Picking the right childcare for your family is a difficult task. Choosing a first nursery can be daunting and making the right choice is important for you and your child. We asked Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) to share her tips on choosing a nursery.
Make sure that the nursery you choose is registered with Ofsted in England, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate in Wales or the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care in Scotland(Care Inspectorate). Ask the nursery to see a copy of the latest inspection report, or look online to find the report. Look at whether the nursery has completed or is working towards a quality accreditation scheme such as NDNA’s e-Quality Counts
It is important that the nursery feels friendly and relaxed and that you enjoy your visit. Is there a safe and clean outside play area? Is the interior bright, warm, clean, well decorated and welcoming? Is the equipment good quality, clean, safe and appropriate?
Ask the manager to talk you through exactly what you will need to pay. Ask about any additional charges such as food, nappies, late collection fees and a registration fee. Gathering this type of information will mean that you can more easily compare the prices between nurseries.
Is it important for your child to have a healthy and varied diet, so use your visit to find out more about the sorts of meals provided and if the food is freshly prepared. If your child has any special dietary requirements then can these be catered for? It might be useful to ask to see a sample menu.
Speaking to friends and family is good way to find out first-hand what a nursery is like from personal experience or you can ask to speak to current parents of the nursery.
For more information on choosing nurseries or the early years nursery place funding please visit http://parentalchoice.co.uk/nurseries.
- Nursery ratios raised to cut fees (bbc.co.uk)
- How do you fit six toddlers into a buggy? Ask Liz Truss | Polly Toynbee (guardian.co.uk)
- Plans to allow nurseries to look after more children prompt concern (telegraph.co.uk)
- The Devil is in the Detail – subsidised childcare (parentalchoiceuk.com)
- Nursery ratios raised to cut childcare costs (schoolsimprovement.net)
- Nursery workers must have GCSEs in maths and English under new government plans (metro.co.uk)
- Childcare restrictions to be relaxed, minister announces (guardian.co.uk)
- Childcare Reforms: Plan To Ease Soaring Costs (news.sky.com)