Sending your child to nursery or childcare is a BIG DEAL. I remember looking around nurseries when Leo was a baby and finding the whole process really emotional and overwhelming. I ended up getting a job in the evenings so he didn’t have to go but he did eventually go to a play school and Alex goes to a nursery school. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a childcare setting for your baby, today’s guest post is full of advice to help you on your quest to find the perfect nursery for your little one.
10 things to consider when looking at nurseries for your child.
Choosing a nursery or early learning center for your little one is a big step to take. And whilst there are things you can do to help prepare them for this change, it’s more difficult to find a nursery that’s a perfect fit for them.
There are so many factors you’ll want to consider before settling on your final decision and the prospect of leaving your child with new people can be very daunting – even if it’s just for a few hours at a time. Therefore, you want to know from the outset that you made the right decision. To help guide you, here is a list of the top 10 things to consider when looking for a nursery for your child:
The Quality of the Nursery
Before you book in to see any nursery in person, take a look and determine the quality of it online. In this country, most nurseries will be registered with Ofsted, which regularly visits them to ensure that they are aligning with certain criteria. By checking the report for the nursery online, you’ll get a good insight into what it’s like.
However, you shouldn’t obviously rely purely on what you see online. It’s also a good idea to book in visits with several different nurseries – as you’ll get a useful indication of what it will be like for your child to attend there.
The Security Procedures They Have in Place
It’s obvious that you want your little one to be as safe as possible. Which is why it’s important that you look at what security procedures the nursery has in place. All nurseries should put safety as a high priority – from guaranteeing that all doors have secure locks to CCTV cameras around the childcare areas.
The more protection they can offer for your child the better – so make sure that they don’t compromise on this.
The Welcome They Gave You
When you’ve visited the nursery, did you and your little one receive a warm welcome? Their disposition and attitude will undeniably shape your first impression of the nursery. Not only should they be friendly, but all of the staff should be able to show you that they are professional and care about their role.
What Routine Do The Follow
Another key consideration and element to pay attention to is the routine the nursery has every day. There’s a high possibility that you want your little one to have a structure to their day – so it’s important that the nursery has set times for mealtimes, activities, outdoor play, etc.
Unfortunately, nurseries aren’t cheap. So a factor that you’ll want to consider from the outset is the cost. As this could determine the nursery you choose, you’ll want to enquire how much it costs at the start of the researching process.
Of course, the cost will depend on the region that you’re in and the reputation the nursery itself has. Meaning that you can compare and contrast a handful of options before deciding which one suits your requirements.
Do They Have Indoor and Outdoor Play Areas?
Despite the ever-changing weather in this country, it’s still important for a nursery to have a combination of indoor and outdoor play areas. This will ensure that your child can develop and keep entertained throughout the day.
As part of this, you’ll want to guarantee that each area is well sized and fully supervised at all times. As well as that the areas are child-friendly (i.e. have cushioned surfaces to help minimise the risk of accidents).
What Food Do They Serve?
A quality nursery will also pay attention to the food that they serve the little ones. Therefore, when looking for a nursery, check that they serve fresh and healthy food that’s served by a fully qualified cook. This cook, as well as providing them with good-quality food, should hold a certificate in food safety. If your child has certain dietary requirements, you should check that they can successfully cater to these.
The Ratio of Children to Staff
To ensure that your child is receiving the care and attention they need, you’ll also want to look at what the ratio of children to staff is. Of course, this will depend on the class number.
But by inquiring into how many staff members they have per group of children you’ll be able to determine what it will be like for your little one to attend there.
The Staff’s Experience and Qualifications
Every staff member within the nursery should have the correct experience and qualifications to carry out their role safely and appropriately.
From the assistants to the managers, they all need to be DBS checked and have worked with children before. Something that you should ask when meeting with the manager for the first time, they should be happy to inform you about this.
Do They Cater to Medical Conditions
If your little one has a medical condition, you want to ensure that they are in the best hands. Therefore, it’s worth checking that they can cater for them to the best of their ability. From appropriate facilities to the staff being correctly trained, it will give you the peace of mind that your child is as safe as possible.
As well as this, the nursery should have suitable medicines/know how to use any that your child takes throughout the day and a recording system that notes any occurrences.
So, there you go. Those are 10 key things you should consider when looking at nurseries. Of course, this isn’t a complete list. Therefore it’s important to conduct thorough research before deciding on the best one for your little one.
At the start of the process, it’s also a good idea to create a list of specific criteria that you can use when visiting them. Every parent is different – and the criteria they have will be unique to them. Regardless of this, the above factors will undeniably be key to the decision-making process.