Great nursery (but stick to their plan!). Review by Charlotte - September 2015
I have 2 kids currently at Trappgränd and one who was there for a year before leaving for school – therefore I have had kids in all 3 of their classes (Solgläntan – age 1-3, and then Blåbäret and Skogstrollet which cater for 3 to 6). We’re really happy with the nursery. They have a great outside space with trees and swings and a brilliant rocky area that they can clamber over in the summer and slide down on sledges (with helmets on!) in the winter. In the summer they often are outside pretty much the whole day with activities and snacks set up on the outside tables. Inside the set-up is also great – they have lots of Montessori style toys, play-dough, art materials, books etc. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a trashy plastic toy there (my kids have enough of these at home!). They have good inside facilities for physical play/ exercise.
They have the standard Swedish timetable with mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack (mellanmål) and they either take these outside or sit with the staff members at tables that are the appropriate height for the kids. The staff also eat lunch with the kids and the kids are expected to be civilized at the table. They have good facilities for toileting and nappy changing and are keen to be active in potty training. They take the kids out every week for a mini “utflykt” – which is sometimes only as far as the grass verge on the other side of the road form the nursery – but the kids seem to love it anyway. They have good staff to child ratios and give lots of informal and formal feedback about your child. The settling in for little ones was really good and they were quite flexible about extending or shortening the settling in period according to the child’s need. They have one member of staff who is a native English speaker (from the USA). Their staff turnover is low and they don’t seem to often need to use stand-in / vikarie staff. They have several members of staff who are older and have long experience which is great.
My criticisms would mainly be that they are not great at coping with or facilitating deviations from their routines and structures. However I would suspect this is the case for most Swedish nurseries. For example, our daughter had to start at nursery when she was just 1 year old – most Swedish kids wait until they are 15 to 18 months and it was apparent that they were just not used to dealing with a kid so young. They did their best – letting her sleep outside in the buggy when she needed to during playtime and providing some alternatives at mealtimes, but I really notice she is getting on much better there now that she is approaching her second birthday. Their setting is really not set up to cater for very little kids. My son has a few problems with behavior and attention and had somewhat limited Swedish when we arrived here and consequently he struggled a bit and I didn’t feel they were great at responding to his slightly unusual set of needs. Also when we first arrived I was on maternity leave and so was subject to the standard 20 hours per week schedule that Danderyd has. I realise that this is generous in comparison to some of the other kommuns – but we had just moved our whole lives to a new country and I had just had the new baby and was quite rubbish at Swedish. However they cut me no slack whatsoever and were really quick to get on my case if I was late to pick up etc. I could have done with a slightly more sympathetic attitude. Having said that, my experience of most of the staff is that they are lovely and super with the kids and great at building relationships with them. I think the pickiness comes primarily from senior staff members.
Overall I would definitely recommend Trappgränd.