Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
25/05/2013 at 18:14
I can't bury my head in the sand any longer...I need to get A signed up for a nursery.
What are the important questions to ask? So far i have..
1. How many other kids in her group/room and the adult/child ratio (should be 1:3 or better?)
2. What is included in price (food/nappies/milk etc)
3. How much and do they take childcare vouchers
What else do I need to ask?? I don't know what I need to consider..!
25/05/2013 at 18:43
Do you have to pay for holidays? Do you have to pay in advance? What sort of day trips, if any, do they do? How do they report of her progress? (my sisters kids have a little book that gets filled in each day and they have parents evenings) What was the outcome of their last OFSTED inspection?
Cant think of any more for the minute!
25/05/2013 at 18:57
My son nursery we had a tour, we went back and stayed for a whole morning there, then he went for an hour or so (with me sat in staff room). I felt very reassured by the time he started
25/05/2013 at 20:01
Make sure you just drop in. Don't call in advance.
Ask about their menu- how often do they vary the meals. Are they made on site or bought in.
What is the daily routine for naps etc- if you want to keep your routine will they work with that or do they make them all sleep at the same time.
Where do they sleep.
How often do they play outside and do you have to provide waterproofs. Ours have all in one suits for them but some places say you must bring your own.
Drop off / collection times. Security checks for if you have to get someone else to collect them in an emergency.
Check their foster report.
Staff turnover- how long have the staff been there. It's a good sign its a nice place to work if they've all been there several years.
How often to staff rotate between the rooms/age groups.
Look at the rooms- are they decorated with art work etc by the kids or just generic posters.
Take your LO with you when you visit. Do the staff show interest in them, let them come and play or offer to hold them while you take a look around/ chat to the manager
The more you look around places the more questions you think of. And trust your gut. Some places you get a nice feeling, others you don't.
25/05/2013 at 20:09
*ofsted not foster!
25/05/2013 at 20:31
Ask about settling in, how many sessions, are they free or do you pay? Ask how long the other kids have been going. And go with your gut feeling x
25/05/2013 at 20:35
Jellytot, that's great thankyou, loads I hadn't thought of!
Can you just turn up?? Do places allow that?
25/05/2013 at 20:46
I would want to know about the food - ask for a sample menu, where does the food come from (ie organic), is it prepared fresh on site ?
25/05/2013 at 21:04
Not read other replies, so apologise if I'm repeating;
Opening times and procedure for if you are late.
Flexibility - one of the winning points for my nursery id that they offer places to children of shift workers, meaning if I ever need to swap a day at work, there's a good chance I can do so at nursery. I've also used them in emergency situations on the days he's not in - when I was suffering from migraines earlier in this pregnancy.
Food - ask to see sample menus. Where do they eat? have they done BLW before? (if you're intending to BLW)
Time outside - do they have a garden area, how often do they use it? any outside time in winter?
Staff turnover - another selling point for my one is 6/7 of the staff had been there for 5+ years
Ages of different rooms and are there times when the children mix with those older/younger than them - I liked the fact they all ate together so he picked up social skills from the elder children whilst in the baby room (0-2 years) and learns how to behave around babies.
Really though, you just get a feel, very few if any factors were a show stopper for me, it was really where I felt most comfortable. It is so hard to anticipate what will be important to you when you have a 1/2/3 year old when you're looking around with a little baby.
25/05/2013 at 21:08
Pretty much what everyone else has said but I would also ask about the settling in period, how long is it, can you stay for the first couple of days etc.
25/05/2013 at 21:52
That's all brilliant, thanks ladies :)
25/05/2013 at 21:56
Only otherthing I can think of is sickness policies, ie how long you have to keep them off when they have been ill iykwim - not saying you would send little one in when poorly! Xx
25/05/2013 at 22:11
This is a v useful thread. Something I'm not looking forward to sorting out!
25/05/2013 at 23:11
Mine didnt start until almost 2 so some stuff posted wasnt relevant to us, but you can get a 'feel' for a place pretty quickly. One we went to sounded good until we walked n and it looked like it needed a good Hoover/clean. And it wasn't very light. The place my son goes to is very open and loads of natural light, also, I had a friend whose kid went there a few years ago, and her 2nd is there now, so that was reassuring too.
26/05/2013 at 03:46
All useful info. Nenas when are you thinking of going back? Ie how far in advance areyou looking and should I be! As also burying head in sand!
26/05/2013 at 07:05
I'll be going back in April, so she'll be just over 1.
26/05/2013 at 07:20
I second the fact you get a good feel. One I visited was great on paper but just didn't have that sort of loving feel. To me nursery is all about playing and having fun, not really about 'proper' learning. We've been very happy with ours.
They fitted around S's nap routine, when the weather's nice they all nap in pushchairs outside when little. They get out in the garden every day unless it's really horrible weather and have plenty of outdoor space.
Hope you find one you like.
26/05/2013 at 08:33
Nenas- all the ones round here you just turn up at. We visited about 8 and they all allowed us to just drop in. One didn't and wouldn't let us in and said we had to make an appointment so we instantly ruled it out. I can appreciate if they were all like that from a security point of view etc, but the fact all the others let us and this one didn't meant we didn't like it as knew when we had a pre arranged visit they would be on best behaviours. It just made us wonder what they had to hide.
Also when you find the one you like dont be afraid to negotiate. We only needed one day a week and the only day they had available was a Monday so I said I wasn't keen on that as we would then be paying for bank hols and not able to use it. So she said she would not charge us for the bank hols until a different day became available for her to switch to.
My BIL has his son in nursery five days a week and they have agreed as long as they give 24 hours notice they will only be charged 50% on days he doesn't go- so if they take him out for a weeks hol, or a sickness where he's going to be off a few days with it etc. normally you will always have to pay whether your child is there it not
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