Sam Othen, National Children’s Services Manager at Nuffield Health, provides her top tips to consider when picking a nursery.
1. Check its Ofsted rating
An Ofsted rating takes into account factors such as standards of care, safety, the nursery environment and child development and can provide a snapshot of a nursery and further information. Feel free to discuss this rating with the nursery, as well as details about any other relevant standards, certifications or awards so that you’re fully informed.
2. Take a tour
All nurseries should be able to provide you with a tour of the facilities. Look out for happy and engaged children, plenty of toys, games and educational resources, security entry systems, cleanliness, and professional, friendly staff. It’s ok to come with a list of pre-prepared questions.
3. What else is on offer?
Many nurseries offer extra-curricular activities which can be great for your child’s learning and development. Nuffield Health nurseries offer baby yoga, swimming, French lessons and even baby massage. We can also provide baby massage training classes for parents so that the technique can be used at home too.
4. Staff turnover
A nursery should be a dependable and familiar place for children. Ask questions about staff turnover to give you an indication of stability within the team and reassurance that your child will have a consistent key worker.
If your child is having mealtimes at nursery find out all you can about the food that is provided - is it nutritionally balanced? Where is it prepared? Can they accommodate children with food allergies? This way you can feel confident that your child is enjoying the same level as nutrition as they would at home and that their dietary requirements are being met.
6. Outdoor space
It is important that children have access to an outdoor space to encourage them to be active. Check that the nursery has either its own outdoor space, or easy access to outdoor space nearby, that your child can enjoy.
Speak to nursery staff regarding costs. Find out if the advertised price covers nappies, food and any additional services or if you’ll have to allow additional budget. Depending on how you’re going to be paying for your childcare, it is also worth finding out if they accept childcare vouchers or offer any funding assistance.
If you're looking for a nursery for your child, have a look at Nuffy Bear Nurseries available in your area.
Last updated Tuesday 31 July 2018
First published on Wednesday 19 August 2015