What to look for in a nursery school
Searching for the perfect nursery for your young son or daughter is a task not to be taken lightly. With care being provided for such young children, the hours spent at nursery will form a big part of their formative years and you will undoubtedly want this time to be spent well and in a safe and happy environment. We have highlighted some important aspects of nurseries that you should make sure you are comfortable with when choosing where to place your child.
In these very early years the foundations can be laid for a positive relationship with education. During their formative years children are learning new skills everyday. It would be a good idea to ask how a prospective nursery structures the curriculum depending on the child’s age and what skills they focus on and how they measure progress.
At Polam nursery, we welcome children from the age of 12 months up until they are ready to start school. Nursery children of all ages enjoy PE in our school Sports Hall and music with our school Music Teacher. From the age of 3 swimming becomes part of their weekly timetable in our own heated, indoor pool. Children begin to learn French when they join our pre-school class (Oaks). We also have visiting teachers join us weekly to teach Forest School, Disco Duck (1-2 years) and Tennis (3-4 years).
Each nursery must be inspected to ensure the level of care is up to standards. You are likely to be able to find the results of the nurseries results on their website, which will give you a good indication of their performance.
Our last SIS inspection at Polam judged the Nursery to be ‘Outstanding’ in all areas. This is something we are very proud of and we strive to maintain these high standards.
With your young child spending time away from you, it is normal to want to know how they are progressing and how they are spending their time. It’s good to get an idea of how the nursery communicates with parents, to feel that you are fully informed regarding your child’s care.
At Polam we operate a Key Worker system, which ensures that each child receives personal attention at all times. For our younger children we utilise a Home/School Diary to keep parents informed of nappy changes, sleeps, food intake etc. You are also invited to attend Parents Evenings with your child’s Key Worker twice a year. We pride ourselves on a strong parent community within our nursery, and you are invited to join us for our Early Years Sing-along once a month and to activity mornings once a term.
Hours of care
Nursery is often an option for parents who return to work, therefore a key point of interest should be what hours you are able to use the nursery services. Each nursery is different and has its own operating hours.
Our nursery sessions are extremely flexible and can be tailored to your child’s and family’s individual needs. Standard nursery hours are 8.30am-4.00pm. We can provide care for 48 weeks of the year, with wraparound care from 7.30am until 6pm (term-time) and 8.00am-6.00pm (during school holidays). We require all children to attend for a minimum of 4 sessions and we encourage children to start moving towards full time care by their final term in the nursery, to help prepare them for their transition to the school.
Some private nurseries don’t accept the Government funding options, so particularly if you are reviewing the prospect of a private nursery, you will need to check what the details are for payment.
At Polam, Government Tax-free Child Care Account is accepted, and from the age of three children are eligible for the universal Early Years Funding scheme which provides funding for up to 15 hours of child care.
The best way to make a decision about the right nursery is to visit and get to know a bit more about the environment and the staff that would be looking after your child.
We operate open mornings and invite you to see for yourself the wonderful environment we work hard to create and maintain for the child who enrol with us. If you are interested in paying us a visit then you can find out more information about doing so here.