Guide to Starting Nursery: How to Apply For a Nursery

Applying for nursery is a big milestone and can be daunting for both you and your child. With that in mind, we’ve come up with some helpful tips and advice to ease the application process. 

Here’s our guide to finding the perfect nursery for your child.


When Should You Apply for Nursery?

There is no right or wrong time to apply for nursery, but if your child is nearing the age of 3, you might be starting to think about applying. This is because the UK government funds nursery places for children aged between 3 and 4 years old, which may indicate this is a good age to start.

However, the best time to apply for nursery is when you and your child feel ready. It’s also a good idea to research nurseries and consider what you’ll need from them sooner rather than later, as it can often be a long process. 

You might be faced with waiting lists, and researching and finding the perfect nursery for you and your child might take a lot of consideration. So give yourself time if you want to secure the place you really want!


Learn What Nurseries Are Near You

A good first step for your research is learning what nurseries are in your local area and reading online reviews. You might also consider nurseries near your place of work if you have a long commute, as this works well for a lot of parents when it comes to drop off and pick up times.

If you have neighbours, friends or family that have had experience with a nursery near you, have a chat with them. It’s always nice to have an inside look from a fellow parent.


Visit Nurseries

Once you have narrowed down some potential nurseries via your research, start making lots of visits. Even if you aren’t too sure about a nursery, it’s worth visiting anyway as nothing beats seeing how it runs and works in person.

You might also want to take your child with you, as this can sometimes give you a better vision of how they will get on at the nursery. It’s also important for you both to get a feel of the place.

We also recommend speaking to the key members of staff and getting to know them. Come armed with a list of the things that are most important to you (and your child!) and see if they offer them. 

It’s important to be observant during your visit and look out for whether the little ones are having fun. Also, take note of the environment; the nursery should feel relaxed, warm and safe.

You can book a tour with our nursery Little Angels here.


Ask Questions

After visiting your list of nurseries, you should have a clear idea of which ones you are most keen on. However, you should continue to do your research and ask lots of questions. 

Get in further contact with the nursery. Some questions we recommend asking include:

  • What does the nursery provide? 
  • What age does the nursery take children from?
  • Are there any extra-curricular activities? 
  • Will your child be going on outings? 
  • What hours does the nursery operate?
  • How much does the nursery cost? 
  • Are food and drink included in the cost?
  • When should you apply for a place?

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to. These are all important questions to which you should have the answers before committing to your final choice.

Talk to Other Parents

You might be able to find parents whose children already attend the nursery you are thinking of choosing. If not, nurseries might be able to put you in touch with their current parents. 

They will then be able to give you an accurate view of what the nursery is like and whether they would recommend it for your child. Bear in mind, however, that every family is different. The most important thing is to follow your gut instinct and your child’s reaction to the nursery.


How to Apply For a Nursery

So, you’ve found the perfect nursery? Great, you are ready to apply!

The application process can vary depending on the nursery, so you’ll need to get in touch with the nursery and ask about their admissions process. 

Typically, you will need to fill out documents or fill out forms online. Some may also require a deposit to secure your child’s place.

Admissions at Little Angels Nursery

At Little Angels, we make the admissions process as smooth as possible, as we understand it can be an overwhelming time.

To learn more about Little Angels, download a brochure here.