Published On: August 23rd, 2022

Starting a family is one of the biggest decisions you will have ever made and I’m certain all would agree, it is the most life-changing of decisions!  Now that you have a family of your own, you’ll be coming to the realisation that your world is now not only much busier, but full of decision-making that can feel daunting and unnerving, at times.  However, choosing the right nursery does not need to be one of them! 

A recent report suggests going to nursery is highly beneficial for helping youngsters develop social and everyday skills, here at Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries, we know what makes a good nursery great, and I hope that sharing some of my knowledge with you will support you making the right decision in which nursery to choose.

It is important to look at the facilities available to your child on a day-to-day basis. Starting with the basics, each room should be safe and clean with a wide range of resources for children to play with – all of which would be in tip-top condition. A good nursery will also come equipped with a calm sleep space for babies. Outside play spaces should be set up with all the different areas of the curriculum, to enable children to access and develop their learning.  At Monkey Puzzle, we understand the importance of fresh air and exercise and will always have on offer a place to run, climb, draw, build as well as getting creative with sand and water.

Toddlers and preschoolers should have the same but at a more developed level. At Monkey Puzzle, activities are geared to each child’s stage of development. We provide enriching resources, and children’s choices are supported by having that large variety of stimulating resources. We ensure that they are easily accessible in low-level units to promote and assist in the children’s independence. For this age group, they should be spending lots of time sharing rhymes, songs, stories, and playing games to develop their speaking and listening skills. They will be encouraged to learn to listen carefully, to develop concentration, to respond to questions and instructions, to share ideas and experiences, and to take part in conversations.

The staff your children will be interacting with are a big factor in choosing the right nursery. Effective practitioners will focus on child-centred, safe, evidence-based care. A good nursery usually has a low staff turnover – their teams should have a good ratio of qualified to unqualified staff. All our practitioners help each child to learn. They recognise the child’s current understanding and achievements and know what the child’s next steps could be. This will involve the practitioner and the child working together in activities chosen by the child, to achieve their next steps.

At Monkey Puzzle, a rigorous recruitment process is in place, ensuring staff not only are fully qualified but crucially have the correct qualities, including having the sensitivity to comfort children who are upset, being calm, friendly, and able to build strong parent partnerships.

While the facilities, environment and staff are incredibly important factors to think about when choosing the right nursery, educating your little ones is just as important.  The Early Years Foundation Stage is the Government guidance for early year’s professionals to follow to ensure that your child gets ready for school as well as preparing them for future learning and success. Learning to interact with children and adults is a vital skill that will prepare them for school and adult life. At Monkey Puzzle, they will learn how to play with other children, make friends and create a love of lifelong learning.

Joy Wood - Early Years Quality Manager

Joy Sackett

Early Years Quality Manager

Joy is a part of our Monkey Puzzle Quality Management team, working with our nurseries to help maintain the high-quality care we offer for our children. She is vastly experienced in Early Years childcare having worked in the sector for almost 30 years.  Joy has worked at all levels of childcare, including childminding, teaching and SEND assistance, and all through the roles in nurseries in all sectors (community, non-profit and private). Her knowledge and contributions to our Quality Team and nurseries are invaluable.


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