URGENT!!!! visiting a nusery tomorrow what do I ask???

I started looking at nursery's this morning for Amy - i go back to work end of March Amy will be 9 months old

Anyway just did few emails and had a responsed about hour later asking if we wanted to visit tomorrow morning!!!
Really excited but no idea what I need to ask????
Had no idea it would happen so quick



  • usually they give you a pack to take away, if not look on their website if they have one, tbh just ask they give you bundles of information whilst showing you around, ask ratio child to nursery nurse, do you supply nappies and food, probably do with milk and nappies but food im not sure, ask prices, times, actvities, supply routines, they may have to vary it though. That sort of thing, im sure they will answer everything before you ask
  • usually they give you a pack to take away, if not look on their website if they have one, tbh just ask they give you bundles of information whilst showing you around, ask ratio child to nursery nurse, do you supply nappies and food, probably do with milk and nappies but food im not sure, ask prices, times, actvities, supply routines, they may have to vary it though. That sort of thing, im sure they will answer everything before you ask
  • check out our feature too about choosing a day nursery for ideas of Qs to ask: http://www.babyexpert.com/Your-life/Choosing-a-day-nursery/v1
    Web Ed Nicola
  • So gald someone else posted this as we're in the same boat! I'm sure someone said ask a stupid question to see what the answer will be-thought that was clever!
    I want to know about the school run if Alf will be on that and how long he'll be out for.
    I want to know about the staff, qualifications, how many days they work, if they're left alone with them etc. ANd the turn over of staff how long do people stay and where do they get them from-is it agency people or work experience or what?
    I would want to know about whether I leave the buggy there and they use that or...
    I would want to know if they sleep at anytime they want or does he have to be tired to be put down for a kip?
    Do you have to pay even when they don't go-one I've contacted do to keep the place.
    Food and nappies, wipes etc-do you provide for the days they're there?
    Good luck and hope you find a lovely place for your lo x
  • fab thanks ladies!
    Ive just looked on Ofsted website and they had an appauling report in Nov 08 all inadequate I mean everything was bad!! No wonder i got a phone call straight away they are probably desperate for children!!! Anyway ill go and have a look as it was recommended by someone at baby group and she seemed happy with them - but there report....oh dear!
  • Hey,

    Ofsted reports can be really great but be wary of them - a nursery may be fantastic at caring for the children but not have written evidence to back up thier good work. At the same time one that gets a great report may not be what your looking for - if that makes sense.

    You need to go and visit to get a feel for the place - do you like the people and the atmosphere?

    No offence to anyone .... but I would also look at the ages of the staff - a nice mix of yound and older staff will give lots of enthusiasm and experienced staff.
  • Just thought...................you should ask them what they are doing to improve the nursery in reponse to thier last ofsted inspection! They may already have made lots of changes/improvements!
  • I'd ask whether they offer settling in time- if they are not confident that they offer good care they won't want you staying with your child.
  • hi there im gatecrashing from pregnancy sorry .......

    i trained and worked in a day nursery for 5 years and its a fab nursery they have a super cssiw (ofsted for wales)report and they also have the investors in people at a 2 star (the highest is 3)which only 1 other nursery in wales have ......so if iwas u looking tomorrow i would ask the following

    staff ratio adult-children? (national guidelines are 1-3 aged 0-2
    1-4 aged 2-3
    1-8 aged 3&)
    what food they provide and how much tinned/sachet things with salt they have in?

    will they follow your routine as your baby knows it(jacks nursery so this)?
    do they provide nappies/wipes/milk?
    price list?
    ages of the children in the same room? (some nurseries put babies and toddlers together but i personally dont like this)

    how they deal with behavior issues(obviously not now but as your child gets older)

    hmm cant think any more at the moment ,do forgive me i have a baby mush brain lol ...........i hope this helps and u just need to go with your gut instinct believe me if its not right even if they say all the right answers you as a mummy will know....let us know how u get on xxxxxxxxx
  • oooh i forgot to say dont be put off by the ages of the staff as in my experience as a nursery nurse and a mum lookin at nurseries the young girls are really good as there full of energy and love the kids its the older ladies who tend to be strict and set in there ways , i think a 50/50 of both is about right however if they do have a high staff turnover then perhaps its not a great place as this could be cos they dont treat there staff nicely xxxxxx
  • Don't forget to ask about discipline. No matter how old your child is. I asked one nursery about their discipline, and they said they don't do ANYTHING until the kids are in the older group - 2 and above and then they put them in the naughty ROOM! It was like a cupboard. Way ott and by my judgment, some of the girls working there wouldn't have been beyond giving a sneaky smack.

    Also if the kids have Key workers or everyone looks after everyone. I find it more reassuring that there's only one lady who mainly looks after Harry although they all muck in together.

