Nurseries often offer part-time and full-time places, and there is a growing trend for parents to want four days Monday-Thursday or three days Tuesday –Thursday. The nursery manager must aim to have a balanced register as they would end up with low attendance days. So even if they have a waiting list, they will sometimes bypass an applicant due to the days they require.
Unbalanced registers can work to your advantage if you want Monday or Friday.
Due to the importance of balancing the registers, those who want only Monday and Friday will often bypass the waiting list altogether. Nurseries will always have a few spaces left; therefore, those who need two days will often be next on the list no matter how many people are waiting.
Every nursery will have a priority schedule on the waiting list. Understanding this can help.
Generally at the top are siblings, it is ideal for nurseries to take on siblings as they already have a bond with older sibling and family, continuity is often desired. But make sure you fill out an application form, managers are busy when going through their lists, make sure your name is there.
Current users or past users
They may have as part of the policy for children using the service to either increase days bypassing the waiting list or transfer to another setting within the group. Ensure the manager keeps you in mind with any changes, which might require you filling out an application form.
Priority schedule and balancing registers, to your advantage
Priority schedule and balancing registers information and can be used to your advantage. If the nursery has a long waiting list, start with twos days Monad and Friday, with the days to be changed or increased. However, be warned the nursery cannot commit without another child leaving or changing days. Communication with the manager will be essential to understand if your needs can be met in a suitable timescale.
The baby room is often the most challenging room to join. The babies require more floor space and a higher staff to child ratio, often making it the smallest room in terms of child capacity. If you want to join the baby room it is wise to start your search early. We have had parents join the waiting list before conceiving, interesting strategy!
Nurseries have a natural outpouring of children to schools which starts from August to September. Keeping this in mind, the nursery will know in advance these children are leaving to plan for the baby room to move to the toddlers and the toddlers to move to the preschool.
Managers are often very busy with waiting list and registers throughout the year, so notes on the application form can be beneficial. For instance, I can do fewer days for two months, flexible with days, call us with whatever days come up, and I am flexible. It can result in a flag being by your name if they need to fill a place, especially if random places pop up before or after your proposed start date.
When a nursery has a very long waiting list, there is a supply and demand issue, or sometimes nurseries do it on purpose to create a marketing buzz. Whatever the reason the outcome will often be the nursery manager offering places and finding out some children on the list have moved on, so don’t be disheartened by a lengthy waiting list. Register and follow the steps above that are suitable for your circumstance.
These are a few tricks of the trade; use your new knowledge wisely. Waiting list, what waiting list?