and want to ring up a few creches to make some queries. What sort of things should I be asking them or looking out for? I'd appreciate any advice ye would have.
BTW I live in Leixlip, so if anyone has any recommendations for that area I'd be interested too
Need to start looking into childcare options
I wouldn't ask the questions over the phone, I'd ring to make an appointment to go view the place. You'll really get a feel for it.
Main thing I asked was how long the emoloyees were working there. This was a huge thing for me. I didnt' want new people all the time just as DD got used to one, also it's a huge sign that staff are unhappy. The two women that mind DD are there 10 and 15 years!
Think there's a list on rollercoaster of all the things to ask
Staff turnover was one I was concerned about too. I asked about staff training, staff to child ratios too.. , daily routines, meals etc.
As Daff says best to go check out the facilites and get a feel for the place...
Im not a mommy but I have worked in a creche for many years
I just copied this from the National Children's Nurseries Association (NCNA) d:-
• What is the ratio between staff and children?
• Are the staff qualified? ( ask to see certificates or diplomas).
•How experienced are the staff?
Supervision, routine and discipline
•Discuss the degree to which the children are supervised
•What is the nursery's general policy on areas such as routine?
•Do the children have set times for eating, sleeping , playing and individual needs?
•Discuss the issue of discipline
•What is included in the price?
•What is the policy for charging for absent days?
•Does the nursery have daily or part time rates which may suit your work pattern?
•What are the opening hours?
•Does the nursery have a non-coin operated phone for emergencies?
•When the phone rings do the staff have to leave their charges to answer it?
•Does the nursery have full and proper insurance cover?
•Is it covered for public liability?
•Does the nursery have an open door policy?
•Check that the nursery is open to parental involvement in outings and special occasions
•Discuss what sort of feedback there is on your child each day, from how he or she ate to their general form
•Are there parent's evenings arranged?
•Do parents take any part on decisions on policy changes?
•Is there a regular arrangement for discussing your child's progress?
Food and Hygiene
•How is food preparation done?
•Have children access to food preparation area ?
•Are the menus balanced and varied?
•Will the nursery cater for any special dietary needs that your child may have?
•What is the procedure when a child becomes ill?
•What is the procedure in the case of a medical emergency ?( e.g. a child is injured ?).
•When you visit the nursery the NCNA suggest you observe the following:-
•Are the rooms well lit, do you feel there is enough natural light
•Is it comfortably warm for small babies and children, or, if you arrive on a hot day, is it well ventilated
•Is there enough space for children, babies and adults to spend the day comfortably in the play rooms
•Ideally the sleeping area for smaller children should be separate. Whether it is or not, check it is warm but not stuffy, roomy and cheerful. If it is separate is there a baby alarm or can crying babies be easily heard
•What do the children and babies sleep in? The NCNA does not consider pushchairs and baby recliners suitable for sleeping
•Are there at least two easily accessible exits
•Are there adequate fire extinguishers and fire blanket
•Are there smoke detectors correctly installed
•Are there any exposed sockets
•Is there a fire drill posted for all to see
•Ask how often the fire drill is practiced
•Highchairs, baby recliners, cots ( if the nursery caters for babies).
•Comfortable sleeping facilities for older children
•Good nappy changing facilities, potties, step up stools
•Coat hooks and storage for the children's outdoor clothes
•A first aid box
In the kitchen
•Is the cooking area inaccessible to the children
•Adequate and hygienic storage area for food, cutlery, cooking utensils etc
•A fridge, a cooker, ample washable surfaces for food preparation
•An adequate water supply.
All of the above
Plus if you get a good vibe off the place
i visit one creche and was met by the room leader in reception holding her own granddaughter (not in her room) she was very abrupt and was quick to usher me out. Like I was getting in the way of her time with grandchild. She actally but her hand on my back and led me out! I was so so shocked
Rang another place and just didn't like the girl on the end of the phone. Again as if I was annoying her
Close to tears rang the creche DD is in now. Well if I could have hugged the girl through the phone I would have. She was so nice and explained everything to me without me prompting her and arragned a visit for me. DD is only in 3 days and they allow us to pick which ever days suits DH rota at work. This was a big plus as the other creches wouldn't do this.
As most of the others have said - staff turnover was number one on my list. I asked and the manager went through every staff member in the creche not just those in DDs room without prompting and told me how long they are there. The shortest was 4 years and longest 9 years (in fact vast majority there over 7 years). I take that as a great sign - happy staff, happy children.
Second thing is gut feel - if you don't like it, don't consider it. You're stressed enough when you drop them off that you don't need that adding to it. Big thing for us was flexibility as we only needed 3 days a week and there was no problem. We asked them today as DH hours have changed could we change one of the days and we can do it from next week - I mean how good is that, so accommodating.
The creche we ended up with wasn't the flashest by any means but the staff are lovely and friendly, I can walk in there at any time of the day with no notice and most importantly DD loves it. She is so happy there so I have no doubts that we made the right decision.
That's brilliant ladies, thanks so much!! Hadnt even thought of asking about staff turnover, its a good ques to ask. I will phone them to arrange appts but just wanted to have in mind what to ask when I visit them. I'm going to print out the advice here and refer to it when I go. Thanks again