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Looking for the perfect nursery school



What to look for in a nursery setting…

Choosing the right pre-school or nursery for your child is such a huge decision to make. Sometimes it is the first time your child has left your side for any serious amount of time. Where do you start? Friends’ recommendations are a good place but if you’re new to an area or the first to get to this milestone then go with your instincts and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Learning through play (or Child Led Play) is very much encouraged these days. Does the setting have a large variety of toys, games, arts, crafts, sensory stations (sand and water play are hugely popular with little ones), home corner, reading or quiet areas?

If your child has a particular strength does the facility have the resources to challenge them? E.g. puzzles for little mathematicians, musical instruments for budding Mozarts, beginner books for those who develop their reading skills early or sports equipment for those who are physically capable. Remember, at this stage every child is maturing at a DIFFERENT rate. It doesn’t matter if Jane can recite the alphabet in 3 languages or Peter can climb to the top of the ladder; Toby is very happy getting messy with the glue and Tina loves caring for the dolls in the home corner.

Does your child have need for extra support? Does the setting have enough staff for this? I’ve checked out quite a few nurseries and pre-schools over the past decade and was really surprised to see how the staff:child ratio varied. Are the staff consistently attentive to the children or are they chatting to each other over a cuppa? There is usually a child crying at some stage during the session but how is that child cared for and do they go unnoticed for long?

Does the setting benefit from outdoor space? If so, is it tidy and safe? What outdoor play equipment do they have? Do they have space to grow flowers or vegetables?

These early years are such a crucial developmental stage for children and the most important aspect to look out for is if your child will be cared for and feel secure at their chosen setting.

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