Choosing a Nursery
So, what do you look for on a nursery showround..?
There are many books, websites and experts that can tell you what you should be looking for when selecting a nursery or pre-school. But the simple fact is that you won’t really know until you visit your chosen shortlist and look around yourself.
However, putting text books and experts to one side, there are some other practical indications of how a nursery operates and the quality of care provided.
So, to try and offer some practical advice, we reach out to nursery professionals and parents regularly and here are our favourite bits of advice and guidance:
The Snotty Nose Test when visiting a nursery, check how many of the children have runny noses. Yes, children get colds, but it is the responsibility of the staff and management to ensure that the children’s noses are kept as clean and as dry as possible at all times.
The One About Getting In – it really is simple. If you can get in easily, anyone can get in easily! When you arrive for your show-round, note whether you were asked to identify yourself or just let in? Nursery staff should be vigilant so don’t be offended if you receive some polite interrogation when you arrive – that is a good thing!
The One About Photos – when visiting the nursery, note whether you are asked for your mobile phone? No? You should be! Sure, the manager should put it in their safe, but you really shouldn’t be allowed to take it in with you. Because if you can..?
The One About Interest – were the staff engaging, friendly and welcoming. No, well great, as long as that is because they were focusing on the children in their care, rather than a visiting prospect. Sure they should be polite, but you are not their priority, the children are. Sometimes being ignored can be a good thing!
If you are a parent of childcare professional, and would like to send us your own thoughts and experiences, please do. We will publish the best on this page to help others gain from your experiences.