How to choose a good nursery?

Choosing a day nursery is one of the most important decisions a parent will have to make. The sorts of things you may like to discuss are: special dietary requirements, weaning, potty training, emergency procedures and discipline, and below is a list of important points to consider when looking at a nursery. 

Seal of Approval
Always ensure that the nursery you choose is registered with Ofsted. The registration certificate should be displayed together with a current certificate of insurance.

Ask to see a copy of the recent Ofsted inspection report which highlights the quality of nursery education and care and the appropriateness of equipment and facilities.

Happy, Safe and Clean

  • Is the nursery bright, warm, clean and welcoming?
  • Is the equipment good quality, clean, safe and appropriate?
  • Is there a safe and clean outside play area?
  • What sort of meals are provided and at what time?
  • Is the food fresh?
  • Can the nursery provide for special diets?
  • Are the menus changed on a regular basis?
  • Do the children in the nursery look happy and well occupied?
  • Are the children using a variety of equipment and are staff involved with their play?
  • Are the staff happy, relaxed, well presented, calm and confident?
  • Ask about the staff to children ratios. They should be:
    1:3 0-2 years
    1:4 2-3 years
    1:8 3-5 years
  • High standards: 50% of staff must hold relevant childcare qualifications such as Level 2 or equivalent. One member of staff should have a First Aid Certificate and all supervisors are required to have a Level 3 or equivalent. At Butterflies 80% of our staff hold Level 3 qualifications and 90% hold a First Aid qualification
  • Do parents and staff work in partnership, recording your child’s activities and achievements?
  • Will your child be attached to a keyworker?
  • Who will be your main contact and who will keep you informed?
  • What will the cost be and what does that include? Do you have to pay for any extras e.g. meals, nappies, trips?
  • Did you enjoy your visit?
  • Were staff confident to answer any questions you had?
  • Was it friendly, relaxed and informative?
  • If your child went with you, did they enjoy the visit?