Nursery – Tips for Finding Your Perfect Match

Any child starting nursery or school for the first time is daunting for any parent. Making the decision to put Poppy into nursery was hard but we knew it was necessary. Some people may think being nearly two is too young but early intervention is definitely best in our opinion. Poppy struggles socially with other children and adults even those she’s familiar with. Putting her in a safe environment with trained staff seemed the best option. So here are a few things we’ve learnt along the way.

If you haven’t read anything about Poppy so far pop over to the About My Girls section.

Choosing the Right Nursery

A child sitting in the park on a toadstool. Being outside is her favourite thing at nursery.

This goes without saying obviously. There were other things we needed to consider from a nursery.

  1. The Manager – I feel like this is really important but could possibly be overlooked. Yes, the nursery workers are extremely important but the person that overlooks and instructs them is as important. After all those workers will be following the manager’s instruction and the manager makes over-riding decisions within the nursery. It’s important to be able to trust their judgement and beliefs.
  2. Go with your gut – If you have a weird feeling about something but can’t quite put your finger on it’s not the nursery for you. You will know in your gut if it’s the right place.
  3. Don’t get sucked in by modernness – This is something that I did. The most modern nursery doesn’t always mean the best. The nursery chosen for Poppy has quite a traditional setup which I prefer. Every nursery will have paint, play-doh and building blocks. As long as it is clean and well maintained you’re all good.
  4. Talk – If your child has additional needs that doesn’t mean that your child has to go to a nursery or preschool that caters for additional needs only. Be open and honest about the needs of your child and the possible difficulties they may come across, that will help you feel more comfortable when they start nursery.
  5. Be honest – If you aren’t honest about your child you’re setting them up to fail. I had a meeting with the nursery manager and spent an hour talking about Poppy’s medical history, possible future diagnosis’ and my concerns about nursery. I asked the simple question “Can you handle her?” And that didn’t mean that her staff are incapable but I knew Poppy would require some extra attention and if they couldn’t honestly tell me she’d get that, then that wasn’t the place for her to be.
  6. No question is stupid – If a nursery won’t take the time to meet with you and discuss your child in more depth then that speaks volumes. If there is part of your child’s routine that you are concerned about when they’re there, ask. Double-check all those tiny little things that may seem small but make a big difference to your child’s experience.

Poppy has been going to nursery for 4 weeks now, she has such a good time while she’s there but she really struggles with drop off and pick up. The drop off I was completely expecting but not the pick-up. She becomes so overwhelmed with anxiety she uncontrollably shakes. But thankfully she settles down quite fast.

Sending Poppy to nursery had nothing to do with me going back to work but purely to see if a nursery environment would help her socially and with her talking. We’re seeing slight changes and improvements already which is so rewarding.

If you have any questions please ask below, I’d really love to help anyone out the best I can!

Danielle Swan x

Further tips linked below!