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Choosing a Nursery for Your Child: Top Tips and Advice

Finding a nursery for your child can seem daunting, with many parents unsure of where to start looking. Read our tips on how to choose a nursery for your child.

Published: 7 February

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Busy Bees

Choosing a nursery for your child can often feel like a daunting task. Having spent the first years of your child’s life ensuring that they are safe, healthy, and well looked after, handing that responsibility over to someone else can be an emotional task. 

Many parents would agree that choosing a nursery for your child often comes around sooner than you like to believe, so here at Busy Bees, we have compiled some handy tips which will hopefully help you when choosing childcare and finding a nursery that is perfect for your child. 

Read our top tips on how to choose a nursery to suit you and your child:

  1.    Positive Atmosphere and Environment 

First impressions matter and the first glimpse of nursery life can often fill parents with mixed emotions. So, it’s important to take a thorough tour of the nursery and see how you feel. Do the staff greet you in a welcoming and friendly manner? Are they passionate and enthusiastic about their nursery and the children? Are the children happy and engaged in activities within the nursery? 

When considering what to look for in a nursery, a key factor should be the atmosphere, and the overall vibe when you walk through the door and around the nursery. If there is a positive atmosphere, you are more likely to feel confident that your child will be happy and well cared for in a nurturing environment. 

2.    Passionate staff

Meet the nursery team during your visit, including the Centre Director. The friendly team should ensure you feel welcome and confident that there are always open lines of communication between the parents and staff. Think of questions to ask a nursery before you visit, and remember there is no such thing as a silly question – the nursery staff are there to help give answers and put your mind at ease.

When considering what to look for in a nursery, it could be beneficial to ask staff about reports such as Ofsted, which can give you an insight into the formal standard of a nursery, and give staff the opportunity to discuss any changes it may have been through. 

Later down the line, once you have chosen your nursery, you will get the chance to meet your child’s key person, who will play a pivotal role in their learning and development. Your child’s key person will take the time to get to know your child’s routine and interests, so that nursery will feel like a home away from home. 

3.     Learning through play

Nurseries will offer a range of educational activities which allow your child to learn and play, all of which will be tailored to your child’s age and interests. At Busy Bees, we understand that it’s important for your child to experience a variety of activities, all while having fun. 

Your nursery checklist might include outdoor play areas or spacious gardens. Outdoor play encourages natural curiosity and allows children to be adventurous. Although lots of play equipment can be a bonus, if you are choosing a nursery with a smaller outdoor space, it’s a great idea to ask how they make the most of the space they have. 

Here at Busy Bees, we go beyond the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS) so that your child’s learning journey is full of wonderful experiences that they can carry with them throughout their early years. Plus, our exclusive Unleashing Potential (UP) parent app is filled with a range of exciting activities for you and your child to try at home, whether that is indoors or outside exploring.

4.     Eating Well at Mealtimes

A healthy diet is pivotal to children’s learning and development, something which Busy Bees strive to promote across all nurseries. From weaning to finger foods, your chosen nursery should be able to cater to your child’s requirements, even down to specific dietary measures. 

When choosing a nursery, it’s a good idea to understand where the food is prepared. At Busy Bees, we try to ensure the food is freshly prepared on-site, so you know your little one is getting all the right nutrients to help them thrive. Our varied NHS accredited menus offer a range of diverse dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients. Read more about our nutritionally balanced meals and how we encourage eating well at Busy Bees.

5.    Communication 

So, you’ve done the hard part of choosing a nursery for your child, but it’s important to be reassured that you’ve made the right decision. Keeping clear open communication with the nursery, and specifically, your child’s key person can ease your worries and keep you in the loop regarding your child’s progress while they are away from you in the day.  Most nurseries will offer a digital platform so you can be kept up to date on your child’s naps, mealtimes, development, and much more. Here at Busy Bees, we provide daily updates through ParentZone so that you don’t miss a single moment. Understanding what your child has been doing while at nursery can be incredibly beneficial for both you and your child, as you can discuss and further explore what is being learnt. 

Choosing a Nursery to Suit Your Child

We hope that our tips and advice will help you in your decision when choosing childcare when the time comes. It’s important that you are comfortable and happy with the nursery you have chosen for your child, so it can be beneficial to book a visit to view a few in your local area. Many nurseries will offer settling-in sessions, which can allow you to see how your child gets on within their new and exciting surroundings. 

Busy Bees has over 350 nurseries across the UK, making choosing a nursery for your child easier than ever. To find your local nursery and arrange a visit, click here. To learn more about a typical day within a Busy Bees nursery, click here.