You can get recommendations from family, friends or local parent groups. It’s also important to consider whether you prefer the nursery to be close from home or from work. Is it easy to travel to (especially during the rush hour)? Make sure you ask about the drop off/pickup times too.
When visiting you want to ask what the maximum capacity the nursery can have is, and most particularly how many kids are put together in the same room. This will allow you to make sure your child is looked after with more attention. You don’t want the nursery to be overcrowded.
You can check the reports either online or when you visit the nursery. You can also check the online reviews or ask local parents. If you're in a new neighbourhood, facebook groups are great to find other parents. Nowadays it’s very easy to access information on any business, so do your research for every nursery you are considering visiting. For more information on OFSTED please follow this link.
Is the nursery open during term time only or all year round? This is very important especially if your partner and yourself aren’t able to get time off during half terms and school holidays.
Do they provide all the meals? How’s the food quality? Are the meals freshly made? Your children will have to eat there everyday so you want to make sure to have a look at the menu. If your child has special dietary requirements, make sure the nursery is willing to accommodate. Check if they provide snacks, nappies, etc or if you need to bring them yourself.
How long is the nursery trial? Make sure you are aware of every piece of information. The average notice period is around one month but every nursery is different. Some nurseries have a 14 days cooling off period however it’s not always the case so make sure you check first.
This is the most important thing to look at when visiting. Are they welcoming, friendly and professional? Do they seem passionate about children? Do they seem trained, experienced and ready to respond to every child’s individual needs? One easy way to find out is to look at the children’ faces. Do they look happy? These are the people your child will spend most of their time with. It doesn’t matter whether the nursery is big or small. The staff are at the heart of the business.
Is it well-organised, tidy and cared for? Is it safe and secure (outdoor and indoor)? When visiting, check if the nursery has an entry system and if you are expected to sign in before entering. It shouldn’t be too big or too small to let children have their space. According to the nursery teachers, having enough material to share between all the children will help avoid fighting and disruption. It should be spacious but not too big as childcare practitioners and teachers need to be able to look at all the children and prevent any accident. Having a good structure means that the teachers will be able to create hundreds of different activities and possibilities for the children, which brings us to our next argument.
According to Laura Nuñez, the nursery teacher we have contacted, the activities need to be productive while combining free play with guided activities. This is a way for children to learn how to work and focus on a determined task. Gareth Jenkins, Director of UK Poverty for Save the Children, said: “Toddler’s brains are like sponges, absorbing knowledge and making new connections faster than any other time in life. We’ve got to challenge the misconception that learning can wait for school, as, if a child starts their first day at school behind, they tend to stay behind. (click here for more information).
Nowadays, most nurseries are aware of this and offer a wide range of activities such as drama classes, sports, Spanish classes and so on. Learning a language is one of the best activities for early years stimulation as it helps children develop their communication skills. Get in touch with us if you would like to know more about the nurseries where we teach Spanish or if you would like to start a Spanish club in your nursery. We teach Spanish through storytelling, lively games, songs and drama.
Remember, a good nursery will expect you to ask a lot of questions so don’t be afraid to do so. If you would like to book a free Spanish taster session please follow this link. Choosing a nursery is stressful for every parent so if there’s something you would like to add to this list, comment down below and let the other mums know.