As you may know, if you read my blog Starting Nursery we are looking to put Baby Bear into Nursery this September once he has turned 3. Today I took Daddy bear to view our chosen Nursery (yes, I picked without him viewing it, he knew I would pick a good one for Baby Bear). I have already had a meeting with the setting before viewing it so I asked a lot of questions then but I still had some now we were seeing the setting. So I thought I’d share them in case you have a viewing coming up and have no idea what type of questions to ask.
Do you have a set uniform the children have to wear?
I have noticed lately a lot of nurseries are making children wear uniforms. I asked this question at my initial meeting with the nursery manager as I haven’t seen the children in the setting yet so was unsure. It may seem like it doesn’t matter either way but it was something I wanted to know before booking a viewing so Daddy bear and I could discuss it.
What Hours are you open/ What times can I drop off and collect?
This is a huge question to ask if it isn’t covered as when picking a nursery for your little one you need to make sure they are open the hours you need. For example, there’s no point picking a nursery that opens at 9 am if you need to drop your child off at 8.30am.
Do you supply Breakfast, Lunch, dinner and snacks?
Most nursery will provide 3 meals a day but some don’t. Not only that but if your child’s like a Baby bear he is a cold lunch sort of boy. He does not like hot lunches at all so for us it was important to find out what they offer to ensure he would be given something he would actually eat while at the setting. The nursery we have chosen allows you to send your child with their own packed lunch if they didn’t want the hot lunch offered.
What time are the meals given?
Following on from the last 2 questions you will want to know what time they feed the children so you know what meals they will be receiving while there. It will also give you the option to opt out certain meals for your child. It will vary between each nursery so it is defiantly worth asking. For example, our nursery gives the children dinner at 4 pm, however, I want Baby bear to eat dinner at home with us and as I would be collecting him around 4.30pm so I don’t want him receiving dinner there.
Are there any extra fees?
As I have found even with the Government funding there can be an additional fee you have to cover. I’m not sure if every nursery charges for snacks and meals but the one we have chosen does (some I have worked in haven’t charged). Even though it is what it is, there’s nothing worse than having an unexpected invoice at the end of the month. You also want to find out what their late pick-up fee is if they have one. Let’s be real even when you don’t mean to be we are only human and I’m sure we all will be late at one point or another for pick up.
Can I leave spare clothes, shoes and coat here?
This is a good question to ask as with your child will need spare clothes, shoes and a coat while at nursery but some will not accept spares being kept at the setting. All the nurseries I have worked in have a peg/drawer for each child so you can leave spare clothes, coats and anything else your child may need while there but it is worth checking while you’re viewing the nursery.
What is your pick up policy?
This is a huge one to ask. As a parent, our child’s safety is our priority so ensuring no one can just collect your child is important. Obviously, we all know there will some form of policy in place at each nursery to ensure your child doesn’t get sent home with just anyone. It is worth just asking the setting what their procedure is whether its picture scheme, passwords or just description given by parents.
How you manage naughty behaviour?
As parents, we all deal with naughty behavior different (let’s be honest every child pushes boundaries and tries their luck) but a nursery obviously can’t follow every parent’s individual parenting styles. This may not be an important thing to you but it may be helpful to know how they are dealing with your child while they are in the nurseries care. Each nursery will have a different way of dealing with naughty behavior so if you don’t like the way one does it I’m sure you will be able to find one that you prefer.
Where can my child take a nap if needed?
All nurseries will have some form of a sleeping arrangement available, especially if they care for young children/babies. Depending on how old your child is this may not apply to you as they will talk you through that if you have a younger child. However, because Baby bear will be going into the over 3’s room it wasn’t mentioned in our meeting or during the tour so I asked. He doesn’t have a nap very often but some days he does need a little nap so I wanted to check that was an option for him if he ever needed it (he can be horrible when his tired so it was for the sake as much as it was for him… Please tell me my child’s not the only one who turns into a crying devil when tired?!).