I joined a new nursery - a children's centre one though so not an independent. DS was already at a nursery from 10 months, and moved to this nursery at 14 months.
I was attracted by the place because of the location (walking distance) and inside it did look beautiful (of course it did, it was new).
I think you would have to look at the other things such as what the place looks like when set up, what the staff are like (although often they don't start to hire staff until they are nearly opened). There can be advantages, e.g. When my DS started there were only 3-4 others already started in his room, as they staggered the admissions to allow the staff to deal with each child settling in better.
Thank you AlexanderPandasmum. I need to talk to the owner, to get a feel for what sort of nursery they will be providing really. I will ask what the place will look like - they may have plans etc. Thanks again.
We started DS at a brand new nursery (he was the first child there on the day it opened!). We were very pleased with it. I had spoken to the manager and DS's key carer and seen the building as work in progress before he started and I felt happy with that.
I saw the building that he was going to be in. I liked the outside area (massive) and got a good feel for what the baby room would be like. I also knew that at first he would be the only baby in the baby room (tho obviously that didn't last long!) so it gave him a good chance to settle in with it nice and quiet. We had previously had trouble with a CM who had handed her notice in after 2 wks of having him becasue 'he cried too much' - wtf - he was a baby! and then bad mouthed him to all the local childminders so it was imposssible to find another. Nursery, by contrast, took it nice and easy with him and we never really had any trouble. Changing facilities were good (had seem nurseries where babies were practically changed on the floor of the baby room) and toys etc. were not just a job lot from ELC (as I had seen elsewhere) but sturdy, properly designed toys for heavy use! Sometimes I feel it is less the questions you ask, but rather what you see and what is said in passing that gives you the best insight. Staff will presuably have worked elsewhere locally, and I was q cheeky and asked where they had come from , and why! Can get q a gd insight then.