What nursery school is appropriate? What factors should be taken into account when choosing nursery school? The choice of the nursery school must be a thoughtful choice. This is what Pilar Martín, director of Logos Nursery School advises : «Although many parents decide on the center because of the proximity to their home, to their grandparents or to their work, the truth is that it is important to consider many other factors to know how to choose nursery school with criteria ».
Make sure that the nursery school has been approved by the Ministry of Education of the Autonomous Community in which you live. You can check all the requirements of nursery schools in the Organic Law of Education (LOE).
Educational project and activities
«It is essential to verify that the family agrees with the educational project of the school. The center will have a specific methodology for carrying out the activities, the discovery and manipulation of the materials and, consequently, the integral development of our children, ”says the director of the center. It is important to know the daily routines of children and the processes of flexibility and individual adaptation to the peculiarities of each, incorporating naturally the changes of growth. It is also necessary to know the daily activities and how they are carried out (foreign language, music or swimming).
They must be qualified professionals: graduates in Vocational Training II, in the branch of kindergarten for students from 0 to 3 years and teachers specialized in preschool or early childhood education for students from 3 to 6 years. It is important to know the number of students in the classroom and if the teachers have support and which one. The legislation states that the proportion of students per educator is 8 students in the 0 to 1 year class, 13 students in the 1 to 2 year class and 20 students in the 2 to 3 year class, and a maximum of 25 students in the class of 3 to 6 years.
«They must have direct access from the outside and not present excessive decoration in order to encourage students’ motivation. The spaces must be wide, with natural light and safe. Of course, order and cleanliness must be present in each and every one of the facilities. It is important that there are spaces for psychomotor, multisensory, swimming … (depending on the activities they carry out) and of course a large and safe outdoor playground, ”adds Pilar Martín, director of Logos Nursery School.
It is an important factor, but not decisive. It is necessary to emphasize the continuity and the possibilities of connection between school-home in the future.
Siesta, food and diaper
It is essential to know if the facilities are adapted to a good rest. Therefore, it is necessary to ask how much, how and where they take a nap. “ As for meals, it is very important that the school has its own kitchen , that the menus are prepared with the advice and help of a nutritionist to adapt them to each of the children’s ages and ask what adaptability they have before possible allergies, intolerances and diets, both long term and a specific day. The diaper is another key factor. When the stage of leaving the diaper arrives, one must ask how they manage the removal of the diaper. If they respect the times of each child or how the center is organized, for example, ”explains the director.
«Key factor for children under three who continue to breastfeed. You have to ask if breast milk management is common, what process they follow, when it is offered to the child or if there is any space for mothers to go to breastfeed, ”says Martin.
Adapting to changes takes time. Therefore, it is necessary to find out about schedules, how to accompany them in the process, what facilities the center offers, etc.
Reference and participation
According to the director of the center, « Valuing the opinion of other parents who have taken their children to that nursery school is very useful. And it is also paying attention to the offer of activities in which the family participates. In addition, it is important to really assess whether there is direct communication with educators ».
Economic cost and schedule
The schedules of nursery schools must be flexible. That you can choose between part-time or full-time, including meals and rest. It is also necessary to know the rates of the nursery school. Tuition fees, overtime, school supplies, medical insurance, extracurricular activities, etc. The autonomous communities offer specific aid for nursery schools.
«A good idea is to visit all the nursery schools that are considered as an option to know the facilities, but also attending the time of entry or exit can help you decide. There are nursery schools in which the collection and dismissal of children are done at the door, and there are others, in which parents can directly enter the child’s classroom to pick him up. These are details that can help you decide which nursery school is best for your child, ”concludes the principal. It is also very important to assess continuity in the center, avoiding a new selection and adaptation in two courses.