May 17, 2023

How do I know if my child is ready for nursery?

Sophie Allen
Sophie Allen
How do I know if my child is ready for nursery?

One the significant milestones in your child's early years is starting nursery. However, determining if your child is ready for this new chapter can be overwhelming.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provides a comprehensive framework that covers the main areas of development, and we've broken this down help you assess your child's readiness.

So, what do we mean by 'developmental milestones'? These are the expected skills and abilities that children typically achieve by a certain age.

Social Skills

If your little one can express their needs and wants through verbal or non-verbal communication, understand simple instructions, and engage in conversations, it may be a sign that they are ready for the social interactions and learning opportunities offered by nursery.

Encouraging language development through reading, singing, and engaging in conversations can help prepare your child for nursery and foster their communication skills.

Cognitive Skills

Cognitive development is also a vital factor to consider. Cognitive thinking skills encompass problem-solving, memory, attention, and language development.

If your little one is showing signs of cognitive development, such as understanding simple instructions, engaging in imaginative play, and expressing themselves verbally, they may be ready for nursery.

Physical Skills

Sensorimotor skills involve coordination between sensory input and motor response, such as crawling, reaching, and grasping.

Fine motor skills, on the other hand, involve smaller movements like holding a pencil or picking up small objects. If your little one is showing proficiency in these areas, it may be an indication that they are ready for the stimulating environment of nursery.

Gross motor skills, which involve larger movements like walking, running, and jumping, are another essential aspect to assess. If your little one is confidently developing these skills, it may indicate that they are physically ready for the activities and playtime that nursery can offer.


Sensory skills and child creativity are also crucial areas of development. A stimulating learning environment that engages a child's senses, such as through sensory play, can contribute to their overall development.

Additionally, your little one's creativity, shown through imaginative play and artistic expression, can indicate readiness for the social and creative aspects of nursery.

Saying goodbye at the door

Separation anxiety in toddlers is common, but if your child is showing signs of emotional regulation and independence, they may be better equipped to handle the separation from you during nursery hours.

Building healthy attachments and relationships with peers and caregivers is an essential part of social development, and nursery can provide opportunities for your child to develop these skills.

As parents, it's natural to feel concerned about leaving your child in the care of others. However, it's important to remember that nursery can provide valuable experiences and opportunities for growth for your little one.


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