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How to choose the right Nursery for your Child
How do I Choose the Right Nursery for my Child?

What every Parent should know about the free funding for 3 and 4 year oldsEssential information for all new Parents


Finding a Nursery for your Child can be difficult and stressful. If you are a first time parent and sending your child to nursery for the first time you maybe interested in reading our book. This guide will help make the process easier. Our goal is to provide the information needed to make the best choice for you and your Child. It also has a section on helping your child settle in from the start and about your emotions, how you feel about leaving your child for the first time and when they are nearing three years old the book explains in depth about the free funding for all three and four year olds. Available Now

What every Parent should know about the Free Funding for 3 & 4 year olds

A Parents Guide to Choosing the Right Nursery, Settling In Your Child, Free Nursery Places and Families Information Services

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An excellent book which brings together all the information needed, and a lot that you hadn't realised about the system, when considering childcare and nurseries. This information is available from a variety of sources, but this takes a lot of research. The author has achieved all you need to know in this book. I could not compare this book to a similar product as this was the only one I could find. I bought two books, one to send to a relative. Essential reading.

It is always a good idea to start early. Give yourself at least three months or more, if possible, to find the right Nursery to suit you and all the needs of your Child. Some Nurseries have long waiting lists.

First of all ring round a few chosen Nurseries and vet them over the phone. Have a list of questions you want to ask ready. For example, What are your opening hours? What age children do you cater for? Are they split into separate rooms? How many children do you have? How many staff do you have?

If they gave you the answers you wanted to hear then make your decision as to which ones you would like to visit.

When you do visit, ask plenty of questions. We recommend that you visit the Nursery more than once and at different times of the day. The first time on your own so you can focus your complete attention on the Nursery and its provision. Take your Child with you on the second visit so you can see his/her reaction to the provision and how he/she interacts with the staff and other children and observe first-hand activities for your Childs age. The second visit also allows you to ask any questions you forgot to ask on the first visit.

The Nursery

Questions to ask about the nursery itself include - Is the Nursery bright, airy and colourful? Does it look clean? Are there safe indoor and outdoor areas? Is the outdoor play area fenced in and has a variety of safe equipment? Are Children supervised at all times in the toilets and at nappy changing times, do the toilets smell clean, is the changing mat disinfected after each use? Is hand washing practiced, is there liquid soap, is there a towel or are there paper towels to dry hands? Are the room temperatures comfortable? Are healthy snacks and/or meals provided? Is the Kitchen clean? Are surprise visits by Parents encouraged? Ask to read all policies and procedures.


Questions to ask about the staff include - Are the Staff warm and welcoming? Do they greet your Child and discuss your Child with you? Do they treat the Children with respect, flexibility and patience? Do the Staff get down to the Childs level to speak to them? Is there enough staff in the room to meet the needs and serve all the Children? Are Parents ideas welcomed; are there ways Parents can get involved? Will Staff tell you what your Child has been doing every day? Do the Children enjoy being with the Staff? Is there a low Staff turnover? Is there a Key Worker System, how many Children does each Key Worker have?


Questions to ask about the activities your child will be doing include - Are the activities suited to each age group? Is there enough equipment in the room suited to each age group? Are the toys and equipment safe and clean? Is there a balance between play, structured play, story time and rest? Are the toys and equipment kept on low shelving for the children to choose what they want to play with or kept stored away and only a few things got out at a time? Can you see a weekly plan of the activities displayed on the wall? Is Children’s work displayed on the walls? What is the daily routine? Do you see laughing, caring, sharing, and generally happy Children? Will your Child be happy there?

Trust your feelings and observations. In the end it is the Nursery in which you feel most comfortable and your Child seems most positive about.

Once you have selected a Nursery, work closely with the Staff. Talk often and ask about your Child’s progress, what activities he/she enjoys, and how he/she gets along with the other Children to make sure your Child enjoys the best Childcare experience.

Finding the right nursery for your child can be difficult and stressful. If you are a first time parent and sending your child to nursery for the first time you maybe interested in reading our book. 'What every Parent should know about the Free Funding for 3 & 4 year olds'. The first section of the book is dedicated to helping you choose the right nursery and gives ideas, hint and tips on settling your child in when they start. It includes many more questions and things to think about when you visit the nursery for the first time. This guide will help make the process easier. Our goal is to provide the information needed to make the best choice for you and your child - more details here

Have you read our advice on Helping your Child to settle in?

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Thank you for all your positive feedbacks to date. Please don't forget to add any comments or suggestions you may have.   Liz.

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Comments : These are fantastic questions and observations parents should be making when deciding the best nursery to put their child in. Personally speaking i am a nursery manager for children 6 months - 5 years and all the questions outlined above are available in our prospectus which we give to parents on their first visit, we also recommend they come back with their child a second time and also spend a morning or afternoon with us so they can see our routine first hand. We have a very good keyworker and buddy system in place at our nursery where parents can talk to their child\'s keyworker as and when they wish for that extra feel of trust and security. Generally speaking go with your instinct when you first walk into the nursery you will know what i mean. A home from home environment with friendly qualified and approachable staff is always a good starting point and also reading a settings Ofsted report will rule out the nurserys good and bad points. Hope this helps

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Comments : as a first time mum this time in my daughters development is crucial and can become quite stressful and emotional trying to do the best for her, but the information on your site has really supported me and will help towards finding the right placement for my princess. thank you. Emma Mum TO Harley-jay

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Comments : a good checklist pointing out common areas of concern as well as those less obvious ones.

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Comments : Useful info, should have had this at my first visits to the nursery but a second visit will be arranged with my daughter as suggested and I will take my list! Thanks Claire

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Comments : Hi im a first time mum and very nervous about sending my little girl to nursery but this site has built my confidence as i now know what exactly to look out for to be assured that my daughter will be well looked after. Thank you i will keep u updated on my progress...Lubna

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Comments : Thank you for an outline of what to look for reading through this list i would not of thought of half of these points

I have lots of feedback but many don't leave comments so Thank You to those who have. It is great to have your comments. Thank you. It would also be nice to put a name to them too!    
If you leave a message here asking a question, I'm afraid I can not reply because I don't know your email address. If you have any questions at all about the list of questions above or anything else to do with Childcare Directory please click on the email link at the top of every page. Many thanks   Liz

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