What to ask when choosing a nursery?
Check that they accept any childcare vouchers that you can save through your employer
Check what happens if you are late- do penalties apply
Check what their policy is on ill children and how long must they be symptom free before they can return
Check what food/menu there is, see if you are happy with it
Check if you get any free periods where you don’t pay (holidays etc)
Check if you get discounts if you have more children in the future.Posted 8 months agoransosSubscriber
As above, but some practicalities such as opening hours and how they suit your working arrangements, plus childcare vouchers etc.
The Chariot is a good shout. My two always went to nursery by trailer and it saved a huge amount of stress knowing I wouldn’t get stuck in traffic on the way to pick them up. I used to leave the trailer at nursery under a cover, so maybe check if they have room for you to do that.Posted 8 months agosimon_gSubscriber
Ours goes to two different ones (not enough hours available at one) and we looked at plenty.
Food – if it’s any good they should show you their meal plan/rota. If you need vegetarian or other special diet stuff, check out what they offer to meet that.
Hours, and any flexibility around them. Some let you pre-book early start or late pickup if you know you’ll need it. Some fine you if you’re a minute late.
Nappies/wipes – some ask you to supply, some include. Can be positive or not depending on how fussy you are about these things.
Holidays – some nurseries allow a few weeks of “holiday time” each year where you don’t have to pay as long as it’s arranged in advance. Others may require you to pay in full.
Buggy/trailer storage – that there’s enough of it (if it’s too tight they tend to get damaged) and secure enough.
But yes, just gut feel is important.Posted 8 months agoroccoMember
As above, you will know if it feels right as soon as you go in. When we went to look around our local nursery one of the staff took our daughter off us for a walk around/to play whilst we spent 20 minutes chatting to the manager. She came back smiling and happy which was a great first sign.
Ask about bank holidays, are they open or closed and do you have to pay when they are shut? Ours are closed bank holidays but we still have to pay. Not too much of a problem if you also get BH off but if you are in retail or a job where you have to work them they you will need to think about additional cover/paying twice for childcarePosted 8 months agoJon TaylorSubscriber
We’re looking at nurseries for the little one and I’m going to see one this afternoon.
She’ll be about a year old when she starts. All the places we’re looking at can be dropped off and picked up by either of us in the car or me on bike (Chariot)
The three near us are quite different in terms of outdoor space, group sizes, newness of facilities etc.
What sort of things are easily overlooked but surprisingly important?
What do you wish you’d asked?
ThanksPosted 8 months agoampthillSubscriber
Just in case this helps.
My wife was being shown round a Nursery by some one senior. She said we do a theme every week. This week its “The Sea Side”. She could see my wife looking a bit flat at that. So she said “Themes might not seem important to your one year old but he’ll get older. In the mean time it’s also excellent for keeping the staff motivated and interested”
In the nicest possible way your buying an education not care
NB when I say an education I don’t mean SATS and spelling. I learning to play, talk, interact, make and imaginePosted 8 months agoKryton57Subscriber
Ask other parents thier prior experierience, and read the last 3 Ofsted reports. Ask for thier medical awareness. I had three issues
A) one nursery we went to we were encouraged to leave junior in the indoor play area while we waited. And whilst we waited with 8 other children for 20 mins, not one single member of staff appeared with the kids. Once they did, we walked out with jnr and never went back.
B) At our current Nursery i went to pick up my Hypoglecemic daughter not long ago. She was shiverimg sleepy and rolling her eyes in the corner on a bean bag. “She must be tired, she hasnt eaten much” they said, after which i applied the emergency regimen using the SOS powders stored in thier emergency rack which we brief them on every 3 months.
C) a prior offsted report showed the Inspector had been let in, not greeted and wandered aroumd the nursery for 20 minutes unchallenged.
Needless to say, if she wasnt leaving in 2 months i’d be gone already, but only a prior parent will tell you these things.Posted 8 months agopolyMember
Consider any religious associations of the nursery (yes really – we glossed over a line in the prospectus saying they followed a Christian ethos – that actually meant a minister came in once a week, the Christmas service was the most religious brainwashing factually incorrect nonsense I’ve heard and the final graduation ceremony had a big “god” element too. Child2 went to a different nursery with a massive outdoor focus – a poly tunnel, it’s own woods etc. Whilst child1 has recovered I am certain we made the right decision for child2!Posted 8 months ago
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.