We can find the right nursery for you. Use our Childcare Search Service as a reliable and stress-free way to find the right place for your child.
Returning to work is a big step, and you want to ensure that your baby or toddler will get the best child care possible. Childcare in the UK is available through many daycare centres, so you will likely be searching for childcare advice to narrow down your options and choose the best nursery for your child.
When choosing childcare, many parents opt for a day nursery because they offer extended opening hours, and day nurseries are available all year round.
Does the nursery provide nappies?
Do children have daily access to an outdoor area?
Are daycare session times flexible?
Is the nursery registered for Nursery Education Grant Funding?
Do you feel comfortable with the manager; is she/he approachable?
Are there systems in place for staff to have continuing professional development?
Are policies and procedures accessible and understandable?
Is there a recognisable ethos and philosophy about the nursery?
Is the setting well maintained?
When you visit a day nursery, you should assess the management and leadership. You should consider if the management and staff are approachable and if you feel comfortable with them.
You should also find out if there is a system in place for the professional development of staff.
You should take note of whether or not the policies and procedures are accessible, and if you can understand them. Take care to notice if the facilities of the daycare nursery are well maintained and if there are is a recognisable ethos and philosophy.
Do not be influenced by establishments that are all singing and dancing – sometimes the setting which appears basic is the one which is offering the highest quality care and education.
When you have established a list of your nursery preferences, start to look for a day nursery using your local Children’s Information Service or ask us to do a bespoke search for you of the nurseries that have availability when you want it. When you have established a list which meets your list of MUSTS make some appointments to visit. On these visits it is useful to have a list of things to look for and questions to ask. Take a look at our ‘Choosing a Nursery Checklist’ for a list of questions you may wish to ask.
Day nurseries are not your only childcare option when it comes to nurseries. Montessori Nurseries and Forest Nurseries are also an option. These both differ in their approach to childcare.
When choosing your nursery, you will need to be sure that the nursery complies with statutory regulations, especially with regard to safety and health and hygiene practices. Always ask to see the latest Ofsted report or access these for yourself from the Ofsted web site before you make an appointment to visit. (www.ofsted.gov.uk). For more general information, please go to our page on Ofsted. In addition, you should be aware of the government’s statutory requirements for any nursery or childminder when looking after the welfare and development of your child. These are set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage document.
Your search should begin by creating a list of what you want from your nursery, including availability. When you visit a prospective nursery, it can help to have a checklist of the things you want to see. You might want to check if there is a set shift pattern, check that nutritional food is provided, and you should enquire about the settling in process.
When you visit a daycare provider, check to see if the children look happy. Notice where the adults are when you walk into the room and see if the staff are focusing on the children or carrying out other tasks, or talking to each other.
Finding a nursery near you can seem like a daunting task. But Parental Choice is here to help. We wil run a bespoke search for you based on your personal requirements, taking into account location, budget and any other considerations which are key to your family.
Our team of Family Care experts will create a comprehensive report, only recommending settings rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. You can then go and visit the nurseries yourself and make a decision.
A Parental Choice nursery search costs just £330 including VAT.