Checklist for Choosing Your Child’s Day Nursery

Our children are the most important part of our lives however the hassle of making ends meet can leave us parents hard-pressed and in need of a helping hand; hence why we turn to day nurseries. But how do you know if the place you intend to leave your child all day long is good for him or her, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? A good nursery is and others the same as it. To help you find the answers to these and more questions, here are a few pointers on what to consider when looking for a good day nursery:

Registration is non-negotiable

This is ultimately the most important factor that should be right at the top of your list. A good nursery subjects itself to inspections and reviews by the authorities and has the documents to show for it e.g. the OFSTED.

You must see the relevant licenses for yourself; do not operate on a word of mouth basis. Furthermore, be sure to ask for the latest inspection review which should be up to date and not one that was done two years ago!

The staff is the heartbeat of the day nursery

There is nothing more reassuring to a parent than knowing that you’ve left your child in not only able but also caring hands.

Both traits can be easily deduced by watching how the staff interact with the other children especially while away from watching eyes. A happy day nursery is usually abuzz with children playing and going about their business; silence is not a good sign. What’s more, the staff should also be first-aid capable and have the certificates to prove it.

Furthermore, be keen on the child to staff ratio; the lesser the number of children under one caregiver the better. If there are too many, then your kid won’t receive adequate attention and it will occasionally go unnoticed when they are under the weather or feeling blue for some reason.

A ratio of about 1:6 and not more than 1:10 is recommended for children under three years of age. Older kids between six and three years fair well with a staff to kid ratio of not more than 1:25.

A good day nursery has a good menu to match

The menu should encompass a wide variety of nutritious foods and it should also consider children with food allergies and eating disorders. A good day nursery that truly has your child’s best interests at heart will have restrictions on the type of food you can bring when you come visiting.

If there are no such policies and considerations in place, then they probably don’t give much thought to their care giving as well.

Good sanitation is also a priority

Cleanliness should also feature somewhere near the top of your check list. Pay particular attention to sensitive areas like the kitchen or wherever else the meals are served or prepared. Also have a good look at the toilet, bathroom and diaper changing areas.

Moreover, litter shouldn’t be all over the place but well collected in designated areas preferably outside the house or in an isolated part of the nursery.

When it comes to space requirements, as per standards, each child should have about 3.25 square meters to him or herself. The day nursery should also have good lighting and more than adequate ventilation.

Safety is essential

On the safety front, the factors to take into account are as follows:

1) Medicines and similar substances should have a storage area that is well out of reach.

2) Windows on the first or higher floors must have protective features like bars and screens.

3) The playing area should be enclosed but preferably outside and in a serene environment.

4) The centre should have first aid kits, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and basic child safety features like door latches and covered outlets just to mention a few.

5) Security at the entrances and the premises at large should also be well catered for by qualified personnel.

Playing material is also important

Toys are often an overlooked matter by most parents however they do play a key role in your child’s development and perception of the world itself. Therefore, a good day nursery should have the appropriate set of playing materials.

The toys shouldn’t be sexist or propagate a certain stereotype in any way. It is also commendable if they promote ethnic diversity.

It involves the parents

A good day nursery will seek for your guidance and inclusion every now and again.One that is solely focused on the child and doesn’t encourage parental involvement could probably be hiding something especially if they are strict on unexpected parental visits without any solid reason.

Try out as many day nurseries as possible before settling on a particular one. Also be sure to seek the feedback of parents who have previously contracted the services of the nursery of your choosing. Your kid will spend a good part of the day in such an institution meaning that they’ll basically be growing up there. It is therefore paramount that you find the perfect home away from home where your kid can embrace his/her childhood to the fullest.

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