It is difficult to tell a good nursery school from a great one, though the difference in quality affects your child’s experience and education and a bad nursery school is an outright hazard for a young child. Here are four signs of a great nursery school and warning signs of what to avoid.
Children Happily Seek Out Teachers
Not all children will want to leave their parents when dropped off at nursery school. And children will often seek out any adult for support or assistance when injured or upset. A sign of a great nursery school is when children are dropped off, many of whom eagerly and happily seek out teachers to talk to and play with. A similar indication is when children are not eager to leave at the end of the day. A nursery school that is afraid to let you visit during drop off or pickup times or lacks an open-door policy for potential customers or parents checking in on their children is a major red flag.
All the Paperwork Is in Order
A good nursery school has its registration certificate displayed prominently. The best schools have plaques up for the awards they’ve been given, though this isn’t essential and you have to take care to research awards since a facility could make up awards or be granted one by its parent company regardless of the quality of care. A good nursery school is willing and able to provide a copy of their inspection report quickly and has a clean record. The best schools have nothing serious on the record and maybe one or two minor areas to improve. A major red flag is schools that try to delay or charge you for the cost of producing such a report.
They Have Recommendations of Other Parents
Online reviews are suspect given how easy it is to hire people through crowdsourcing sites to post such reviews. A series of five-star reviews with no detail is a major red flag. The recommendations you should seek are those of other parents. Visit the school at pick up time and ask the other parents what they think of the school. Are there parents who have younger children here after their older children have moved on to elementary school? That means they’ve loved the school long enough to pay tuition for years. Ask parents in playgroups what they think of the nursery school. If there are a lot of “we used to attend but…” answers, you know you don’t want to attend. For example, if you’re considering using independent nurserys Bedfordshire, ask parents in parenting groups in person or online in that area what they think of various schools.
Good Communication with Parents
The best nursery schools have good communications with parents. They send sheets home with parents letting them know what children did, ate, or enjoyed. They tell parents about field trips, activities, fee changes, and illnesses. Schools should have relative consistency with the caregivers since high turnover among child care workers is a sign of problems with the school. The school should let parents know when a key teacher is leaving or a new one is coming in so parents know who is taking care of their child.
Great nursery schools have teachers providing a warm, safe environment that the children want to be in.