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Going to visit possible nursery tomorrow - what's the most important thing to ask?

9 replies

mangolassi · 08/07/2008 10:09

Dd is 20 months, has been with her dad full time until now, he'd like a break and we'd like her to have some exposure to the local language (Thai). She's pretty sociable and I think she'll enjoy being with other kids. So we're looking for a nursery for her to go to part time.

We'll take her with us so we can (hopefully) see what she thinks, but I have no idea what questions to ask. What kind of ratio for toddlers to adults would be normal in the UK? What would you settle for? What else do we need to check?

Also, she's more or less potty trained, but doesn't know the Thai words for pee and poo (neither do I come to think of it) - do you think she'll manage? I don't really want to put her back in nappies... maybe we can teach the staff the words she uses???

Help!

OP posts:
Bundle · 08/07/2008 10:15

I'd say ask about:
behaviour policy
ratios (baby room norm. 3 to 1 - up to 2 yrs)
food
activities/how rooms, ages, are organised
staff retention

mangolassi · 08/07/2008 10:17

Thanks, am taking notes!

OP posts:
Bundle · 08/07/2008 10:21

I was on the management cttee for our nursery and we prided ourselves into holding onto loving, friendly staff
outdoor space important but I know some nurseries don't have this because of location
they should be pretty experienced in dealing with potty training/accidents

mishymoo · 08/07/2008 10:26

Staff turnover
Look for how staff interact with the children, especially those who are a little upset.
Key worker and what his/her role is with your child
How do they cover for holiday/sickness - agency staff?
Are all staff CRB checked or similar?
Do they have settling in sessions?

I would also go with gut feeling, if it feels like a loving and caring environment and you think your DD will be happy then go for it!

ShinyPinkShoes · 08/07/2008 10:28

Download the NDNA's Choosing Childcare factsheet

mangolassi · 08/07/2008 10:32

If it wasn't for the language thing, I wouldn't worry about the potty training - but I suppose that's half the reason we're sending her... how weird would it be to go and stay with her for a morning, or a couple of mornings, if we decide to go ahead?

OP posts:
eenybeeny · 08/07/2008 10:35

I dont know if this is more relevant to preschool than nursery but when we were comparing preschools/nurseries for DS we found one thing that clinched the deal for us in one nursery's favour:

One nursery was very very intellectually driven. And the Head had very little insight into the emotions of toddlers.

The other nursery had intellectual strong points as well, but was also more involved in play, social interaction and most important to me the Head was very very sensitive to my DS who is quite sensitive himself and needs to feel loved before he will ever flourish intellectually.

My DS is very clever sometimes shockingly so but when he feels insecure he shuts down and needs TLC. It was obvious that he would flourish in the more emotional nursery rather than the other one.

mangolassi · 08/07/2008 10:39

Great factsheet, I think I'll take it with me

OP posts:
dal21 · 08/07/2008 11:35

Hi - one that may be pertinent. Does the nursery feed into any particular school? Can be helpful, especially if your DC makes friends at nursery and they then move into a school together....

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