Choosing a nursery – Tip #3 Walls, Doors and Windows

#3 of 10 top tips on what to look for when choosing a nursery for your child.

If this is the first time you have ever thought about using a nursery it is absolutely crucial that you know what to look for and why these things are important.  This series of tips are excerpts from the book The Definitive Guide to Choosing a Nursery, by our principal and founder, Jane Smalley.

Top tip number 3.  Walls, Doors and Windows

You are looking for walls that are clean, painted and well-maintained. Peeling paint, or plaster, old, over-painted wood-chip wallpaper are not good signs.

Many nurseries paint the walls in the most luminous and garish colour as if this is what they think children like. I have not seen any research that suggests this is the case. However, it is not a black mark against them if this is how the nursery is decorated. You should see nice, well-cared for displays of children’s work and lots of photographs of children at play.

The doors should open and close easily and may have double handles to prevent children leaving the building, which may not be necessary if it is impossible to get past the reception area. If there is a door which leads immediately to the outdoor play area in each room this is great. Is it open? Today it is good practice to have, where possible, a door that leads to the outdoor area which is kept open so that children may freely choose to play out-of-doors.

The windows should be clean and well-maintained so that they can be opened for ventilation. Most nurseries do not have windows that small children can look out of.

It seems, even when buildings are purposely designed for small children, we forget the most important fact. They are small so they need windows that reach to the ground, or windows that are at least placed lower down in the wall! Small children need to be able to see out of the window to see the weather, people passing-by, the traffic or nature in the landscape.

Are the window sills used to display books or toys, are they clean and tidy or is there a motley collection of the lost or broken toys and work products of the staff?    Whether you prefer the windows to be painted with pictures or if they have blinds really is just a matter of choice. Ask yourself, ‘Could I spend the next 12, 18 or 24 months, five days a week in a room like this? How would it make me feel?

Look out for our Choosing a Nursery Tip Number 4 coming soon!

We really hope you have found Jane’s top tips for choosing a nursery useful. Want to know more? The book is available to purchase here.

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