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Nannies & Baby Sitting

Things to Know

Things to Think About

Many parents visit a number of nurseries before picking one for their little one, and the variety can often be overwhelming. Below are some handy questions you can keep in mind when visiting a nursery to help with the decision process.

The Nursery

  • Is the nursery welcoming? Are the classrooms bright with lots of space, and are there lots of colourful decorations around the place?
  • Is the nursery clean and tidy? Are the work areas in good order?
  • Is there an outdoor play area? Is there an indoor play area too? Are both of them attractive and safe?
  • Is it possible to see the outdoor play area at all times from within the nursery?
  • Is the nursery divided into different areas for work, play, rests, art and crafts, story time and other activities? Are all these areas big enough?
  • Are the toilets clean and fresh-smelling? Are there nappy changing facilities, and if so, are they clean and in good order?
  • Are there posters around to remind children to wash their hands? Are there towels or paper towels for children to dry themselves after washing their hands?
  • What are the sleeping arrangements for babies and nap time? Are there separate cots and beds?
  • Is it a nice temperature in the nursery?
  • What snacks and meals are provided? Are they healthy?
  • Is the kitchen clean and tidy?
  • How are children disciplined in the nursery? Are you happy with the disciplinary methods the staff use? Are the children well-behaved?
  • Does the nursery have an Ofsted certificate? Is the certificate displayed?
  • Is it okay to drop by the nursery at minimal notice? Are surprise visits to the nursery encouraged?
  • What happens when a child is unwell? What happens when someone other than the parents comes to pick up a child? What happens if parents are late to collect their children?

Teachers and Staff

  • Are the staff friendly and welcoming? Do they say hello to your child as well as you? Do they speak to you about your child?
  • How are the staff with the children? Are they kind and loving?
  • Do staff bow down, sit or kneel when speaking to children so they are on the same level as the child?
  • What are the staff members’ qualifications? Are all teachers and staff trained in First Aid?
  • Are the teachers happy to answer questions and glad that you have come? What is the relationship like between the nursery and its parents – are there lots of newsletters and communication between the two?
  • Are teachers and staff popular with the children?
  • Is it common for staff to attend childcare courses to keep up to date with childcare methods?

Children’s activities and play

  • Are there different activities for different age groups?
  • Are there different facilities, toys and equipment throughout the nursery for different age groups? Are the toys clean and inviting and stored well?
  • How is the day structure? Is there a good balance between educational play, free play, story times and nap times?
  • Is there a weekly schedule? Is there a daily schedule?
  • Are there different toys and activities on show to teach children cognitive skills, motor skills, social skills and creativity?
  • Is there lots of children’s work on the walls?
  • What happens at nap time? Are children supervised?
  • Does every child participate in the different activities or are some left out if they don’t want to play?
  • Do the children seem happy doing their activities? Can you see your child there with them? Would they be happy?
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