Choosing a nursery – Tip #5 Staff

#5 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 5.  Staff

Do staff smile and say, ‘Hello’ when you come into the room? Don’t expect them to stop what they are doing as they are paid to work with the children, so you wouldn’t really want them to abandon their post. Is there a general feeling of calm or are staff shouting above the din to make themselves heard?

Do staff sit around at the table with children but are not really chatting to them or joining in their play. Do staff sit together rather than with the children?

Do staff look clean, tidy, awake, presentable, energetic, lively and fun? Or do they look like they have just fallen out of bed and are dealing with a huge hangover, (I’ve seen all of this so I am serious)?

Does the nursery have a mixed staff team in which there are males as well as females and both young and mature staff?

Is the nursery team mainly made up of very young staff who do not have children of their own? This is important on several levels because different ages bring different experiences to the nursery. More mature staff who have had their own children may be more patient and more loving, providing lots of cuddles and hugs. Younger staff may be more ‘fun’, caring less about the mess and be much more willing to engage children in big, messy, creative play experiences.

Look out for our Choosing a Nursery Tip Number 6 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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