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What matters to you re nursery?

(27 Posts)
Char22thom Fri 10-Mar-17 10:26:15

2 friends and I are in the process of setting up a new nursery, we have had our premises approved by OFSTED and now we are preparing to open. We have lots of experience between us but wanted to ask:
1) what positive experience have you had with nursery and why?
2) if there was one things you would change about your nursery experience what would it be?
3) can you name one thing that has stuck in your memory about nursery experience? X


TiggyD Fri 10-Mar-17 15:42:11

I'm not a parent, but a Nursery Nurse. The things I think make up a good nursery are:
Easy to get to location.
Practical building/rooms.
Big varied garden with chance of walks out of nursery.
Good, passionate, intelligent, kind, and loving staff.
Not overly keen on education and pleasing ofsted.
Not too spotless. (Unless just opened.
Worn is OK but not tatty.
A wide range of continuous provision and nice varied equipment.
A fun, busy yet calm atmosphere.

Afreshstartplease Fri 10-Mar-17 15:44:56

Low staff turnover! Something for you to consider in the future.

Having some more mature staff not all fresh from college.

Approachable management

bigredboat Fri 10-Mar-17 15:48:45

Homely feel, low staff turnover, staff who seem interested in the children and passionate about their jobs, wide range of facilities (toys, equipment, crafts etc), balance between indoor and outdoor time (is time outside most days but not a huge focus on outdoorsiness to the detriment of indoor activities), all staff to be first aid trained.

I love dd's nursery but the one improvement I would make is more use of technology to see what she's been up to day to day, I get a paper daily journal and a quick chat at pick up but my friends nursery has an app where she can see pictures, realtime updates of meals, potty use etc.

TiggyD Fri 10-Mar-17 15:53:35

Oh, and I'd like to see at least one male member of staff.


weeblueberry Fri 10-Mar-17 16:12:32

1) what positive experience have you had with nursery and why?
Low staff turnover. A high ratio of experienced staff to trainees. Kids that look bonded to the staff. Relaxed children that are working on different activities. New toys/activities regularly.

2) if there was one things you would change about your nursery experience what would it be?
This might sound daft in the grand scale of things but there doesn't seem to be much variety in the food my kids get at their nursery. They're only in a half a day so get a 'snack' at 1530. This seems to be predominantly ham and cheese based with veg sides. I get that they have to go with something that will please a lot of kids but it seems really high in salt (I'd say they have this about 3 times a week...)

3) can you name one thing that has stuck in your memory about nursery experience?
Both my kids keyworkers are absolutely excellent. They both totally get my girls personality and work with it instead of just treating all the kids like a giant mass. I love them.

FineAsWeAre Mon 13-Mar-17 08:35:48

The staff, I changed my son's nursery twice and swapped him from after school club to a childminder when he was older because of disinterested practitioners. His nursery that I was eventually happy with had the most loving, nurturing staff who were obviously passionate about childcare. I'm an early years practitioner myself so quite fussy! I also liked that they had free-flow access to outdoors for the pre-school room, lots of messy play and all the activities were very child-led. Good luck 🙂

Char22thom Mon 13-Mar-17 09:18:07

Thank you all for your responses, has def given us lots to consider and think about! Opening on 10th April so time now to start planning ahead x

TiggyD Mon 13-Mar-17 10:30:12

And I must just ask @Char22thom , are you in need of any bank staff and are you in the South?

Char22thom Mon 13-Mar-17 11:39:11

We are in Kent x

Char22thom Mon 13-Mar-17 11:39:47

And bank staff will be needed x

TiggyD Mon 13-Mar-17 11:41:21

Too far. Oh well.

NerrSnerr Mon 13-Mar-17 11:45:19

I agree with low staff turnover and a mix of younger staff doing training and more experienced staff. I like having food cooked on site and being flexible with meals. My daughter's nursery was amazing with her CMPI and made her brilliant alternatives. A very visible management team, at our daughter's the office is by the front door. Lots of outside time too, with a big and safe garden.

buckyou Mon 13-Mar-17 11:55:31

Things that are important to me are
friendly / knowledgeable staff who will be good with my kids
good facilities including outdoor play area
Provide healthy balanced meals / snacks (so I don't have to worry about packed lunch!)

One down side of my nursery is that they have quite a high staff turnover which I think unsettles my daughter a little. Oh and they did a parents evening but it wasn't really very good, I didn't feel like a left any the wiser about how my DD was doing!

MamaHanji Mon 13-Mar-17 12:13:43

My 2.8 year old started nursery 2 mornings a week at the beginning of February. When I went to see it, all the staff there were over 35 and had been working there for a long time, there was one lady sitting in the floor, with a child on her lap reading him a story. There were children in another corner painting. There were a couple of children curled up in the den, all cosy and snug with teddies playing with some sensory light toys. Everything looked well loved, but In good condition.

