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OFSTED report or Word of mouth??!!!!...a very confused mum wants help please!

(12 Posts)
netmommy Thu 02-Jul-09 13:57:16

My DS now 8months need to be put in a nursery starting this november and i am desperately trying to find a place.I have zeroed on 2-3 nurseries which have 2ish stars on their OFSTED reports which is in between satisfactory and good. Unfortunately the good ones are either full or too far for me. Now, i have heard some good reviews from mums from 2 nurseries(mind you their kids were much older whenthey started there) but i want to also make sure that they are good as per OFSTED. This is my first experience and I am looking for any advice...

rubyslippers Thu 02-Jul-09 13:58:58


you need to see what was highlighted as issues - whether they are care related or not and whether steps have been taken to rectify them

You must visit as well - this will give you a good feel

CMOTdibbler Thu 02-Jul-09 14:06:20

You need to look round (nurseries can change fast and what is good for older ones might not be good for babies), look at the OFSTED, and talk to people.

But I think the way a nursery feels is the most important

amidaiwish Thu 02-Jul-09 14:09:02

word of mouth
your gut reaction
ofsted report - i would be less bothered about the score, more the reasons behind the score. e.g. the nursery can be marked down for not having a full range of multi-ethnic toys/images etc, which clearly is important but not as important as e.g. nappy area is dirty.

nurseries do change fast as it's only as good as its manager/staff. check the manager is approachable, v important.

purepurple Sat 04-Jul-09 08:11:51

I would value parent's opinions more than an OFSTED report any day.
The report may be accurate, it might not. Depends on what the inspector sees and is told.
Other parents will have a real day to day experience of the nursery.

Some nurseries, ones in big chains, will get extra staff to the nursery when the inspector calls, they will get the toys and resources out of the cupboards that the children are not normally allowed access to because they are saving them for the inspection.

Also, the report might not be recent. Big changes can happen in just a few weeks and standards can slip.

piscesmoon Sat 04-Jul-09 08:26:29

Nothing beats a visit and 'gut' feeling.
I would put parent's opinions before Ofsted. Just read the Ofsted as a rough guide.

netmommy Sat 04-Jul-09 09:50:37

Thanks everybody...yes, i think I will try and make another visit to both and go from there.

purepurple Sat 04-Jul-09 10:04:59

netmommy, ask about the staff qualifications. At our nursery, 5 of us are doing a degree, all supported by the boss. Higher qualified staff means better quality.

Ask how long the staff have been there. Our manager has been in her job for 20 years and the deputy has been at the nursery for over 30 years. A high turnover of staff means they are not happy.

What activities are available for the children, do they have free choice? Are they treated as individuals? Both requirements of the EYFS.
I am sure some more people will give you a parent's perspective on asking questions. I have never used a nursery as a parent.

wheelsonthebus Mon 06-Jul-09 10:40:42

i would definitely trust word of mouth more than Ofsted. Nurseries can be marked down for very odd things. My dd's nursery is 'satisfactory' but it has really gone the extra mile for me and I have been very pleased with it regarding my dd's happiness and progress, and I meet other parents constantly. You'll soon know if there are problems. Parents pay so much for child care. IME they are very demanding and want a lot of bang for their bucks.

saintmaybe Mon 06-Jul-09 10:58:39

Are the other parents people who're sympatico?

do they have the same priorities/ values as you?

Are there quite a few of them?

if so, that's what I'd go with

seeker Mon 06-Jul-09 11:01:13

Have a look at what the OFSTED said they needed to do to improve and find out whether they've done it.

Talk to other parents, then go by your gut instinct.

namning Fri 10-Jul-09 20:05:33

you might check when the last report was done. Nurseries can change - and move forward! Ask for some personal references

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