Choosing the right nursery for your child can be an overwhelming task. We’re incredibly attached to our babies and the thought of being away from them and sending them somewhere unfamiliar can fill us with dread and mum guilt.
Leo doesn’t going to nursery yet as I’m lucky enough to work for myself so I work while he is asleep – like now! But I have friends that send their children to a nursery for a few reasons. Some have to because of work commitments and others send them because there are many social and educational benefits to going to nursery. One of my friends often sends me a screenshot of what her son has been up to, they have so much fun doing different activities and having attention on them all day!
1. Which type of nursery?
Think about what type of nursery you want to send your child to. There are standard nurseries, Montessori nurseries or even outdoor and woodland nurseries.
A Montessori nursery is one that is more child-led than a traditional nursery. The children pick the activities and they are free to explore and learn as they want. This style of learning is becoming more and more popular.
A Forest nursery is a nature-based outdoor school that focuses on holistic development and growth in children. They spend a lot of time exploring outside and learning through nature.
2. Think of the location
A nursery you’ve got your eye on might be in an inconvenient location for you, especially if you need to drop your child off and go to work during rush hour. It’s important to consider the travel and traffic to and from the nursery to make sure you are able to commit to that travel.
3. Do they align with your parenting methods?
Talk to the nursery about things that matter to you. If you are passionate about your child not being left to cry it out or are concerned about how they will nap at nursery then talk to them about your concerns. It’s reasonable to expect them to comfort your child if they are crying, or rock your child to sleep if that’s what they need.
I have heard the story loads of times of how babies and toddlers will go to sleep easily at nursery They even have two-hour naps! But at home, they are nightmares to get to sleep or bedshare. We all know they are on their best behaviour around other people and then save all their emotions for Mum! So talk to them about any concerns you have and let them reassure you.
4. Food and weaning
Ask them about food and weaning. Are they knowledgeable about baby-led weaning? This may not be as important to you if you have an older child. BLW is becoming more and more mainstream and overtaking traditional weaning.
Be sure to talk to your nursery about their approach and what you feel comfortable with.
5. Check out the website and social media
Reading the website can get a great feel for a nursery and it’s a chance to look at some photos of it. Social media is also good and look out for reviews! Also, search for things like the best nursery in Nottingham (or whatever location comes up) and see what comes up.
6. Is the nursery secure?
Security is so important, find out what measures the nursery has to protect your child from any strangers getting into the nursery and prevent your child from getting out. Most nurseries will have a system in place where only certain people can pick up your child with a password.
Does your child go to nursery? What things helped you decide which one would be the best for you?