As a parent, choosing a nursery can be one of the most important decisions you ever make. You have to hand your prized possession over to someone else while you go to work, so you must have peace of mind about the nursery you choose. For your child, it’s about development.
The nursery setting and staff should nurture and develop your child as you do at home. So, what do you need to look for in Kent nurseries to ensure you choose the best one? Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Ask Around
Before you get online and search for nurseries in your area, it’s worth asking family and friends for recommendations. They’ll quickly point you in the direction of nearby nurseries, and you can ask about the parent’s and children’s experiences.
It’s one of the best ways to get a good insight into nurseries before setting up a visit for yourself and your child.
2. Check Credentials
Nurseries in Gillingham and the Kent area need to be registered with Ofsted. The registration should be displayed, along with the most recent insurance certificate. You can also view the nursery’s latest Ofsted report, which will give you a clear indication of how the nursery is performing.
It’s also important to ask about the qualifications of the staff. They should all have early years training and child first aid training at a minimum.
3. Visit the Nursery
Visiting the nursery will answer a lot of your questions. You’ll get a feel for the environment and watch the staff at work. It’s also worth noting if you and your child receive a warm welcome and if the staff are willing to answer your questions on the spot.
Does the nursery have a stimulating and secure outdoor play area? Is the indoor area clean and well decorated? Check the equipment being used for any signs of wear and tear while you’re there.
The equipment that children use needs to be regularly repaired or replaced to ensure its safety. You should also note the parking availability for drop-off and pick-up times.
Most importantly, look around at the staff and children in the nursery. Do they look happy and secure? Are the staff confident in their roles, and are the children playing well?
4. Ask About Meals and Snacks
When leaving your child in childcare, you must discuss food and snacks, especially if your child has any allergies or intolerances. Find out if the food is prepared fresh every day and if the nursery can cater to different dietary requirements.
What type of meals and snacks will your child be offered? Is the food healthy and balanced? Are there occasions when sweet treats are offered?
5. How Does the Nursery Keep in Touch?
Although you’ll be physically apart from your child while she’s at nursery, that won’t stop you from thinking about her. Parents need to know that their children are thriving in the environment they’ve been placed in, so how does the nursery do that for you? Perhaps you’ll get updates via an app.
Perhaps you’ll be emailed weekly reports, or there’ll be a key person who provides you with feedback. There should be an easy way to stay informed about your child’s progress and get answers to any queries.
6. How Much Does It Cost?
If your child is under the age of three, you’ll need to determine how much your nursery charges per session. Some may require a month’s payment upfront, but it usually includes the cost of drinks and snacks. However, if your child is three or over, you may be eligible for thirty hours of free childcare if you’re a working parent.
If you’re not working, you can still get fifteen hours of free childcare paid for by the Department of Education.
7. What Procedures Are in Place?
You may want some reassurance that your nursery will follow the same potty training methods as you do at home. The last thing you want to do is confuse your toddler. It’s worth asking how they potty train students in the nursery.
It would help if you also ask what the nursery’s stance is on discipline. What will happen when your child does something wrong or reacts aggressively? What are the procedures in an emergency?
Where do you collect your child in the event of a fire? These are all details you should know in advance of registering your child in any nursery.
Why Choose Happy Bunnies
Our Happy Bunnies Gillingham childcare is renowned for creating a safe, secure, and happy environment for every child. Our Director, Claire Hollycock, has three decades of experience in childcare, so you can be sure you’re leaving your children in the right hands. We treat every child as if they are our children.
We encourage every child to learn and develop through play; their successes are our successes. Why not take a look at what other parents are saying about us?
Finding Your Child’s Perfect Home in Kent Nurseries
It isn’t easy searching through Kent nurseries to find the perfect home away from home for your child. At Happy Bunnies, we strive to give your child the exact environment she needs to be happy and develop as well as possible. We have everything you need for peace of mind and a wonderful experience for your child.
If you have any questions or want to book a visit, take a browse through the rest of our website.