Staff the key to a good nursery, say parents

children running in the school playground


The attitude of staff at a nursery is overwhelmingly the most important issue for parents selecting childcare, according to a poll.

The poll of around 200 mums, sponsored by Bright Horizons, found that three quarters of mums said the attitude of staff was their most important consideration when selecting a nursery. Seventeen per cent rated educational programmes at the nursery as their top priority. Just eight per cent said diet was their number one consideration.

One mum said her children’s health was the most important thing to her, but for others staff attitude came first. One woman said: “The attitude of the staff is key, as I need to feel comfortable and secure with the staff in order for me to leave my child there.”

Another commented: “If the staff are good and caring they will definitely take care of the other two.”

Amanda Gummer, a child psychologist, says: “Many parents, especially first timers feel that the nursery staff are the ‘experts’ which makes them feel insecure and wary. Parents need to feel that they can talk to the staff about their issues and that they’ll not be judged by the staff, so it’s not surprising that staff attitude is the most important factor for the majority of parents. Many parents are still interested in the educational aspects of nurseries but there’s an increasing recognition of the importance of learning through play and appreciation of social and emotional development.”

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