A nursery open day is an excellent opportunity for parents to explore a nursery environment, meet the staff, and get a feel for the ethos and values of the nursery. It can be both an exciting and daunting experience for parents who are looking to find the perfect place for their child to grow, learn, and thrive. In this blog post, we will look at some of the activities you might include in your Open Day and look at how the parents gather the information they need to make that important decision.
Tour of the Nursery Facilities
One of the main aspects of a nursery open day is a guided tour of the facilities. This allows parents to see first-hand where their child will be spending their time and helps them visualise how their child will fit into the environment. During the tour, parents will expect to see various areas within the nursery, such as:
The classrooms or playrooms
These spaces are designed to encourage learning through play and exploration. Parents will be looking to see a bright, clean, and well-organised environment with age-appropriate toys and materials.
The outdoor play area
Outdoor play is essential for children’s development, so it’s important to showcase that there’s a safe and engaging space for them to explore.
The dining area
If you have a separate dining area this should be bright, clean and well-maintained with appropriate seating arrangements. Artwork referencing different food types and how to make healthy choices will enhance the impression.
The bathroom facilities
Hygiene and safety are the most important areas to focus on.
Meet-and-Greet with Staff Members
Another crucial aspect of a nursery open day is meeting the staff members who will be responsible for the child’s care and education. This includes not only practitioners but also support staff such as administrative personnel.
During these interactions, parents are likely to ask questions about their qualifications, experience working with young children, as well as any specific teaching methods or philosophies they adhere to.
Sample Activities and Learning Experiences
One area of great importance is to offer sample activities during their open day, allowing parents to see firsthand how the nursery approaches learning and play. These activities may include art projects, storytelling sessions, or sensory play experiences. Showcase examples of children’s work and put these in context for the parents – what was the objective or the activity and what was the desired outcome?
Participating in these activities will give parents a better understanding of how the nursery encourages children to learn through play and exploration. It also allows you to demonstrate how your staff members interact with children, facilitating their learning and ensuring they are engaged in the activity.
Q&A Session with Nursery Management
Finally, a nursery open day should include a question-and-answer session with the nursery management team. This is an opportunity for parents to ask any questions they may have about the nursery’s policies, procedures, or overall approach to childcare.
Some topics parents are likely to want to inquire about include:
- The nursery’s approach to discipline or behaviour management
- How they handle allergies or specific dietary requirements
- Their policy on sick children attending the nursery
- The staff-to-child ratio and how it is maintained throughout the day
- What software the nursery uses to log their child’s development and to communicate with parents on a daily basis.
A nursery open day is an invaluable opportunity for parents to gather information about potential childcare options for their little ones. By touring the facilities, meeting staff members, participating in sample activities, and asking questions about policies and procedures, parents can make an informed decision about whether a particular nursery is the right fit for their family.
It is also important to ensure that you are consistent across all your marketing material – website, social media posts, brochures etc should reflect the same feeling and ethos that the parent will experience when visiting the nursery.
There are a number of software tools available, for example eyenquiries from eyworks, that will help you track and communicate with prospective parents as they move through the process of selecting a nursery for their child. This software will help to reduce admin and to automate follow-up communication with customisable workflows. See www.eyworks.co.uk/software/enquiries-and-registration for more information.
Remember that it’s a highly stressful and difficult decision for a parent choosing a nursery for their child – it’s likely that they may be viewing more than one nursery so this is your opportunity to shine and create the right impression.