A Father’s View of Nursery – Stephen Brady
Making the best choice for my family.
I am a father of six, yes six, loud, crazy, but wonderful children.
All of my children attended nursery, and my youngest still does.
My wife and I want to provide for our children, we want to be successful; we want to be role models. With six children, we have to work very hard!
Financially, it would have been viable for one of us to stay at home to care for our children until they were ready for school. But we both have ambition and want to further our careers. I think we got the balance right, and our children have benefitted as a result.
Choosing a Nursery
I was actively involved in choosing a suitable nursery for all of them. Although they’re only young when they’re at nursery, and they may not even remember being there; it’s such an important decision and has a huge impact on their lives.
The two main factors for me were reputation and location.
Price was always a secondary factor. Most nurseries in our local area had similar prices, a slightly higher price wouldn’t put me off picking a nursery that came highly recommended.
As a prospective parent, I knew very little about the nurseries I went to view. However lovely they may be, the staff are strangers, and it’s very difficult to trust that anyone you don’t know can take good care of your little ones.
I work in customer service, and I know the sort of responses people will give if asked about a service that they aren’t completely happy with. So when other parents were willing to recommend a nursery, I took their comments to heart and let them influence my decision.
I always chose nurseries that were close to home. Not just for the convenience of dropping off and picking up, but also because it allows us to meet other families in the area. With a large family our children are very sociable, so having a network of friends that live locally is so important to us (and helps to keep us sane!)
First Day Nerves
Dropping your child off at nursery for the first time is horrible! Even when you’ve been through it before with older children, it’s still really tough. Every child is different, they need different things and they react differently. You can never be too sure how they will cope.
I know how hard it is to have multiple children to look after, to make sure they’re all safe and they’ve all eaten and none of them are trying to murder their siblings!
Trusting someone else to do this with my own children is a really big ask. How can I be sure that my child will get the attention they need if there are so many other children to compete with? But then they come home with a smile and evidence of the day’s ‘messy play’ activity all over their new clothes, and I know I’ve made a good choice. When they are happy and looking forward to going back again in the morning I am reassured that they are safe and well looked after.
What They Learnt
Going to nursery had a huge impact on all of my children. They thrived, not just academically, but socially too. They seem to have an edge over children that didn’t go to nursery and are able to easily forge friendships in reception class.
What I’ve Learnt
Having access to quality nurseries has given me peace of mind whilst I advance my career. I have no guilt about leaving my children while they were young. They weren’t just being ‘baby sat’ while we worked, they were progressing in a safe and encouraging environment.
Going to nursery gave them a great start in life that in turn prepared them for how school was going to be, without them being overwhelmed at the start.
I know nursery was the best choice for my family.