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To switch from nursery to nanny?(7 Posts)
My DS (22 months) has been in nursery 2 days p/w for 2 months. I started looking into a part time nanny for him as an alternative a few weeks ago, as I felt nursery wasn't really suiting him. He now actually only cries at drop off, and quite briefly, but is so insecure when I'm out and about with him - at people's houses & playgroups- as he's terrified I'm going to leave him. He also seems angrier, though my DH thinks that's just his age. This is a total change since nursery. Do you reckon switching to a nanny might help him to feel more secure again? I've found someone I really like - she's coming for a second meeting this week, but I just need to make up my mind whether the switch is the best way forward. Thanks.
It's hard as he only goes two days per week and assuming he's with you the other days. So it's quite a long stretch of the week that he has at home,saying that after two months and he's still not 100% settled to me personally that's not a great sign. It may well be the nursery and he would be settled at another nursery. But on the other hand not at children are suited to a loud busy setting. If you choose a good nanny and always helpful if she's had previous nursery experience. Then she will be taking him out to groups/zoos museums, activities at home etc so will gain just as much at home.
It may not be any different as you are still leaving him. He will though be in his home environment, so may be a bit more settled.
A nanny is around 2.5 times the cost of nursery, obviously will vary due to location but it is a lot more costly when it is care for one child. A nanny will often work for families with two, three, four children as the more children there are the more viable the cost. One of the reasons why you chose the nursery may have been cost, so do look at the finances and calculate what a nanny would cost you over a full year... including Employers National Insurance and payroll admin (unless you plan to do that yourself).
There are certainly advantages to having a nanny, your DS does not even need to get up in the morning... handy when they are feeling under the weather. You are less rushed in the morning as you don't need to drop off at nursery on your way to work. Your nanny will do what you tell them to do, so if your DS has a particular favourite subject, they can do activities around that subject all day long, getting outdoors and visiting places - toddlers can love the journey somewhere... cars, trains, busses etc.
Perhaps make yourself a list of the pros and cons from your perspective to see if nanny or nursery is better for you and DS at this stage.
All things being equal I think a nanny is always better than a nursery (but I am a nanny so biased!). It is particularly true for children who are shy/quiet/introvert/a little less confident and secure than others.
From what you say it sounds like your son would be much better off with a nanny. Don't expect a complete turnaround in a matter of days though! Part of the insecurity/anger will be age and personality and the nanny can't change that.
It may also help to work on re-establishing a really secure bond between the two of you. Lot's of 'touching' activities are good for this (swimming, baby massage, body/face paint, play hairdressers) and mirroring (play follow the leader, look in a mirror together etc.). Also, try sitting on the floor with him when you first arrive somewhere, let him move away as he is comfortable and come back when he needs to.
I think for most children a nanny is best if you can afford it. It doesn't suit all children and obviously some nannies are better than others. See how you feel when you meet the nanny.
I have worked in a nursery, as a nanny, in a preschool and as a childminder. I would always recommend a nanny to parents looking for childcare if they could afford it. There are so many advantages, your child gets too stay at home, play with their own toys, the morning rush will be gone for you as nanny can get DC dressed and breakfasted once you have left for work, nanny can do odd errands round the house, DCs laundry, change DC beds and tidy their room. Activities and outings are about what your child nuts to do, not what a big group is doing at the moment. If you can afford the switch, I would go with a nanny. As a pp said though, don't expect a miracle return to your dcs former personality, this might just be a new side to them, but if you get a good nanny, I would hope your DC would become more settled with them than at nursery.
Thanks for all the helpful replies. I think what I am feeling right now is that if I could have my time again I would definitely choose a nanny, not nursery. The first weeks were torture and I still feel a bit traumatised by the crying I heard. However, he seems to be now settling at nursery more, so I'm a bit confused! This week he's suddenly starting affectionately saying the names of nursery staff at home, and today he was chatting quite excitedly to me about singing with bells - so I wondered if actually he's enjoying it more.
NuffSaidSam - I'm so grateful for the tips re. trying to help him to feel more secure again: brilliant suggestions. The nanny I am talking to just wants to short days, so she can do school runs with her son, which is fine by me as I only need short days and it will make it just about affordable. The downside is that I won't have the option of a longer day if I want it. The most important thing to me is just to do the right thing for my son, though. He is quite a sensitive child, though also extremely active, so some aspects of nursery do suit him, perhaps.
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