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Help... looking for a nursery

(11 Posts)
newmum89 Wed 18-Oct-17 18:51:51

Hey all,

I was wondering if I could have some advice. I've been shopping around for a nursery for a little while and I'm not sure what I should be looking for. There are some nurseries that look really great and others that I wouldn't dream of dropping my child off there. However I'm kinda stuck....

What kind of things did you guys look for when you were hunting around for nurseries? Any advice would be so helpful. P.S. sorry if this was covered pretty recently.


Bluebubble123 Wed 18-Oct-17 20:11:03

Are the staff playing with the children, are children wandering around not engaged in activities.
Do the other children look happy, clean noses, faces. Don't worry about clean clothes, clothes should be dirty if they have been having fun.

Do the staff look like they enjoy being there.

babsthebuilder Wed 18-Oct-17 20:17:59

We viewed three and went with the middle priced. Wouldn’t have left a dog in the cheapest, and couldn’t afford the most expensive.

What I noticed was in the pricey one, the rooms were all separated by age, but children could move up on ability. They also had a room for naps, with one allocated to each child for that day with clean bedding. Even though kids were playing it was tidy and clean.
The cheapest one had one cot in the corner of a small room where all the others were playing noisily. It was messy with toys. Half the kids were outside in the sun, but it had not been tidied.

The middle one had adequate space to sleep although not as impressive as a cot each. There was interaction between the age groups. The staff demonstrated their qualifications and showed how they used their time with our son.

It’s heartbreaking when you see one you can’t afford, but had only the cheap one been available I wouldn’t have gone back to work.

Changerofname987654321 Wed 18-Oct-17 20:25:16

I went for one of the cheaper options not on price at all but because I felt my DD would be truely loved. They staff we genuinely interested on our visit and all the children were happy at nursery.

My DD is truly happy at nursery.

Muddlingalongalone Wed 18-Oct-17 20:30:15

Dd1 was a terrible sleeper and went to nursery full time at 11 months so a separate sleep room was an essential for me. After that it was gut feel based on staff interaction.
Good luck with the choice

BackforGood Wed 18-Oct-17 20:32:43

For comparison, be really clear what the money includes, and what they want you to either bring in, or pay for later. So if you are stretching yourself to meet the fees, and then they start offering "extras" (yoga? Music ? French ?) - what happens if other pay and you can't / don't?

You might want to find out what happens when they get to 3 - not all settings accept the { EEE} funding, will you want to move her at that point?

Seriously (not a popular argument on these threads, but) think about your drop offs and pick ups.... what is parking like and is it either very close to home, or at least on your way to work ? You don't want to be driving 15mins out your way , then back again before work every day.

Food - bothers some more than others, but it is nice to know they are sitting together for a proper meal each day - ti learn social skills as well as for the nutrition.

I would always go for one near home rather than near work.

welshweasel Wed 18-Oct-17 20:40:36

Things I love about our nursery. Very low staff turnover. Range of ages of staff including quite a few older ladies. All good cooked on site, varied menu. Great outdoor space with lots of toys and sensory areas. Plenty of time spent outdoors whatever the weather. Children happy, anyone that wasn't happy was being comforted/cuddled appropriately. Sensible illness policy, will give calpol for teething etc. Good communication with parents, including photos sent via text message during the day. Outstanding ofsted (but I wouldn't have discounted one that wasn't).

calamityjam Wed 18-Oct-17 21:10:04

I used to be head of the baby room of a nursery. There are loads of things that you need to look for, depending on the age of your dc.

I would ring them and ask if you can drop in to visit at any time. If they offer you a specific time, try to go again at a different time. Its easy for them to put on a bit of a show for perspective parents and really you want to see what goes on at different times of the day.

Ask about ages in rooms. We had 4 rooms, babies, toddlers, 2 1/2-3 and preschool. This meant that activities could be age appropriate and crawlers weren't being trampled on and the older ones had a more school like classroom environment.

Talk to other parents and find out if there are any common issues.

Look at what they are doing with the preschoolers to prepare them for transition to school, this is a common issue as lots of reception children are starting not fully prepared socially and practically for the demands of compulsory schooling.

Do they encourage children to be independent, are they actively encouraging self feeding etc. Do they have a handover booklet? Especially for the tiny ones and do they use a key worker system? A point of call for you to find out if your dc is settling well and an attachment figure for them. I will try and think of more.

ginteresting Wed 18-Oct-17 21:11:02

Go and view a few to get a feel for which one feels right. I looked for staff who appeared happy in their job. Good rapport with other staff members and the children so it had a happy atmosphere. The children looked generally happy and had plenty to play with. Also has it got Good outside facilities so they can get outdoors to play. I was impressed with the openness of the manager and how she took the time to explain their policies and how they communicate with parents i.e online app updating progress, newsletters, daily report.

newmum89 Fri 20-Oct-17 18:23:42

Wow guys thanks so much. You're all so helpful!! Well then here's go...

newmum89 Fri 20-Oct-17 18:25:22

whoops just embarrassed myself with the spelling error. I meant here goes. I'll be sure to let you know what I end up with

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