Nursery class are part of primary or independent schools and cater for 3-4 year olds. On their own they may not be a suitable option for working parents but you can combine it with other forms of childcare. These classes are inspected regularly.
These classes are usually open from 9 am to 3:30 pm. They don't offer any full time places. If you are working and need full time care, you will need to combine this facility with other forms of childcare like childminder, nanny etc.
Although you may need to visit quite a few places before you make up your mind, the following questions may guide you into taking an informed decision:
- Are you and your child made welcome when you visit the place for the first time?
- Do the children there look content and happy and not sad-faced or bored?
- Do the timings suit your working schedule?
- What provision is there to settle your child in comfortably?
- Is there a system of key worker for every child?
- How are you informed of your child's daily activities?
- Are there enough and appropriate toys and books?
- Are there any noticeable cultural or sex discriminations?
- What provisions are there for sleeping?
- Is there an outdoor play area? If yes, is it safe?
- What food is provided? Does it seem nutritious?
- Is the staff fully qualified and trained?
- What emergency procedures are there for first aid etc.?
You can call up your local council to send you a list of nursery classes in your area.