When you know, you know…
There is a striking similarity between nursery school and house show rounds; all the key attributes can be communicated effectively but ultimately you will have an innate sense of whether somewhere is the right or wrong place for you, usually minutes after stepping foot inside! That being said, it is important to look out for some fundamental components when making your choice.
Attending nursery is part of a special childhood transition period; it is a child’s first experience of a formal educational setting and often the first time apart from parents and carers. As an environment focused on learning, it’s a place to play, explore, grow, socialise and develop. The nursery setting and the people in it become integral parts of a family’s life, helping to establish foundational learning which the child carries with them into later learning.
Choosing a nursery that feels right for you and your child can feel full of uncertainty and questions. The number of nurseries varying in location, size, hours and cost can feel overwhelming. Some of these elements will be universal considerations, such as cost and location and some will be driven by specific priorities, for example, curriculum type.
The following four areas are a good place to start when embarking on your nursery search:
If a strong educational ethos is important to you, make sure you ask questions about the setting’s curriculum. This could be enquiring about how they teach reading and what advice they can give to continue this at home or how they start work on the development of fine motor skills.
Early years research shows that brightly coloured classrooms full of stimulus are unlikely to create an atmosphere of learning but rather one of stress and lack of concentration. Instead, look for a therapeutic and calming environment; think natural tones and resources, to allow for more contemplative exploration.
When you walk into a nursery check the staff board and ask about their qualifications and length of service. However, the most important thing is that you are welcomed by a happy, attentive team of caring individuals.
Last but certainly not least, the children need to be engaged and settled; stimulated by the educational offering, at home in a beautifully prepared environment and at ease with the excellent staff.
Much like visiting a house, if you end your nursery tour not wanting to leave, it’s highly likely that it is the right fit for you and your child, so trust your instinct!
Categories: Principal's Blog