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As a parent what would you ask when looking around a nursery


mrsbat
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Hubby's cousins daughter (got that lol) has asked me to go and look around a nursery with her as she thinks I'll know the proper questions to ask and what to look for etc :blink: . What sort of thing would you be looking for or asking? it is for a 12 month old and I never sent my own at that age so not really sure what to be looking for....... Obviously I'll be asking about the staff and how much baby experience they have, what sort of routines they have etc...any ideas would be great please :)

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I would want to be able to visit freely and not at a restricted time, because I would want to know that what I see isn't for the benefit of a visitor!

I would ask the things you have said and really I would want to get a feel for the place and its staff more than anything.

I know someone who was recommended a nursery with her 1 year old and wasn't sure when she visited, but felt that with a recommendation it would be OK and not going into the story turned out it wasn't!!!!!!!!!!!!

However the nursery her daughter did go to she said felt right when she visited!!

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interesting about the restricted time scarlettangel....because we take the children out quite often we do ask parents to book just so that we make sure we are in!

food/ activities/key people...stability of staff (especially for those little ones) but i do think most of it is gut instinct!

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Yes we too make appointments for them to come for a visit. This is because generally it's myself that shows prospective parent/ carers round, and i need to be available. That said I show them and tell them absolutely everything, so they can make an informed choice.

We also suggest they bring their child too, so they can have a play, see interaction with the staff, as well as suggesting they do go and look at more than one setting to make more of an informed choice. We as practitioners are mindful that not all settings are right for all children and each is unique too.

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Re the appointment/restricted time....We have an "open door" policy and welcome potential parents at any time, but what we do say is to preferably not to call in over lunch time as this is a time when is very busy!!

Usually I would recommend that when visiting a new nursery, you bring the child with you as 'Gardener' said, this way you will get a feel for the nursery and how the staff interact with the child. Also it give you an insight as to how the room and nursery work. As a manager I always show potential parents around and explain everything to them, i then ask if they have any questions and do my best to answer any they may have!!

Hope this helps!! :rolleyes:

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We do exactly the same as Fredbear and do ask parents to make an appointment. I find that if parents have lots of questions it makes the visit much easier as you get a feel of what they are looking for and how we can meet those needs. Some parents are virtually silent for the whole visit and I find that really hard work as you feel you are babbling on but getting no response! But I agree that 'gut feeling' stands for a lot. How responsive the staff are to the visitor says a lot too.

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I would want to know about

menus; how accommodating they are to fussy eaters and what foods do they use? (I've seen horrible raw ingredients!)

nap times: are they worked into the routine or whenever the child wants them? (I've seen babies rocked half to death to make them sleep)

messy play/creative; do they allow for free expression or do they like the children to take something 'nice' home? (Fluffy ducks?)

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I'd ask how their key person system works, i.e. do they have their key children with them a lot, building up deep, trusting relationships or are they looked after by whoever is there while the key person simply fills in their learning journey.

I'd want to know how flexible they were to meeting children's individual needs, e.g. who leads the settling in process, will they be flexible about nap times and settling routines, how much do they follow children's individual interests, are children permitted to use comfort objects.

I'd ask to see their policies and make sure they were in accord with my parenting style. Especially the behaviour management policy and whether physical comfort and cuddles were encouraged, permitted or discouraged. I'd also check that they don't exclude children when it is not recommended on the HPA guidelines e.g. for being on antibiotics.

I'd listen very carefully to how the older children speak to the staff and whether all of the children turn to them for comfort and reassurance when a stranger enters the room.

One thing that would be very important to me would be how they managed mealtimes. If they put pressure on children to eat certain foods or clear their plates that would be a deal breaker for me. Relaxed, sociable mealtimes are really important in my opinion.

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I like to think we are flexible with visiting parents, however, last year I had a parent get very stroppy as she had a family member visiting her specifically so they could make a decision about which setting to attend. She told me the time and day and I had no option but to state it was not a suitable time/day.

 

It was none of her business as to why (major safeguarding concern and a meeting -so we would be short staffed too. However, she was adamant that we should be available for her at any time - especially as her family member was a head teacher who was making a specific effort.

 

Yes, we are usually flexible, but early years is unpredictable and we cannot always be there when required. All sorted now as she then refused to come along and went elsewhere.

I felt upset that I couldn't be flexible, but safeguarding does come first.

By the way, Happy new year to everyone from me,

 

Spiral :-)

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