Nursery visit - checklist of what to ask

(17 Posts)
SparkleSausage Tue 18-Oct-16 19:55:48

We're going to see a couple of potential nurseries next week - just wondering in your experiences what are the must-ask questions? TIA!

kimlo Tue 18-Oct-16 20:00:12

how many of the staff are first aid trained?
what is there staff turn over like?

Akire Tue 18-Oct-16 20:06:15

How much acess to outdoors? In theory it's supposed to be open access but seen it done like school playtime 10min here and there when it's cold.

Can they bring in favorite toy or comforter?

what's the format of daily feedback verbal or written? Does it look like the key workers lebds have the day having to update every chart and not much time with the kids.

Ask about story/singing times seen it done many times where kids are on the carpet for bloody ages. Should be short intesting gaps not long periods of torture 2-3-4 times a day.

daisydalrymple Tue 18-Oct-16 20:09:58

What are the ages of each group (probably in separate rooms) of babies / toddlers /children.

What pattern / routine do they follow and at what times with regards meals / playtime / naps etc. Do they integrate your own timings or try to adapt your baby to theirs.

Sample menus for mealtimes.

SparkleSausage Tue 18-Oct-16 20:33:22

Oooh thank you, really great advice x

domesticslattern Tue 18-Oct-16 20:40:46

Staff turnover every time. How long have you been here, how long has the manager been here, who is the longest serving member of staff etc.
Gives you an idea of whether it is a decent place to work or not. Happy staff will always make for a better nursery!

Dlah Thu 20-Oct-16 16:49:07

First aid as mentioned above, however as of 1st September all childcare staff must now be paediatric first aid trained to be included in the staff ratio. Nurseries have 3 months to get all staff up to date, and 3 months from a new staff member starting to get them on it. It's all part of Millie's Mark ( google if not aware)

Payments - do you pay for bank hols, sickness, holidays (common to pay for most to be honest)

standard procedures for illness - i.e. Is it 24 or 48 hour period from last bout, always good to know where you stand.

Good luck

Dlah Thu 20-Oct-16 16:51:01

Oo and outdoor time!

Really important for all children but I've recently shown some parents around the nursery I work at and they had been to another prior who said they don't take children outside until in the toddler room!!! Was shocked!

You want somewhere that are not fair weather people, happy to get outside and jump in the puddles on a rainy day, burn off some steam etc

insancerre Fri 21-Oct-16 06:50:14

Diah, that's not quite right about the first aid
Its a proposal but hasn't actually come into force yet
Millie's mark is a separate scheme, which is voluntary and settings have to pay to join
The requirement for first aid is still one person as a minimum. Obviously, its good practice to have most if not all of your staff first aid trained but it isn't actually a requirement yet

TheBiscuitStrikesBack Fri 21-Oct-16 06:54:34

I wouldn't make appointments to view, I'd just turn up. That way you get a "real" view of the day to day...

Dlah Fri 21-Oct-16 08:37:27

The changes came into effect from 1st September and yes Millie's Mark is a separate scheme to show good practice, but it is now a requirement for all staff included in ratio to have PFA

kimlo Fri 21-Oct-16 08:42:01

only for newly qualified practitioners. I have 8 yesrs experience so if I didnt already have it I would be ok.

Everybody in my setting has it though.

starlight36 Fri 21-Oct-16 09:13:13

For a baby how do their routines work? Will they be flexible to your child?

For a toddler / older child take your child along and see how the staff interact with your child and how your child interacts with the setting / staff. The nursery I chose for my 2 1/2 was the one he didn't want to leave on our initial visit.

Agree outside space is very important. Staff turnover is key but not sure you'll get a straight answer on the visit - probably best to get a sense for that from other parents or internet reviews. Our nursery had a good range of ages of staff which I thought worked well. Benefit of both experience and bundles of energy!

I think you'll probably have a gut feel once you have visited a few.

insancerre Fri 21-Oct-16 12:47:07

It's still not a requirement as the EYFS hadn't been updated yet

It was due to be in force for 1st Sep 2016 but it hasn't been published yet, so we still waiting on it

iloveroastpotatoes Sat 22-Oct-16 20:56:33

What are their ratios?
How do they monitor, record and plan the progress of individual children?
What is their behaviour policy?
How will they help your child settle in?
What is the cost of sessions? Does that include food/drink? When are payments due?
What is their sickness policy?
What are their safeguards against anyone just wandering into the setting?

While being shown round, have a look at how other children are interacting with the staff. Do the staff look bored/engaging in activities? Are the staff chatting amongst themselves?

Good luck!

Ankleswingers Sat 22-Oct-16 21:10:57

Good post RoastPotatoes

I second everything that you are saying.

Also, with regards to outdoor play, find out what kind of things they do outside. Outside time is very telling in terms of a setting. Staff should be actively providing good activities/ resources outside as much as inside. I visit a lot of Nurseries as part of my job and there is nothing worse than staff standing around talking / moaning about the weather etc, whilst the children are playing. Staff should be separated, well deployed and actively involved with the children; following and supporting the children's interests. A good setting will be sending staff on courses to support this as the benefits of outdoor play for children are immense.

Just go outside and watch for yourself. You'll soon get a feel of it.

Good luck.

KP86 Sat 22-Oct-16 21:20:03

Immunisation policies
Structure of the day
Ratios
Staff turnover
Any extra activities they may offer
Toilet training policies

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