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Questions to ask when Choosing Childcare

We work in partnership with families to meet individual needs. We understand it is hard choosing the right nursery for your child/ren and family. We advise you to look around at your convenience and invite family members to come along too. When looking around nurseries it is useful to seek information about an array of areas.

Below are some ideas/questions we thought might be helpful:

  • What security measures do you undertake for the safety of my child/ren? (This is important for child protection reasons)
  • Ask to look at their last Ofsted report and look at the actions (if any) and see how these have been addressed? How do you review your practice/setting? (Each nursery will have an Ofsted report for viewing, this covers all areas via the statutory framework, every nursery works from ‘setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five’)
  • How would you meet my child/ren’s individual needs? (Each and every setting must work with each individual to meet their needs accordingly, working in partnership with the family sharing information on a daily basis)
  • What is the routine for the day? (Children need security/ a routine providing them with opportunities for free play and various planned activities via the six areas of learning)
  • What is your sickness policy and procedure to administer medication? (Every setting will have their own individual policy in place working via Ofsted standards)
  • Talk to the staff, how long have they worked at the nursery? What do they enjoy about their job? What qualifications do they have? (Children and parent/carers need to build good relationships with staff to share information on a long term basis with staff who are secure and happy in their role)
  • How do you promote healthy eating? Can my child access fresh drinking water when they need it?
  • How will I know how much fluid intake my child has received? (Ask for a copy of the menu/can you become involved as a parent/carer within this area?)
  • Do you work with any outside professionals/agencies? (If your family is working closely with other agencies this is important to know how a setting will work in partnership with you?)
  • Do you have a trained Special Educational Needs Co-coordinator and what training have they received?
  • How would you support my child/ren’s transition throughout your nursery and to school?
  • Do you go on outings? What is the ratio for outings?

What to look, listen and note:

  • Are the staff friendly and welcoming? Did the staff talk to you and your child/ren?
  • Are the children involved in activities? Do the children look happy/calm?
  • Are the staff interacting with the children
  • Is there any outdoor play space?
  • Look at the size/space of the rooms
  • Look at sleep/rest areas
  • Are the toys clean, age/stage appropriate
  • Are the activities accessible for the children
  • Are there toileting facilities appropriate for the size of the children (hygiene practices)
  • Are there any displays, books, toys promoting different cultures positively

After you have looked around we encourage families to visit other settings, and talk about which nursery will best suit your children’s needs, taking time to think and make the right decision and trust your own feelings. If you decide that Sandcastles is the right setting for your family we look forward to building a good solid relationship with you all and most importantly getting to know your child/ren .