Published On: February 21st, 2024

We understand that you want the best for your child. And having spent the initial years of your child’s life caring for them, it’s incredibly daunting to hand that responsibility over to someone else. That’s why it’s hugely important for you to find a nursery where both you and your child feel most comfortable and happy. We take a look below at the five things to look out for when you are viewing a nursery to help you make the best choice for your family.

Steps to choosing the right nursery

You should always make sure to go into your search for a nursery well prepared. This means making a list of nurseries you want to view, shortlisting your favourites, assessing the quality of care in depth and asking for recommendations and experiences from other parents.

Make a list

It can be easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to viewing and choosing nurseries for your child. That’s why we suggest you create a list of choices to help.

Start by researching and gathering recommendations. Then, create a list of nurseries that align with your preferences, such as location, activities and safety measures. With a list in hand, you can help to streamline your decision-making process. It can ensure you don’t overlook any potential factors, helping you explore a broader range of choices.

It can also prevent impulsive decisions, ensuring you choose the nursery that aligns best with your child’s needs and your family’s preferences.

Visit shortlisted nurseries

Then, it’s absolutely essential that you then go and visit your shortlisted nurseries. While one may look like the right fit online, it may be very different once you have seen it in person.

In fact, these visits provide firsthand insight into the nursery’s environment, facilities and staff. It’s an opportunity to observe how they interact with children, assess safety measures, and gauge the overall atmosphere. So, it’s wise to come prepared with questions and take notes to make informed comparisons afterwards.

Of course, meeting your child’s future carers and getting a sense of the daily routines ensures that your child’s wellbeing and early development are in capable hands, helping you make a confident and well-considered choice.

Look for quality

Perhaps one of the most important things to do before you choose a nursery for your child is to check the quality of the place. And this can be done very easily thanks to Usually, childcare providers must register with Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services, and Skills, if they care for children under eight years old. Ofsted conducts routine inspections of these registered services to ensure they meet the required standards and maintain child safety. This helps parents make informed choices about the childcare options available for their children.

Take up references from other parents experiences

Another great thing to do is to take up references from other parents on their experiences of your shortlisted nurseries. And this can be made easier by asking your shortlisted nurseries to provide you with some contact details of current or previous parents who have sent their child there. To make sure you get a well-rounded view, we suggest getting around two or three opinions at a minimum. However, it’s important to remember that while something may not work for one family, it may work for yours.

What to look for when choosing a nursery?

Choosing the right nursery for your child is a significant decision, so it’s essential to consider several key factors to ensure a nurturing and enriching early learning environment. Take a look at what we consider to be most important in your search.

Are staff trained and experienced?

It goes without question that you must check whether the staff are highly qualified and experienced in childcare. Well-trained and experienced staff play a pivotal role in providing a safe, nurturing and educational environment. So, when considering nurseries, make sure to inquire about the qualifications, certifications, and ongoing professional development of teachers and caregivers.

Don’t forget to assess their ability to engage with the children, manage their behaviour, and support learning and development. A dedicated and skilled staff ensures your child receives the best care and guidance during their formative years.

Is the premise safe and clean?

Assessing the safety and cleanliness of the nursery premises is of paramount importance when choosing a childcare facility for your child. Upon your visit to the nursery, make sure to check that the environment is free from hazards, with secure entrances and exits. Of course, look for how clean the play areas, toilets and kitchen facilities are. Adequate safety measures, such as fire exits and first aid supplies, should be in place.

A clean and safe nursery creates a conducive atmosphere for your child’s well-being and development, offering you peace of mind as a parent.

Are activities planned for each day?

It’s always a good idea to ask those who work at the nursery if they have activities planned each day for the children, and what these will entail. This is an important factor as a structured routine with age-appropriate activities, such as playtime, educational games and creative projects, fosters your child’s growth and development. It provides a nice balance of learning and fun, helping them acquire essential skills while enjoying their time at the nursery.

Is exercise part of the curriculum?

Likewise, when selecting a nursery, it’s a good idea to inquire about their approach to physical activity, including outdoor playtime and any structured exercise programs they may offer. Some nurseries incorporate physical activities and outdoor play as a fundamental part of their daily routines, recognising the importance of physical development in young children. These activities can promote gross motor skills, social interaction and overall well-being. Knowing what’s on offer when it comes to exercise can help you choose a nursery that aligns with your preferences and your child’s needs.

Cultural sensitivity

Selecting a culturally sensitive nursery is vital because it ensures that children from diverse backgrounds feel respected, valued and included in their early educational experiences. A nursery that values this will promote a sense of belonging, reduce the risk of cultural biases or discrimination, and encourage open-mindedness and empathy. They provide an environment where children can learn about different cultures, fostering tolerance and appreciation. Ultimately, a culturally sensitive nursery sets the foundation for a more inclusive and harmonious society, preparing children to interact and thrive in a culturally diverse world.

Choose Monkey Puzzle for your nursery needs and give your child the gift of an enriching, safe and culturally sensitive early education. Our dedicated team, range of activities, and commitment to inclusivity create a nurturing environment where children can grow, learn and flourish. Join us in shaping a bright future for your child!

Share this: