Things to Think About
- 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?