Children stand outside with nursery staff admiring the views

5 Key Things to Look For in Nurseries and Pre-Schools

3 mins
Sep 01, 2023

As a parent, you are always trying to make the right choices for your children. One of the hardest choices to make, and one that could shape their educational journey, is deciding which nurseries or pre-schools to send them to. 

You want them to have the best experience possible, from a social and educational standpoint. If you’re looking to send your child to day nursery but you’re not sure where to start, here are some things to look out for when making your decision!

1. Positive Staff Interactions

When visiting a nursery or pre-school for the first time, you should pay attention to how the staff interact with you and your child and the other children who are there at the time. 

Nursery staff members should always be friendly, patient, and helpful to you and the children in their care, and they should adopt a teaching style that reflects those ideals. The children should have their needs carefully considered in any kind of structured learning environment, with clear support and encouragement. 

There should be a positive atmosphere and energy within the nursery, with laughter and happiness key to it all. 

Every child is unique and benefits from certain activities or teaching strategies more than others, which is why every Happy Days nursery school holds ‘settling in sessions’ for both parents and children.

This ensures that you get to meet the team at your local Happy Days nursery, understand how they work, and find out how your child will learn and play with us.

It also helps us understand your child’s needs, likes, and dislikes, while giving us the opportunity to work through several crucial security measures to ensure your child’s safety and your piece of mind.  

2. A Strong and Relevant Curriculum

Nurseries and pre-schools are a time for your child to learn the essentials and get ahead before attending school for the very first time. 

You want to ensure that they not only enjoy their time at nursery and pre-school, but they are also developing the earliest stages of key skills that will help them learn, communicate, and make friends right from their first day. 

We have a broad and balanced curriculum aptly named “Where Children Shine”, which focuses on the four fundamental skills we help to develop:

  • Strong and Confident Communicator
  • Inquisitive and Ambitious Thinker
  • Healthy and Independent Explorer
  • Resilient and Motivated Individual

No matter which Happy Days nursery your child attends, they will embark upon a specially crafted programme designed to help prepare them for school in the most effective way possible. 

3. Relevant Accreditations and Experience

Sometimes the deciding factor when choosing between nurseries is the amount of experience a particular nursery has. In that case, a trusted group or long-standing nursery may be your eventual choice. 

Happy Days nurseries has existed for more than 30 years, opening its first branch in Newquay, Cornwall, in 1991, and since expanding to more than 20 locations across England – and we’re not done there!

In 2022, Happy Days won a Top 20 nurseries award from Day Nurseries, reflecting our commitment and drive to be the best in the business.  

4. Useful and Functional Facilities

The facilities, furniture, and apparatus within a nursery should be both safe and useable by the children who play there. They should get fulfilment out of using the facilities that are available and be able to have a fun, varied experience throughout the day.

All the furniture at Happy Days nurseries are low-level to foster and encourage independence, and have been carefully researched and tested by our team to ensure that they are fit for purpose.

We also decorate all our nurseries to be neutral, to ensure that your child is fully focused on playing, learning, and their friends rather than being distracted by bright colours. 

5. Clean and Tidy Play and Learning Spaces

While it is natural for children to be messy players, a tidy space is a safe space, and encourages children to take responsibility for the things they are using. 

A nursery will never have every toy safely tucked away while the children are playing, but we ensure our nurseries have plenty of storage on site and that they are spotless every single morning. 

We also guarantee that every child will have access to the toys and learning materials they want, without hiding anything away. 

Get in touch with us today

Thinking of enrolling your child with Happy Days or thinking of visiting one of our nurseries for yourself? Reach out to our friendly team today to find out more today!

You can call us on 0800 783 3431 or email and one of our staff will be in touch as soon as possible.