If you’re new to this whole parenting thing, sooner than later, your child will start going to school. When it comes to choosing the school, be it a play school or a nursery school, there are a number of things you need to put into consideration. You definitely want to ensure that your child is in a safe environment and they’re getting to gain some knowledge or in other words, you’re getting value for your money. Before you decide on one particular nursery, have these things in mind.

1. Location.

With the traffic in Nairobi, the last thing you want is your child who is below ten years old waking up in the wee hours of the morning to go to school, so as to avoid traffic. Look for a school that’s in the vicinity and one that’s got flexible hours especially on the pick up and drop off hours.

School (Courtesy)

2. Teachers' qualifications and method of education.

Unlike long ago, there are many methods of teaching nowadays, the most common being the Montessori curriculum. Make sure that you’re okay with the teaching method and you’re convinced it’s what’s best for your child. It’s important to find out if the teacher in charge is qualified to teach young kids so as to know whether or not they will be able to handle young learners.

3. Fee structure.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to what you can afford. You may want the best school for your child, but if you cannot afford it, you will have to look for other options like schools whose target demographic is the middle class. So, do ensure to strike a balance and find a school that’s good enough and affordable.

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4. Facilities.

Young learners have a very short attention span. They need to be engaged in a tone of activities such as songs, games etc. Look for a nursery that has some of these facilities like a playground, swings, interactive classrooms, indoor games etc. It’s also an added advantage if the nursery school is linked to a primary school as this will be easier to apply for the class one admission and will be a seamless experience for the child.

Greensprings school playground (Courtesy)

5. Get feedback from other parents.

You may know a parent taking a child to the nursery you’re looking to enroll your child in or you could go during pick up or drop off hours and get feedback from parents. It’s important to get raw first-hand information from someone other than the teachers so that you’re able to make your decision well, based on the feedback you get too.

6. Study material.

What kind of material is used in class? Do they have art material, puzzles etc.? You can also ask the teachers to show you some of the work the students have done in the past so as to get a clear picture of what your child will be doing.

Pencil crayons: Colored pencils.
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7. Meal plan and sanitation.

Find out what the kids eat at school. You want to ensure that your child is eating a healthy meal while at school. Sanitation is also quite important as you want to ensure that your child doesn’t fall sick every now and then due to hygiene problems. Also, is there someone to feed the kids who cannot feed themselves, assist with the bathroom and what not for younger kids? That’s also important information to get from the school.

School lunch (Courtesy)