How to find a good nursery school for your child

 

How to find a good nursery

Your toddler is going to be a nursery school goer in some time and now you must be thinking about how to find a good nursery for your little one.

Finding a good quality nursery could be challenging. This involves a lot of research about all the nursery schools in a preferred location, visiting them, enquiring and choosing the one which meets your criteria at the end.

These nursery schools can be run by local authorities, community groups, schools, or private entities and offer full-time or part-time early education. So, one needs to figure out whether they want to attend full time or for a shorter span of time.

People usually start looking for the best nurseries in their area a year in advance. If you get late you may end up on a long waiting list or the nursery gets fully booked and there is no seat available for your child.

Sending your child to nursery is absolutely up to you i.e., it is not compulsory. Some parents home school their kids too. But most parents send their little ones to nurseries these days before they start going to big school.


Let’s look into some of the advantages of sending your child to a nursery school.


(Benefits of a nursery):



1. Help build new skills:

Kids learn through play. This is why nurseries encourage all the activities such as messy play, circle time, outside play, art, and craft, role play, etc. 

Nurseries let our kids explore, be imaginative and creative and acquire new skills too. 

Nurseries also help with communication skills which is a part of development in young children.


2. Help to get social:

When children attend nursery, they get the opportunity to interact with other kids and adults.

They learn to interact with one another and tries to build relationships which helps them in personal development. 

By getting social they learn to make new friends, play together, share things, trust each other, cooperate with each other.


3. Builds a regular schedule:

All the nurseries follow a routine that helps the kids develop a sense of security and build up their confidence because they know what is expected out of them. 

The kids get to know more and more about the nursery activities and schedule which makes them predict what is going to happen next and reduces stress in the busy but relaxed environment.


4. They learn to take care of themselves:

When kids attend nursery, they are encouraged to do some of the things on their own like putting on their jackets/shoes, care for their belongings, wash their hands before they have their meals, etc and gradually kids learn to take care of themselves.


5. Preparation or school:

If the kids have already attended nursery school, they know that they have a routine and what is expected out of them. Children learn to take part in different activities, follow instructions, cooperate with peers. 

By now they have developed a few skills that they can be confident of. Nursery school also proves to be a foundation for early education. Starting nursery or pre-school helps in the next stage of learning while in the big school.

Now you know the benefits of sending your child to nursery school, the next thing is to find the best nursery in your area which can take some time and effort. 


Child stacking dice in nursery school
Markus Spiske

Let’s look into exactly “how to find a good nursery school”



1. Gather information & make list:

The first step towards finding a good nursery for your child is collecting as much information as you can. So, gather some information regarding the nurseries which are near your place.

Search online by the postcode/area you live in and make a list of it. It is always convenient to look for those nurseries which are closer to your place for easy drop-offs and pick-ups.

Don’t forget to ask for recommendations from friends/neighbours. Ask them about the nurseries they have sent their kids to.

You can also check out the reviews by parents online about the nurseries.

Shortlist the ones that meet your criteria and start calling one after another to arrange a show around.

 


2. Visit every nearby nursery:

Try to visit as many nurseries as you can so that you know which is going to be a perfect setting for your little one.

Now, the question is What to look for when choosing a nursery”?

Here are a few things that one should observe while visiting the nursery are:


(a) How much time is needed to reach the nursery either by walking or by car?

(b) How safe and clean the premises is and are the children well contained?

(c) Are the rooms bright and have proper ventilation?

(d) Is the staff friendly & attentive to children?

(e) Are the kids engaged in the fun activities? If they look settled and happy.

(f) Does it look organized & well run etc.?

(g) Do they have low-level toilets and sinks for the kids?

(h) Where does a child take a nap if needed? Is there any separate room for that?

(h) Is there an outside space for children to play?

(i) Does it meet your standards?


What questions should I ask when visiting a nursery?

Here are a few questions that you need to ask when you visit the nursery are:


(a) How many kids and staff are in the premises and what is the maximum they take. What is the ratio of staff to kids?

(b) What is the daily curriculum/routine they follow?

(c) Ask what all they offer in meals to the kids if they do.

(d) Ask regarding their policies or set of rules. Ex. If you can’t pick up your kid will they allow anyone else for the pickup/ if running late or the child not well what guidelines do parents need to follow?

(e) Enquire about charges (uniform, registration fee)

(f) How long will be the Settling-In period?

(g) What are the timings for nursery and what will be the start date for your child?

(h) How often do they provide feedback or progress reports of the child?

 


3. Check the ratings by “Quality Regulators”:

In England, most of the children centers and nurseries are registered and rated by Ofsted. This body inspects and rates these nurseries and makes sure the standards are properly met.

You can always check the rating of the nursery by Ofsted online or ask the childcare provider.


 

4. Speak to parents whose kids are already attending:

If you get a chance to meet any parent whose kids are attending the nursery do not hesitate to ask for their views on it.

What they think is the best for their child might not be the best for you. Everyone’s expectations and standards for a nursery may differ.

But try and ask what do they like about the nursery and if there is any sort of problem/drawback related to the nursery that they came across.


 

5. Speak to the caretaker:

The caretakers are responsible for greeting your little one in the morning every day, engage your child in conversation and daily activities, responsible for making  him/her comfortable in the premises, organize and supervise mealtime, ensure the safety of children, share the progress of your child with the parents etc.

While visiting try to speak to the staff members, after all, they are the people who will be responsible to care for your little one throughout.

 

6. Trust your instinct & fill out an application form:

Nothing best than following your instinct. In case you don’t get a good vibe from a place then you should rather consider some other nurseries for your child.

There is nothing wrong to follow your gut while deciding for the first big transition in your little one’s life.

Don’t delay in filling out an application form once you make your mind about the nursery you would like to choose amongst all the options available and start working on the next step i.e. how to get your child ready for nursery”.

 

A good reputation, welcoming, and warm environment, supportive staff and teachers, safe and secured premises, active learning, kids friendly facilities are what makes a good nursery which every child deserves.

Good luck with finding the best nursery for your child.

 

Common question:

Q. When should children start nursery?

A.  Generally, parents determine to put their baby in the nursery when they need to get back to work after maternity/paternity leave. Some nurseries also offer childcare from birth.

In other case, parents start sending their children to nursery between the age of 2 and 3 to help them socialize and prepare them for school.

There is no exact age of sending your little one to a nursery, it depends on your and your family’s need.


Related Post:

"How to get your child ready for nursery" or Preschool

 

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