What to look for when choosing a nursery

As most of you know, K started nursery at the start of February and is absolutely loving it. I thought I would be one of those mummy’s who would drop their child off for their first day and be a snivelling, snotting mess. I did leave her with a slightly heavy heart but I was more proud of her than anything and I was happy that she was starting her new adventure as I think it is something she has been craving for a while now. It made it easier to leave her knowing that she was in the right nursery for her and that she was in safe hands. We had viewed a few nurseries in the run up to K starting the one she is at now and I think it’s important to make sure you chose the most perfect one you can find to fit your child’s needs. I have outlined below what helped us choose the right nursery for K and some tips on what to look out for when making your decision.

 

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  • Make sure you visit the nursery before you send your child to it and try to view it when it’s busy. When my husband and I were looking for a nursery we both went together but found that because it was towards the end of the day (the only time my hubby could get away from work) it was really quiet, there wasn’t many staff or children around so we couldn’t get a good idea of how the nursery worked. Therefore if we found a nursery we liked the look of and it matched our criteria that we needed then I would rearrange another viewing on my own during the day when it was busier so I could get a feel of how well the nursery ran. You can visit a nursery as many times as you like until you feel satisfied that it is the right one for you.

 

  • If it is a private nursery then how much does it cost to send your child there and does this fit in with your budget? Lets face it, childcare is EXPENSIVE and different nurseries charge different prices. Also ask what is included in the price of your childcare as some provide snacks, lunch and juice plus nappies and formula if needed and some nurseries ask you to bring nappies/formula and pay extra for the child’s lunch. Make sure you are aware of what’s included before hand.

 

  • How many children does the nursery take and what ratio is it teacher to child. Most nurseries we visited worked on 4 children per adult which I think is more than enough. Make sure that the nursery isn’t over capacitating so your child has the right amount of attention and care that is needed.

 

  • Does the nursery have an Ofsted report? How well are they performing? Not all nurseries provide an Ofsted report but if they do, it’s worth looking at it as it gives you a good idea on how well the nursery is performing.

 

  • Most nurseries provide the child with a “settling in period” where they will let your child come to the nursery for a few hours (usually 3-4) for free to see if they like it. Usually a parent or guardian can stay with them to make them comfortable. If the nursery offers you a settling in period then take it. Just because you like the nursery doesn’t mean your child will. This helps them decide whether the nursery is right for them or not. If it isn’t, do not feel obligated to send your child there just because they have given you free childcare.

 

  • Ensure that the nursery has a good security system. Lots of people come and go in nurseries to collect and drop off children so make sure that the nursery has a good code of practice when letting people within the building. Some nurseries require an access code or finger print system before you can enter and others provide a password for your child. Whatever it is, make sure it is safe, secure and you feel comfortable with it.

 

  • Do they have a routine? Not always on peoples “must have” list but it was definitely on mine. I have a daughter who thrives on routine and gets worked up when she does something out of the norm so having a nursery with a structure and routine was vital for us. I quite like the idea of snack time = 9am, reading – 10am, play time – 11am, lunch – 12pm etc. It means that K knew exactly what was going to happen and felt secure rather than it being a mixed bag of stuff to do where she would come home upset and out of sorts. Like I say, it’s not on everyone’s list but worth baring in mind if you have a child like mine.

 

  • Do they have a good, secure out side space? Every child needs fresh air and a chance to explore the outdoors. Is the outside space large enough? Does it have outdoor equipment? Is it safe and secure? It’s also worth asking the nursery how often they go outside and how long for. If your child is there for 8 hours, and they only go outside once in the morning for 10-15mins it may not be enough for your child.

All these points are very individual based and every parent requires different needs for their child but I hope it has given you some ideas on what to look out for when choosing a nursery as it is such an important decision. It is your childs first adventure and I do believe that nurseries shape our children so it is vital to choose the right one. It is such an intimidating procedure. It has to be somewhere that you feel comfortable leaving your child, knowing that they are going to get the correct attention and care for them. It will also probably be the first experience of someone other than yourself or close relatives looking after your precious cargo. Take the time out to make sure you make the right decision.

I hope this helped!

I’d love to hear what was on your nursery “wish list”

XOXOXO

 

First days and statement necklaces #littleloves

Fri-yay! It literally feels like two minutes ago since I wrote last fridays #littlelove post

It has been a week of emotional highs for the FLAM household as, after weeks of searching and prepping K for nursery, her first day finally came. She will only be going once a week to start with for 4 hours but I feel it will do us both a world of good. She had such a great time and made plenty of new friends. She was buzzing for the rest of the day when she came home and can’t wait to go again soon.

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Things I am loving this week…

Read

I usually read at night because it’s the only real time I get to sit and concentrate but I’ve been so tired this week due to a sleep-shy baby I haven’t been interested. That said, I have a couple of magazine subscriptions (gurgle and green parent) and one of them came this week so I made time to sit with a brew and read that! I’m hoping to start a new book next week providing I get some much needed sleep!

