Choosing a Nursery

 When choosing a nursery, it is important to find a setting that will meet the needs of both you and your child - this guide aims to help you do just that.

We strongly recommend that you start by visiting a shortlist of nurseries to take a look at what is on offer before you make your final decision. You will get a good idea of which nursery is right for you from your visit, and it is important that both you and your child feel comfortable with the final choice.

Where should I start?

We strongly recommend that you start by visiting a shortlist of nurseries to take a look at what is on offer before you make your final decision.

You will get a good idea of which nursery is right for you from your visit, and it is important that both you and your child feel comfortable with the final choice. What time do I need to leave my child? Think about this carefully. If you have to be at work very early, you will need to think about a nursery that opens early. Most nurseries are open between 8am and 6pm.

How will I get there?

If you’re planning on using public transport, you will need a nursery close to a bus or train route that is convenient to both work and home.

How much does the nursery cost?

It needs to be within your budget but remember that you might be able to reclaim some of your costs through Tax Free Childcare or Childcare Tax Credit.

How soon should I think about securing a place?

Nursery places are in short supply (especially for babies) and there are often waiting lists.

You need to decide when you will return to work and select nurseries that will have places available. Can you manage fewer sessions than you really want for a short while?

What sort of approach do I think is appropriate?

Nurseries come in all shapes and sizes and are likely to have individual approaches.

Make sure you are looking at ones that suit your style. Try to keep an open mind and visit nurseries even if you are not certain that they will meet your needs. You may be pleasantly surprised as you visit different nurseries with their contrasting styles.

Even if there is a waiting list, remember that people do drop out, so a place for your child may come up sooner than you think. You could also try splitting your working week between two different facilities, but you need to consider whether or not your child will cope with such an arrangement.

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