Finding the right nursery can be daunting but when you do, it’s rewarding to know that your little ones will be settled, well cared for and happy. There are lots of things to think about and questions to ask when you visit a childcare setting for the first time – we’ve outlined just a few here:
Will the nursery follow your child’s sleep routines, who will be their primary carer, do you need to provide milk and nappies or do they, what is their settling in process?
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – a good manager will be able to provide you with answers to them or be happy to go away and find out and let you know.
- First impressions are key. It is important to think about the sights and the sounds of the nursery and often the smells too. What does the layout look like, do the staff and children look happy?
- Are the children engaged in the activity they are doing? Do they seem busy but relaxed? If you walk into a room and all the children come immediately up to you, alarm bells should be ringing as those children are not engaged.
- Are the key areas of the nursery bright and well light – can you see and hear into them? Are they clean, safe and welcoming? Do they feel homely?
- When you look at the displays on the walls, are there rows and rows of identical pieces of artwork that show process over content? Look out for photographs and pieces of work that celebrate process, creativity, and achievement.
- Are you greeted by a member of staff who introduced themselves and their role? Do they show confidence and passion for the role they do? Are they enthusiastic about the company they work for and can they offer helpful information?
- Do the staff know the names of the children in their care? Are they interacting with them? Do they look happy and settled?
- Do they ask questions about your children? Do they chat to them directly, making a point of using their names to engage with them?
- Are there food menus available to look at or can staff tell you about the meals your child would be eating at nursery?
- Find out about the setting’s key worker policy. Key workers are staff who are responsible for a small group of children, meaning they can provide continuity of care. How many children does each key worker look after?
If you’d like to take a look around, please get in touch with Kids Planet nursery, or visit Find a Nursery to find your local nursery.