Choosing a Nursery School: 3 Considerations for Ages 3 and Below
When it comes to defining the “right” or “best” school for their children, parents consider multiple factors–from academics to location to prestige. When it comes to nurseries, a somewhat different set of priorities comes to mind–particularly in a big city like Madrid. Being a hub of professional, cultural, and touristic activity makes Madrid an exciting but intimidating place for families with young children to move to.
Children younger than five demonstrate different learning abilities and different needs than children in primary school or older. You want to make sure your child’s is well taken care of, especially if more than one parent works. We have thus identified three important factors to consider that will help ensure the best care and early years education for your children:
- Ease of access
- Hours of Operation
- Hours of English per Day
While your family may weigh these factors differently, the above categories will help you find the right school for very young learners.
Ease of Access
The right nursery school should be located conveniently close to home, or to the workplace of one of the parents. Some nurseries offer school transport, but may not service individual homes. Many families opt to personally accompany their young children to school.
Thus, the best nursery will be easily reached by public or private transport, conveniently located near multiple metro stops or main streets. More importantly, a nursery located close to work or home will allow for parents to become involved in the community or respond to emergencies such as their child falling ill. Moreover, convenience of location allows parents to leave their children at school on the way to work, and pick them up on the way home.
Hours of Operation
In a similar vein, a top-notch nursery will boast extended hours of operation to help meet the needs of diverse families from different parts of Madrid. The longer the hours of operation the better. Schools that open early in the morning and provide child care later in the afternoon allows working parents to balance their job obligations with their family responsibilities. Some of Madrid’s best nurseries serve breakfast at 7.00 and provide vigilant and emotionally supportive child care until 19.00.
Hours of English per Day
A majority of private nurseries that provide all day foreign language education and supervision by native teachers are located outside the city center, in suburbs such as La Moraleja or Pozuelo. Nevertheless, various options exist for families searching in Madrid proper.
Moreover, your family may want to consider that children in nursery school have different learning abilities than older children. While children younger than five are less independent, they rapidly acquire new skills–and new languages. If your family prioritizes bilingualism for your children, or if you plan to stay in Spain long-term, you may consider a Spanish nursery.
The number of hours of English lessons per day is a very personal decision based on the needs of your child, but also on the needs of your family as a whole.
Based on the above factors (Access, Hours of Operations and Language Education) we have identified a list of high quality nurseries in the Madrid area. One or more of them may be the best for your child! They are ordered from those closest to the center of the city to those farthest.
SEK Santa Isabel (private, English and Spanish)
Distance from Center: 1km (c/San Ildefonso 18)
Madrid Montessori (private, English and Spanish)
Distance from Center: 5 km (c/Henares 13)
Hours: 8.00 to 18:30
Intl School Madrid (private, English)
Distance from Center: 9.7 km (C/ Rosa Jardón, 3)
English Montessori (private, English and Spanish)
Distance from Center: 10 km (C/ de la Salle S/N, Aravaca, Madrid, 28023)
British Council School (private, English)
Distance from Center: 12 km (Calle Solano, 3 Pozuelo)