Our children are the most precious things in our life, and so when we have to leave them in the care of someone else, it is only natural to want to make sure the nursery you choose is the perfect one.
There are so many things to think about – the cost, the quality of the provision, the staffing, availability, catering – and most importantly, whether it is a setting that your child will be happy and safe in.
Let’s take a look at some tips on choosing the right nursery for your child.
Does it have a positive atmosphere and environment?
As a former primary school teacher, I always advise parents who are looking at schools for their children to take Ofsted (or Estyn if you’re in Wales) reports into consideration but don’t use that as your main determining factor. The same goes for nurseries in Lenton Nottingham. I think the most important thing to do is to visit the nursery and get a sense of the atmosphere and environment. No report can tell you that. Does it feel welcoming, inclusive and warm? You will know when you walk in and speak to staff and look at the children whether it is the right place for you – trust that gut instinct!
Are the staff passionate and engaging with the children?
Meet the nursery team during your visit. The staff should make you feel welcome and confident that communication between parents and the nursery is always open. Prepare a list of questions to ask a nursery before your visit, and remember that there is no such thing as a foolish question – the nursery staff is there to answer your questions and put your mind at ease.
After you’ve decided on a nursery, you’ll have the opportunity to meet your child’s key person, who will play an important part in their learning and development. Your child’s key person will spend time learning about your child’s routine and hobbies, making the nursery feel like a home away from home.
Are the children learning through play?
Nurseries will provide a variety of educational activities that allow your child to learn while also playing, all of which will be suited to your child’s age and interests. A good nursery will recognise how crucial it is for your child to participate in a variety of activities while having fun.
Outdoor play areas or large gardens may be on your nursery checklist. Outdoor play fosters natural curiosity and allows youngsters to be daring. Although having a lot of play equipment is a plus, if you’re looking at a nursery with a smaller outside space, it’s a good idea to talk about how they make the most of what they have.
How do they communicate with parents?
Once you have settled on a nursery for your child, you will want reassurance that you have made the right choice. One of the best ways to do this is to maintain open communication with the nursery, and in particular, the key worker assigned to your child. They will be able to keep you up to date with what your child is doing in the day, from their naps and mealtimes to their development. Most nurseries now use a digital platform to keep parents in the loop.
Hopefully, these tips will help you when it comes to choosing the right nursery for your child. It is important that you are happy and comfortable with the nursery you have chosen, so make sure you do your research and don’t be afraid o ask questions.