The Early Years
When you have a child, you want the best start for them in life and that means choosing a good nursery for them
Sending your child to nursery can be a hard thing to do and what time in their life you choose to do it, is up to you and your personal circumstances. You just need to be prepared for the change ahead.
As with a primary or secondary school, there are good nurseries and bad. Do some research and visit those local to you. If you are going back to work, you may find it easier to find one nearer to your workplace rather than at home so it’s more convenient for the drop off and pick up. Ask colleagues at work and friends for recommendations.
Visit the nurseries and get a feel for the place and ask as many questions as you can. Look around at the children to see if they are happy and settled and ask the staff how they monitor a child’s activity throughout the day, will it just be verbal, or will you get a daily written document? Do they get nap time, do they get to play outdoors and are there suitable potty-training policies in place?
What are their opening times, do they fit in with your work situation and do they open during the holidays or just term times? A big question is cost. Sending your child to nursery can be expensive, so make sure that is factored into your decision.
What is the staff turnover like? If the staff have been in place for a while, it’s likely they are enjoying the job, but if you are seeing a different face every time you go, you need to ask why. Also is the number of staff per child ratio correct? What is the policy if your child is ill? Some don’t let your child return for up to 48 hours after they have been ill which can have an impact if you need to take additional time off work.
These questions are just a guide. You will get a gut instinct about the place, but the main thing is to give your child a chance to settle in. Remember it will be a big change for them as well as you, but with the right nursery you will see your child flourish, grow and develop and at the end of the day, that’s all we want for our children.