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Going to visit a nursery for 19mo DD on Thurs, what do I ask?

14 replies

BumpermightsuetheSindie · 20/01/2009 20:15

Very nervous as DD has been looked after by both DH and I her whole life, and now we are putting her in a nursery, though only for one day a week. I'm feeling v PFB over this so be gentle with me!

What do I need to ask? My biggest worry is how she will sleep there? At the moment she naps in her cot during the day. How do they nap at nursery? What should I look out for? Oh, I want to cry just thinking about it. She's too young to understand (though at least the nursery workers won't spend the day ignoring her in favour of MN!).

OP posts:
IwishIwasmoreorganised · 20/01/2009 21:30

Ask about where they nap - and ask to see the room too. At that age lots of nurseries have mats on the floor with pillows and blankets. I never thought that my ds1 would sleep like that but he did - amazingly well!

Ask about whatever is important to you - they will have heard it all before and won't judge you.

Above all - see how the place "feels". Are the staff happy and friendly, engaging well with the kids. Are the kids happy and busy? Does the place feel "right" to you?

I found it was a lot like buying a house - when you find the right one, it just seems to feel right.

iwantitnow · 21/01/2009 08:35

One day a week is going to be unsettling - not regular enough to settle in IMO. Half days better at this age if you are not working.

ScottishMummy · 21/01/2009 08:46

children adapt one day per week not necessarily unsettling.

ask about
activities
keyworker allocation
numbers staff to child ratio
take in a familiar blanket and or toy for dd
do a few unannounced visits,what do you instinctively feel
what feedback will they give

Thefearlessfreak · 21/01/2009 08:47

any outdoor space/outdoor play?

ScottishMummy · 21/01/2009 08:51

discuss
any specific dietary requirements
any health/allergies etc
plan who the contact list if needed
yes,out door space

GColdtimer · 21/01/2009 09:07

One day not necessarity unsettling. DD has been going one day since she was a year (2.8 now) and she has had her ups and downs but no more than any other child I know.

DD was a nightmare when she needed a nap at home - at nursery she toddles off to her mattress with the rest of them after lunch with her bear, lays down and goes to sleep. They had to take pictures to prove to me she did it. they seem to do stuff at nursery you wouldn't dream they would do at home like eat and sleep!

for me, the most important thing was the feel of the place - did I like the staff, did i like their attitude. I was just obsessed with the idea that they would cuddle her if she was upset. Everyone else has given more practical things to talk about.

Good luck

ANTagony · 21/01/2009 09:17

Sickness policy within a nursery day and if sick at home when they can return. Administering medicines like Calpol - are you happy to let them judge rather than pick up if its a bit of a cough/ cold (so long as you're notified at end of session)?

Incident policy for when they are marked/ mark another child - how its tackled shows a lot about their attitude.

What they do if you're late for pick up.

What you do if you realise you're going to be late.

Flexibility for other sessions - when it all goes really well and she begs to see her friends more!

Who can pick up?

Labeling things, suitable clothes, change bag, shoes or pumps.

Fees and sign up period/ notice period

Settling in policy (how many sessions you stay for and gradually increasing session length that sort of thing)

I agree with the buying a house analogy. You can go with a long list and its a good thing to have a few questions in mind but at the end of the day its about how the atmosphere is when you're there and your instinct on it. Good luck.

BumpermightsuetheSindie · 21/01/2009 18:04

Thanks for the tips. I am working and though I could do two half days it wouldn't be efficient enough really, by the time I've factored in pick-ups, getting settled in at work etc. Fortunately I do have the flexibility to change should it not work out, and have thought about that otherwise that very blunt observation would make me feel worse than I already do about the situation.

All these things that you have mentioned have really started to freak me out! It's so easy with her either being with me or DH. Fortunately when I discussed it with my boss he said 'Look, if you have to just get up and go any time then just do it'. I didn't even think about things like that!

OP posts:
ANTagony · 21/01/2009 18:21

When DS started at 18months I was scared for him and maybe a bit me and my bond with him. He absolutely thrived. He's at a lovely nursery and chats enthusiastically about it (now 2). Yes it is all a bit daunting but letting them be with someone else is an inevitable step. At nursery the supervision levels are far higher than when they start school so they can learn positive separation and make some good friends.

I hope it all goes well for you.

GColdtimer · 22/01/2009 09:27

bumper, try not to get bogged down by all the lists of things you should ask about. Think about the things that are "deal breakers". What is really important to you? For me it was whether I liked the staff and the feel of the place and I didn't even think to ask about half the stuff the sensible on this list have come up with - I have learnt it as I have gone on about different policies - you won't take it all in anyway.

And honestly, DD is fine with 1 day a week. They all have wobbles - yesterday, after going for 18 months she screamed and screamed when DH dropped her off but I phoned and was told that within 5 mins it was all forgotten. But I have been in hospital and have a broken leg so she has been a bit unsettled so its not really normal circumstances at home.

It has been really good for her, to be in a nursery setting. And you sound like you have a really understanding boss.

Good luck - its really hard I know

Oblomov · 22/01/2009 10:15

Ds went to nursery for 2 days. He loved it. And I felt that the the stimulation of being with lots of people, carers and babies was good for him, rather than the one ot one of a cm.
Go with your gut instict. I went to visuit one nursery and didn't like it. I went to visit the next and it was fabarooney. And when he left, I STILL thought it was fabarooney.

They should have a seperate room for them to sleep. And it should be quiet and peaceful. Talk to them about your concerns . Ask them, what do you normally do, could you.... she likes it when I ... is this possible etc etc.

Disagree wth wantitnow, yes one day MAY be unsettling. But yur dd MAY take ito it like a duck to water. We will ahve to wait and see won't we, won't know until we get there.

Oblomov · 22/01/2009 10:17

Agree with twofalls, don't worry too much about all the speciofics, what to ask. Go with gut instict. Do you like it/the atmosphere/ the main carer for your child. Are yuo comfortable.
If fo, END oF.

excuse typing please. I am bf ds2.

mishymoo · 22/01/2009 10:27

Absolutely go with your gut instinct!

I would ask how they cover key worker/staff sickness and holidays, i.e. do they use agency staff, etc..

cmotdibbler · 22/01/2009 10:36

Def gut instinct - how does the manager showing you round interact with the children, does it all smell clean, do they have outdoor space they can use whatever the weather (astroturf, tarmac, whatever), is there a nice variety of things listed for the children to do each day

At DS's nursery the babies up to 18 months sleep in a dedicated room, but toddlers 18m-3 sleep on mats. I never thought DS would do it, but he has from the start in there with no problems.

For toddlers, I think it is nice if there is a range of personalities of staff - most tend to be quieter, but DS has a couple who are quite bouncy and laddetty (not explaining that very well) and they add something extra, esp for the more outgoing children

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