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New Baby Care Unit


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Hi Everyone

 

I am in the process of relocating my current pre-school to a new location which will involve full daycare instead of sessional and a baby unit. Am very exited but the baby unit is challenging as I have never worked in or run one before. Was hoping people would be willing to share expereinces with me? Have so many questions but here are the most pressing ones!

 

1. At the moment I can`t get my head around staffing. Am planning on opening 8-6. How do others work out staff rotas/shifts?

 

2. Do you all use wooden cots or has anyone tried travel cots - space will be at a premium for me?

 

3. Do you keep to a strict routine in line with nursery running or do you try to follow the home routine?

 

4.Bottles - do parents bring them in for the day or do you make them up?

 

Any other things you have found to be helpful or pit falls to avoid that you are willing to share would also be gratefully received.

 

 

Sally

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1. At the moment I can`t get my head around staffing. Am planning on opening 8-6. How do others work out staff rotas/shifts?

 

I found that the best way for us to work shifts was everybody did 8-6 with a 1/2 day off each week. The reason that I opted for this was originally we worked alternate shifts of 8 - 5 and 9 -6, however as the setting got busier we were getting more and more children arriving before 9 so I had to guess how many staff i needed before 9 which was very risky. We got paid for 45 hours a week so typically you would do mon - fri 8-6 and fri 9 - 1, or 1-5. I chose the option of people coming in a hour late or leaving an hour early because it was better to cover dinners as staff got paid for their dinner hour 8-9, or 5-6 would technically be their hour's dinner. This probably doesn't make sense.

 

2. Do you all use wooden cots or has anyone tried travel cots - space will be at a premium for me?

 

We used a mixture of both, 4 cots in the baby room for 9 children plus travel cots. babies unusaully sleep all at the same time 4 travel cots in the 1-2's room for children who slept whilst everone was playing at dinner time most of the children slept on mats. Each child had there own bedding which was numbered and washed at the end of each week or earlier if needed

 

3. Do you keep to a strict routine in line with nursery running or do you try to follow the home routine?

We tried whereever possible to stick to the children's own routines with sleeps, bottles etc particularly with the under 1's. With meals we liked the children to eat together as a social thing however again with the babies we tried to follow their home routine, especially when they are too young to feed themselves otherwise it gets a bit like a prodiction line which isn't a nice experiance for the babies.

 

 

4.Bottles - do parents bring them in for the day or do you make them up?

usually bottles were bought in ready made, as soon as they arrived at nursery we put tags on them with the childs name on to avoid any mix up. occasionally parents would being in measured out powder and measured out water which we would mix. There has been the odd parent over the years that wanted their bottles making up from scratch, it would be down to personal choice if you allow them to do this, personally I would avoid this unless you have complete faith in the staff to get it right.

 

Any other things you have found to be helpful or pit falls to avoid that you are willing to share would also be gratefully received.

 

I have worked in nurseries for around 13 years in all age groups but mainly in the baby room including setting up a babyroom, however I can't think of anything of the top of my head but if you do have any other qustions please just ask

 

Rapunzel

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Hi Sally

 

In my current nursery, we base the routine in the baby room on the babys home routine, when a new baby starts we ask the parent to fill in a sheet that we call a daily care plan, it includes times they like them to eat at, sleep at etc, its on my memory stick at home but I could upload it later for you if that would help?

 

Grafter x

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What exciting times for you. I started a small baby unit, 3 babies, in January 2008 that has grown to 9 now.

 

Here are my answers to add to the mix, good luck!

 

1) Staff are contracted for basic hours of, for example 8 - 5 or 9 - 6 and have 1/2 hour lunch break. Extra hours are offered as and when needed, (not all children come in early the same with staying late)

 

2) I use Shanti cots at www.shanticot.co.uk/ They are double decker and fairly small so save space on two fronts. They are fairly costly, I've not had any problems at all with them and afterall you are getting two for the price of one. Older children soon realise that they can have a lie down when the need too.

 

3) We make sure parents come in with their baby often, during quieter times, before the start date to talk to staff about routines/likes/dislikes etc. As we are relatively small, total registration 40, all children that are able to eat together, we have Community Playthings low chairs and tables. Very young babies have feeds as and when to fit in with family routine.

 

4) We ask for bottles to be made up for the day, likewise weaning food or finger foods in small "tuppaware" containers which we warm in jugs of hot water - always kept in the kitchen. This follows for all the nursery as we supply all food and drink for snack but get parents to provide lunch, that way fussy children always get a main meal that parents know they will/should eat. We do have parents that like us to keep a box of formula just in case they forget to make it up, but we have never had to open one yet.

 

Enjoy!! We think it is the best thing we ever did and try to include the younger children in most things we do; always heading out and about for village walks and trips to the wood. The older children love being helpful and obviously siblings get to spend time together.

Edited by BMG
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Thank you BMG, Rapunzel and Grafter for your quick replys. What you have written is very helpful and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your expereince. I am taking account of everything to add in with my ideas so this is a big help.

 

 

Am thinking about nappies now - does anyone use the enviromentally friendly terry ones? I seem to remember someone offering a service where they were taken away and washed them for you then returned them clean?! We are going for a natural/enviromentally frienedly selling point for the setting so this would fit. However thinking it may well be too much hassle and better to stick to disposable.

 

Sally

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Hmm I think the nappy question might be best answered by your parents. As a parent I wanted to use eco friendly ones but my children all had terrible nappy rash from using them and I had to switch to disposable after trying many different things to try to stop it. My sister has also had the same issues and now uses eco disposable which are meant to be more easily broken down in landfill. She also uses eco nappy sacks.

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I can only answer some of your points.

 

Bottles - it is now not advised to make up feeds in advance. Have a look at this advice

 

Nappies - there are nappy laundry services, and these are the most environmentally friendly method. They deliver a stack of nappies once a week, taking the dirty ones. As the chidlren are not with you 24/7, it may be that if you paid for 5 children, there would be enough for 8 children to use the nappies while at nursery. You would need to work out whether you send them home in them, or put a disposable on just as they are leaving. Parents may like the idea as their child would be in proper nappies 10 hours a day, but they won't have any inconvenience. You will need to change the nappies more frequently than disposables. Some children may get more nappy rash - often this is caused by a build up of detergent in the nappies.

Edited by Guest
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