When Should You Register Your Child at Nursery?

When Should You Register Your Child at Nursery?

Deciding when to send your child to nursery isn’t easy for some parents, particularly if you’ve not accessed a nursery before.

With so many nurseries and other childcare options available, all with different early education approaches, it can seem a little overwhelming.

The best piece of advice we can offer to anyone thinking about childcare is to start your search early. Give yourself the time that befits such an important decision.

Although most childcare providers have a fluid admissions policy, whereby you don’t have to wait until a new term date before your child can attend, there is no such thing as ‘too soon’.

Why Should I Start Looking at Nurseries as Early as Possible?

Children in our nurseries are at various ages and stages during the first four years of their lives. However, most children start nursery with us when they are small babies (under two’s).

To put that into context, Baby Rooms tend to be the smallest rooms or areas within a nursery. It is a conscious choice that providers make because it ensures that looking after the youngest children is manageable. However, the impact this tends to have is that there are often fewer spaces available in these rooms than Toddler or Pre-school Rooms (for over two’s).

It is not uncommon at highly-recommended nurseries for there to be waiting lists for children under two years of age. In recent years, demand for childcare has grown as parents recognise that high-quality early years education is essential for their child’s ongoing development. As a parent, you are not likely to be willing to compromise on your preferred choice of nursery (and understandably so). However, at some of our more popular nurseries, some parents don’t make their enquiries early enough, which can leave them feeling disappointed when we cannot offer their child a place.

So, even if you’re still in your pregnancy or your baby is not long born, it’s so important that you start your childcare search and make enquiries as early as possible. When you enquire in advance, it gives you the best chance to secure a place and avoid any potential disappointment.

What Is the Registration Process for a Nursery?

Each nursery or childcare provider has a registration process that is unique to them. However, there are some broad similarities. We’ve outlined the registration process here at a Tommies Childcare nursery for you below.

  1. Arrange A Tour

    The best way to make your initial enquiry is to arrange a visit/tour to your preferred choice of nursery. You can quickly arrange a tour to one of our nurseries by following the link to our appointment portal:


    While the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we will conduct visits to our nurseries virtually. Virtual tours are via Zoom with the relevant Nursery Manager, who will share a presentation with you all about the nursery and provide you with all of the information you’ll need. Following your virtual tour, it may be possible for you to arrange a brief visit to the nursery so that you can explore parts of the nursery in person.

  2. During Your Visit

    During your visit to the nursery, the Nursery Manager will advise you of the steps you need to take to register your child with the nursery. It might be that the Nursery Manager also informs you of what places are currently available and may suggest that you register quickly to secure your child’s place.

    While the last thing we want is for parents to feel under pressure, it’s important to keep in mind that another family can take your place at any moment. Unfortunately, we can’t offer you a place until you have completed our registration form.

  3. Completing Your Registration Form

    Following your visit to the nursery, the Nursery Manager will share a link with you to complete our online registration form.

    Once you’ve submitted your completed registration form, the Nursery Manager will automatically receive a copy. The Nursery Manager will then review the sessions you requested on your form and advise whether they can be accommodated. (Please note: Completing your registration form does not guarantee you a place from the date you would like it. The Nursery Manager will confirm your place in writing to you after reviewing your registration form.)

    When completing your registration form, please be as accurate as you can when stating your preferred start date or required sessions. Changing your session requirement closer to your start date may result in the nursery no longer being able to offer you a place.

We hope you found this guide on when you should register your child at nursery useful. Please know, our Nursery Managers are on hand every step of the way and will do their best to answer any questions you may have.

If you have already registered at a nursery and are wondering how quickly your child will settle into nursery life, then you might find our other blog on Settling In To Nursery helpful.

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