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What should I be asking/looking for?

(3 Posts)
MyDaydream Fri 19-Oct-12 11:03:49

I've started looking into nurseries for DS when I go back to work next year, he'll be 8/9 months when I go back and will be in nursery full time.
I'm looking at starting to arrange viewings but have no idea what I should be looking for while there other than happy children or what I should be asking about to help me make my choice. Is there anything that should raise red flags for me or things that are really good signs?

Mymou Sun 21-Oct-12 10:06:04

Hi there

My Daughter went to nursey from 9months and like you didnt have a clue what to ask!!

We have recently moved her because the last nursery i became very concerned and that helped me to work out what questions to ask.

they usually fit in with your routine so jus thtings like that.

Ask if you get any "free holidays" the last nursery didnt charge us for christmas holidays (this one does) and let you have 2 weeks holidays to not pay if they wernt in (this one im in now doesnt)

Ask what activities they encourage at 9 months this might seem over the top but it will let you know how the nursery carries on in learning.

What kind of meals they get and what snacks do they get (at 9 months they used to give my daughter breadsticks to nibble on)

Obviously view the other rooms. I dont know what you are going to claim to help with childcare, but my husbands work do childcare vouchers so we asked if they accepted them.

Ask their policy on illness, how long after being ill are they allowed back. What there rules are like on medication for such things like calpol. Some nurseries wont give a child calpol if they have a little temp or cough mixture for a cold cough but they will give drs prescribed.

If they encourage healthy eating. What activities do they do and how does that help them to develop.

Ask what they would expect the child to know by the time they move up to the next room, and also for older i think you need to know what their behaviour policy is. Obviously at 9months you dont think but by the time they are 18months you need to know what they will do to that child if they are naughty, coz lets face it they will be.

Also ask who will be in the room and what their ratio is Practioner:child.

Hope this gives you some ideas


ChildcareDirectory Tue 23-Oct-12 22:40:57

Childcare Directory has a great book about the free funding for 3 and 4 year olds but the first section in the book is about choosing the right nursery.

In there are lists of questions you should ask the staff about the nursery and ask yourself when you are visiting. They recommend that you don't take your DS with you on the first visit, this may seem odd and counter intuitive but it gives you the opportunity to concentrate entirely on the nursery and its staff and the facilities they provide.

If after visiting and you think it may be suitable then take your DS with you on the second visit to see his reaction to the setting and how he interacts with the staff and observe first hand some of the activites he will be doing. This also gives you the opportunity to ask the questions you forgot to ask on the first visit.

Like Mou says above make sure you look at all the rooms in the nursery not just the baby room. Look at the toddler room and pre school rooms as well, these are just as important because your DS will eventually move up into these other rooms. The nursery may have a great baby room and you get on really well with the staff but for waht ever reason you may not like the pre school room as much, so consider the nursery and staff as a whole not just one specific area.

The staff to child ratios are:-
0 - 2 year olds - 1:3
2 - 3 year olds - 1:4
3 - 5 year olds - 1:8

Childcare Directory is offering a discount code for Mumsnetters at the moment £2 off the book. Look in the Offers section under Voucher Forum

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