Choosing the perfect nursery for your child is a decision that faces all busy parents, and as you will want the best that your area can offer, it is a wise idea before making that all important selection, to look at what is the criteria that you should use. The nursery environment provides the first steps to your child’s future and, therefore, knowing what to look out for will help every parent distinguish what settings are good and what are not so good.
When visiting possible choices, some of the main areas that should be looked at are as follows:
- It is important that all staff are not only well qualified and screened with a DBS check, as has been done in Darling Buds Nursery Cardiff, but are also experienced in dealing with the individual needs of children left in their care. This is not an easy job and requires patience and flexibility. As with any professional, some are better than others, and that’s why asking the parents of children who already use the nursery is vital.
- Take a look at the premises where the nursery is and check that is clean and also safe. Spend some time watching the children and see if they seem relaxed and at ease.
- Ask about daily activities and see how stimulating these activities are. Make sure also that enough time is devoted to relaxation as well as games and fun events.
- The adage ‘first impressions’ is particularly relevant when choosing a nursery for your most vulnerable family member. Take a note of the type of greeting both you and your child receive, and if you have any initial ‘gut feeling’ either way, then go with it no matter how trivial it seems.
Questions that are imperative
Is a Key Worker scheme in operation? This is a system where a member of staff takes particular responsibility for your child’s welfare. If there is such a system in existence, then you need to talk to this person before making any commitment.
What are the routines in operation at the nursery on a daily basis? This will give the parents a general idea of how stimulating an environment the nursery provides and how routine orientated it is.
What about discipline? Managing the children’s behaviour is imperative, and every nursery will have its policy. This is not a subject that is easy and time should be spent to understand fully how discipline is maintained without losing the element of fun and letting children express themselves.
What is provided in the fees? If meals are provided, then you will want to know about the quality. If there is a snack break who provides the snacks? For younger children are nappies provided?
At the end of the day, the person who gives you the best reference for any nursery is your child. If he or she is happy and looks forward to going every morning, then you should be happy as well. Getting to know other parents is another terrific way of maintaining a link to what is the general opinion about the facility. Reading the pre-school Ofsted report will also provide another piece in the jigsaw of what will hopefully be a happy and educational period in your child’s initial steps down the educational road.