Quick 5 step guide to choosing your child’s nursery
Well done for finding us, it shows that you already understand the importance of finding the right nursery and are willing to devote some time and attention to making the best decision for your family.
Your objective is to find a trusted partner that works in harmony with your family to ensure that your child thrives. This guide has been written to help you to find that partner.
1. Define exactly what childcare you need
- What age is your child?
- Do they have any specific care needs?
- Where do you live/work and how far can you travel?
- When do you want your children to start?
- On what days & times?
- Do you have any flexibility on this?
- What areas are of high importance to you in raising your child? Do you, for example, prioritise organic meals or outside play?
- What is your budget?
2. Research to compile a shortlist of possible nurseries
- Google to see a map of providers who have registered on Google My Business in your area
- Visit local authorities/Family Information Services websites for a full list of Ofsted registered providers
- Ofsted for past inspection reports: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/
- Listing sites such as childcare.co.uk and daynurseries.co.uk
- Ask others for recommendations; family, friends, colleagues or local residents via social media groups
3. Make contact with possible nurseries
- Call, email or submit an enquiry via their website
- Ask about availability
- Nurseries are busy places so don’t be put off if you do have to leave a message to start with. However, they should respond to you within a day or two so that you can arrange step 4!
4. Visit the nurseries that can accommodate you
This step is crucial to get a real feel for the nursery and whether you are happy that it is the right environment for your child.
Visiting a number of nurseries helps to highlight their different strengths and weaknesses.
Pay attention to:
- Children: who should be relaxed and engaged
- Staff: who should be welcoming, caring and responsive to the children
- Daily routines: such as sociable meal times, quiet rest times, regular nappy changes
- Activities: which should be fun, engaging and age-appropriate
- Environment: which should be clean, safe, well equipped and with access outside
- Communication with parents: which should be regular and facilitated via a nursery system or app
5. Check details
Ask plenty of questions to management, staff and customers to make sure that you understand exactly what to expect in terms of deposits, fees and payments and do not be afraid to ask for evidence via references, reviews or customer satisfaction surveys.
You should now be in a great position to make your final decision.
If you are still struggling then try revisiting step 1 to broaden your search criteria.
To find out more about Canopy Children’s Nurseries and whether there is one near you, please go to our home page at canopynurseries.co.uk