Visit the setting, does it feel inviting, could you imagine your child there? Do the children seem engaged and happy, listen to how staff are interacting with the children, are they respectful and there for the children and not talking amongst themselves? Ask about staff turnover and the qualifications of staff, they should be displayed for parents to see. What are the ratios of staff to children? For babies the requirement is 1–3, for 2 year olds it’s 1–4 and for 3–4 year olds it’s 1–8. Rules change if teachers have a higher level of qualification or if the nursery is attached to a school. Ask to see the bathrooms, are they clean and easily accessed by the child to use independently? Ask about the outdoors, how often they go out, do they offer FREE FLOW for the child to go in and out as they would like to. Ask about the Key Worker system and how records are kept and shared with parents.
When choosing a Montessori Nursery School for your child, consider looking for an accredited school. The Montessori St Nicholas charity introduced an accreditation scheme to help ensure schools using the Montessori name in the UK offer the same high quality of education and care to children. This Montessori Evaluation Accreditation Board Scheme is highly regarded both in the UK and overseas for its role in leading the Montessori community towards best practice.
A full list of accredited MEAB schools can be found on montessori.org.uk