Nursery or playgroup is often your child’s first experience of being away from their parents for a significant period of time. This means that most parents want to make sure that they pick the very best one for their child. It is worth considering a number of factors when you are choosing.
Closeness to school
One important factor can be how close it is to their potential school. This is because the closer it is, the more chance they will have of meeting children that will be going to their school. This can be really good for them to have some familiar faces when they go to school. It will also allow you to get to know the other parents that will have children at the school as well. You will also be able to talk to the parents about the local schools, as many will have older children already at school and find out more about them.
It is really important to make sure that the nursery has staff that you feel will work well with your child. They will be in a new environment and probably not used to being away from you and so you want to make sure that you feel confident that they will be looked after well. You may like staff who discipline your child or prefer them to just nurture and look after them. Go and observe a nursery session to find out what they are like.
The ethos of a nursery is really important. Some will have a specific guideline they work under such as a Montessori or Steiner and others will just have their own. It is important to find out what sort of rules the nursery has, what they want to achieve with the children and how they expect the children and staff to behave.
Cost can be a factor for most parents. There are a certain amount of free nursery hours that parents in the UK can have, but you may want more than those or choose a private nursery where you need to pay. Some people will not be able to afford to pay as much as others and some may not be able to afford to pay at all.
The location can be an important factor as well. If you live close to the nursery it will be easier as you will not have far to go. You may like the idea of walking your child to nursery each day or you may not mind if you have to drive a distance. It depends on whether you can drive and have access to a car.