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Choosing the Right Nursery for Your Child

AHN Guide on choosing a nursery.
How to choose the right nursery for you child.

Starting at a nursery can be a daunting process for both you and your little one. That’s why we aim to make the process as clear and simple as possible.

This guide will provide you with detailed information on what to expect when applying for a nursery place in any setting and outlines the things you should be aware of once you have visited a nursery.

Below, you will also find useful family services contacts who can help and objectively guide you through the process of applying for a nursery place.


You should start to find out about Early Education places near where you live as soon as possible, as each setting and provider will have their own application process. It can be difficult to navigate the different prices, processes and offers, however, rest assured you are not alone.

However, it is important to note, that most providers will have a waiting list; therefore, the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to get a place in your preferred setting.

So where do you begin?

A child holding a camera
Looking for a nursery can be daunting.

1. Do your research and ask questions! Before you enrol in a setting, make sure you feel as informed as possible about the choices in your area. Research nursery ratings, online reviews, availability and curriculum.  Be sure that the nursery you choose is able to adequaltely cater to your family’s needs. A good nursery should be happy to answer all the questions you might have to make sure you feel comfortable in making a choice that is right for you and your little one. 

Toy houses
Find the right home away from home!

2. Be Informed about Fees & Funding

All nurseries offer different fee structures and funding based on the size of their setting and the offerings they provide. However, it is important to understand what that means in each setting.  Places are usually provided on a part-time basis, and most nurseries require an additional supplement for provisions not covered by government funding. At AHN, we charge a flat consumable charge per day as opposed to an hourly ”top-up fee”. For more information please continue to read this Next Steps document or contact the local authority below. 

a child with a flower
Find a nurturing environment for your little one.

3. Understand the Admissions Process

Admissions and enrolment processes are specific to each setting; therefore it is imperative you understand what will be required of you and your family as well as what charges you can expect from the nursery of your choice. This could include registration fees, deposits, settling-in sessions and consumables. In addition, some nurseries have a limit on the number of funded places they offer as well as a restriction on the days the funded places can be taken up. 

a child playing with blocks
Take your time when making a decision

4. Make a Decision Finally, make sure that you are happy with the information provided by the setting, as well as how you felt when you visited, how the nursery team engaged with your family and whether they provided you with enough details to help you make an informed decision.  Once you are happy with a setting, it is time to secure your place. This could be in the form of a registration fee, deposit and/or your first month’s fees. 


The services below can provide you with independent advice when making a decision, in particular, if you are looking for a nursery place in Merton or Wandsworth.

If you would like to find out more information about applying for a place at Alexander House Nursery, visit


Alexander House Nursery



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