When I was looking for a local nursery for Mole, I felt like I really didn’t have a clue on where to start.
My main concern was the location but then I really got thinking, how can I be confident that the chosen place provides the best quality care for my child?
The following questions will help you put your trust in the chosen place of childcare and for me, they really helped me decide which place was best for her.
Questions to ask a nursery
What are the Fees?
Nurseries fees can vary so make sure you ask to find out what they are.
Do all of your staff have a DBS check?
The DBS enables nurseries to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially involving children and provides wider access to criminal record information through its disclosure service for the UK. All staff should have had a DBS check.
What are your staff to children ratios?
As a teacher this was a very important question to me. I understand how important it is to stick to the correct ratio to provide the up most best duty of care.
- Under 2 ratios are 1:3
- 2 year olds 1:4
- 3 year olds + 1:13?where a person with Qualified Teacher status, Early Years Professional status or Early Years Teacher status is working directly with children or 1:8 where they are not.
What experience and qualifications do your staff have?
At least half of the staff must hold a full relevant level 2 qualification where as the manager must hold a full level 3 qualification.
All staff must have a paediatric first aid certificate and undertake regular staff training.
How can you ensure safety?
Nurseries must carry out regular risk assessments. That is for whether it is outside or inside. The staff must also record any medication used and inform parents/carers and record accidents.
What is a key person? And will my child have one?
Every child will have a key person. They help to build a trusting relationship with you both and your child. They will care to all your baby’s needs.
Will my child learn anything whilst at nursery?
Nurseries are required to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. They will provide activities that are based on your Childs interests and that help them to progress in their development. I have noticed a huge improvement in Mole since she has started nursery. Most of all I feel she has made huge improvements with socialising.
What activities do they do?
Nurseries should provide a range of activities including time out in the community. Mole’s nursery has an onsite farm where they will visit.
Other activities can range from painting, messy play and sand box play.
Do you keep parents informed of any progress?
Observations are carried out to assess the progress of your child, especially at ages 2-3. Mole’s nursery keeps an online record daily of her observations and they identify what levels she is at. This was a big decision factor for us as I felt they really cared for her progress considering she is only 10 months old.
What type of meals and snacks will your provide?
They will stick to your dietary requirement. For a full day Mole has 2 snacks and 2 meals. All the meals are cooked on site with good hygiene standards. The nursery provided us with a full menu of food and we could see that they are high in vegetables.
The diet can also be in a puree form or BLW style. Just let the nursery know which you prefer.
How is behaviour managed?
All nurseries will stick to a behaviour policy and this can be different depending on the nursery. You can ask the nursery for their behaviour policy or find it online on their website. They should be using positive reinforcement and never threaten a child.
Is there a set routine?
Find out if they follow a daily set routine. You can also ask them to fit in with your home routine such as nap times.
I hope these questions help you to feel more confident when approaching the nurseries and making your decision. The decision of sending your baby to nursery is not an easy one but doing your research first will help you feel a little more at ease.
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