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Open Days when the Nursery is in operation


WhiteRose
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Hello Everyone

The Nursery owner ( who is not childcare qualified or ever here) wants me to hold an open day during half term but our Nursery will be open with children in it!! I have tried explaining that we do booked showrounds with families (one at a time) twice a day but there would be lots of safeguarding implications if lots of people turn up to look around. Am I being silly about this? Does anyone else do an open day on a week day? Does anyone have any proof as to why this is wrong?

 

Thanks so much everyone

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I had feedback from a parent who went to a group on an open day when the setting was 'working'...........................she described it as total chaos, and staff were rushing back and forth trying to soothe upset children, speak to parents, answer doors, check children wern't escaping when doors were opened. they had draughted in all their committee, who all brought their children too. I don't imagine it was fun for anyone. Maybe if the owner insists on it, you could arrange for her to be there to do meet and greets/show peoplearound/dealwith nappies,pants etc and deal with parents questions while you and your staff get on with running the group?Or, maybe she could ask parents to pre-book a viewing time, so you have batches of parents at certain times? I can see why people would want to see the group at work, but a free for all sounds like it might not be much fun?

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I think this is a big no no from a safeguarding point of view . Nurseries I know, all have open days on Saturdays.

I can't imagine the paying parents being happy about having the place open to anyone who feels like wandering in either.

I suppose a compromise would be to have a few set days as 'open days' that are advertised but that were by prior booking only.

That way, you could at least stagger the visits.

Smaller groups as Narnia suggests would be a good option too.

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We have out open morning every year on a day that we are open - however it is always the day when the older children go up for their trial morning at school. 99% of the people who come we know will have 2 year olds and as we have 2 rooms (only one of which is dedicated to 2 year olds only) we have all the children in the 'big room' and none in the little room and that is where we show parents round and talk to them - although we will then take them in the big room to look round too.

Most years we only have between 5 and 10 children in for the session as so many go to school each year so we have 6 staff in with them then 4 staff chatting and showing the prospective parents round. All parents are asked to sign in and are spoken to about safeguarding so phones/bags etc are all locked away until they leave and obviously no one is ever left on there own anywhere.

We are a term time only packaway setting in a village hall which is booked up at weekends and every evening so this is the only chance we get to do it really.

It works really well for us and I have no worries re safeguarding etc at all - in fact a few years ago a parent came to look round on the open day and asked lots of questions about safeguarding, asked why she had to have her phone etc locked away, after explaining it all to her she apologised for all the questions and said how impressed she was with the answers and all the things we had in place - she then told me she was not just 'any' parent, she also worked at the local safeguarding bureau!

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Ha ha yes we did it once and it was the worst experience of my life.

Booked appointments allow me the time to talk and show individual families round and for the child/ children to have a play.

Must say from a time management point of view an open day probably gets it over in one go but I wouldn't want to do it this way.:)

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We've had some Saturday open days in the past but two things happened 1. I didn't get to talk to each parent properly 2. They didn't get to see the group in action.

Visits with us happen for one hour when we are outside, with parents only. It can be very difficult to answer parents' questions and for them to observe if their child needs their attention. I may not be able to talk when they are free and they may not be free when I'm able to talk. (I'm a manager working with the children.) We've had visiting children unsettling the group, which is unfair on the others and gives the parents a bad impression of our setting.

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We show parents round on request and we are open, but only show 1-3 parents round . We can't do this closed as we pack away

 

Difficult but as a parent I would want to see it 'running'

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My committee gave this a go when I was running playgroup but it wasn't very successful. Personally I preferred it when parents came in individually as then I was able to spend some time chatting to them, answering their queries in a relaxed manner.

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We have successfully done this but we were a small group and at the times we did it we had some very engaged and proactive parents. We also ran it as a slightly different session, so with their parents, all children took part in a sponsored walk in the village, and the open morning ran on our return. Parents were asked to either leave after the sponsored event or stay with their child to support play, help with refreshments or talk to prospective parents. The staff mostly worked with the children in their usual activities, while 2 senior staff greeted parents and showed around.

It was beneficial as we recruited a good number of children on both occasions, and our current parents had the opportunity to help promote the setting and see their children's learning. To be honest we ran it in that way as we weren't sure any new families would even turn up, but it was successful so we did it again the following year.

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I wouldn't be happy as a member of staff. We have coffee/parents mornings 2 or 3 times a year and we close the session. Parents come and have a coffee and chat and make an appointment to see their child's key person to discuss their Learning Journeys. There is no way that this would work if it was a normal session. We had one yesterday with just 10 parents and their children plus younger siblings and it was chaotic with a full staff team, supernumerary supervisor and two members of the committee there!

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We used to do them very successfully at my last place.

The setting had just opened and we had a Saturday open day. Loads of people turned up, no one put their name down and simply booked another visit to see the setting in action. We then had around 20 different show arounds.

As the setting we had 70 places to fill and a huge amount of interest, so we started looking into open mornings. These were by appointment only but we would have quite a few families showing up. Initially the setting was not fully booked so there wasn't too many children. The main room was huge (50 children) and therefore busy anyways and a group of other adults would not even seem like much. Also often half the group was outside in the massive outdoor space anyways.

The manager, me as the Deputy, and all Room Leaders were freed from their room on that day and their roles in the room covered. Then we took parents around as small groups of no more than 3 families and showed them around. We only allowed 2 other adults at a time into the Baby Room. We took this into account when booking families and simply only booked one family in every group that was looking for a place for babies. This also ensured that the parents who would have the most questions and most vulnerable children could spend time on their own with the room leader in Babies.

It was busy but always very successful and we signed up most parents that came.

I have to say though that in my current nursery I wouldn't do it as it would be too small and disturbing, it really depends on the setting and what you are getting out of it.

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