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Childminder or au pair?

(14 Posts)
cangirl Fri 08-Feb-13 10:03:57

Thanks for all the advice. Lots to take into consideration.

MrAnchovy Thu 07-Feb-13 16:19:59

Can I explain a few UK specific things? In no particular order...

8.30-3.30 is school hours, most nurseries that open those hours only open during term time i.e. about 39 weeks a year. Are you OK with that, or will you need daytime care in the school holidays too?

Pre-schools in the UK have traditionally worked on a half-day basis with different groups of children in the morning and in the afternoon. The free funding for 3 and 4 year olds matches this, providing 15 hours a week - normally 5 x 3 hour sessions. So although many childminders do provide wrap-around care for pre-schoolers, for most of them they will only be at pre-school for 3 hours out of a 10 hour day. Yours will be at pre-school for 7 hours out of a 9.5 hour day which is a very different prospect.

I'd go for an Au Pair. You might be able to get a Canadian one (visas are very limited and the application process might not work if you are not in the country well in advance - actually I'm not sure if you can arrange one as a non-UK national yourself at all), otherwise French is possible (no visa required for Western European countries).

Beware that most houses in London suburbs are 3 bedrooms so 4 bedroom houses can be hard to find and disproportionately expensive, although the current state of the market is going to help here as nobody has sold a house in Ealing since 2009 (I exaggerate slightly).

ZuleikaD Thu 07-Feb-13 15:26:56

I wouldn't place too much reliance on the bilingual nursery - they're not usually about teaching a second language IME, more about sustaining the two languages already understood. Presumably it's French you'd like your daughter to learn if you're planning on returning to Canada at some point? You might do better with a French au pair or nanny.

dobby2001 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:23:45

You might find bilingual Childminders if you advertise for one, there are several in my area of London smile. Al earlys years settings work to the same EYFS curriculum and Childminders socialise with others and groups, so your child will get an all round experience smile.

cangirl Thu 07-Feb-13 09:38:30

We would have the extra bedroom for the aupair. We are probably going to rent a 3-4 bedroom house.

We don't want to do the childminder all day as the nursery our daughter will be attending is bi-lingual nursery and we really want her to acquire that second language.

I guess unless we get lucky aupair seems to be the best option.

Are nanny shares easy to find/sort out for this kind of situation?

ZuleikaD Thu 07-Feb-13 08:30:38

It wouldn't make sense to me to pay for a childminder and a nursery - if you're going to pay the CM for the place anyway then why not just leave your DD at the childminder all day?

Have you got space to have an au pair? Because otherwise you'd be looking at a live out nanny in that scenario who would be considerably more expensive.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Thu 07-Feb-13 08:12:48

They do but as we only have a max of 3 under 5 places most will charge to keep the place open for the day as of nursery is closed/if you need a school holiday place you will still need the place and they probably wouldn't fill a place 9.30-3 or the hours inbetween. You may be lucky though if you ask.

cangirl Thu 07-Feb-13 08:02:07

Nursery is located near Ealing/broadway station, we are looking for a house within 1 -1.5 kms nearby. Is that walking distance? In Canada it would be.. :S

Not sure what the norm is in London though.... so childminders don't offer before/aftercare for nursery age children?

NickNacks Thu 07-Feb-13 07:44:21

It will depend on where the nursery is situated also because most childminders will have a school run to do at those times.

nannynick Thu 07-Feb-13 07:41:34

An au-pair who has experience of very young children could work - can they walk/bus to nursery?

Twinklestarstwinklestars Thu 07-Feb-13 06:22:15

You may find that childminders would charge you all day as they would have to keep an early years place free for the whole day, but they do offer this.

cangirl Thu 07-Feb-13 06:06:11

Sorry, we are trying to decide between having a childminder do the drop off and pick up ( probably 3 hours a day in total) Dropping our little one around 7:45 and doing the school run for 8:30 and then picking her up from school at 3:30 and then after care until 5:15.

Do childminders provide this kind of service for under 5's? Or would an au pair be better?
Sorry for the double post!

cangirl Thu 07-Feb-13 06:00:39

Hi, We are moving to London ( ealing area) this summer and we are trying to get our heads around childcare. We have our daughter who will almost be 3 in Sept enrolled in a nursery that runs from 8:30-3:30 everyday but need someone to drop off and pick up and after school care until around 5:15pm.

We are new to the UK and just trying to decide what would be a good option? Would appreciate any advice/opinions.

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