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what to look for in a nursery?

(7 Posts)
nightowl Sat 26-Feb-05 00:49:44

sorry sorry sorry...know its been done but cant find the thread! have gotten a job yay! (bounces up and down). have phoned the posh nursery at the fitness club next street to me and they have places. there is another nursery in the street which i will check out (and probably several others). i already have a childminder for my older child but im thinking nursery may be the way to go with dd. dont really know why but i think it may suit her better. i dont know what i should be looking for and what questions to ask as ive never stepped foot in one before..have you any ideas?

Fran1 Sat 26-Feb-05 02:11:59

Ok few things i would look for.

Outdoor play area and larger spaces to play indoors.
All qualified staff with low turnover.
Lots of messyplay available (you don't want a nursery too fussy about mess) In fact a tip is the nicest looking nurseries are not always the best. The large chains are well known for spending plenty on their appearance but not always being that good at the important daytoday childcare and keeping of staff.
TV or not? depending on your views after recent thread.
Fresh food prepared? try and nose in the kitchens to confirm this. I knew of a nursery which called a tin of big soup, vegetable casserole on their menus.
You'll get a feeling when you visit whether you like a place, whether the children are happy and the staff for that matter. And ask questions like, how would you deal with a naughty child? ANd they should firstly tell you that no children are naughty it is only their actions which are. Ask what they would do in event of an accident. how good is their communication with parents, would they inform you if your child had hurt another child or vice versa.
Good luck!!

NotQuiteCockney Sat 26-Feb-05 06:11:24

Fran1 has some good points. I prefer not-for-profit nurseries (attached to universities, or existing as charitable foundations).

And trust your instincts, and your child's instincts. If everything about the place screams "no!" to you, don't pick it.

Aero Sat 26-Feb-05 10:08:59

Not got time to put loads down, but I'd say that when you get there, look for happy staff who you feel will be warm and welcoming to your child. This is really important - your child will need to feel safe and welcome in the care of others and it's also important for your peace of mind. You will get a feel for the place pretty quickly when you visit and your instinct will tell you loads you need to know. All the things you want to know regarding what your child will do there, food, behaviour policies, safety etc, obviously are things you can ask and write them down if you think you won't remember them all, but noting how the staff are with the children and if both staff and children are happy and occupied are fairly paramount and you'll get some sort of gut feeling for that, I'm sure. Good luck.

iota Sat 26-Feb-05 10:21:43

Totally agree with Fran and NQC - my ds's went/go to an excellent council run nursery - not for profit and high standards, all the staff are qualified and it has low staff turnover. The kids are encouraged to do messy play, our 3 - 5s have 3 rooms: - main, quiet and messy play.

TiredBunny Sat 26-Feb-05 10:23:34

My dd Nursery is small and they have a max of 15 kids from 3 months to 5 years. All the children are encourage to play together and its got a real together family feel. I know every member of staff because there arent that many. I think staff turn over shows quite a bit - shows how much the staff like working there. x

TiredBunny Sat 26-Feb-05 10:25:50

ALthough it is a chain - it is small enough to not be fancy and showy.... I have struggled at times and they have been so supportive - they really listen and take note of what I ask or say which I think is important.

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