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Do You Allow Open Visits To Prospective Parents?


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Hi,

If someone knocks the door at your setting to put their childs name on the waiting list and asks to "have a look around" do you let them in or do you make appointments/check identification etc.

I know the childcare information bureau used to say to parents that settings should have an "open door" policy and that if settings didn't let you in then they were probably hiding something.... but what about security issues for the children in our care..??

 

Di. x

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We still have an 'open door policy'. I obviously would be suspicious of anyone who wanted to come in without a child with them. All secuity measures are taken- signing in, escorting them around setting etc. I like to think we are friendly and welcoming and would not want to put off a prospective parent by not allowing them in. I don't see how making an appointment would make a visitor any less of a security risk anyway.

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Hi,

If someone knocks the door at your setting to put their childs name on the waiting list and asks to "have a look around" do you let them in or do you make appointments/check identification etc.

I know the childcare information bureau used to say to parents that settings should have an "open door" policy and that if settings didn't let you in then they were probably hiding something.... but what about security issues for the children in our care..??

 

Di. x

 

This was spoken about on a recent course I went on. It was generally decided that it woud have to be down to the dicretion of the manager. We have an open door policy and woud be willing to open up for an adult accompanied by a child. Think we would take a different point of view if there was no visible child ie suggest they bring Jonny round etc etc. As it is we would never let any parent alone with any child. We are aways having prospective parents drop in as committee never informs us they are coming! even had a couple of children turn up to start and not been informed before hand! How professional eh?

Edited by marley
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Yes - exactly the same as moomy - I have always felt that when parents ask "do we need an appointment" and I say "please come anytime that's convenient for you" - that has a very welcoming 'ring to it' and that they must then know that we have nothing to hide!

 

Sunnyday

Edited by sunnyday
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Hi all

 

Going to be a bit negative now - sorry!

 

What on earth is the world coming to - we are so suspisious (oh I wish I had spell check here) today and tied up in legislation. We are all sensible practitioners who take resonable precautions. The changes of someone coming in who was a danger so slim we shouldn`t let this affect the way we operate. Most people are decent - lets not be so negative and always look for the problem. With policies and practises in place we can take sensible precautions and be more positive.

 

Sally

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Our attitude is "What you see is what you get!" So we have an open door policy and parents/carers can just drop in whenever they want. We don't ask them to make an appointment, unless they specifically want to.

There are times that aren't convenient, such as when the children are arriving or at home time, so I would always ask them if they could wait or come back later. But if that wasn't possible I would try and accomodate them if I could.

Linda

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Gosh I must be really hard! I always make parents make an appointment, if they call in off the street I always give them our information pack and make them feel welcome but I won't do drop in showarounds........well actually that's not strictly true, we are based on a hospital site so if someone calls and says "I'm here from........for a job interview can I look around", I will do it, but that is the only time. I certainly will not do them over lunch time as the staff are all busy, the children are sitting eating and the staff are on their own lunches also.

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As a day nursery, we tend to make appointments so we don't have multiple 'showrounds', tying up members of staff. We also discourage visits before 9.15, over lunch and after 3.30 as they won't see the nursery properly - staff still arriving, lunch time, tea time and staff going home. Otherwise, we are free with visits and if someone turned up when we could handle it, then we would.

 

Reading that back, it doesn't sound quite as free as it actually is! Before and after-school prospectives we will obviously see at most times, as they need to get a picture of the time they are concerned with.

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Like everyone else, we also have an 'open-door' policy, with or without a child.

 

Every one welcome at any time. :o No reason not to. OK some times may not be as convenient as others, but if you explain this to prospective parents they can either come back another day or take information away with them to look at.

 

We often have parents arrive without a child so that they can look around. This can be due to the fact that they have popped into town to do some shopping, seen the sign and decided to drop in, or that they are thinking of moving their child from another setting and want to have a look whilst the child is not with them.

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We have a mixture of both, sometimes people ring up to ask if they can come and other times folk just drop by. We always make both welcome 'warts and all'. I agree that if a couple turned up without a child I'd feel a little odd about it though

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Guest MaryEMac

We too have an open door policy. In fact a few years ago we had 2 families ring up to see if they could visit. I told them our opening times and told them to call in when they were passing. Both of the children joined us and one of the parents told me later that it was because of this open door attitude that they decided on our group for their children.They knew that we were not putting on a show for them.

 

Mary

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I always think that if you are asked to make an appointment you never know for sure if what you see is put on and for the visitors sake!!

 

I encourage parents to visit to suit them and if they don't like what they see, then they shouldn't bring their children to us!

 

:o

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I'm not sure why people feel uncomfortable when people come to look around a nursery without any children - some people prefer to visit first without their child in tow so they can concentrate on what they are seeing without worrying about what their child is up to!

 

We have an open door policy too - often people pop in because they were walking or driving past and we'll invite them in to see what's going on. I think it is important for parents to see us 'as we are' in the midst of whatever is going on at the time - although if people ring and ask what time to come I will usually advise them to come once the parents have left and registration is over with. But that's more about being able to see the children engaging and learning rather than anything else. Registration is lovely but not exactly a spectator sport!

 

Our ad in the parish magazine says "pop in and see us in action" and that's what parents want to see, I guess!

 

Maz

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We had a prospective parent ring first to ask if should could bring her child with her... apparently she had been told by our neighbouring 'all singing, all dancing, brand new purpose built setting' this was not acceptable on a first visit - needless to say her son comes to us now!!!!

