When you realize that it is time to put your little one in a preschool you will start noticing all the nurseries that you pass by whenever you are out and about. You will notice that there is a nursery every 2 blocks in Maadi. With so many options literarily around the block, it can get quite confusing and a complicated task for busy parents to choose the right nursery for their children. You will find below a step-by-step process, keeping in mind the important concerns you may have, before selecting the right nursery for your little explorer.
You can start by checking out the website or Facebook pages of the nurseries you have in mind. Their website will provide you with details of the location/s, timings, contact, owner/manager information, gallery and their programs. While some nurseries in Maadi have both a website and Facebook page you will find some only with a Facebook page. It is also important to go through their Facebook page as you may find more insight regarding the nursery’s philosophy and how they operate based on parent’s reviews and comments. Do keep in mind what may work for others may not work for you and vice-versa.
Your offline research would include talking to other moms you may know who have already been through this and get their opinions and suggestions. But make your final decision based on your values and concerns because even though you may be best friends your style of bringing up your child maybe different than your friends or family’s.
Start making appointments
You will soon realize or would have learnt from your friends/family that the earlier you get started the better your chances are at getting a space for your child at the right age in your choice of nursery. But before this you have to get the appointments! Some nurseries in Maadi are very highly recommended by parents and have been operating for more than 25 years. These special nurseries are high in demand and they fill up the spots easily and also have kids listed on waiting lists. Sometimes you may have to wait for a month just to make an appointment for the first site inspection. But not all nurseries like this.
Once you’ve got a date to visit the nursery start making your list of questions and concerns you may have for the owner/manager. Make proper arrangements for the appointment. If you plan on taking your child with you, make sure the time of appointment suits your child’s current schedule because it can get quite stressful if you’re trying to check every detail about the nursery while having to worry about your sleepy or hungry child. Although it would be better to take your child along and monitor how he/she responds to the environment. Expect a brochure with the nursery’s policy and procedure, schedule and meal plan when you arrive for your appointment. Normally, you will have a discussion/interview with the owner/manager of the nursery and this is when you can ask all your initial questions and raise your concerns. The owner/manager will then give you a tour of their premises. Be very observant and make mental on notes as much as possible about the environment and behavior of the teachers and children in the nursery.
Narrow down your selection
After you have spend days visiting various nurseries, it’s time to narrow down further and finally make a decision. One of the main factors would be the obvious ones such as hygiene – how does the nursery maintain and educate on hygiene of the premises, their teachers, children, and in food preparation. Most parents may not have considered this but whether a nursery allows “settling-in period” or not would be tiebreaker. A proper settling procedure will make sure that the child is not forced and he/she is happy and willing to go to nursery. Of courser, the first few days would be difficult but the nurseries that allow parents to stay for the first week or two weeks with gradually increase in time is more assuring for both the parents and child. In this phase you will also get to know the staff better and how the nursery operates in reality. Consider the adult-to-child ratio for the class in which your child will be enrolled. A good adult-to-child ratio in the age group 18 months – 2.5 years would be 1:4.
Once you have decided on the one, make sure that you call the owner/manager right away to confirm and pay the registration fees. You will need to provide the nursery with copies of your child’s birth certificate, your identifications, vaccination cards, and child’s photo. Get confirmation from the nursery about the start date, your child’s class schedule and meal plan, list of items they will need you to bring and keep in the nursery for you child, meet with your child’s teacher and class assistants to get to know them better.