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What to look for when choosing a nursery.

(11 Posts)
plummy78 Sun 14-Jun-15 09:36:27

Hi, I'm 30 weeks pregnant with my first baby / alien. I'm planning on having 6 months maternity leave from work and returning probably February / March.

People have been telling me that now is the time to be looking at nurseries and booking the little one in.

I've had a couple of recommendations but rather than going in blind, I'd like to know what I should be looking for in a good nursery for a 6mth old. What questions should I be asking?

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

afreshstartplease Sun 14-Jun-15 09:38:15

I would be asking about the qualifications and training of people who work there and also level of experience

Sadly many of the early years staff I meet who are fresh from college are lacking basic common sense (not all, but alot)

LostMySocks Sun 14-Jun-15 15:40:14

Go into the rooms and see how the staff are interacting with the children. Are they sitting on the floor, cuddling upset children,interacting with them? If children crowd round staff it's a sure sign that they like them. Also how do staff interact with each other. If they are friendly then they will support each other well (obviously unless they gossip all the time).
Ask about naps and flexibility for two naps for younger babies. Also what happens if they sleep through a meal.
Equipment needs to be in good condition but ultimately staff are the most important thing. Look for a range of experience. That way there is the option for progression and promotion so good for staff retention. No more than one trainee per room.
Ultimately go with your gut feeling.

Callofthewild Sun 14-Jun-15 22:53:07

At that age I would also be looking for somewhere that has a separate sleep room to the main room. I would visit mid afternoon about 3pm when understandably everyone is a bit tired. How do the children and the nursery staff seem? Are the staff still positive and the children happy? Such a visit to an 'outstanding' local nursery showed children who were grubby and an overwhelming sense from both the staff and children that they were bored senseless... How often is the linen on the cots changed (same 'outstanding' nursery had filthy linen). Will they administer Calpol if LO has a fever, not all nurseries will and this could mean you having to leave work frequently when they are teething. Longer term is the nursery close to your preferred primary schools? Does it operate breakfast and after school clubs as these are actually key to enabling you to keep on working once they reach school age?

Springtimemama Sun 14-Jun-15 23:37:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

plummy78 Tue 16-Jun-15 12:57:20

Hi all.

Thank you for the pointers and advice thus far. It gives me good starting points.

Nevercan Tue 16-Jun-15 20:48:22

Ask about
Meals and the variety of them
Outside play time
Day time routine
And definitely gut feel

MrsHenryCrawford Sat 20-Jun-15 20:53:56

Ask about staff turnover.
Do you get the impression that there is good morale amongst the staff.
The normal day routine-what sort of activities do they do?
What meals are provided, ask to see there weeks menu.
How the staff are interacting with the other children. Do the other children seem happy?

Wolfiefan Sat 20-Jun-15 20:59:12

Consider room to nap, equipment, outside space. Some nurseries expect you to provide nappies and milk.
Mostly I'd look at how happy the children are and how staff engage with them. (Of course you can always get a tired or slightly poorly child who is unhappy.)
Safety? Access to building.

marmaladegranny Sat 20-Jun-15 21:09:13

Don't forget to think about convenience of drop off and pick up - is there a car park or do you have to try to park in busy area? Do a 'dry run' at the correct times of day to work, station etc - what is traffic like?
How does a nursery allocate it's places - will they have a place when you need it?
Those are the practicalities but go and visit several nurseries and trust your gut feeling - happy children is are a great indicator of a good nursery.

smallone81 Fri 26-Jun-15 14:32:14

This is all great information to know. Aside from the invaluable knowledge you get from sites like mumsnet, can I ask you all, if you had an app to show you all of the childcare providers in your local area including all of the need to know info that parents have suggested above before you chose one, would that be helpful?

Would you use it?

What would you want it to tell you?

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