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Looking round a nursery tomorrow - any ideas about questions you would ask?

(14 Posts)
Jillyadoodledoo Tue 27-Feb-07 12:19:41

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.


Mumpbump Tue 27-Feb-07 12:21:01

How old is your child?

Jillyadoodledoo Tue 27-Feb-07 12:34:45

She will be just over 7 months.

Mumpbump Tue 27-Feb-07 12:56:38

She will almost certainly be in the babyroom. They should ask you to take off your shoes before you enter - two of the big chain nurseries I visited did not!

How often do they change nappies?

What food will they provide and what, if anything, do you have to provide? (My nursery was happy to provide pureed vegetables and stuff and then made it lumpier when I told them to, but some don't.)

Is there a separate sleeping room?

How will they settle your dd in?

Are there any charges for a late pick-up?

What security procedures do they have in place if you need someone else to collect her?

Who will be her key worker? And how long have the staff been there (enables you to get an idea of turnover and how much change your dd will be exposed to)?

At roughly what age do they move up into the next room?

amidaiwish Tue 27-Feb-07 13:11:27

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

amidaiwish Tue 27-Feb-07 13:13:16

oh, and will she have her "own" cot for sleeping? how often is bedding changed? can you bring in a couple of pics/teddies etc. from home for her to have.

what formula do they provide?

£30 is very good value! lucky you - i pay £65/day in SW London for my 16mth old.

NurseyJo Tue 27-Feb-07 13:14:17

Message withdrawn

Jillyadoodledoo Tue 27-Feb-07 13:15:46

Thay are brilliant - thank you. I just knew that I would turn up, look round, and think of questions when I got back home

Waswondering Tue 27-Feb-07 13:22:02

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?

good luck!

(Ps - faints at £65/day in London!!!!! Wow!)

Jillyadoodledoo Tue 27-Feb-07 13:26:58

amidaiwish - I am in the grim north, which is why it is so much cheaper

amidaiwish Tue 27-Feb-07 13:38:53

or not so grim!

cannot wait for nursery fees to end

theprecious Wed 28-Feb-07 11:13:36

amidaiwish, where are you in SW? I am thinking about nurseries too in the area.

keeplaughing Wed 28-Feb-07 11:25:04

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?

amidaiwish Wed 28-Feb-07 15:12:54


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