Finding The Right Nursery For Us...

This is a post that I wasn't sure I was going to write, especially as choosing childcare is, at least I think, is a very personal decision. Before going to have a look around nurseries, I was searching for advice via the mum community on instagram, and in the end I had compiled my own list of what I was looking for...




Back when I was very much considering going back to work, childcare instantly because a worry for me, because I wanted to make sure Edith would be well looked after. I have never left Edith with anyone, other than Max, and my dad and step mum once. So, you can imagine what a ball of nerves I had become. However, I think childcare is one of those things that when you know, you know. So, I thought I'd write down some of my tips that helped me find what I was looking for.

Go and have a look around

I cannot stress this enough. This was so important for me to do. Max, of course, was at work so I was doing the initial searching of where we would like to send Edith. I made sure that we had options, and the only way of doing that was to actually take a look for myself.

I personally think that if when you walk into anywhere, you just know if it's going to be right for you. There's definitely a vibe, and that's not just about childcare, that's just in general. 

When looking around, I had several things that I was looking for:

Where there lots of eye-catching and stimulating displays? 
Edith is a very active little girl, and so I wanted there to be things going on in her environment that would encourage her. 

What are the staff like? Do they make an effort with Edith?
After looking around one nursery, that was a definite no for us, I noticed how little they tried to interact with Edith. This for me was really important, especially as initially, Edith can be quite shy, and so I think it's so important for her to be around staff that would build a relationship with her. Initial impressions are very important. 

Ofsted findings
From an external point of view, I was interested to see what the findings were in the reports as I think it can give a good indication of what a nursery, or a school is like. So, I made sure to have a read up on the nurseries that I had in mind.

Outside time

I was quite interested in seeing just how much time the children got outside in the potential nurseries that I looked at. One of them stood out far more than the other, in that outside time was unlimited and was completely child led. This was a big one for us, as Edith absolutely loves being outside. She just wants to be exploring, and I think it would offer her a great chance to learn.

Child led or more structured?

My approach at home has always been that Edith leads me. I just follow her lead, in the sense that if she's hungry, she can eat. If she wants to get particular activities out, then that's what we get out. 

This one was a pretty big one for me, especially as Edith is a strong-willed little girl. She likes to have the freedom to decide, and I like to encourage that. Therefore, a child-led approach was definitely something that I wanted from a nursery. 

I was also particularly interested in what kinds of activities they do. 

Nap times

During the day, Edith will often have a nap, depending on whether we are out and about or not (she just fights sleep if we are out). So, I wanted to find out how they incorporate naps into the day. 

Nursery policies

Something that I asked at the nursery visits was to talk about their policies regarding sickness, security, accidents and behaviour. All of those seemed like important areas that I wanted to make sure were right for us.

Photography

Obviously, we don't share photos of Edith online, and so their photography policy was another that was important to us. I didn't one day want to see Edith's face at the back of a bus!


Overall these were some of the things that I was looking out for in a nursery, as well as any extra questions that I might have had on the day. Ultimately, like I've said, choosing childcare is a very personal experience, and some of these might not be relevant to everyone, but they certainly were for me and my family. I thought it would be a good idea to write them up, just in case anyone is finding themselves in a situation of looking for childcare.

Was there anything that was important for you when deciding?

Thanks, lovelies.

A.x






No comments