WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A HIGH QUALITY NURSERY

Choosing a high quality Nursery will beis one of the most important decisions a family makes. Research shows that high quality childcare and early education can boost children’s learning and social skills; and as they grow older require less special education, progress further in school, have fewer interactions with the justice system and have higher earnings as adults.  

Several research studies have found that high quality childcare programs have certain characteristics in common. These characteristics can help parents make better child care choices for their children because they indicate a much greater likelihood of high quality care.

Safe and Healthy Environment

  • Is hand washing taking place and hygienic diapering practices being followed?

  • Are cleaning supplies and medicines kept out of reach from children?

  • Are the activities and equipment safe to use and age appropriate?

  • Is there a fire and disaster evacuation plan in place?

Play Based Curriculum

  • Do the children seem to be actively involved in play?

  • Is there an outdoor area for children to run, slide, climb, ride trikes, and play ball?

  • Are there activity areas set up in the classroom or in the nursery such as a book area, blocks for construction, a home area for dramatic play, a messy area for painting and water play?

  • Are child observations, assessments and developmental reports conducted and shared with parents?

Supervision of Children

  • Are children supervised within sight and sound at all times, even when sleeping?

  • Are discipline or behavioral issues handled appropriately?

  • Are the child to teacher ratios low in each class?

Teacher Training and Turnover

  • Do the teachers have experience and qualifications to work with children?

  •  Do the teachers receive ongoing training in early childhood education?

  • Do the teachers/managers tend to stay with the nursery or is there constant turnover?

  • Are the teachers observed and evaluated regularly?

Program Structure and Administration

  • Does the Nursery have written policies and procedures and are available to parents?

  • Is the Nursery licensed and in good standing with government standards (Ministry of Social Affairs, Municipality, Civil Defense, and Health Authorities)?

  • Does the director/manager have experience and a qualification in Early Childhood Education?

  • Do the parents have an opportunity to be involved in the Nursery?

  • Do the parents have an opportunity to give feedback to the Nursery and see action?

When you visit a Nursery determine how many quality indicators the program has. If you can answer yes to most or all of the questions asked above, your child will have a greater chance of having a successful experience.

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