We have a 6month old daughter. I am due back to work in April.
Our sons went to a nursery 15mins walk from our home- the nursery was brilliant, the staff brilliant and the boys really enjoyed themselves. Nursery now charges £39.50 per day, inclusive of nappies, wipes, food, trips etc (works out at £197.50 per week)
We have been given details of a childminder who has been recommended by a close friend. I've looked at her website and it feels a lot more homely and one to one than the nursery. The childminder lives about 30 mins walk from our home, although Hubby could drop off the baby on his way to work and i could pick up on my way to collect the boys from school. childminder charges £3.50 per hour- we have to send nappies and wipes. (£140 per week)
I used to work full time when the boys were at nursery so fees were not a problem back then. I only work 25hrs a week now, so wages have been reduced quite a bit.
What would you do?
Send baby to a nursery where you know the staff and it is convenient to get to, but baby is getting less one on one time and we will be paying a lot more in fees or Send baby to a childminder that we don't know very well and is further to get to, yet offers a more varied day and more one to one care?
This is a difficult one. Although some people will say it's all about the atmosphere for your dd, I'd say think really carefully about the extra distances and the impact it might have on your tiredness, especially in bad weather and if walking is the only option. Neither you nor your dh wants to end up resenting the drop-off/pick-up, nor will it necessarily be a breeze walking your 2 sons (what ages?) the extra distance there and back either. Your sons were happy at the nursery, so no reason to beat yourself up about sending your dd there as well, unless you know she's a very different personality and wouldn't like it, for some reason. I think dc3 tends to be more mellow about being in a crowd anyway.
Btw, if you're working 25 hours a week, wouldn't you be paying less than f-t fees?
hi our boys are 8 and 10. i can get the bus from work to where the childminder lives and walk to pick the boys up from school. i think i'll do a trial run whilst on maternity leave to see in reality how long it takes and how viable it is! nursery have agreed to a term time only contract but i have to pay the full day rate of £39.50 even though baby would be there 9.15-3pm.
I would go and visit the CM - there might be a few other in the area as well - which would give you a point of comparison -would the CM do a term time only contract -if she doesn't then the costs might be similar - my DCs have been really happy in at CM but the logistics etc have to work
found a childminder. term time only, no charge during the school holidays. pay will be averaged over the 12 months, so affordable. best bit is- she's my mate from college- we both did nursery nursing together, she has a 10 month old girl too. i trust her 100% she's lovely