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Questions I should be asking Nursery?

(7 Posts)
hf128219 Mon 03-Nov-08 10:35:43

My dd is starting nursery full time when she will be nearly 12 months. I have a preliminary meeting with the manager tomorrow. What sort of questions should I be asking them?

Thanks!

MrsHappy Mon 03-Nov-08 10:41:18

I would ask about:

- staff turnover (this is v important IME)
- whether there is time when children from the different groups mix (this is good because it enables the littlies to see bigger children and also to meet the other carers)
- the food (ask to see a menu for the week/month if they have one)
- activities and the structure of each day
- how children are disciplined for misbehaving (a good nursery will have policies on this sort of thing)
- what their policies are on illness/giving medicines etc
- whether they have a settling in guarantee. some do this and if your child does not settle in the first few weeks you can withdraw them without giving notice.
- whether they do free settling in sessions before your DD starts properly

Walk around with the manager if you can and see how many of the children's names he/she knows. Also try to figure out whether the children and staff interact nicely - are there lots of cuddles etc.

hf128219 Mon 03-Nov-08 10:44:30

Thanks Mrs Happy!

BiggestFirework Mon 03-Nov-08 10:45:04

How many nappy changes per day, we were instructed to do them at certain times, which I found bizarre.

mishymoo Mon 03-Nov-08 10:50:01

Also, staff/child ratios.

How do they arrange for cover for holidays/sickness?

Do they use alot of agency staff?

Ask her to describe a typical day for your DD

How do they keep you up to date with things, i.e. what she ate for lunch, what she's been doing all day, etc..

How often do they have parent evenings?

Hope this helps

cmotdibbler Mon 03-Nov-08 10:51:13

Watching the interaction of the manager with the children is a good one - in the good nurseries we have been to, the children will be coming up to the manager, cuddling them, and they'll be chatting back. In bad ones, they will just be talking to you.

You can tell a lot about a nursery by the way that they react if you do something non standard - like cloth nappies- as a good place will work with you, not give you a sigh and the impression that they could, but don't want to IYSWIM

What does the outside area look like ? If its all grass, then what do they do in the winter - some places they don't go out all winter because of the mud.

What is their policy about moving children up from one class to another ? Is it based on the child to some extent, or does it happen strictly on their birthday/when there's room (friends DD is in a big nursery with 6 month age bracket groups, and couldn't go up to the next class until 3 months later than she should because there wasn't space hmm)

hf128219 Mon 03-Nov-08 10:55:39

Thanks everyone - this is all really helpful.

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