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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are going to view a nursery this week for D (as currently we are caring for him between us with childminder 2 afternoons per weel).
D will hopefully start fulltime nursery in sept (funded hrs) and at the moment we feel as he is such an active toddler- and we have seen little evidence of what the childminder is doing with him (1 painting in 9 months and then a calendar at xmas)- we have decided to look at sending him to nursery 1 full day per week so that he can socialise AND get used to a structured day in prep for FT nursery.
My question is - what do you look form at the nursery- questions do you ask?
We know the reputation is excellent with a recent ofsted award, and we have a family (close) friend whose 2 grandchildren attend the nursery on an FT basis- so that is not my concern (plus I get a discount as it is designed for NHS staff- for whom I am one).
I would be grateful for your advice please.
Also, as D has speech delay- and cons paed is worried atm- would you mention it- or would you (if we agree to send him there (which I feel is a certainty) would you wait and see if they pick up on anything.

AJ
 

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Hi AJ,

Good luck with finding a nursery place for your Son. My little boy loves going to his and I'm really happy with how he's getting on.

Our situation is slightly different because my son is younger and we're not in Britain but with the experience of choosing a nursery place I would consider the following:
  • Top priority I think is the atmosphere at the nursery, is it somewhere you feel comfortable for your son to spend his day? Your gut instincts should answer this after you have been able to observe the carers and children interacting.
  • Staff to child ratio, including how many trainees vs qualified carers. Trainees are great but it's important that they are properly observed.
  • Age range of children in the group. Is there a large age range in a group or are the children split into specific age groups? There are advantages/disadvantages to both it just depends on what you want for your son.
  • What and how are the children taught? My son's nursery does a lot of age appropriate project style learning based on a topic eg. "Fish" might include a trip to the zoo, to a river, making fish by paining stones from the river and creating a underwater scene in the room, there's probably some dancing in there somewhere too :) .
  • How is the day structured? eg. mealtimes, naptimes, fresh air time, structured activities and free play and where do these activities take place?
  • How does the Nursery support your child's personal development and give feedback? You can make this a general question or it might be an opportunity to mention your Son's speach delay. I take the view that the nursery carers are childcare professionals and a good nursery is more than somewhere you child will be happy and safe for the day. A good nursery should work with you in supporting your Son with his speach.
  • Security - who has access to the Nursery and how is it controlled?
  • Safety and cleanliness.
  • What kind of menu is offered for the children and is the food freshly prepared?
  • How is the integration into Nursery managed for the new children?
  • What kind of relationship between carers and children are you looking for? Homely where the carers are dressed casually and sit on the floor/low seats and eat meals with the children? or something more formal/school like?
  • Access to the nursery eg. parking. It sounds trivial but you don't want to start and end each day with a battle to find somewhere to park or a long walk to the bus stop.
Think I've just about run out of steam now ;D

I think if you already have positive recommendtions from other parents you're already off to a good start.

I hope I could help and all the best
Fi
 

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Hi

My 2 go to our NHS Nursery. I will warn you, if yours is anything like ours, at first glance you may not be impressed - ours is typical NHS, a bit run down BUT there is a lovely atmosphere and the boys love it!

I told them about Sam's delayed speech and they have been great at working with him so he can hear. He's had grommets now and we see a speech therapist next week. I will then have a meeting with Nursery to fill them in so we are all doing the same thing with him x


 

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Hi Andy

My feeling would be to be upfront with the nursery about D's speech, especially if it affects his behaviour, so that they are working with you.  Otherwise they will go through a few weeks of thinking there may be a problem and how to broach it with you tactfully, which they do not need to do if they know there is an issue.  You may find that they have had children with delayed speech before.  Do they use signing or any other communication support system?  That can help with delayed speech as the child can make himself understood more easily.

It will probably help D being around other children more, as he will see and hear them talking.

Wishing you all the best for the nursery visit - I hope it exceeds your expectations

Ruth x

 

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I would agree with a lot of what has been said, the feeling is the main thing I think.  Do both you and your LO feel happy there and comfortable.

I would also be open about his speech if not on the visit then when he starts, so they can work with you. May be on the visit ask if they have worked with other children with simular, and if he has other way of communicating his needs let them know them so he doesn't get frustrated they don't understand him.

Slinky is right about some NHS nurseries- I used to work in a "older" one. I think some people were put off by the fire door entrance with no windows etc and inside they were very slowly updating, but there are others that are like new.  Our trust opened a new one and it was amazing, so try not to just judge on how it looks.
Look at things like how are the other children?  do they seem happy in the environment?  Do the staff speak to you as you are looking round- do they look happy?
 

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I can't help on choosing a nursery but when ds1 started preschool (aged 3+4 months) I spoke to the SENCo beforehand and she made sure she was his keyworker.

At the end of the day you want them working with you rather than waiting to see what they come up with themselves.

Chux xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ladies- yes, I think I will be upfront with them re speech- it would be more helpful than anything wouldnt it (silly me- am just SO determined that there isnt a problem with my wee man- Mummy mode!)
The Nursery isnt a NHS nursery so to speak- it is an independant nursery (that has a couple of them within the city). It has an "excellent" ofsted report- and has recently been in the local media as a consequence (local paper AND local TV news. It just does mega discounts for us poor knackered nurses! (30 quid for a 9 hr day inclusive of bfast, lunch and tea).
DH needs to be back at work an extra day- and they can fit D in on one of my gruelling 12 hr shifts (which I love ^idiot^ ) and DH can collect him as it is on his way home!
So, fingers crossed they can take him- WITH some help. I just want my gorgeous man to have the best- then, I shall speak to the childminder once our decision is made.

Thanks lovely ladies.

AJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The nursery was fab- didnt have to ask any questions- they were answered before I had chance to ask. Massive garden- split into age groups, they even have a access to a speech therapist. We get six weekly reviews from nursery too- so that if they, or we feel anything needed to be focussed on- it will be addressed
They will help with potty training too.
Piece of usless information- did you know that the soft stuff they have in playgrounds underneath the swings, slides etc is melted tyres???
Thanks ladies
 

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Good news! It makes such a difference when you feel happy about where they are going and the Nursery is a good one. The price helps too let me tell you! Don't forget to do your childcare vouchers xx
 
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