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Moms’ Guide on How to Choose a Good Nursery

“Hey honey, let’s carry your bag and go to the nursery. A loud cry is heard, and your little baby keeps begging you not to go, saying he wants to stay at home

At this moment, you get a harsh feeling of guilt that you should stay with your kid all day and make him enjoy a happy time in his warm home, playing with mom, going around, sleeping, eating and doing whatever he wants rather than leaving him at the nursery.

Every morning you have those thoughts telling you that your baby is not ready yet to go to nursery and it would be harsh of you to let him involve in this tough experience at that age.

So, how can you help your child and yourself to cope with this new experience? And, if you are a career woman, how can you go to work with peaceful mind, with your child having to go through this?

Important things to know

Kathy Sylva, professor of educational psychology at Oxford University, said that in nurseries of an average to high standard, children who start attending under the age of two go on to form better relationships at primary school.

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Sylva bases her claims on data from the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education project, the largest study in Europe on the impact of early education and care on development.

Childcare, no doubt, marks a new stage in the circle of family life and it’s quite normal for a child to take some time before getting used to this system. It is normal for you, as parent, to worry about how your child copes in daycare without you, and whether all his needs are taken care of. Your child may take some time to adjust and it’s only natural if he misses you a bit at first.

It’s hard to leave your child at childcare if he cries every time. All children take different lengths of time to adjust. It may take a few weeks or even months before your child starts running off happily to play when you drop him off at childcare.

It won’t just be your baby who may be feeling a little lost. When you are back at work, you could bring your favorite photo of your child to put on your desk. Get yourself prepared for a possible burst of emotion; get some tissues around, in case you shed tears for missing your honey…

If your child makes a fuss when you see him at the end of the day, try to be patient and don’t blame yourself. Chances are he’s just missed you and wants some hugs and attention.

How to choose a good nursery?

The best approach is to consider a range of childcare options to find one that suits the needs of your child as well as your situation.

Then list your favorite options, the ones that suit your working hours and budget, and look at them in more detail. Try to get answers to the following questions:

What is the adult to child ratio? If you have a young baby, there should be at least one caregiver for every three babies. If you have a toddler, you may want her to go to a day nursery where there are other children to play with.

What are the caregivers like? Definitely, you will need to be sure that the caregivers are qualified and experienced enough, and share your views on childcare. You’ll also want to know you can trust them.

Does the childcare have enough activities, books and toys that are right for your child’s age? There should be plenty activities to do that engages your child and stimulates his development.

What is the level of the facilities? For a day nursery, you’ll want to see that there are clean toilets, and space indoors and outdoors for the children to play. If meals are provided, they should be nutritious and suitable for your child’s age.

Where is the childcare located?  If it is somewhere close to home or workplace, it would be most convenient.  An easy journey to childcare means you and your child can both start your days feeling relaxed. And in the unlikely event of an emergency, you can be there quickly.

It’s worth talking to other parents, too. They may have first-hand experience about the childcare in your area.


First published: March 2015


About Hasnaa Hasan
Hasnaa Hasan is the managing editor of Aboutislam's Family & Society. She holds a B.A. in English literature from the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University and is currently a post graduate student at the American University in Cairo. Hasnaa is interested in family and social issues, especially those related to youth, marriage and children.You can reach her at: [email protected]