Questions to ask a nursery when going to look around

Going back to work after maternity leave can be a daunting prospect, wondering whether you will settle in from where you left, how much may have changed and if you don’t have family to look after the baby, you have to find somewhere for your child to go.  You have to decide who to trust with the most important person in your world that, if like me you have spent the past 12 months side by side. 

I would recommend looking round several nurseries and childminders to get a feel for them and once you have crossed off the ones you know you aren’t going to use, look round the ones you like again. Get a feel for the place and the people. If possible, don’t book in advance, just turn up then you know it’s exactly what you are going to be getting when there hasn’t been chance to tidy or put on a front. Take an email address as well, there is so much to think of that if you think of anything later, you can pop an email over to them with any questions.

Questions to ask a nursery when going to look around

These are the questions I thought of, did I miss anything out?


  • What is your Ofsted rating?                                                                                              
  • Do you take the children out?
  • How many children are there in each session?
  • Child to staff ratio?
  • How does it work at naptimes?
  • Can you provide lunch? How much extra does that cost?
  • How does it work if you need contractors to come in when children are there?
  • How many staff will be outside when the children are in the garden?
  • What qualifications do staff have? Are they trained in first aid?
  • Normal daily routine?
  • Will he have a keyworker?
  • How do you manage children’s behaviour?
  • Can he rest somewhere if he isn’t feeling up to doing an activity?                                        
  • What are the session times and prices?                                                                              
  • When are the fees due?                                                                                                        
  • How is payment taken?                                                                                                                  
  • Do you accept childcare vouchers?                                                                                      
  • What do we pay when the child is on holiday/sick? Is there a discounted price? Free holiday days? Lucas’ nursery give 2 free holiday weeks a year.                                                        
  • What happens if someone else needs to pick my child up?                                                  
  • How much am I charged if I pick up late?
  • What is the smoking policy?




19 Comments on Questions to ask a nursery when going to look around

  1. Rachel
    December 2, 2016 at 10:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I am kind of hoping that the OFSTED question is always the first one to be asked x

  2. Keely's Nails
    December 2, 2016 at 10:39 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s worth asking how much screen/tv time is normal too.

    • Jenni
      December 3, 2016 at 5:43 pm (2 years ago)

      One of the things I most like about Lucas’ nursery is that there isn’t any and the difference in his imaginative play since he started has been incredible x

  3. Ana De- Jesus
    December 2, 2016 at 11:31 pm (2 years ago)

    I agree it is so important to get a feel for the place before sending your child there. It is a good idea to ask lots of questions.

  4. five little doves
    December 3, 2016 at 11:04 am (2 years ago)

    This is really informative! I didn’t ask any of these questions, but I did go on personal recommendation, but I would definitely ask them in future!

  5. Kara Guppy
    December 3, 2016 at 11:32 am (2 years ago)

    I don’t much attention to the Ofsted rating if I am honest. Some very highly rated Nurseries are appalling

    • Jenni
      December 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, I think you get a feel for a place and know which is best for your child regardless of the ofsted rating xx

  6. Candace
    December 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Some great tips here. Luckily, we are way past this stage

  7. Lisa Backsnbumps
    December 3, 2016 at 6:52 pm (2 years ago)

    A great list of questions nurseries can be daunting when you have to look round. Parents should print these off as often they go out of my mind.

  8. karen
    December 3, 2016 at 11:30 pm (2 years ago)

    Such a great list of questions, nursery can be a scary place when a child starts so you need to know that they will be there for your child when they need it

  9. Kerry Norris
    December 4, 2016 at 4:48 pm (2 years ago)

    This is a really good post. It can be such a daunting thing if you’re doing it for the first time

  10. Anosa
    December 4, 2016 at 7:37 pm (2 years ago)

    I guess there is a lot to think about when looking for a nursery, I love the idea of just turning up and seeing what the nursery is really like

  11. 3 kids no sleep
    December 4, 2016 at 8:23 pm (2 years ago)

    Its so daunting but your list is really helpful for first time mums. We always turned up as a surprise to see what it was like naturally.

  12. Evelina
    December 5, 2016 at 11:55 am (2 years ago)

    All your suggested questions are definitely must to know!

  13. Kellie - Hooray for Moms
    December 8, 2016 at 2:22 pm (2 years ago)

    This is a wonderful list of questions to ask! When my son was little and I was checking out preschools is was frightening. The first place I went to I did NOT have a warm, cozy feeling. So glad I continued the search because we ended up falling in love with a preschool, and now my second son is attending it as well!

  14. Catie (An Imperfect Mum)
    December 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm (2 years ago)

    I would recommend popping by at different times of the day to get a feel for how the place runs. Especially at busy times like lunch. A great list of questions. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

  15. Chloe Ciliberto
    December 9, 2016 at 10:19 am (2 years ago)

    An absolutely brilliant list of questions. This is so helpful. We’re changing our daughters nursery soon. I’m bookmarking this to remind me. x

  16. Astrid
    December 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm (2 years ago)

    These are very good questions. I had thought of some but not all.

  17. Crummy Mummy
    December 14, 2016 at 9:38 pm (2 years ago)

    I don’t think I asked half these questions! I just liked the feel of the place so that was it! #ablogginggoodtime


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