Finding a place for your child at nursery can be a difficult and stressful time as you want to make sure you send them to a nursery that is good at what they do. While there is nothing better than visiting a few local centres to have a look around to find one that suits both you and your child, there are some things that you can look out for when searching that will give you an indication of how good the nursery is.
The first is that all nurseries should be registered and regularly inspected by the appropriate authority (Ofsted in England, HMIE in Scotland, Estyn in Wales, DENI in Northern Ireland). The certificates that are received upon passing inspections should be on display in the nursery but if it isn’t obvious then ask the manager or person showing you around if you can see it.
While recommendations are great, either from people you know or from asking a few parents at the centre while you’re there, don’t solely go to a nursery on this merit. Some may rave about it but when you look around the service may not be what you expect. First impressions really do count and you want to be looking at whether there is a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, the cleanliness, whether the children there seem happy, calm and with plenty to keep them occupied but overall, listen to your instincts. If you have any doubts or concerns then ask the questions to either address those concerns or establish that this particular nursery isn’t for you.
You want to ascertain that the nursery has clearly established policies. For example, you want to check their opening and closing times and what their procedures are for emergencies. These will show how seriously the centre takes your child’s safety. You also want to ascertain how flexible they are especially if both parents work and you need to change drop of/pick up times at short notice. Another thing you want to be looking out for is their illness policy and clarify which illnesses mean your child cannot go to nursery with.
Also ask what their open door policy is. A good nursery will encourage parents to drop in unannounced and even for parents to help with activities/outings.
If you would like to send your child to nursery then why not look at Abbeyfield Day Nursery and see how well they will look after your children.