If you have recently become a new parent, then it can be somewhat hard to believe that your little one will one day be old enough to head off to nursery. It is one of the most important choices that a parent can make for their child, yet a lot of us are completely unprepared when it comes to making a decision. It can be difficult to know whether a nursery is right for you and your child and we are left having to rely on our own instincts when it comes to making a decision. I am sure that you can only imagine how difficult it must be to leave your child in the hands of a complete stranger for the very first time! However, there are various questions that you can ask to better understand whether a nursery is the right one for you and your child.
Make An Outstanding Choice
This is one of the most important considerations, yet luckily it is also one of the easiest. If you take a moment to look back on your own time at school, you will most likely remember those stern-faced looking men and women in the corner of the room, assessing your teacher. Those people were OFSTED inspectors, and they also do the same for children’s nurseries.
Therefore it is important to ask the nursery for a copy of their recent inspection and what grade they were assessed as. These range from Grade 1 to Grade 4, with Grade 1 being outstanding and Grade 4 being inadequate. It goes without saying that you should ideally be looking for a nursery that has an outstanding rating, as it will offer the highest level of care for your child.
The Closer The Better
If you are like many other mums then you will no doubt be juggling motherhood with full-time employment; this can be particularly challenging if he or she is your first child. This means that ideally you should be looking for a nursery that is within walking distance of your place of work. A close friend of mine has recently started sending her little girl to her local nursery in Brighton, luckily for her it is a fast-paced ten minute walk away, allowing her to have peace of mind as she adjusts to combining motherhood and work. If you are able to do the same, then this is something that I would strongly recommend. It is also a good idea to take advantage of online communities such as Netmums, which allows you to chat with fellow mums and ask advice about specific nurseries.
Take A Closer Look
A nursery will provide your child with the base of their education for the rest of their life; it really is so important to make sure that this is not a decision that you take lightly. With that in mind, it is really important that you take some time to go and look at the nursery for yourself, so that you can work out whether or not it is the right nursery for both you and your little one.
Try to leave enough time to have the opportunity to spend some time with the members of staff and try to decide whether or not they would be an ideal fit for you and your child. This will also give you the opportunity to have a closer look around and see exactly what facilities are available and how they will assist your child’s development. This also provides you with a good opportunity to take a closer look at what food is offered by the nursery; it is important ensure that the nursery has a healthy eating certificate, this allows you to be certain that your child’s nutritional needs will be being met and that the food will be of good quality. Also, try to take some time to see how the children are encouraged to interact with each other. Remember that a large amount of your child’s time at nursery will be spent playing with other children; this is so important for their future social development and can influence how well they are able to adjust when they are old enough to start attending school.
What Activities Should You See?
As I mentioned earlier, the activities that your child participates in at nursery will influence their development later on in their life. That is why you should spend some time to better understand the activities that they conduct to improve your child’s creativity, communication and listening skills.
It is important to try and choose a nursery that has a wide range of age-appropriate and diverse activities that will aid their creative and cognitive development. Another good place to look is at what is displayed on the walls. You should expect to see a vast array of different drawings and paintings that have been done by the children; this suggest that your child’s creative development will be viewed as essential and will hugely benefit them when they are old enough to attend primary school.
This post was written by Nathalie Martin; “Nathalie Martin is a young woman from Brighton who has a strong interest in education, family, and childcare after growing up as a part of a large family. She is also interested in fashion and travel and has a cat called James.” She blogs at www.helpimgettingmarried.com