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PLAYING: What to consider when choosing a nursery

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What to consider when choosing a nursery

Wondering how to pick a nursery to look after your child? We have put together a list of some things to consider when choosing a nursery, from childcare costs to location. 

2 mins to read Jan 26, 2021


  1. Consider the location of the nursery. Will it be more convenient nearer home or your place of work?
  2. Consider the time it takes you to get there and how you would get there.
  3. Talk to other parents using facilities locally to you and find out their experiences.
  4. Read government reports to see if the standards meet your requirements or check out forums to see what local parents think.
  5. Make a shortlist of places and try to view as many of them as possible. 
  6. Consider taking your child on these visits too if you can.
  7. Take note of how you and your child are greeted at the nursery. 
  8. Observe your child’s reactions to the staff, setting, and other children.
  9. Consider if the other children seem settled and happy.
  10. Consider if the staff are attentive to the children and to each other.
  11. Ask what activities your child might be involved in during the day.
  12. Ask if the nursery keeps records of the children. Could they show you an example?
  13. Ask what provisions are made for naps or quiet time.
  14. Ask about meals and nutrition and how they deal with picky eaters or specific dietary requirements.
  15. Ask about toileting and potty-training policies.
  16. Ask if diapers and formula feed are included, if you’re formula feeding.
  17. Ask about settling-in periods.
  18. Consider that you and your child might need time to adjust to childcare arrangements.
  19. Ask about staff ratios. Are they in line with government guidelines? What happens when people are off sick or on leave?
  20. Ask what safeguards are in place for other people picking up my child.
  21. Ask about the childcare costs and what you may be entitled to under government schemes. Also, check if they accept childcare vouchers if you have these in your country.
  22. Find out what the nursery’s daily hours are and if these apply all year round or just to term times.
  23. Check the availability of places. Some nursery places need to be booked up to a year ahead.
  24. If you’re returning to work, read our tips for going back to work after a small child.


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