With childcare being one of the most important decisions that parents will have to make when it comes to their children, parents will be well informed of what makes a good childcare environment and what they should be looking for. In fact, there is a lot of online help out there for parents, from what they should be asking to tips and advice such as calling in unannounced for a real idea of what their everyday environment is actually like. While this helps parents to find the right nursery for their children, it is important that the nursery is also fully aware and prepared for visits.
It’s all well and good complying to all of your health and safety regulations, but staff need to be aware of what measures are in place, what they need to be doing and how to communicate this to parents. In short, imagine parents’ visits as being the same as a health and safety audit, where everyone needs to be working efficiently and know their stuff when asked.
To help you prepare your nursery and yourself for these all important questions, here are the most frequently asked questions that you should know the answers to.
Prepare Your Nursery for Frequently Asked Questions
- What experience and qualifications do your staff have? – All new staff must have a 12-hour paediatric first aid certificate, at least half the staff must hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification and the manager at least a full and relevant level 3 qualification.
- How long have they worked here? What is the staff turnover? – You can work this out and have the figures to hand.
- How do you ensure safe recruitment of staff? – You must have effective systems in place where you can check the suitability of potential staff.
- What are the ratios of staff to children? – You must have 1:3 with under 2s, 1:4 with 2-year-olds, 1:13 with 3 years and over (if the staff has a Qualified Teacher status, Early Years Professional or Teacher status) and 1:8 with 3 years and over if they do not.
- Will my child have a key person, and how many other children will they have? – You need to assign each child a key person who they will build a relationship with and get specific care.
- What’s a typical daily routine? – You can take the parents through their child’s daily routine from showing them the different areas of play, where they eat and what they eat, where and what time they nap, all the way till home time. You need to address any issues that the parents may have and demonstrate that you provide a routine that changes as the child develops.
- What activities do you provide? – You need to show the range that you provide indoors and when you take trips into the community. Your activities should always be suitable for all ages and you should offer specific ones to cater for each child’s particular interests.
- What types of meals and snacks do you provide? – Make sure to demonstrate what the children eat, when they eat, and how you maintain good food hygiene.
- My child has allergies and/or special needs. How will these be managed? – Make sure to demonstrate how you maintain good food hygiene and how these dietary requirements are met.
- Where can my child rest? – Show them the area where children can nap. This area should be comfortable.
- How do you manage children’s behaviour? – You need to be able to discuss the behaviour policy that you adhere to. Nurseries use positive methods such as distraction to manage discipline, so you can demonstrate this.
- How do you support children’s learning and development? – Show proof that you provide an Early Years Foundation Stage environment and how you deliver activities that will engage particular interests and help children to progress in their development.
- How do you keep parents informed of their child’s progress? – You need to demonstrate how you observe children and how you record their progress and areas where they need extra support. Highlight that in children between 2 and 3 years, you provide ongoing feedback and progress checks.
- How do you ensure the safety of the children in your care? – Inform the parents and show them records of risk assessments that you’ve carried out with indoors and outdoors. You can also show them how you record any accidents or incidents that occur and any medication that is given.
- What do your fees include? – Break down all inclusions and exclusions for ease.
- Do you offer funded 2, 3, 4-year-old places? – If you offer free entitlement, give the parents some useful information to take away.
- What’s the policy on taking children for extra days – how much more is it going to cost me? – You should be aware of this policy and have it to hand to show the parents.
- How many weeks a year, is the nursery open? – All staff should be aware of this.
- Can I see the nursery’s registration certificate and latest inspection report? – Have copies at hand to show parents.
By ensuring all staff are prepared to help parents make this crucial decision, the whole process should take place much more efficiently and effectively. To make it even easier, you could create a binder with all policies and documents that you run the nursery on, where you can sit down with the parents and take them through it together.
Need More Help with Your Nursery or Health & Safety?
Child Care Health and Safety Wales provides many publications and resources on Health and Safety in a nursery setting, including policy log books and checklists that can be tailored to your business. If you need any advice or guidance on which ones you need, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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