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Heard

This week I heard about the sad passing of Sir Terry Wogan. I really liked him as a TV presenter. He used to make me laugh with his quick witted comedy. It is really sad how many people in the public eye have died from cancer this year already. It makes me realise that you shouldn’t take life for granted and to live every day as it comes!

Watched

This week I have been catching up on Bodyshockers: Nips, tucks and tattoos with Katie Piper. I have never hid the fact that I like trash/easy viewing TV at night and this is perfect. Especially when I’m busy and I have one eye on the TV and one eye on the computer/phone.  It is a programme that I generally watch on my own though as my husband is very squeamish and will not watch anything involving blood or surgical procedures.

Made

This week we have been doing some seasonal valentines day crafts and baking. (Watch out next week for some posts on that) K and I made these heart shaped cookies for daddy. I won’t go in to too much detail as it will spoil a blog post I have in mind for next week. It was so much fun and K really enjoyed making (and eating) them.

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Wore

This week I have been loving the blazer and statement necklace look. It’s a look that instantly pulls you together and  makes you feel like you’ve made an effort when you really haven’t. Its easy going and chic. I have been loving these statement necklaces which I picked up in M&S for pennies. I couldn’t believe my luck. I think they are fab! I just need to practice the art of taking selfies!!

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And lastly…

It’s definitely a Fri-yay for me this week as I am leaving my babies with their daddy this weekend and I am heading to Liverpool with my girlfriends for the night for a belated birthday celebration. I literally can not wait. I love my babies and my husband but I haven’t been away for the night with my friends since before I got pregnant with K which is over 3 years ago. I will say, it is much overdue. I am looking forward to good food, nice cocktails and great company. Being able to let my hair down and be off mummy duty for the night is just what the doctor ordered!

That’s it from me this week. What have you been up to? I’d love to hear from you.

XOXOXO

Linking up with: #littleloves

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Nursery, Michael and Massages #littleloves

Gosh, I can’t believe it’s Friday here already! Although, does anyone else think that January needs to do one now!? Longest. Month. Ever. I get really fed up of miserable, wet weather and dark nights. I really struggle to keep K entertained when the weather is gloomy as it means your stuck in doors a lot more instead of being out at the park. It’s been quite a busy week in the FLAM household this week and most of our evenings have been spent viewing nurseries for K to go to. She is completely ready for nursery now and to branch out on her own a little bit and I feel confident now to let her spread her wings a bit. Had you asked me to send her to nursery 6 months ago, I would have said no, no, no. I couldn’t let go of my baby!! But my baby needs to flourish now and as of next Wednesday she will be attending nursery for 4 hours once a week. I 100% guarantee I will be blubbing in the car once I’ve dropped her off.

 

HAPPY-FRIDAY-BD

 

Things I am loving this week…

Read

I’ve finally managed to sit and finish “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. It has taken me around 3 months to finish it. Partly because I have been too busy so finding time to just sit and read a book was difficult but partly because I wasn’t a massive fan of it either! I didn’t think the film adaptation of it was great and I found the book to be exactly the same. It just didn’t grab me! I’m sure a lot of you will be shocked by this revelation as I hear nothing but good things about it, but, I don’t know. It just wasn’t for me! I have also been trying to read as many blogs as I possibly can but narrowing those down to my favourites is proving difficult at the minute. There are some amazing blogs out there! Perhaps next week I can individually name my favourites, who knows!?

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Heard

In terms of hearing this week it has to be (dare I admit it) the new Little Mix album! My daughter loves them despite being a fickle two year old so she wanted to buy their album at Christmas with some money she had been given. This is all I have heard this week as it has been on a few of our car journeys. Next week I will try to be a little bit cooler! *ahem*

Watched

I am loving the new Fearne and Gok – off the rails programme. It’s a bit like the UK version of Fashion Police. They critique celebrities outfits and show you what  is hot (or not) in fashion that week. It is right up my street. Combining fashion and light viewing is something I crave when I’m tired at the end of the day.

Made

This week I made – Random meals! Is that cheating?…hmmm I don’t think so. Our freezer in the garage is due to be defrosted so we are trying to eat EVERYTHING in there to make it easier to do. Therefore there has been times this week when my family has had literally the most random things that have been left over in our freezer! Anyone for fish fingers, waffles and Yorkshire puddings!?

Wore

I bought a beautiful Michael Kors handbag with some Christmas and Birthday money I received this year and quite frankly, given that I’m on mum duty pretty much all the time, it’s not really had an airing yet. Therefore I made an effort one day this week to take it out with me. It probably wasn’t the most practical idea I’ve ever had given that I ended up looking like a bag lady with 3 bags in tow but it felt nice all the same. I think I will leave Michael for the special outings in future though and just shove my belongings in D’s change bag like I usually do.

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And lastly…

I’ve been spending a bit of time these last few weeks working on my 2016 goals and one of those goals was to make a little bit more of “me time”. My lovely husband bought me a voucher for Christmas to have an hour long aromatherapy massage at a local salon so I utilised said voucher and went for the massage this week. It was absolutely heavenly and just what my post-baby, tired mummy body needed.  It is really important to make time for yourself even if it is only an hour, it makes all the difference to your mind, body and soul.

XOXOXO

Linking up with: #littleloves