What to look for when visiting a childcare setting

There is much to consider when you are visiting childcare settings; here are some things to think about and ask.


What’s on the menu? Is there fresh fruit and veg? Is there access to water when children want it? Do they cater for special diets?

Emotional care

What are the routines? How is difficult behaviour dealt with? Are staff warm, do they join in and show affection? There should be a written policy which you can see.


Is it secure? Does it feel nurturing? Are there pets?  Is there enough space? Is there secure outside space? If not, where will children play in fresh air?


Is it creative, varied, plentiful and of a high standard? Do displays show different cultures positively? What physical activities do they do?


Are the toilets and basins clean and child-sized? Are there facilities for potty training and baby changing? Where and how are meals prepared?


Is there a copy of the latest Ofsted inspection report? When is the next inspection due? You can see Ofsted reports at www.ofsted.gov.uk.


What happens in the case of an emergency or accident? What safety procedures do they have in place?


What training and experience does the carer or team have? What is staff turnover like? Are all staff DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked? What checks are carried out when appointing staff?


Who supervises and how? What is the staff to child ratio?

Ask about all your needs and expectations. And remember to ask about things like: your specific working hours, time-keeping, baby-sitting and the policy on late pick-ups.

More information

Tips for choosing and arranging childcare