What to ask/look for when visiting a nursery school

(10 Posts)
ellesabe Mon 19-Nov-12 19:31:15

We are starting to think about applying for a nursery place for dd1's 15 free hours and are hoping to visit our local primary school which has a nursery class.

I am a primary school teacher so have a fair idea of what to look for with regards to the school in general but I'm fairly clueless about nursery provision. What should I be looking out for or asking when we visit?

ellesabe Tue 27-Nov-12 17:08:53

Anyone?

We're going to visit tomorrow...

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Nov-12 17:11:01

Hello Some blurb from MNHQ from the bits ^^ up there choosing a nursery
Good luck and bump

IvanaNap Tue 27-Nov-12 17:12:23

Toilet facilities, general contentment if the children there (try to talk to one or two) the provision areas and outdoor space (and access to it all) - ask about numbers of children in each session, staffing numbers, pick-up and drop-off procedure and what their settling in routine is. Not sure if that helps, but it's start grin

IvanaNap Tue 27-Nov-12 17:12:52

* contentment of the children

maresedotes Tue 27-Nov-12 17:14:51

I visited two to compare (not on same day). I looked for adults who were more interested in my child than me. I watched the children playing and tried to gauge whether they were happy and how they were spoken to. It's not an exact science I'll admit!

AndMiffyWentToSleep Tue 27-Nov-12 17:15:16

Council websites often have a good list of questions to ask ... But key for me is seeing how the staff interact with the kids and how the kids respond to them. Also facilities - and outside space.

I wish I'd asked about settling in procedures and how they communicate with parents (eg do they write in a little book, have a parents evening etc). Also how they deal with an upset child, with accidents, with naptime (mine won't fall asleep nicely in a cot).

Hope that helps

AndMiffyWentToSleep Tue 27-Nov-12 17:17:20

Actually what mares said about their attention - that helped me decide as the worker showing me round was constantly distracted by the kids!

ellesabe Tue 27-Nov-12 22:07:53

Thanks all - very helpful smile

TiggyD Sat 01-Dec-12 11:44:17

If a nursery goes on and on about the EYFS avoid it. They should be thinking more about making the children feel safe and happy and loved.

Check to see if they are actually using all the areas they have. Is there paint in the paint pots and water in the water tray or are they "just about to do it"?

Are broken books and toys thrown away or kept?

Are all the staff happy and friendly and intelligent?

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