There was also a big courtyard with an amazing selection of toys. And some vegetable planters they will use in the spring, and little child sized brooms they sweep the leaves with.

I immediately loved it as it was a very unstructured setting. She is there to have fun and interact with other children. Not to learn number and shapes.

One of the biggest things though was there is a little boy there about 4, who is autistic and non verbal, and they had picture cards he communicated with and we just so equipped to help him stay calm and comfortable and play just like the rest of the children, even though he needed to do it in his own way. To me, that was one of the deciding factors, as they were very clearly, about the children having a fun, safe place, no matter how they needed to do it.

Stormwhale Mon 13-Mar-17 12:16:16

The biggest thing for me was that the staff were warm and caring, and actually seemed to like the children. After that it is good communication between the staff and parents, good facilities (play equipment, craft activities etc).

Newmother8668 Mon 13-Mar-17 12:20:33

If you want babies, a very low staff to child ratio. A dedicated and very clean baby room that doesn't have older children running around them. Having a long settling in period. Low staff turnover. Food cooked on site. Large room areas and a dedicated quiet area for napping.

AliMonkey Mon 13-Mar-17 12:27:24

1. Positive experiences were when there were kind, interested staff who really cared about the children. DS in particular responded well to a male member of staff. Space to play and imaginative use of resources (including following the children's interests) more important than lots of equipment/toys.

2. On occasion, I wasn't convinced they had sufficient staff overseeing the children (eg children in L-shaped garden overseen by two staff members standing in one part of it, while other staff were clearing up inside).

3. The lovely staff in the baby room - -particularly actually a couple of young women (age 18ish?) who were so lovely with DD and made me happy to leave her - despite the fact I had chosen that nursery because they had a higher ratio of older workers than some others.

As you can see, I believe the staff are the most important part of the nursery.

FartnissEverbeans Tue 14-Mar-17 20:01:15

Most have been mentioned already.

My 5mo DS is in nursery. The photos on the app have been brilliant and made me feel a bit better during the day. Also, I'd want to see assurances that bottles were being prepped according to WHO guidelines and that safe sleeping guidance was being followed.

And please make sure the babies have enough naps!

pinkblink Tue 14-Mar-17 20:04:21

The food! We pay over average for our nursery it was perfect when we started with our first 3.5 years ago, all home cooked food, now its jars of pasta bake and cheap supermarket sausages with smiley faces. Strangely the prices keep going up hmm

TupperwareTat Tue 04-Apr-17 06:39:33

Ours has a stay & play session every so often. I can sit with DD (3) and play.

I like the fact I can (ring the bell first) go straight in to her room.

She was previously at a nursery in a school, Where we could not go in EVER & we had to line up outside every bloody morning for 08.45 prompt.

Then line up again at 12pm to collect DD, wait for a verbal handover for all the other 29 children. So it could take 20 mins to collect.
We were 5 mins late one day & got asked if we had overslept hmm

Anyway I love where she is now, its relaxed and transparent.

I never realised C.Care could be so stress free for us both.

SquedgieBeckenheim Tue 04-Apr-17 07:26:13

Only have experience of one nursery for my DD1, so i dont know how much is "standard" nursery practice. Things we like are:
Continuity of staff.
Small nursery so not too many new faces
Lots of time spent out in the garden in all weathers
Mixing of ages. The under 2's are in a different room, but all ages eat together. This will be good when DD2 starts there later this year.

Things we would change:
There have been some issues with time regimented nappy changes/toileting. This had led to nappy rashes and increased accidents.

Good luck in your new venture!

thethoughtfox Tue 04-Apr-17 09:00:38

Extended opening hours ( I would chose any nursery that opened at 7:30) Low staff turnover; high staff to children ration; low tech - no putting on dvds or using the internet for things; some older experienced staff not just young girls; holding and cuddling them; outside time every day.

billabye Tue 04-Apr-17 12:35:00

Please don't have the staff training days on the same day every time. And please don't have them the week before/after a bank holiday. I found this infuriating and one of the other parents moved her two children because of it.
Also make sure you respond to parents email enquiries promptly and keep them updated of any outbreaks of chicken pox etc

MissClarke86 Tue 04-Apr-17 12:44:25

My DD is only 6 weeks but I have reserved a place for when I go back based on the following:

Early/late hours fitting in with my job.

No-notice visits (they told me to just turn up for a look round)

Lovely, warm staff and seeing the way the children interacted with them.

The manager is also an ex teacher and related to a colleague (I teach too) so I trusted the word of mouth recommendation.

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