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Sunday 18 September 2022

Choosing A Nursery - making the best choice for your child

 How to choose the best nursery for your child

Choosing a nursery for your child is one of the most difficult choices during early parenting. As the maternity cover comes to an end it's obviously quite a raw time with lots changing. It's difficult to accept and allow someone else to care for your child. But choosing the right nursery for you and your circumstances can help you build the village you need to raise your baby. I've got a few months left of my maternity so I've just finished looking and deciding which nursery to allow Max to go to so this is super fresh in my mind of how I went about making that choice.

Choosing a nursery

 Understanding what you need in your nursery choice

Before you get lost in nursery choices it's important you understand what you need from a nursery. What kind of environment you'd prefer and what will help you as a family on this next big step. 
The most important factor we found was timings and locations. You need to find a nursery that will work around your return to work hours, but also allow you time to get there for drop-offs and pick-ups. 

Some nurseries are attached to schools so operate under typical school hours whereas some other private options offer much longer opening hours to accommodate working parents.

Nursery Visits

I personally think you can look at as many nursery websites as you want, but you don't get an actual feel for the place until you visit. All nurseries should allow visits for potential new parents so once you've narrowed your list down to nurseries that fit your timing needs it's time to start visiting.

On a nursery visit, there are a few things I look out for, these are obviously my own personal opinion but may help you align what environment you'd like:
- Do the kids look happy?
- Are they allowed free-flow play?
- Are the staff interacting rather than policing?

I've worked in nurseries before, and found the ones I visited that were quite ordered and sterile I really didn't like. My home isn't like that when Max is playing, so it gives me the impression that the kids aren't given the freedom they should have. A free flow / free choice environment such as a Montessori nursery is definitely a favoured choice as it develops creativity and allows them to discover interests.

Staff playing and interacting was a big one for me, the staff need to love what they do and I think this can really come across. If the staff look bored, and are just observing I wonder how much they'd interact. I think all kids (and staff) should come home tired and usually covered in some kind of paint / messy play and full of fun stories


This one is quite a biggie, it's no secret that childcare in the UK is extortionate. I personally think a LOT more needs to be done to encourage women back to work but I also understand that nurseries are a business too, so it's finding the happy medium. Make sure you check out what you're entitled to in regards to childcare and ensure the nursery you pick allows things such as tax-free childcare. It's a huge help while they're so young. 

That's my top three things you need to do when choosing a nursery, obviously there are lots of other things such as food options, whether they do baby led weaning, learning styles etc.

What's the one thing you recommend when choosing a nursery?

Choosing a nursery

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