Wednesday, 21 September 2016

What to consider and ask when choosing nursery

Some of you may recall that I have been on a nursery "hunt" for L for quite some time, I wanted to feel welcomed, wanted L to feel relaxed and wanted it to be as I wanted/imagined in my head. Even though we have 5 nurseries in the area it was a very tough choice.

The very first nursery we visited, I decided to visit again on their Open day, to see how I will get on with nursery managers and what facilities they offer. You can see a massive different when they put up a show for you and when it's a random visit. Always good to compare these things. Long story short I didn't like staff members, not that I'm sexist but in the light of recent articles I have read I feel not comfortable with male staff members looking after my daughter but more so I didn't want L to pick up slang "You know what I mean, man" coming form a nursery nurse every other word is not something I would want L to pick up, so it was a big "NO".

Next nursery didn't have a garden attached to premises and a little balcony they have, is not always accessible due to slippery decking, it was also confirmed by a staff member that kids don't tend to go outside. Not only that shocked me the fact that they didn't say a word when L climbed onto a mattress (in her outdoor shoes) where kids sleep but also one of the nursery nurses was not interacting with other kids and choosing to sit in the corner listening to my conversation with other staff member. 

Third nursery just didn't feel right, with it's massive activity rooms I didn't feel that we clicked as well as I didn't like that they had no grass in the garden area which is also facing people occasionally smoking right by it. 

Visit to the fourth nursery was a random one, I didn't book an appointment but was welcomed anyway. I liked that L would be able to sleep on her own bed under the shelter on a fresh air, I liked that they didn't dismiss an idea of potty training and reassured me about that and many other things. It just felt right even thought it is furthest out of 5 nurseries. 

Now to the question and tips:
Tip: Even though I didn't book an appointment to visit any of the nurseries on my list I would suggesting calling prior to your visit or you may be turned down at the door. Having said that when they least expect guests who can see the real nursery and staff, you can see what what it really is.

To be honest with you OFSTED report is something we didn't take into consideration at all, according to some sources these could be easily adjusted and do not reflect reality. I based my assessment on our experience there, our likes and dislikes.

It is a good practice to ask about their policies i.e. accident policy, illnesses, food allergies, drop off/pick up policy (to they charge if you are late for picking up, how strict/flexible they are with dropping off hours, who can drop off and pick up your child).

I have enquired about few things:

- ration of children to nursery nurse, if they have a key worker who would be responsible for taking a good care of your little one

- daily routine (it was important for me to know what L would be up to during the day firstly to know what educational and fun activities they hold and secondly for my own comfort)

- I have assessed the grounds and room sizes in general and a sleeping arrangements for the day. I'm not very keen on L sleeping on a floor even on a mattress I wanted her to have sleeping routine close to what she is used to at home. In L's nursery they provide beds and sleeping bags, those kids who are used to sleeping in a pram/stroller can sleep in a buggy

- Have a look at a menu (if the provide food and cook it on site, if not don't be afraid to ask about the food supplier and if they allow sweet snacks, drinks) 

- Do they do trips out and where to? How much do they charge if they go to classes

- Do they aid in potty training and what is there policy on that

- How nursery will update you regarding your child's day and development. Some offer updates via Tapestry (online source where you can also add your comments or photos as well as keep an eye on your child) or paper daily report where you can comment in written form 

- Do they hold parents evenings (where you can get to know other parents and meet and talk to other staff members as well as learn about your child's ups and downs or even ask additional questions

- Do they supply with wet wipes, nappies, drinks? What sort of drinks do they offer?

- Settling in procedures, price list ( for the full day, half a day, hourly rate, absence rate, registration fee). Do they accept payment via salary sacrifice scheme 

- Do they adjust to fit your usual child's routine and if your child goes 5 days a week how would they go about settling/adjusting your child to the nursery routine?

- Fussy eaters, will they be able to assist if your child is a fussy eater

- How many change of clothing to bring in general and when potty training and what items your are expected to label and buy

- What's their policy on dummy? Will they allow a child to use it if used to it during nap times and when upset? The same with comforters. 

There could be more questions or your questions could be different to mine, but it's all about how you feel and your child feels about the nursery/staff and how the nursery can adjust to suit your requirements. 

Hope this could help some of you!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Num Noms Wacky Bakers challenge

I have seen cute collectible toys Num Noms before but thought that they are more suitable for older kids than young toddler as contains lip gloss. Recently I have noticed lots of parent bloggers reviewing Num Noms with their toddlers so thought that maybe we should give them ago as well.

Luckily we have been offered to take part in a cooking challenge called #WackyBakers and I had something very special I was dying to try with L but never had a chance to and this was a great opportunity to do so. 

I have used Num Noms Yog Yog recipe as a basis for our experiment, but substituted  the ingredients as per Num Noms Freezie pops set we have received.
Freezie Pops scented set (£8.99) contains:
- Strawberry Pop
- Tropi- Cali Pop
- Grape Soda Pop
- Icy Berry Go-Go
- a little tray and a spoon

To make Yog Yog I have used a cookie dough and chocolate chip set I had, strawberry and apricot yogurt with a little addition- red grapes.

Cookies didn't go to plan, I made them too thick, but I think cookies and yogurt could make a nice snack for breakfast (my husband normally has something similar at work) or during the day.
L saw Num Noms for the first time and was absolutely mesmerised by motorised Icy Berry Go-Go. The rest of Num Noms characters form the set smell absolutely divine, sweet more like a chewing gum. Icy Berry Go-Go has a little button bow once pressed will start or stop moving, well the moment L pressed the button we haven't seen her or the toy for the next hour or so. 

Challenge results, happy mum (I have eaten cookies and yogurt) and happy child (L enjoyed playing with her new scented toys).

Disclamer: we have received materials to make chefs hat, Num Noms label, Num Noms series 2 set for the purpose of this challenge.

Friday, 16 September 2016

EasiYo- ‘make it yourself’ yogurt maker and 2 sachets giveaway

Ladies and gents, may I introduce you to a hassle free yogurt maker EasiYo. 

"EasiYo’s new bright and bold Red Yogurt Maker is the perfect way to make delicious, fresh yogurt in your own home for all the family.

The new maker - featuring the first redesign in the brand’s 23 year history- is sleek and stylish, yet simple. With no moving parts or electronics, it’s easy to clean and is the perfect size to fit compactly on a kitchen shelf.

Because EasiYo is made fresh in the home, there are no artificial colours or flavours and no stabilisers delivering all the benefits of homemade goodness. EasiYo is also gluten free and vegetarian".

About a year ago I was gifted EasiYo maker and I put it to use straight away. I liked it's sleek, shiny design and was very intrigued about it's results. The making principal is very easy:
- fill large red thermos base with hot water  until the line and
- add lukewarm water to the 1L plastic container mixing with one EasiYo Yougut sachet (shake it to mix well)
- put plastic container inside red flask leave overnight or for 8-12 hours to set. Easy!

"There are over 30 flavours to choose from, including Natural, Greek Style, Banana, Apricot, Strawberry, Lemon & Ginger Bits and Forest Fruits.

EasiYo is stocked all over the UK at retailers including QVC, Lakeland, Holland and Barrett, Wilko’s, The Range, Hobby Craft and a large number of independent stores.

The EasiYo Red Yogurt Maker is priced at RRP £17.99 and each EasiYo yogurt sachet is priced from RRP £2 (per 1kg serving)".

Fancy winning red EasiYo yougurt maker and 2 sachets?  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below (the competition ends on 14 October 12am):

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!