We all feel a little nervous when we prepare to find a place at a day nursery for our precious little ones and, for many, it can be a stressful time. If you prepare wisely, however, know what to look for in a nursery, then when the day finally comes, you will be much more confident and happier that your child will benefit from his or hers first taste of pre school education.
First let’s look at the difference between a day nursery and a nursery school. Day nurseries is run for childcare purposes, normally following a curriculum for the 3-5 year olds, opening between 7.30-6.30 all year round except for public holidays.
A nursery school tends to operate in normal term times and only accepts children between 3-5 years old.
When doing your research the best way to begin is to contact your local Children’s Information Service to get a list of nurseries in your area then ask other parents if they could recommend any to you, then start to narrow the list before finally contacting the chosen nurseries to book a visit.
Now let’s be honest here. It can sometimes be difficult to get a true impression when you make a pre-arranged visit as they are going to be on their best behaviour and ensuring that the nursery is tidy and in order, if they are not, then best to remove them from the list!
But you will be able to see yourself the layout, is it in a good state of repair? Secure? Do the staff and children look happy?
I am a great believer in first impressions and if you accompany that with the following checklist you will be able to make a measured decision.
Firstly can they accommodate you for the times and days you require?
Do they provide food, where is it cooked and what is their nutritional policy?
If you want them to care for your baby, do you need to provide your own formula and nappies?
Are the babies taken outside, if yes ask to see the prams and buggies.
Ask to see their security procedure.
Do they have an outside play area?
Are they OFSTED registered and can you see a copy of the their latest report?
What is the child per staff ratio, for babies and toddlers?
What is the notice period should you want to leave?
This is just what I consider to be the main questions, I’m sure you will have further ones specific to you and your children. If I were to pick one key factor that separates a good nursery and a poor one however, without doubt it will the staff and manager, if they are proficient and professional your child will enjoy there time at the day nursery.
At Monkey Puzzle we train all our staff and managers to the highest level and they are behind our growth and success nationwide. Take a look at our locations, you never know we might be on your doorstep!