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7 Reasons Parents Are NOT Choosing Your Nursery

7 Reasons Parents Gave For NOT Choosing Your Nursery

Choosing a nursery is a huge decision for any parent. Especially if it’s for the first time. The pressure they will be feeling to ensure they make the right choice for their precious little one is huge. What if the staff are not good? What if it’s not safe and my child has an accident? What if my child refuses to eat the food?

These are things you need to have the answers to. If you want to ensure that parents choose your nursery over others, you need to consider the reasons why they wouldn’t and tackle them head-on. It is only once you’ve fixed these that you can whole-heartedly assure parents that your nursery is the right place for their little ones.

To help you on your way, this blog is going to take a look at 7 reasons parents have given for not choosing a nursery. If you can work through these and feel confident that your nursery lives up to all requirements and standards, parents will be happy to choose your nursery…


The biggest endorsement for your nursery will always be a recommendation from other parents. Following this, a parent will usually do their own research and check Ofsted reports and the history of your nursery to ensure your establishment is up to standard.

This is why it’s so important to provide great customer service to your current parents and to aim to go above and beyond their expectations. That way, you ensure that word will get around how great your nursery is.

On top of this, you then need to be working towards an OFSTED grading of good or outstanding, and that the report is a reflection of your nursery. This grading does influence if parents are going to choose to send their children to a nursery.

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What Should You Be Doing About It?

So, how do you find out what your parents think? The best way is to be present and build up a relationship with your parents. Ensure you check in with them and form an open relationship where they can feel comfortable telling you if they have any worries about your establishment.

It’s also fine to openly ask them for feedback and ask if there’s anything more you could do to improve. That way, you can deal with any problems and demonstrate to parents you are actively working on any aspects they’re not happy with before word gets out, affecting your reputation.


Of course, parents will consider the cost of a nursery. But we know all too well the high costs involved in running a conscientious nursery with good staff/child ratios, happy staff and quality equipment. So if you are confident in the value of the service you are providing and offer exceptional childcare, you may find this is not such an issue.

What Should You Be Doing About It?

Be open and informative about the way the childcare funding processes work. You can explain to parents what the fees you are charging cover and why you are perhaps more pricey than other nearby nurseries. By being open, you will find that they may be happy to choose your setting over one with cheaper fees.


It is normal for parents to come and visit a nursery to help them decide whether it is the right place for their little ones. Much like if you were viewing a property to rent, you would immediately be put off if any nasty smells were lingering or signs of mould and damp. A parent is very unlikely to choose a dirty or shabby nursery with any broken equipment lying around.

What Should You Be Doing About It?

It is essential that you’re always on top of the cleaning and maintenance of your property and that all resources are in working order. You need to create a homely, safe environment that feels welcoming when a parent comes to visit. 

Lots of garden space and engaging activities are also appealing for parents to see when visiting. They want to see happy, healthy toddlers enjoying their environment.

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Qualified Staff

Parents in the know will ask about your staff’s qualifications. They want to know that your staff are up to date in their training for working with their children and that their children are being cared for by qualified professionals rather than just anybody. If your staff aren’t qualified, then what are they paying for? Apprentices are a great way to build your team for the future, but you need to ensure they are accessing core training to improve their knowledge from day one.

What Should You Be Doing About It?

It’s essential to train and improve your team continually. Good practice is constantly changing, and there are always new styles and methods of learning which can be helpful to your staff. It also shows you invest in them, which generally means happy staff. And happy staff means happy children, and happy children means happy parents.

If you need to close the nursery for a day or two each year so your staff can attend a training session, then so be it. You can explain to the parents how necessary the training is and that their children will benefit from it to help gain their support.

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A healthy, balanced diet is vital to most parents. Gone are the days of providing unimaginative beige foods for children. Parents need to know that when they send their children to your setting, they will be getting the same kind of nutritious meal they would be getting at home. 

A child’s food allergies can also be a big worry for parents. Many may think that a nursery cannot adapt to a child’s specific requirements, which could put their child in danger.

What Should You Be Doing About It?

When parents come to visit or enquire about your nursery, make sure you have menus to hand so you can give examples of the food you offer. Explain how you manage food intolerances and allergies if this is a concern, and reassure them that kitchen staff are trained in safe food practices. Some settings even offer parents a tasting session to try the food for themselves.

Gut Feeling

At the end of the day, if a parent doesn’t get a great feeling when contacting or visiting your nursery, they’re not going to be spending the money to send their little one to you. First impressions are important! Any bad attitudes, rushed parents, or bored-looking staff are only going to harm their views of your nursery.

What Should You Be Doing About It?

Ensure from the first phone call that you and/or your staff are welcoming and friendly. Many parents may be feeling nervous about making this first step and sending their child to nursery so reassuring them makes all the difference.

When parents and children visit, a warm welcome can make their first impression positive, helping give them a good feeling about your place. They need to feel reassured that their child is special and not just one of many, so building a relationship with both child and parent is crucial.

Curriculum and Learning

Many parents are looking for a nursery that will help prepare their child for the big leap to school, almost a stepping stone to get them used to being away from the home setting and listening to instructions from others. They want to know their child will receive some kind of education or guided learning.

What Should You Be Doing About It?

Whether over the phone, on your website or during the visits, you should include information on what kind of curriculum you use and your nursery’s ethos on learning and development. 

You should be making it clear how attending your nursery will ease them into the structure of a more complex learning environment, helping the child’s development of speech and language, social skills, and creating a routine. This will help instil confidence in the parents that they are choosing the right nursery for their child’s journey to school.

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Fix it!

Looking at the reasons parents give for NOT choosing a nursery can be really useful in helping you understand why you may not be getting the enrolment you would hope for. It also gives you a great opportunity to fix anything you may not be providing.

Reputation can take some time and work – it only takes a couple of bad visits for negative word to get around – but if you’re doing everything you can to keep your parents happy, you will get there. Gut feeling is pretty unique to an individual, but there are definitely some things you can do to help. The other reasons given by parents for not choosing a nursery you really should have covered already. Have you? If not, it’s time to get them fixed!

If you need advice on anything covered in this blog, get in touch by clicking here… 

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