Nursery from Sept

I’m going to view a nursery today and I’m super nervous. What questions should I ask? FTM
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From a group - check ofsted reports do they have good or outstanding. Outstanding doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best just that they jump through all the hoops on the day - do they have availability on the days/times you need will it logistically work - do they accept Schemes that help with childcare fees like Tax Free Childcare (which saves you 20% off your fees if you are working parents) and the 3 year old funding (worth checking now as you dont want to have to move them later on) -is it easy to get in touch with them and ask questions, does the manager sound helpful and organised - do you need to put down a deposit and do they need any fees in advance - are the rooms clean, there might be something messy going on at the time but is there dust/ leftover food on the floor - are they bright and not too cluttered, you want it to have a homely feel so not too much stuff and lots of light and windows, neutral colours are less overstimulating. - are the

- are the toys appropriate and good quality not just plastic and look donated - do they have appropriate sleep facilities legally they should only let your child sleep in a cot / travel cot or coach pram. They may also have coracles or sleep mats but these must be from an educational supplier not homemade. Are they expecting your child to sleep while others are playing or is there a separate sleep area - will they supply nappies and wipes and ask to see their nappy change facilities, are they private but on hand and clean - how will they store or make up bottles, will they allow you to use the formula you’ve chosen / bring expressed milk. How do they stop milks getting mixed up, is there a feeding chair where they will get fed just like at home. - will they provide weaning meals, can they follow your weaning style (BLw or puree or both?) does the menu look balanced and nutritious, can they cater for allergies if they crop up, are the meals cooked onsite by a cook.

-what spaces do the children have access too, is there a garden, art room, physical play space or are they in the same room all day. Is their structure to the day or is it a free for all. Is there evidence the children are getting lots of outside time even babies( look for muddy coats on their pegs or all in one splash suits and wellies). - how do they track your childs development and plan activities, do they follow a specific theory or philosophy -what are the staffs qualifications and experience, are they all first aid trained (legally only one needs to be but its common for all staff to be) - do they use agency or bank staff and is the manager included in their adult:child ratios or not (you’d hope not so they are available for emergencies and show rounds) - do the children look happy and engaged or are they wandering around uninterested / upset. Are the staff playing with the children and comforting those that need it.

- do they allow you to bring in medication say if your child is on antibiotics or if they have a cold and need calpol, you dont want them sending them home for every cough and sniffle as they get everything that first 6 months. - have they space to store a pram/car seat if someone else is picking up your child, how do they make sure strangers cant pick your child up, is the building secure - is it easy/safe to park outside - do they have a touch/cuddle policy (sad but some nurseries do and children can’t sit of staffs knees etc) can they have as many cuddles as they want?

-If it’s not a free flow setting, how long do they get outdoors. -menu/ do you need packed lunches/ do they allow juice or just water -behaviour management policy is a big one for me. I don’t agree with time outs so that would put me off if they used that. -typical daily routine -prices.. do they charge for consumables if you’re accessing funding? I also think that with SOME nurseries, they just tell parents what they want to hear. So I would be looking for myself. Do the children and staff look happy? Are staff engaged with children or are they just stood around? Are children all engaged or are lots walking around bored? Do staff greet you when you come into the room? Does it look clean (messy is obviously expected, but there’s a difference between messy and grubby)? Don’t just go off their ofsted. Anyone can put on an act for ofsted. And go off your gut.

+Are they flexible across changing the week days if you go on holiday? +Do they cover half-term or not? +What activities they do with the kids? +Their meal times and plans

Hi lovely! I’m the manager of a nursery and understand this can be a daunting time - even more so now I’m a mum for the first time myself! Firstly make sure you have the right feel - children are happy, staff seem happy & the person showing you round seems proud of what they’re showing you! I personally have worked for both chains and independent nurseries and find smaller nurseries have a more personal connection with the children and really know there interests which is the best way for learning and development. Key info I always give parents: Ratio’s in each room How many qualified working there Meal/menu info Online platform/communication w the day for parents Fees Settling in process Any extra curricular activities/outings You’ll know straight away after looking at a couple which nursery you think is right for your family and make sure you view a good few! 🥰 Any questions please give me a message xx

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