There are numerous nurseries, day-care, pre-schools, childcare centres and learning centres options – As parents how do you pick what curriculum is the best? What are the redeeming qualities of a great early learning centre? How do you make an informed decision to choose the best educational foundation for your child?
Here are tips to help you make an informed decision and choose the right nursery for your child!
Values & Mission
What drives the nursery and its staff? What are the values and goals of the nursery and do you see this portrayed by the staff? Is it in line with your goals?
Your family’s values and goal are important too! Do you prefer a more structured environment or learning through physical activities? Do you like the ethos of the place?
At Hummingbird we believe in a ‘home away from home’ environment and encourage a combined partnership with parents to instil a love of learning in every child. What ethos do you value?
- Pick a curriculum that encourages learning
- The curriculum should have provisions for changes and adaptations
- It should be able to adjust its system to suit each child’s needs
- Check the nursery’s licenses – don’t be shy to ask. It’s your right!
- Check if they are affiliated to any alliances. E.g. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest and most representative Early Years membership organisation in England
- Are they open about their licenses and affiliations?
- Every staff member is qualified with the right experience in early years education. Remember – you’re looking for teachers, not nannies!
- They have a regular training plan in place to update their qualifications
- Can you speak to them freely, openly and easily?
Secure Policies & Procedures
- Health and Safety
Do they have policies in place to ensure your child’s safety and are they transparent and accessible?
- Nurses and Nurse room in the premises
Does the centre have medical staff on sight and are they equipped correctly?
- How will you be in sync with your child’s learning?
Does the nursery share your child’s daily information, progress and involve you as a parent in their learning experience?
- How often can you meet the necessary staff?
Do they have an ‘open door’ policy? Are you able to schedule teacher’s meetings?
- How accessible are the Nursery Managers, Teachers and Nurses?
‘Feel’ of the Nursery
- Is it a ‘home away from home’?
- Is it an extension for your child or a completely new and different environment?
- Are YOU comfortable there?
A Grand First Impression
- Did you like your tour of the nursery?
- What sort of activities were presented?
- Did just one staff member greet or talk to you?
- Did you speak to any other parents around?
- It may take time to establish trust and have a preference but gather as much information from multiple sources during your first visit