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The Top Things To Bear In Mind When Choosing A Children’s Nursery

By Author: Nichola Moss
Total Articles: 8

Choosing a day nursery for your child is always something that causes parents worry. You are, after all, going to leave your little one in the hands of someone you don’t know, but in homes where both parents need to work, day nurseries in Manchesterare often the only option. Certainly, some parents may be able to afford a nanny or an au pair so that the child can be cared for at home, but for many people the cost is out of their reach. So the only question then is which nursery to choose.

All day nurseries have to be registered and inspected on a regular basis by the relevant authority, and in England that is the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). A good nursery will have their registration certificate on display, but it if is not immediately apparent you should ask the manager to show it to you. You can also ask to see the report of their last inspection which will show you if there are any areas in which the nursery needs to improve and if there are areas in which it excels.

When you visit a nursery your first impressions will tell you a lot about it. Do the children look happy and as if they are having fun? Is everything clean and tidy? Are the staff friendly? If there are other parents around when you visit you should ask them what they think about their children’s care. If there are not, you can ask the manager to provide a couple of references. If you get a good recommendation from other parents this will go a long way towards putting your mind at rest.

The nursery should pay particular attention to the seven key areas of learning which are communication and language; physical development; personal, social and emotional development; literacy; mathematics; understanding the world; and expressive arts and design. Individual planning should be designed around your particular child’s needs to provide a happy environment.

Ideally, a nursery should have both indoor and outdoor play areas, enabling children to play outside when the weather permits. However, in city centres it may not always be possible to find one with an outdoor area but there should be a big enough indoor play area, and the children should be taken on walks to local parks or playgrounds in order to play outside.

Established Policies

The nursery should have established policies for everything including opening and closing times, and what happens in the case of your child getting an illness. For instance, if your child should get measles, the nursery will not let him or her attend because of the risk of the spread of infection, so you will have to take time off work and stay at home. Ideally, the nursery should allow parents to drop in at any time to see how their child is getting on.

What about meals? Healthy eating is vital for youngsters, and menus should be designed so that they incorporate a choice of fresh fruits and vegetables. Different dishes should be offered in order to that your child can learn about varying tastes and types of food. Drinks should always be available, and any special dietary requirements should be taken into consideration. If your child needs medication during the day it is important that the nursery staff know exactly what and when to give it, and that there are proper storage facilities.

A good nursery will have a wide variety of toys, games, and books. These will help your child to broaden his or her outlook, and stimulate the imagination. Activities may include singing songs and nursery rhymes, dancing, reading books (when old enough), playing with things like Lego and playdough, painting and drawing, listening to stories being read, playing in a playhouse or sandpit, and even learning to cook simple dishes.

Security is critical. You need to check that the child is not able to leave the nursery alone, and that no unauthorised person can get access to the premises. There also needs to be clearly labelled fire exits and fire extinguishers.

Resource Box:
Paintpots Nurseries has three excellent day and after school nurseries in and around the Manchester and North Cheshire areas which are run by highly trained and qualified staff. A wide range of activities is available, allowing each child to develop his or her own abilities and broaden the outlook on life.

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