It's finally time for you to put your precious little child into a nursery.
You do all your research and pick one you think is right for you and your child. You may be even more nervous than your child, as you may be worried about a hundred things! Although you may not have anything to worry about, look out for these few simple signs to tell you if your child’s nursery is not the right choice. And always, trust your instincts if you feel something is not right.
The environment in a nursery or preschool or any educational institute should be charged by an invisible energy that can be felt by everyone. A stimulating environment is one of the most important things a nursery should have. This includes colorful walls, notice boards decorated perfectly for children, teachers bubbling with energy, educational philosophies which are followed and learning materials that are up-to-date and suitable for the children. If you see that these things are lacking in your child’s nursery, children may not develop as they should here.
2. Caregivers and Teachers
The most important quality of a teacher and caregiver in a nursery is empathy and compassion. When parents aren't around to provide love, care and attention, caregivers and teachers at the nursery are the ones responsible for these. Notice how your child is behaving when he comes back from nursery. Ask him questions about his teachers and you will get an idea. If children are left unattended, ignored and bullied, this may not be the best fit for your child. The environment in a nursery should be one of positive guidance, not of punishment.
3. Number Of Children
If you see your child’s nursery becoming greedy and taking in too many children in proportion to the space and number of teachers, you can be sure these children will not be receiving adequate care and attention. It's a big sign to move.
There have been countless horror stories in the news about the dangerous situations in nurseries and preschools. One thing you need to pay extra close attention to is health and safety procedures. Are they being strictly followed? When you go and drop or pick your child up, pay close attention to how children are handled and how safe the environment is at the nursery. Look for little details like how they change your child’s diapers and if they wash their hands before and after, do they label special food for children, do the caregivers smell of smoke, are they safety bars on windows? These things will give you an idea about the safety practices followed.
Ask your child what he did during his day at the nursery and you will get a good idea of the type of activities the curriculum implements. Your child should be involved in mental, physical, social and emotional growth during his time here. If the teachers are qualified and trained (which they should be), they will follow a routine or curriculum that constantly challenges the child through games, reading, storytelling, social interaction and many other activities. If your child comes home to tell you that he only watched TV, played, ate and napped, something is not right and you should probably start looking for another nursery where more activities are done for your child’s development in all areas.
Having an open channel to speak to your child's caretakers and educators is one of the most important aspect of nursery and preschool. If your child’s nursery does not practice open communication with parents, or if the principal and teachers are never available to chat about your child’s development, or if you always have difficulty in scheduling an appointment with them, they are obviously not committed to you and your child. Look for a place that practices open communication.
Many parents pay visits to the nursery and preschools before sending their children there in order to gauge the environment of the place. However, it's not uncommon for many parents to say that their visits and what their children go through on daily basis are different. It doesn't hurt to drop by for a surprise visit from time to time just to make sure that your child is taken care of the way they're supposed to.
It's not easy thing to leave your children under someone else's care. But with close attention paid to the details of the center you choose, you can help to make sure your children is well taken care of.