A day nursery can care for your child all day, either full time or part time, and provides both care and education for your child in suitable surroundings. The downside is it can be a very expensive.
What's a day nursery?
A day nursery has to be registered with the Government regulatory bodies and is inspected every year. Day nurseries vary in size, but most take between 25 and 40 children. Children are usually grouped together according to age.
There are different types of day nursery, including:
- Private - independent businesses providing full daycare.
- Community - provide full daycare and are run on a not-for-profit basis for local families, so fees are generally lower than private nurseries.
- A day nursery will be registered and inspected regularly.
- It's set up for the safety, care and education of young children.
- It will probably fit in well with your work or study hours.
- It's usually open all year (although some close for short periods).
- Your child will be cared for by experienced carers.
- Your child will have an appropriate and structured learning programme.
- Your child will be among children of her own age.
- Your child may be cared for by several carers, although most nurseries operate a 'key worker' system, whereby each child is assigned to a particular member of staff.
- Your child won't be in her own home.
- The hours may not be as flexible as you need, for instance if you do night shifts.
- Waiting lists can be long, especially for popular nurseries.
- You and your child may have to travel some distance.
- The staff won't be able to care for your child if she's ill.
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