So you’re relatively new to parenting or you’ve just moved home, here’s what to look for when choosing a nursery for your bundle of joy…
The same way you may scout TripAdvisor before sitting down at a new restaurant, you may want to check out Ofsted’s ratings for your desired nursery because they are the official independent adjudicator. Ofsted’s report will give you an idea of the quality and type of service to expect from the school or nursery; it can help you begin making a decision on whether it is the right one for your child.
Nurseries and child care centres became a good investment opportunity over the last 10 years which means that more of them are popping up without the pure intent of providing care and education. As with most businesses, it is often useful to know how long they have been trading and how long the team have been in the industry – it will give you an idea of where the business’ interests lie and what their commitments are toward. Is it profit or is it the development of your child?
The thing which separates nurseries from other types of businesses is that the customer is more than just a client, they must become an extended member of the family. You, as a parent, must put your trust in the nursery who must have the passion, the sense of responsibility and the desire to take care of your child like a family member would. This ‘family feel’ is difficult to fake, so when you visit a nursery or child care centre, you should be asking yourself whether it feels like you are visiting a close relative or a distant stranger.
When you ask questions about timings and pose queries about your own schedule fitting in; take into consideration the response you receive from the nursery manager or team. If there is a distinct strictness or lack of mobility in the nursery’s attitude then this suggests that they are over capacity (in which case your child may be neglected) or that they simply run it as a cold, bottom-line centred business (in which case you may question their passion for it). A nursery’s ability to go the extra mile and be flexible is a great sign that this is a place you’ll feel comfortable with.
Nutrition is obviously incredibly important for a child’s development and so it’s useful to know what kind of food the nursery provides and how it is prepared. The variety of options and ability to cater to dietary requirements may be a key component for you to check out too. It can be difficult for everything to be organic, but try to find out how much effort goes into the sourcing of the ingredients.