I was planning to go back to work at the beginning of April, and had a childminder all lined up. She has now had to cancel because of (completely understandable and unforseen) personal reasons.
So tomorrow I am going to look round a nursery. The have already told me they can cope with cloth nappies, and the charge (£30 per day) and their hours.
I am looking for suggestions as to what questions you would ask a nursery, though I know that gut feel is quite a large part of the decision.
agree with all the below
do they formally track any development milestones (my nursery, teddies, has a tracker booklet system)
how much will they let her follow her own routine vs impose their routine? (in the baby room i would expect they go with her. ours have set meal times but will keep their food if they are asleep)
at 7mths you will need to be in quite close contact re weaning development/progress. How will you communicate?
will she have a key carer?
what is the ratio of staff to children (1:3 in that age i think is the max)
do they have any extra activities (e.g. ours has jo jingles music class which is the week's highlight!)
nursery has been fantastic for my 2. best of luck - am here if you need any more info. x
Also, gut feeling. Are the children happy? What kind of activities do they do?
My nursery has a daily diary that is written for the under 1s. It's weekly from 1 to 2, then verbal for the over 2s (by which stage the child can communicate more). Our nursery has a policy of welcoming each child by name - a little thing, but important.
Ask to see the kitchen and toilets too - these are important. Our toilets (cute little diddy ones!) are cleaned twice a day - certainly when I pick ds up at night the floor has been freshly mopped and it's all ship shape.
What is the (word used loosely!) curriculum? Eg is there a nursery rhyme theme? What are the babies doing? Is there art work on the wall.
For further down the line, tv viewing policy? Varies from nursery to nursery and that's a personal thing for you to make your own mind up.
Also, are these people you want to foster a relationship with for the next 2, 3, 4 or five years if you have another child?
Outdoor play facilities?
Day trips? Do the babies get bundled into a pram for a walk on a nice day?
see what their policy is on you arriving unannounced.(ie not normal pick up time) some of the ones i visited didn't like this, which meant i didn't like them - the one i chose said come anytime, just ring the bell, and they were always very very friendly. and definitely go with gut feelings. Look at the toys. are they clean or grubby?