10 Things To Look For When Choosing A Day Care Nursery For Your Child
Caring, friendly, qualified staff
Nursery staff should have the relevant qualifications in childcare and undertake continuous professional training. This is to ensure that they adopt the best, early teaching methods in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage as well as having full DBS clearance.
Open Door Policy
A day nursery should operate an “open door policy”, which means that you do not have to make an appointment to view the setting. A reputable day nursery should be open for inspection at any time.
Hygienic Premises & Changing Areas
Ensure that the day nursery has an onsite cleaner/ caretaker, allowing any spillages or accidents to be cleaned up quickly, professionally and hygienically. This will ensure that the premises are clean and germ free everyday reducing the risk of cross contamination or infection.
A nappy macerator is a must, within nappy changing areas, for the immediate disposal of soiled nappies, eliminating any unpleasant smells.
For the safety and protection of your child make sure that there are relevant CCTV cameras in place with appropriate coverage of childcare areas.
All nurseries should have high levels of security in place, for the safety of your child. Insist that all entrances and exits have secure locks, so that only nursery staff can gain entry, this will ensure there are no unwanted visitors and a password of your choosing should be used when you ask someone else to collect your child in the case of an emergency.
Fresh & Healthy Foods
Look for a nursery that has a fully qualified chef (not just a cook) who holds a relevant certificate in catering and food safety. Ensure they can offer fresh, nutritional, well balanced meals whilst catering for varied dietary requirements. A nursery should provide fresh fruits and vegetables, daily, as part of a healthy meal plan.
Your childcare should fit into your working pattern, therefore should be available for 52 weeks of the year, however it is reasonable and common practice for a nursery to close on public bank holidays. A reputable nursery should be able to offer a variety of sessions throughout the year, to give you maximum flexibility and include a after school care and holiday care programme.
Indoor and Outdoor Play Areas
It is vital that your child has the chance to “let off steam”, however we know that the UK weather is not always great!
Find out if the nursery has a safe, fully supervised, well sized outdoor play area with cushioned surface to minimise accidents and for those rainy days, why not look for a nursery with an indoor soft play area.
Look for a nursery that can offer quality care within different age group rooms. This allows each child to learn at their own individual pace whilst undertaking age appropriate fun and varied activities, including story time, singing, messy play, creative activities and music & movement.
A nursery should promote independence and learning through play.
Minibus Pick Up & Drop Off
Your time is precious, which is why you should look for a nursery that can offer an afterschool programme. Make sure the day nursery offers a “school to nursery” and “nursery to school” minibus service with fully qualified drivers, who are DBS checked. This means that when you drop your youngest children off at nursery in the morning the older ones can be safely placed on the minibus and taken to school. The system works in reverse so that when you collect your youngest children from nursery in the afternoon the older ones will have arrived at the nursery on the minibus from school.