier than the visit beforehand. There were many more children (8 children – 5 babies, and 3 toddlers). There was also 3 supervisors, 2 of which were qualified workers, and one of which was not qualified, she was a helper.
The helper was working with 2 babies, Donna was working with 3 babies, and Ann – the manager, had three older kids. There were many toys out, so that the kids would always be kept occupied. Charlie – an 8-month-old baby – would burst into tears each time an adult left him, which basically means that he needs 100% attention. I also noticed that the helper was trying to help the babies walk. After about 15 minutes, all the staff seemed to drift away from us, leaving us feeling isolated.
Without the staff paying any attention to us, they started their singing session with the children. Everybody had an instrument, and they sang roughly 6 short songs. The children did not seem to be paying that much attention, with the exception of 2 or 3 older children. After the singing was over, Ann approached us, to see if we needed anything, we said that we needed her to answer a few questions. 5 minutes before the session ended, she decided to sit with us and answer our questions quite briefly.