When do you know your Child is ready for Nursery

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We have another guest post today, this time from Eddie over at yorkienotjustfordads. Eddie is dad and stepdad to 5 wonderful little girls, and is a long time supporter of our blog! We’ve discussed with Eddie previously about our reservations with sending Grayson to school, which leads us nicely on to Eddies guest post – when do you know your child is ready for nursery?


This can be a difficult decision for some parents to make. When is the right time and moment to let your child grow up and start attending nursery.

We get so used to our daily routines, just us the stay at home parent or work from home parent. Having our little one around us. Having fun getting crafty or playing together at home. Routines with our children are a great parenting foundation, not just for our kids but for us as parents too.

When do you know your child is ready for nursery?

Signs that your child is ready for Nursery

From being through this situation with my own children and I think within the next year we will be going down the route with our youngest daughter. With Pig, Mouse and Titch we sent them to a local childminder. A great setting with good Ofsted ratings. They all attended from a young age as my partner Sarah is a working Mum.

With my two Step Daughters Mouse and Titch she had placed them with the childminder from around 6 months of age. This was so that she could return to work from maternity leave and also that her then husband (my step daughters Dad) was also working.

When it came to Pig, during Sarah’s pregnancy she suffered quite badly with SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) which meant she left work for maternity leave earlier than planned and had a fair amount of time away from work. She was eager to return to work and Pig was placed with the same childminder as Mouse and Titch just as she turned 4 months old.

After a change in Circumstances and me becoming the Stay at Home Dad,, we had recently moved house and the childminder we used had closed. Pig was 3 years old and we felt she was ready to attend a new nursery.

Here I will share with you a few signs to look out for to help you make the decision of if your child is ready to attend nursery.

  • Basic Self Care
    Does your child show signs of basic self care, such as knowing when they need the toilet, able to wash their hands independently. Feeding themselves.
  • Separation
    Is your child comfortable being separated from you for a period of time. Could be a few hours per day.
  • Participate in Group activities
    Can your child participate in group activities with other adults and young children.
  • Working alone
    If you gave your child a task or activity to do are they confident in doing so themselves.
  • Schedules
    Nursery and Pre Schools are similar and based to ready children for School Is your child able to stick with schedules. Such as set times for certain play and activities, lunchtimes and snack times.

Each Child is different

One thing to remember when thinking of placing your child into a nursery setting is that every child is different – what may have worked for Janets Child 3 doors down the street may not work for your child.

Children all develop and mature at their own pace, you don’t want to push them into a nursery setting when they are not ready and them not enjoy a good and happy experience. Unless your circumstances mean that you need to place your child into a nursery setting then it is a different matter. But visiting and speaking with managers and staff from possible selected nursery settings. They can help with the transition into their setting and work with your child to encourage friendships and routines to ensure they have a positive and happy time.

What to look for in a Nursery

You think your child is ready for the next step in their life and attending nursery or pre school. But… what do you look for in a Nursery to make sure your child is going to be attending a good setting.

Word of mouth is always a good sign. Speaking with friends or neighbours and listening to their recommendations and experiences with a nursery.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, you can check a settings Ofsted Rating. Ofsted are an organisation that inspect services providing education and skills for learners of pre school and school ages. Ofsted are also a good go to to check local schools when your child reaches the time to begin their school life.

A good Nursery or Pre School setting should offer various activities suitable for your child’s age. They will be designed to encourage your child’s social, creative, communication and listening skills. They should also help with your child’s physical and emotional development. Various activities for your child to learn through play which is engaging.

I hope your decision making for starting nursery and finding a reputable nursery or pre school setting has been made easier with this post.


A huge thanks to Eddie for taking he time to write this post about knowing if your child is ready for nursery – you can follow Eddie via his blog, Instagram or Facebook page – he really is one of lifes nice guys. You can also check out our series of guest posts – or catch Eddie, and James, and lots of other parents / carers / grandparents, over at Dadvengers.

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