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to have arrived unannounced?

(146 Posts)
ChiantiOnTap Tue 16-May-17 07:01:42

I'm looking for a nursery for my daughter to start in September. She'll be 2. Me and my husband decided to visit a potential yesterday to look around. We didn't ring ahead as I wanted to see what it was like on an average day (as far as possible).

The nursery refused us entry and specifically stated that we don't have DBS checks (coincidentally we both do as we work with vulnerable people in NHS roles but they weren't to know that). When I queried further they said that the parents of the children would need to be notified of our presence and they couldn't do this now.

AIBU to think that this is batshit? When they take them out to the park or wherever there could be all number of people hanging around without DBS checks. But they're the responsible adults that the parents have trusted to safeguard their children surely?

I wouldn't expect to be left in a room alone with the children btw. Just escorted through, briefly observing whatever happened to be going on at the time.

AIBU? Is this not a thing?

Sirzy Tue 16-May-17 07:03:44

I wouldn't be happy with that.

I would have understood a very apologetic "really sorry we are mad busy at the moment" type response but not a flat out refusal with rubbish excuses!

Trifleorbust Tue 16-May-17 07:03:48

Of course you can't turn up without an appointment. They are responsible for children. It's not a drop-in clinic. Totally unreasonable!

MaisyPops Tue 16-May-17 07:04:16

I think they gave a silly reason as you don't need DBS to look around.

Equally, I think just turning up and expecting people to be able to show you round was silly. They'll have planned their staffing and activities for the day so can't just drop a member of staff because some people have turned up.

LedaP Tue 16-May-17 07:04:39

You dont just turn up and nursery and presume to be let in.

You dont need a dbs to visit as far as i am aware. But you caught them off guard and they were trying to express that they just let anyone through the door.

mumonashoestring Tue 16-May-17 07:04:54

Well think about it the other way - how impressed would you be if you'd turned up looking to leave your child in someone's care and they just casually allowed any old nutter to wander in off the street, potentially while staff were busy with naps, feeding etc. and unable to properly supervise?

And no, of course it's not maximum security at all times but the children and the staff should be able to relax while they're in the actual facility and not worry about who's poking around.

DearTeddyRobinson Tue 16-May-17 07:04:56

YABU. You can't just pitch up at a nursery and demand a tour! It's a private business for starters, same as you demanding a tour of your local solicitor's office.
Secondly wouldn't you have reservations about a nursery which let strangers in on request, then presumably took one of the staff away from child care duties to show them around?!

Zampa Tue 16-May-17 07:05:01

YABU. Nurseries are businesses and they can't just drop everything to show someone around. The child/staff ratios are very specific and the manager may have been busy elsewhere.

Call ahead next time.

Sirzy Tue 16-May-17 07:06:44

Both nurseries DS went to had an "open door" policy and as much as possible would show potential parents around unannounced.

Just the same as - at the other end of the scale - nursing homes generally do.

They understand people want to see them in the "real" not in a "we have visitors" mode

bigmack Tue 16-May-17 07:07:28

They clearly had no one free to escort you around. They aren't allowed to let you in without an appointment due to safeguarding.

Imfinehowareyou Tue 16-May-17 07:08:01

Frustratingly DBS only counts for the place you originally got it for. I have three of them! Whether the nursery is correct or not, if they were offhand/rude to you that would be enough to cross it off my list. If they explained the no entry pleasantly I would make an appointment and give them a second chance.

Trifleorbust Tue 16-May-17 07:09:13


Nursing homes and nurseries are responsible for vulnerable people and absolutely should be controlling who comes in and when. I am shocked and would be really angry to know my DD's childcare provider was doing this.

LedaP Tue 16-May-17 07:09:54

Nursing homes dont generally have an open door policy. Especailly where the residents need medical help. Dh worjed in them for years and i soent 4 minths trying to find my grandad a suitable home when his dementia meant he could not live at home anymore.

Homes for fit and healthy older people might.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Tue 16-May-17 07:10:19

You want to know if a nursery is unreasonable to not let random strangers stroll in off the street? Right. hmm

Spudlet Tue 16-May-17 07:10:30

Of course you can have a tour, but you have to arrange it first. There might not have been anyone available to 'just' walk you round. Just turning up was a really silly thing to do. And extremely rude, imo.

DayMoth Tue 16-May-17 07:11:39

IME you have to book ahead. When we viewed nurseries they all required an appointment and our details. They have busy times when they don't want visitors, quiet times when they're putting children down for naps, protected mealtimes etc. They may not have a member of staff free to give you a tour.

Imagine your DDs at the nursery. How would you feel if strangers could come in off the street and have a tour whenever they wanted?

Their priority is the children's safety and wellbeing, minimising interruptions to their routine.

Things I looked at: did the children seem happy, clean, good selection of toys, range of activities planned, outdoor space, staff attentive, room bright and cheerful, healthy menus, shoes-off policy.

JennyOnAPlate Tue 16-May-17 07:11:45

Nurseries aren't allowed to let you in without an appointment, in the same way that schools wouldn't allow it either. I'm really surprised that you would think you could just turn up whenever you like for a guided tour.

LooksBetterWithAFilter Tue 16-May-17 07:12:50

I would not pick a nursery that didn't have an open door policy to a point if I'm honest. It would make me wonder why. While I kind of get what the others are saying about calling in adavance a nursery with nothing to his would be delighted to show you around.
When I was looking at a nursery for ds1 a few years ago now. I'd popped into one while I was passing just for some information about fees etc. And the owner offered to show me around there and then.
I don't think there is anything wrong at all with wanting to see a childcare setting as it is on a normal day rather than when they are expecting visitors.

Trifleorbust Tue 16-May-17 07:14:14


I wouldn't pick one that did. If I am paying someone to look after my child I do not expect them to drop everything to show people round with no notice, and I expect them to know who the people coming through the door are.

OnionKnight Tue 16-May-17 07:14:23

The only nurseries I know that have an 'open door' policy are the ones where they have a designated person to show visitors round, although even then I wouldn't just drop in but that's just me.

You can't reasonably expect every day nursery or pre-school to have the ability to show visitors around at the drop of a hat.

TheNaze73 Tue 16-May-17 07:14:49


witsender Tue 16-May-17 07:17:02

We were always told to turn up unannounced. The manager told us that if all hell had broken loose and they had no staff they would tell us, but that they worked within their ratios with space and that it was important we got a feel for the place with no feeling of it 'being on show'. The head of the associated primary school had a similar policy.

Flowersinyourhair Tue 16-May-17 07:17:32

At my daughter's nursery you book ahead as they ensure that there's an extra staff member there so that the staffing ratios are unaffected. I think that's a pretty good reason don't you IP?

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 16-May-17 07:17:47

If you choose this Nursery you now know that they don't let random strangers in. You've got some safe guarding box you can tick offsmile

AliceByTheMoon Tue 16-May-17 07:18:22

YABU, sorry.

For all the reasons everyone else said.

Anyway, even if you make an appointment, you are going to see an average day - nurseries have too much to do than to get the children or the staff to put on an act for every visitor that comes to visit.

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