 

xxxx

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Hi all

 

Going to be a bit negative now - sorry!

 

What on earth is the world coming to - we are so suspisious (oh I wish I had spell check here) today and tied up in legislation. We are all sensible practitioners who take resonable precautions. The changes of someone coming in who was a danger so slim we shouldn`t let this affect the way we operate. Most people are decent - lets not be so negative and always look for the problem. With policies and practises in place we can take sensible precautions and be more positive.

 

Sally

 

I agree we often have parents come in to put their child's name down without their child being with them because they might be away in India for example if we turned away these parents we would loose lots of business

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we also have an open door policy- its more weloming than appointments as stated in most mosts parents see us as we are wart and all !!! i have had several parents who chose us for this reason and were put off by other settings in the area who had turned them away and asked for an appiontment to be made!

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We usually have an open door policy, except at certain times of year (especially May June time). If we had an open door policy we would be swamped with new parents looking around. We have 31 children on the waiting list for September and we make appointments in pairs so it takes less time. It usually takes a member of staff at least 1/2 hour to show each parent around times 31 that is most of May/June gone!!! :o

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We do both really. If parents are passing by and want to have a quick look around before putting their childs name they are welcomed in. The term before their child is due to start we ask them to pop in on the day that their child will be attending the following term.I leave it up to the parent to decide how many visits that they will need to make or how long they stay for. Most only stay for about an hour though. I think they get embarassed when their child sometimes is reluctant to sit down with us at circle times especially when I invite parents to also take part. Its never mean a problem having parents visit. In fact the children often approach them and the parents will chat to them. I make the most of it because its probably the only times they will see what goes on.

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we have an open door policy I dont think insisting on appointments offers any additional security, we do encourage parents to bring children with them, as most children dont want to leave after looking around it makes parents feel happier about leaving their child with us.

 

I will admit I am suspisous of people who turn up without children and I have heard some tales of couples looking around nurseries and while one is chatting to the staff the other is sneaking for handbags and other valuables an appointment wouldnt protect against that and they could still sneak if they had a child in tow

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We also have an open door policy, but agree its not always convienent , we are on a school site but not part of the school and first thing in the morning is not helpful but we don`t turn them away. If they phone first we always say come when you are ready but could you come from 09.30 onwards.

 

Stranger danger is always at the forefront of our minds but I think we have to have some trust, I know if I was told come back later I would be some what suspicious of the Nursery , preschool etc and would opt for the one that is more open.

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We do 'drop in' visits, i always think if i was looking for a nursery and they turned me away as i hadnt made an appointment id be suspicious of what they were trying to hide... i tend to explain to parents as i show them round if it is a particularly mad time ie tea time!

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We also operate an open door policy and I feel sad that parents are looked on suspiciously if they turn up without a child.

We recently had a couple turn up 'out of the blue' asking if they could have a look round, and it turned out that they were prospective adoptees of a 4 year old girl who is currently in care and had not yet joined them. They have now decided to join us and we have home visits/Pre-school visits arranged for when the child has settled in at her new home.

I understand that some of you may have had bad experiences but shouldn't we be offering everyone 'the benefit of the doubt' as long as they are properly looked after for the safety of the children present?

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We do have an 'open house' policy but I also like to make appointments over the phone, mainly because I can

make sure that either myself of supervisor is supernumerate and able to spend time showing the visitor around.

We often ask if they would like to stay and play with their child after the 'tour' if their child seems happy and wants to

stay a bit longer. Usually takes about 25 mins to show around our small hall.

 

dottyp

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We have an 'open house' approach, though I think it's often better if we've had a chat on the phone first. I'm reluctant to turn anyone away on the door, but I've been trying to think it through again in light of that incident in Belgium when a man asked to be shown around, then as far as I could tell pulled out a knife and killed/injured staff/children. That would fit into the 'adults without a child'category, I think. Almost too horrible to think about but I suppose we must. I've certainly been reviewing the Intruder Policy.

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HI

I have three settings and all operate an open door policy.

All visitors sign in and are shown round by a member of staff or management.

I would be very worried about a setting that wanted me to make an appointment. What do they want to hide? One of the things that comes up everytime we send parents a questionnaire is that the parents love our open door policy and the transparency that offers the parents.

Remember the likelyhood of a person coming to your setting and being a safety risk to the children on a supervised visit must be millions to one.

Hope that helps

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HI

I have three settings and all operate an open door policy.

All visitors sign in and are shown round by a member of staff or management.

I would be very worried about a setting that wanted me to make an appointment. What do they want to hide? One of the things that comes up everytime we send parents a questionnaire is that the parents love our open door policy and the transparency that offers the parents.

Remember the likelyhood of a person coming to your setting and being a safety risk to the children on a supervised visit must be millions to one.

Hope that helps

 

Hi

Well just to let you know this actually happened to my husband this week!!

 

My hubby is a secondary school teacher...was teaching his class as norm when a young boy (about 15, no uniform) can barging into his classroom. Was screaming, swearing at him etc. Hubby basically said there was absolutely nothing he could do unless he was physically attacked himself first. Hubby said he tried to block this lads access to the children but very difficult when on his own. Managed to get lad out of classroom and sent for senior managment. Nobody stopped this lad from entering the school, he was not known by anyone and CCTV was useless. All they can thing is that he came from a travelling family. Very scary stuff. Lots of paperwork filled out but anyhting else done? No! Union has been made aware.

Last week it was an irate parent coming into a classroom of one of my hubbys collagues.

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