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Choosing a Day Nursery
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What should I look out for when choosing a day nursery?

Obviously we would recommend that you should only choose a day nursery with Teletoddler!  We believe that the emotional and security benefits to families of having our video technology are so huge that eventually all day nurseries will have it. 

In the meantime, however, here are some questions you can ask and things you should look out for:

Registration and paperwork

• Can you see the day nursery’s registration certificate? This will tell you how many children of different ages it can look after.
• Can you see a current public liability insurance certificate? Does the day nursery work to a quality assurance scheme?

About the staff

• Do they make you and your child feel welcome?
• Are they talking and playing with the children?
• Are the staff qualified and/or experienced? Is a qualified first aider there at all times?
• How many staff and children are there? There should be one member of staff for every three children aged under two, one for every four children aged two and one for every eight children aged three to five.
Activities
• Are there opportunities for pretend play e.g. a home corner, dressing up clothes?
• Are there opportunities for creative play e.g. sand, water, paint, glue?
• Do children have choice and are they encouraged to explore and investigate?
• Do the children look happy and well occupied?
• Are there enough books and toys? Are they appropriate for the children’s ages?

The day nursery environment

• Are there regular fire drills?
• Is there a separate area for babies and toddlers?
• Is there somewhere for children to sleep and rest?
• Are the toilets clean and are children taught good hygiene practices?
• Is play equipment and outdoor space well managed, safe and secure? When and how s it used?
• Is the building clean, safe and well maintained?
• Is the room temperature comfortable?
• Is the day nursery well organised, busy or calm?

Parental involvement

• Can parents ‘drop in’ anytime to see their children (as per OfSTED recommendations)?
• Does the day nursery organise special events e.g. birthday parties or visits by Santa?
• If your child takes his first steps at a day nursery do you want to be told or to find it out for yourself later?
• How does the day nursery tell you if you there is a problem with your child?
• Does the day nursery provide pictures or video footage so that you can see what your children have been up to during the day?
• Does the day nursery allow you to ‘drop in’ over the web without leaving work (i.e. give parents secure internet access)?

Caring for your child

• What are the nursery’s policies for behaviour management, equal opportunities, complaints and accidents?
• If your child has special needs, how will the day nursery meet these?
• Do they offer varied and nutritious food?
• Can they provide special diets for health or other reasons?
• How are mealtimes managed?
• Does the day nursery have high quality CCTV that records continuously in case of any accidents?  (Be warned that some nurseries say they have CCTV but only record one room at a time or use tapes that are so worn you cannot see what has happend - so ask to see pictures for yourself.)

Money

• How much are the fees, what do they include and when do you pay?
• Do you pay for non-attendance, for example, during illness or school holidays?
• Does the day nursery claim Nursery Education Grant for three and four year olds?

What do I do when I have chosen a day nursery?

Place your child’s name on the waiting list. Find out when your child can start and for how many sessions. Give the supervisor all the necessary information about your child and make sure you update them about any changes. The day nursery will need a number to contact in emergencies. Prepare to spend time settling your child in.

How much does a day nursery cost?

Charges vary but tend to be between £110-£180 per week.

Nursery Education Grant for three and four year olds

Some day nurseries can offer early education and claim Nursery Education Grant for your child to have a free part time place. This grant is available for all four year olds and the majority of three year olds.

What checks are made on day nurseries?

All day nurseries must be registered by OfSTED (Office for Standards in Education) and are inspected every year to make sure that:
• the care they provide meets national standards
• all staff have satisfactory criminal record checks.
If the day nursery claims Nursery Education Grant for three and four year olds, it is also inspected to make sure it meets the requirements of the foundation stage curriculum.

What do I do if I have a concern or wish to make a complaint?

If you have any concerns about the quality of care offered by a registered day nursery, contact OfSTED complaints helpline on 0845 601 4772.

Where can I find out more?

Contact us or see our Useful Information page.

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Tithe Barn, Tithe Court, Langley, Berkshire, SL3 8AS
Telephone: 01753-202690 | Email: info@teletoddler.co.uk

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