I have done my fair share of research and read several articles by lovely mums who have been through the process of selecting a child care facility fit for their little ones. It is such a vital choice that we as parents make for our child. The decision to A. Put our little one in a day school/nursery and B. Which one to choose. So I thought I could possibly help moms out there struggling with this idea, and share with you what I looked for when choosing a nursery for my daughter Ridha Zaynab.
What to look for when choosing a Nursery/Preschool for your child:
- A clean, well-kept, and safe facility. This is a no-brainer. And you will know once you walk in and take a tour of the school, if it is a clean one or not. We as parents can spot any kind of grimy-ness and/or smells a mile away. I remember on some tours, I would even ask the director about their cleaning schedule and methods.
- The school follows a curriculum. I chose to put my daughter in a nursery for the sole purpose of encouraging growth and learning in her. I wanted her to learn everything from reading/writing/social skills/potty/math/art and just anything that sparks her curiosity. I wasnt looking for a place where instructors just “watch” my child. So I was extremely pleased that the nursery she attends follows the concept of emergent learning where they choose topics based on the child’s interests in play.
- Meals are provided, but home food is allowed also. I love that our school has all meals/snacks included in the tuition, and they also accept food sent from home. They cater to vegetarian diets and follow whatever food restrictions we have. I felt it’s a plus point that the school provides meals, because sometimes children will eat more willingly outside than at home.
- A friendly and well-trained staff. I always say that it doesn’t matter how great/clean/expensive the school is, if the teachers aren’t nice, then it’s not the one. Ridha spends hours with her teacher, and lucky for us, Ridha loves her. It is so important that all of the staff are good at what they do, warm and caring towards your child and truly make you feel like you’re part of a family or team. Our school involves us parents constantly– and I love that.
- A surveillance system that we have access to. This is definitely something new and most of the nurseries in the area that we live in are compliant with. Gone are the days when you’d receive a note of the day’s activities. Now we receive live feeds on our app for the school, and we have access to the cameras set up in the classrooms. So we can literally see our daughter whenever we want to, at our fingertips. This is just amazing for us! Especially that first month.
- Our child’s comfort. This was the most, most important factor for me when choosing the right school for my daughter. I needed my daughter to feel at home there. Of course it’s tough to make that call based on one or two tours, but you really have to go with your gut instinct. That’s what I did.
How we ended up choosing…
We took several tours, probably around 10-12 of them. I took Ridha with me to each school tour, and I watched her closely. I tried to see the school through her eyes. I swear it was like a movie. We went to several schools and she did not open up in any of them, not a single one. After about 10 tours, we tried this last one, and magically, she played with the toys and even said hello to one of the staff. I just knew deep inside, that this was the right choice. Because she made the choice.
After that tour, I took her to that same school a few more times. They offered a “free day” and I sat nearby, with my youngest asleep in her car seat, and I observed as Ridha played with the toys and had lunch there and seemed to enjoy herself. I took my husband there to discuss the school in detail and grilled the director with whatever questions we had. And I loved her attitude. She really wanted to hear our concerns and make the transition as easy as possible for us.
I think we struck gold with the school in so many ways. It’s 3 minutes away. My daughter is truly happy there and we can see it. I won’t say that it was an easy process, but the choice was easy for me. And I think you will know that it’s the right school, if you just let yourself feel what’s right for you and your child.
I hope this helped some of you in picking out the right nursery! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what worked for you 🙂