Finding good quality childcare can be a difficult task for parents. It goes without saying that every parent wants to provide the best start for their child, in a professional, yet warm and nurturing environment.
There are many things to look out for and to remember to ask when you visit a childcare setting.
How do you know if your child will be happy?
Will the nursery cater for your child’s needs?
Do the staff provide feedback about how your child is doing?
What attendance options does the nursery provide?
What is the hourly, daily, weekly cost and/or annual cost?
Does the nursery have availability?.
What to look for:
A warm and friendly welcome
Is the front door secure?
Trained and experienced staff, ready to learn and respond to your child’s individual needs
Children are content and engaged
Safe and clean premises
A staff team and group of children who reflect local ethnic and cultural groups
Fun activities planned each day, with children’s interests and enthusiasms in mind
Planned exercise and quiet times
What to ask:
What is the ratio of staff to children?
What qualifications and/or experience do the staff have?
What are the daily routines?
Do you provide meals, snacks, nappies, etc. or will I need to provide them?
Food – check mealtimes are relaxed and fun. Does the nursery provide a varied menu?
Is the outside area well planned, spacious and safe?
Is there plenty of opportunity for children to learn new things with varied, carefully planned activities.
Are the staff able to respond to individual children’s needs, to comfort and encourage them and to keep them safe?
Are the children offered settling in sessions? How many?
What would happen if your child became ill at school?
What is the procedure if he/she requires medication during the day?
Are the children given drinks throughout the day?
How far in advance do I need to register if I would like to reserve a place for my child at the nursery?
Most importantly, you must ask about the things that matter to you and your child.