    Routine is a biggie. Harry's nursery said they follow each childs individual routine which i knew was rubbisdh so i nagged them until they gave in and gave me a really rough timetable they use. It helped to settle harry into their sort of routine so it didn't upset his days at home.

    And i totally agree with Vanilla about the gut instinct thing. I saw 5 different nurseries and i only liked two. The most expencive one - a teddies Bupa nursery made me feel so uncomfortable about everything i left halfway through the tour!

  • Don't ask to visit either! just go along. I found that only the ones who faked a lot and made themselves out to be better than they were, were the ones who asked us to come back at a specific time! xxx
  • The nursery where my lo goes is really good (touch wood!). She technically started on Monday but has been attending since beginning of December for settling in sessions. I've told them when she wants her milk feeds and when she wants her naps which so far they seem to have stuck to.

    Also, what they do is they complete a 'journal' which you can read when you get home which tells you what your baby has done during the day e.g. song time, what toys they played with etc. and tells you what they had for lunch and how much of it she ate and they also write down when they had naps and for how long etc. so if you dont get chance to talk to the key worker I know roughly how her day has gone.

    They also have an office with a window looking into the nursery room but which is mirrored on the other side so I can pop in at any time and look into the baby room to see how shes getting on but without upsetting her and without the staff in her room knowing I'm there which I think is really good. I popped in a bit earlier the other day to collect her and went into the office to pay my bill and looked into the baby room to see her and she was getting a cuddle from one of the care workers.

    I agree with one of the other posters on here that its best to look at a couple of nurseries and you will know when you find the right nursery as you get a gut feeling its right, I certainly did.

  • I'm probably a bad example for picking a nursery as we only went to one but to be fair I had inside information as my friend used to work there plus we felt comfortable every time we went there so went with our gut instinct.

    Definately ask how closely they follow your routine - this was important to us and our nursery follow coles loose routine as much as they can - although they did say that often the lo's sort of drift into a similar room.

    Definately find out the ages of the babies your lo will be with - and keep an eye on it too. A whole bunch of 6month olds just started in cole's room and I did ask how many lo's of his age were still there because I was worried he would be overlooked with the more dependant lo's. Its worth finding out how they seperate the under 2's and when they move them up to the next age gap and whether they go with a friend. Our nursery is good cause they keep the roughly 15month and under together then the 15+-2 years together but they have a room in between where they sometimes let them mix so its not quite so bad when they move them up.

    Discipline is a good one to ask too - that was what I was worried about.

    Napping arrangements are worth checking too - if your lo has a comfort toy or blanket will they use them? do they change sheets between child? where do they sleep. Ours has some big old silver cross prams, and some cots and in the bigger kids room the cots are in a side room so its darker - and they asked me whether he'd be happier in the pram or the cot.

    Also watch how the staff are with the kids. The lady who showed us round did keep interrupting talking to us to deal with kids and thats good - it means that the kids come first. What do they do with the kids during hte day, do they have any outdoor play, do they have a schedule, where do they feed them - can you see in there?

    Ofsted reports are worth checking out but also I know from some teacher friends that a satisfactory report is ok too. I read the one from my nursery, questioned them about the points that had been raised and then read the new one when it had been inspected again.

    Definately find out about settling in time and what they do - ours said we could bring him for as many visits as we felt he needed and I think he had about 5.

    See how the staff are with your lo, and check out where they change them - we did that inadvertantly as Cole needed changing! Clever boy letting us have a peek lol.

    Also - how do they seperate differetn childrens stuff? Ours have baskets with each childs name on to put their food/snacks etc in, and any food they keep in the fridge goes in a seperate bag or if i leave a jar for the next day they stick a label on with his name. They also have a seperate basket each in the changing rooms for their own nappies and wipes. If you use reusables its worth asking if they will use them.

    Probably worth finding out how many part and f ull timers there are - if there are more full timers it'll be better continuety of care - and do they assign a keyworker to the babies? Cole has a keyworker and she's fulltime and she's definately his favourite out of all of them - its nice knowing that there is one person who is doing the bulk of the care rather than just whoever is around.

    Sorry for the essay lol! hope it helps
  • Wow have just shown oh everyone's ideas and well he won't be moaning anymore that I come on here too much!! Have cut and pasted it so I can use it when we get our backside's in gear and go for a look about.
    Thank you mummythomas for posting and hope you find a good nursery for Amy xx
  • I need to start looking into nurseries for Darcy soon so i don't yet have any advice from a parental point of view but from the point of view of a teacher I would ask if all of the staff are police checked and what qualifications they have. I would also ask for information on activities and how they are going to help my child achieve developmental milestones x
  • wow thats brilliant guys thank you!
    Feeling nervous actually although the one going to today had a REALLY bad ofsted things like no first aider and over flowing nappy bins to even leaving babies on their own!!!!! but have managed to look round one tomorrow which had 'outstanding' in everything! so i am prepared with questions and will let you know !!!

    thanks again xxxx
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