Choosing The Right Nursery
Welcome to our brand new column which will look at nursery education and child development written by Kate Plews – an experienced Health Visitor and MD of Sunbeams Nurseries. Kate will use her wealth of knowledge and experience working with families and children to bring advice to our readers on many different topics. This month, she gives some tips on how to choose the right nursery for your child.

If you know you are going to need nursery provision, start looking as early as possible. Some nurseries have unborn babies registering for a place, the baby unit is usually the smallest room so places are limited.
FIRST THINGS FIRST – Look at the website and Facebook. Is it informative? Does it show knowledge? Do the children in the pictures look happy? Does it look inviting? Look at comments from parents and parent testimonials. Is there a link to an Ofsted report? Does the nursery have an open door policy? This gives parents the confidence that the nursery is happy for you to see the childcare practice at any time.
FIRST IMPRESSION – Go with your gut feeling!
Are the staff welcoming, polite, friendly and professional? Do the staff acknowledge you and your child? Was the door answered promptly? Is it friendly, clean and safe? Are children engaged in play? Are the children happy, settled and well cared for? Are all areas secure?
FOOD – Look at the quality of the menus -good nurseries should provide a nutritious and well-balanced diet that children love to eat. Check the Food Standard Agency rating.
EDUCATION – Look at the quality of education provided -the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Nurseries are graded by Ofsted on the quality of education, care and keeping children safe. They are also graded on their partnership with parents.
STAFFING – there are minimum ratios of staff to children; under 2’s 1:3, 2-3’s 1:4 & 3-8years 1:8. An excellent nursery will invest in staff training with good staff retention.
• Did you and your child enjoy your visit?

Was the nursery visit relaxed, friendly and informative?

Did the staff answer all the questions posed in a clear and concise manner?

Did the nursery make you feel welcome, confident and relaxed?
5 TOP TIPS for choosing a nursery:
1) Is the nursery registered with Ofsted?
Does the nursery have an open door policy allowing you to look around at a time convenient for you?
Does the nursery give you a sense of security? Is the environment inviting, warm and friendly?
Does the nursery meet yours and your child’s needs?
Go with your gut – did you like what you saw? How did the nursery make you feel?
At Sunbeams, we work extremely hard to meet and exceed all of the points above, and that is why we have been awarded Outstanding by Ofsted for several years. Sunbeams is an award winning nursery – winning the ‘Best Indoor Learning Environment’ in the UK and of course, I highly recommend our nurseries but the choice is yours! Established in 2001, Sunbeams has 3 nurseries, and the 4th opening at Thorpe Park in October with easy access off junction 46 of the M1. The location is excellent for people working on Thorpe Park but also for commuters into Leeds and surrounding areas, open days are scheduled for the 28th and 29th September
For more details on our nurseries Sunbeams, visit or our Facebook page.
Address and Telephone numbers for all our 4 nurseries are as follows :
Sunbeams (Halton)
17 Field End Gardens
LS15 0QD
Tel: 0113 260 6957
Sunbeams (Leeds)
Austhorpe Lane
Austhorpe Leeds
LS15 8TP
Tel: 0113 264 0779
Sunbeams (Harrogate)
Ainsty Road
Tel: 01423 526204
Sunbeams (Thorpe Park) –
Opens October 2016
Barrowby Carr Cottage,
Barrowby Carr Drive,
Leeds, LS15 8FB.
Tel 07738 948475 or 07738 948477.


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