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Whether you are a Nursery owner, director, leader, or are looking to make your mark in the industry, it can be challenging to know what areas of the business demand your full attention and need to be made a priority.
After all, educational trends come and go, parental expectations rise and fall, and you have to adjust to these shifts, while also remaining true to your core.
To help you run the best nursery possible, read on for the five essential components that will help your Nursery thrive.
1. A Clear Understanding of Your Values
To run a thriving Nursery, you need to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the role that your nursery plays in the lives of the children and families that come under your care to be educated.
For this reason, it is crucial that you have a deeply rooted belief that youngsters deserve the best start in life, and that the child care center is operating with this as the driving mission.
Undoubtedly, the emotional, social, and physical growth of young minds and bodies has an impact on their growth and development, which, in turn, affects the grown-ups they will become.
Therefore, just like one of the best nurseries in Dubai, your center needs to focus on being a place where children can start to build crucial life skills that will be utilized through adulthood.
By having this clear understanding of your important role and fully believing in your mission, you will be in a much better position to navigate the (inevitable) storms that come when running your own business, while also remaining true to your values.
2. A Team of Caring Leaders
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team of caring leaders to run a great center. There is no way that one person can undertake this important task on their own. This is why it is essential that you find a team of caring leaders dedicated to providing the highest standards of care and education day-in and day-out.
Keep in mind, too, that the student-to-teacher ratio should be around three children to one staff member (depending on the age group).
Teachers are the cornerstone of your child care center as their responsibilities span far and wide and certainly involve more than just overseeing the safety of the children (although that is, of course, a big part).
Your staff needs to be willing to help a child manage their developing emotions, to encourage them to engage with other classmates, and to instill a sense of curiosity.
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It is these additional aspects that make the difference between a good educator and an excellent one – and you want to be employing those who are of the highest caliber.
By employing the best people for the roles, you are far more likely to have satisfied parents who will happily share with others their recommendations of your Nursery.
In fact, a good reputation is one of the vital signs of an excellent daycare facility, as many parents prefer to go by word of mouth and choose a nursery that comes highly recommended by other parents.
3. A Comprehensive Education
Every nursery has a different strategy and outlook when it comes to the style and approach they take regarding the education that is offered and the curriculum that is followed.
Generally, however, it is suggested that you provide a comprehensive education that seeks to develop individual children’s needs by guaranteeing the best quality care and learning at all times.
The education provided should include personal, social and emotional development (PSED), communication and language (CL), physical development (PD), literacy (L), mathematics (M), knowledge and understanding of the world (UOW), and expressive arts and design (EAD).
Additionally, you may want to follow the lead of a British curriculum nursery in Dubai and offer a core curriculum that is based on the UK National Curriculum, The Early Years Foundation Stage, which comprises the development of children from birth to 60 months.
Not ones to stop there, this particular nursery also includes Arabic and French in their curriculum to ensure that they are preparing children for the global world.
4. A Focus on Creative Development
That being said, while the curriculum is of utmost importance, the best daycare centers also recognize that there needs to be a significant amount of focus on creative development.
Play-based approaches are the best way for young children to learn as imaginative play fosters children’s social, cognitive, and physical development.
When it comes to creative development, look for ways to increase engagement, motivation, and thinking. Engagement arises through playing and exploring and should encourage students to be willing to have a go and try new things.
Motivation is a result of active learning which requires the children to be involved, to concentrate, and to keep trying while also accomplishing what they set out to do.
Last, but not least, thinking critically involves the kids having their own ideas, making connections between concepts, and determining ways of doing things.
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Furthermore, you and your staff should be encouraging students to move freely in the nursery and provide them with opportunities to make their own decisions as often as possible (while maintaining an enjoyable, safe and stimulating environment).
Staff should always be looking for innovative ways to utilize play, as well as regularly speak with the children, as this is essential for the advancement of their communication and language skills.
5. An Appropriate Number of Facilities
The number of facilities and resources that a daycare center has (and needs) depends on a whole array of factors. Therefore, it is vital to note that you, as the child care center owner, director, or leader, know what the appropriate number of facilities for your school is and how best to distribute these resources.
An excellent nursery has planned days (not just babysitting) and the facilities that you need to assist you in executing these plans and creating a productive and fun structure for each day, week, month, and school year.
For example, the rooms need to be well-equipped with a broad range of resources that support all areas of your curriculum.
This may include a comprehensive collection of books and learning materials, role play areas for children to use their imagination, outdoor play areas, and indoor play gyms.
You may have a music room with a full-time music teacher, language rooms, and space for extra-curricular activities (such as ballet, gymnastics, and football).
No matter what kind of facilities you have, a top-quality daycare center knows that it is essential to welcome parents as visitors at different times of the day.
This is key for ensuring that parents understand what it is really like and how their children are learning. So, make sure that you are open and prepared to answer their questions and demonstrate how their kids are learning.
One of the things that parents pay attention to is how clean and organized the space is and whether or not staff knows where everything is housed.
They also want to see whether there are enough supplies and children have everything they need — keep these things in mind when designing the space and stocking the resource cupboards.
What do you think are the essential components of a thriving child care center? Any others that aren’t on this list? Let us know any tips you have for others in the industry or any experiences that you think deserve to be shared!
Alan Williamson is the Chief Education Officer at Kings’ Education, a premium school brand in Dubai which leads a fantastic group of premium UK curriculum schools, including Child’s Play Nursery. As well as being passionate about teaching and learning, Alan has been actively involved in school leadership related to Special Educational Needs.
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