10 questions to ask when looking at nurseries
When it comes to visiting nursery for the first time, what do you look for?
During each of your nursery visits ask the managers, and yourself, the following questions to ensure your baby’s needs are fully met and to put your mind at rest.
We’ve put together a guide of 10 things to look for when visiting a nursery so you can be confident in making the best choice for you and your child.
1 – Did you receive a warm welcome?
The welcome you receive from a nursery as a visitor will give you an instant insight into the general attitude and disposition of the nursery staff. Are they friendly and welcoming? Do they deal with you and your children in a professional but caring manner?
2 – Is the nursery secure?
Does the nursery have an entry system? Are you expected to sign in when visiting the nursery? Visiting a nursery for the first time is an ideal moment to answer these questions and ease any concerns you may have. As your baby grows and becomes more independent and mobile, consider how secure other indoor and outdoor areas are.
3 – Is there a separate area in the nursery for babies?
Having a separate room or area where your baby will be cared for means they will have a designated area to support their development and a quiet space for their naps. It shows that your baby will be cared for in a safe an appropriate environment with suitable equipment including cots and a separate changing area.
4 – Are babies’ routines being followed?
Do staff have the facility to care for your baby’s individual routine? How will the bursary ask you for information about your baby’s routine and how will this be supported?
5 – What is the ratio of staff to babies?
Look for a ratio of three babies to one staff member. Anything less than that might affect the care and attention that can be given to each individual baby. As your baby moves up through the nursery, will they be assigned a key person to help them transition into their new environment?
6 – Are the staff happy and engaged with the children in their care?
Notice the atmosphere and listen to the staff around. Do the staff seem happy and caring? Are they paying attention to the needs of the babies and children around them?
7 – Will your baby’s development needs be cared for?
Look around for signs of baby equipment such as play mats and baby-appropriate toys and activities. Will your baby be offered the stimulation he or she needs to develop? Is there sensory equipment available? Do the babies look happy and engaged? Does the nursery have a communication system for keeping parents informed?
8 – Does the nursery and baby equipment look clean and well cared for?
Your baby will come into contact with a lot of equipment and it’s important that this equipment is maintained in good order and regularly cleaned. Does the nursery have a regular cleaning and inspection routine?
9 – What qualities, experience, and checks do the staff have?
From Nursery Assistants to Managers, all staff should have suitable qualifications. Have all staff been DBS checked? Don’t be afraid to ask questions when having conversations with the Manager or any staff, they should be friendly and accommodating with your best interests at heart.
10 – Will your baby’s medical conditions be cared for?
If your baby has, or develops, any medical conditions during their time at nursery, will their needs be cared for? What facilities are in place to be able to do this? How are medicines administered and are they recorded? Do staff have any experience or specific medical conditions and are all of them first aid trained?
By following these 10 top tips when you visit prospective baby care providers, you’ll soon be able to make an informed decision as to which nursery is the best fit for you and your baby.