Choosing the right nursery school can be incredibly overwhelming and daunting when you’ve been the primary carer for your child all this time.

Taking a huge leap of faith and trusting someone else to care for your child can be scary.

Each child has different needs, so it’s essential to consider a few key factors throughout the process to ensure you’re making the right decision for your child and family.

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide with all things to consider when choosing a nursery school.

1. How old is your child?

Think about when you need childcare and filter those schools based on your requirements.

Some nurseries will accept children from birth, whilst others may only accept children aged 3 and above, as they are designed to be educational and prepare them for Reception.

wycliffe nursery class in gloucestershire

2. How long does your child need to be in childcare for?

You might be looking for wraparound childcare if you have regular work commitments. This type of care happens outside school hours and includes breakfast clubs and after-school care. Some options for this start as early as 8am and finish at 6pm.

You may also need to consider how many days you need childcare for. Some nurseries offer full-time care while others offer part-time childcare. Review whether the nursery you’re looking at has a minimum number of days too.

  • How often will I require childcare each week?
  • What sort of care and learning do I want for my child?
  • Is there a type of environment that will best suit my child?
  • Are there any facilities or activities that I definitely do or do not want?
  • What age do I want to put my child into Nursery?
  • How far is the Nursery from my home or place of work?
  • Does the Nursery feed into a Reception class?
  • Does the Nursery offer wraparound care? If you are a working parent, you may want to consider how the Nursery fits into your working life and whether your child can be picked up earlier or later in the day.
  • Is there a uniform that I have to buy for my child?

3. Research different nurseries

There are many benefits of a nursery, and each one will offer something different. Therefore, it’s important to research the options available to identify which one will work best for you.

Spaces at the ‘best’ schools will usually fill up relatively quickly, so allow plenty of time to research to enable you to find the right fit for your family life.

When researching different nurseries, we recommend checking the following:

  • The results from the recent Ofsted reports
  • Check reviews and references from other parents and families
  • What are the costs involved?
  • The location
  • What facilities are available?

4. Visit the nurseries you’ve shortlisted

Try to visit as many nurseries as possible, as what works for a friend or relative may not work for your child or family.

Visiting nurseries will give you a natural feel for what the school is like, as well as the staff, facilities, and classes. It is also worth taking other family members, i.e., grandparents, if they’re likely to be involved in the day-to-day pick-ups and drop-offs.

If you need more guidance on what questions you should consider ahead of your visit, we have a starting nursery checklist to help you.

5. Important things to consider after your nursery visits

Before you decide about the nurseries you have visited, it’s essential to take the time to think about your experience of the nursery.

There are a few important questions every parent should consider after they have visited the nurseries to guide you through this big decision.

  • Was there a good range of activities and resources available for the children?
  • How interacting and caring were the staff with the children?
  • Can you see your child settling in well?
  • Will you receive daily progress reports on how your child is doing and what they get up to?
  • What was their staff retention like?
  • How are they able to support your child with any specific needed?

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to. After all, you want to make sure you are making the right decision!

Looking for a nursery school? Consider Wycliffe

Based in a beautiful countryside campus in Gloucestershire, Wycliffe’s Nursery Class is where their education starts as we support them at the beginning of their learning journey.

We’re proud to offer classes based on building academic foundations through play-led learning. We have exceptional facilities, including a Forest School, French lessons and swimming, to help your child to thrive and become a brilliant future global citizen.

By attending Wycliffe, your child will have a smoother transition from nursery to reception as they will already be familiar with the Wycliffe community.

nursery children playing outside

Contact our school office today

At Wycliffe, we offer wraparound care to all our families so that you can have the confidence that your child is being looked after in a fun and supportive environment whilst you juggle your work commitments.

Contact us for further information about our nursery class or how to apply.

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Limited Spaces Available!

We have a select few remaining spaces for September 2024 in specific years from Reception to Year 12.

Enquire today to secure your spot and embark on your exciting educational journey at Wycliffe.

Learn more here