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How to choose a nursery - and change

Life is full of change, some of which is exciting and some of which is daunting. We believe changing nursery school can fall firmly into the exciting category, especially with some careful preparation and planning. 

Whatever your reasons are for wanting to transfer your child from one nursery to another, whether it is due to inconvenient travel arrangements, a desire for better communication with nursery staff or for a better quality of education overall, if you follow our advice, the transition should be a smooth one. 

There are many things to consider when changing nursery school, but firstly, what would you like your new nursery to have? A large, outside play area and playground for children to explore? Nutritious and tasty meals? Education that allows your child to develop proficiency in two or more languages? Whatever your likes are, it is useful to compare them to your current nursery in order to decide where is right for you. 

1. Go and Have a Look

It is important to get a good feel of the nursery to determine if it is a suitable environment for your child. A viewing is the best way to do so. Firstly, it will help you establish whether the commute to and from the nursery is convenient and if the location of the nursery is appropriate for you to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

In addition, it provides you with an opportunity to meet the staff. It is important that you feel you can communicate with the nursery staff on any concerns you may have, so meeting them in person first will help you to establish if the nursery is compatible with what you and your child need. 

2. How Much Would You Like to Spend

You might not want to make your decision entirely based on the fees, but you still should look for discounts and ensure you are getting the best deal possible! Each nursery will provide their own benefits and discounts which you should be sure to enquire about, in addition to government funding. For children aged two to four, it is possible to receive between 15 and 30 hours of free childcare in England. 

Discover how to save on nursery fees in  London.  

3. Join Your Child

Many nurseries will allow for a transition period, where you can join your child to help them build confidence in their new surroundings. Over a couple of days, your child will start to adapt and make new friends, and will gradually gravitate to you less and less.

Some children are very confident and content with exploring the nursery from the very start, but with other children this transition can take longer and patience is often needed to help build their trust.

4. Provide Notes

To assist communication further, it is oftentimes useful to provide the nursery staff with notes on your child. Do they have any dietary requirements? Are they attending a nursery that uses a different language to their mother tongue? Do they have any unique challenges that it would be beneficial for nursery staff to know? 

Write them down and send it to the nursery manager, so that your child can receive the necessary assistance and provisions from the get go.

5. Talk to Your Child

Before your child joins a new nursery, talk to them about how exciting it is and what a great opportunity it will be, to get them used to the idea. Then, once your child has started at the new nursery, monitor how they feel during the transition period. Are they excited to go to nursery in the morning? Are they mentioning the names of their new teachers and friends? 

Open communication can help your child to express themselves, which will help them to develop confidence and to become adaptable.

Discover how to encourage your child to become confident

6. Pack a Comfort Item

Finally, allow your child to take either a toy or a blanket to the nursery, which brings them comfort. Changing nursery can oftentimes be stressful for young children but having an item that they are familiar with will help reassure and comfort them. Soft toys are particularly useful for helping soothe children. However, allowing them to bring their favourite truck or storybook or even wear their favourite outfit will all help!

Overall, we hope that these tips will help you to adjust to life at a new nursery. Changing nursery school will be challenging at times, but the hard work will pay off! 

At Hatching Dragons, the first English-Mandarin nurseries in London, we offer a happy and warm environment for children from 6 months to 5 years old. If you like the idea of your child learning 2 languages in nursery, book a viewing in one of our schools and we’ll be happy to show you around!