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Help... advice needed- childminder or nanny- detalied post sorry!(21 Posts)
Am having a huge dilemma about childcare. I have 2 boys- aged 2 and 4. They are currently well settled at a nursery. The older one starts school in September and the before and after school clubs will not be enough to cover our working hours for 3 days of the week. We have had a nanny recommended to us- leaving current family as all children now over 13 and now no need, been with them for 9 years. Have met her once. She seemed lovely and had all the appropriate qualifications. She would be able to do the hours we want, but it would involve our younger child coming out of nursery to be looked after by her on the 3 days to make it cost effective. I have also met a child minder locally, who is returning from mat leave and has spaces for pre and post school. Both women were lovely, well qualified and I would feel happy with them looking after my child... I just don't know how to choose. The things making it hard are the extra things a nanny would offer- looking after poorly child, obvioulsy based in our house, cooking kids meals, holiday care sorted and kids together when older one not at school. My worry is taking the younger one out of nursery- am I worrying too much?? Also the nanny has a 9 month old baby, which at present she says she has organised other child care for. The nanny would cost �8.50 p/h and the childminder would be �4.50 an hour. So clear financial incentive to go for childminder, but still not sure. Any advice or experience of how/why you made the choice, I would be so grateful!
Have you worked out the total annual cost for both options? So childminder for oldest and nursery for youngest versus nanny for both including all the tax/NI/kitty/meals/other employer's costs? Seeing the true costs rather than just comparing the hourly rates may just swing it one or the other for you. Also keep in mind that your youngest will probably soon be eligible for early years funding so that should bring down the cost of the nursery option.
Have looked at total cost and a childminder would save 5k a year- huge saving. Whilst the financial saving would be very welcome, we could manage the cost of a nanny if that was the overall better option. OUr older child would need some form of care during the holidays and our younger one wouldnt be eligible for free hours until the summer term next year. I think the extra flexibility a nanny can give would really help us as our work can be a little unpredictable at times and certainly we have no way of covering all school holidays.
Nanny would need to take holiday themselves at some point, as would a childminder. With a nanny you may be able to get them to agree that they take holiday at the same time as you, with a childminder you would need to take holiday when the childminder does.
Does nanny have care for their baby sorted, or would they really be wanting to bring baby with them sometimes? Would that work, or create an issue?
Pay wise, make sure you are agreeing like with like, 8.50 may be what the nanny wants as take home pay. Factor in employers NI.
8.5 ph sounds very cheap for a nanny check if that is gross or net. You will also need to factor in other costs like, employers NI, payroll company subscription, employers liability insurance, all the food (you feed nanny too) cost of any playgroup a she will take you younger one to, and the cost of lighting and heating your house which would be unoccupied if everyone was out at nursery etc.
Think that's about everything. For us though it was totally worth just being able to rock out of the house in the morning with kids in whatever state of dress/undress they happened to be in.
Also if a child is going from nursery to nanny where they have had lots of friends and peer interaction, to one on one with nanny, it may be quite boring, whereas a CM not only could you keep child in nursery, there would also be a good mix of children to keep your toe stimulated! (A biased CM view )
Have you factored in the cost of the nursery (which you wouldn't pay if you had a nanny), loss of the tax relief on childcare vouchers if the nursery takes them and nanny and/or CM don't, Nancy's tax, NI, mileage if they use their own car, expenses and pension in years to come (see other thread on this). You are also now liable for SSP if nanny goes off sick for up to 28 weeks (I think), big thread on this too.
What is your current plan if youngest is ill and can't go to nursery?
Also if you went with the nanny but were worried about taking him out of a nursery where he is settled, socialising etc, could he do a couple of shorter sessions there?
What would happen if the nanny's child care fell through? When her child is ill and wants mum? When the CM is unable able to work? When the nanny gets pregnant again? All scenarios that need thinking about.
Thanks for all the advice so far. We live in Yorkshire and the nanny is currently getting around �7.30 net. so we thought to offer 8.50 gross would be around the same. We have thought about the extra costs, she would take vouchers- register with Ofsted if we wanted as all paperwork is ready for that.
AMI88- that is one of my biggest concerns.. the younger one taken out of nursery to be one on one with nanny. I'm not sure she would agree to the fewer hours if we still kept him in nursery, and TBH we would then be losing some of the flexibility that a nanny full time for the 3 days would give us. I'm sure to some it must feel like an obvious decision, but to me it feels like the hardest thing I've had to face regarding my children so far.
If she allows your child to become so isolated from other children that boredom becomes a problem then she's not a good nanny. She's been recommend to you, so I assume she's not a bad nanny and therefore social isolation and boredom will.not be a problem.
Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, I assume there are other children at playgroups/the park/softplay/singing group/the library etc. You have friends and neighbours? Your older DC will go to school and make friends and some of those friends will have siblings. The nanny will have an existing network of parents/nannies/childminders with children of the appropriate age for playdates.
Plus, ALL children benefit from one on one attention with an adult, something be won't have had at nursery, will have been tricky at home because of having a sibling and will probably be tricky with a childminder. Don't underestimate the value of him (occasionally)picking what he wants to do and the nanny being able to do that with him without having to take several other children into account.
I am a nanny to 1 baby - 6 months and she is far from isolated we go to groups, meet with friends of mine [mums and nannies who have older children] and make plans to meet up with baby friends we've met at groups either at the park/our house/their house.
OP- it is a tough decision!! You definitely have to go with what's best for your family. I think everyone on here has offered good points for nanny and CM, so lots to consider!
Ultimately, I think the best choice will be the one that offers minimal disruption to all your lives. Good luck x
What will you do if one of the children is ill? Nurseries and child minders will refuse to take an ill child whereas a nanny can still take care of them.
Vajazzler- that's not strictly true, I would still allow a sick child to attend depending on what the illness is. I only turn away to sickness and diarrohea. If a child's really ill I'm sure the parents would want to stay with them anyway.
Why don't you find a couple of people (easier said than done) and interview both, a nanny and CM and just see who you connect with the most x
Thanks all. Lots of good points and lots to think about.
So AMI88 you'd take a child with chicken pox? Or hand foot and mouth?
Yes I would take a child with chicken pox, because by the time the spots have come up they are no longer contagious anyway.
Hand foot and mouth I would send home the first day of spots, but as neither of these illness' tend to make the child that ill (maybe slight temp) I wouldn't keep off for days.
I put this all in my policies, and parents are happy with it. I sort of see it as part of my service, I know nurseries wouldn't accept a lot of illness' but CM can be, and should be, more flexible.
Of course, when I am ill, or a nanny is ill, it's more of an inconvenience to parent, than if a nursery staff is ill.
You know this is a nice dilemma to have don't you?! You've met two people who you would be happy to have looking after your DSs, and which would work logistically for you.
If it was me, I'd probably go with the nanny, suggest she brings her baby and negotiate a reduction based on that (if she wants to). A nanny will be more flexible, and able to do the activities you want your DSs to do - a real bonus as your DS1 gets older and wants to do more after school activities.
Children with chicken pox spots are contagious!! They only stop being contagious when the spots have scabbed over, not as soon as the spots appear.
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