Joint webchat with Conservative and Labour housing minister and shadow housing minister, MONDAY 2 MARCH 1pm x

3 full days or 5 half days at nursery?

(26 Posts)
cakeandcava Tue 05-Mar-13 10:27:53

I'm in the process of sorting out childcare and work arrangements for when I go back to work next January. DS will be 14 months then. I'm lucky in that my employer has a generous flexible work policy, and I'm wondering what the best way of arranging things would be.

I will be going part time and having DS in nursery -just after some opinions on what you think is the better option? Three full days in nursery and two days completely off with me, or five mornings in nursery (9am - 1pm) and then the afternoon with me?


insancerre Wed 06-Mar-13 20:19:33

I am a nursery nurse years of over 20 years experience and my advice would be to do what is best for your family.
Children are very good at adapting and will fit into any routine that they find themselves in.
Do what works best for you- your DS will benefit from going to nursery and from spending time with you too- it doesn't really matter which way round you do it- 3 days or 5 half days.
I would be wary of any nursery that does not allow you to send a child for half days. It sounds like they are putting their needs for making money before your needs or your child's needs.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 06-Mar-13 18:26:44

I expect the majority of children who go to nursery would go for full days.

I think dc would nap after lunch for 12+ more months after startkng

cakeandcava Wed 06-Mar-13 17:13:36

I've been wondering about the napping as well. It's tricky to know how he would be, as it's still 10 months away. At the moment he naps for about two hours around lunchtime, but that may change?

My gut instinct is to agree with what purple15 is saying - a full day feels very long for a 14 month old. But it is good to hear from others who have perfectly happy DC in for full days at that age.

The issue is slightly complicated by the fact that the nursery I like the best (I've viewed 4) only accepts children for full days. There is another (which was fine) that I could have him in for half days, so I guess I have to decide whether to go with the nursery I liked best or the half-day option...

alarkaspree Wed 06-Mar-13 17:07:30

Do you know what nursery you will be using? Dd did 3 half days/week but the timetable at her nursery wasn't really suitable for that. They did montessori stuff in the mornings, which was mostly individual activities, and then games and group activities in the afternoons. She missed all the afternoon activities so she found it really hard to make any friends.

It also depends on how you will want to spend your time. Are your friends and family local to you, could you easily see them if you just had afternoons? Mine were spread all over London so having a whole day available to meet up worked really well for me.

lynniep Wed 06-Mar-13 17:02:41

I'd say three full. Its cheaper generally. (childcare is less for a full day than for two half days, and also petrol costs)

With DS1 I did 5 half days and that was fine as I worked from home, but with DS2 I had to work full days. I was a bit worried at first as it seems an awful long time to put them in daycare, but he was fine, he napped better than at home, he ate better. And I enjoyed having him for the full day (still do as he is 3 now and I work 3.5 days)

purple15 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:54:35

A lot of children by the time they are two years old dont have a sleep, or have a lot less.

In a setting the care given to your child is really good, but no-one will care for that child as much as you. Children who are in settings for the full day are missing out on so much of normal family life. Just watching their mums cook and clean.

WillowB Wed 06-Mar-13 16:47:57

If you did half days would your DC spend most of the afternoon napping? My DS sleeps from 1.30 until 3ish.

purple15 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:42:08

Children dont need ' special trips' just to be with you.

nextphase Wed 06-Mar-13 13:40:22

You can get much more done in a full day off was from the thinking that if you leave work at 1pm, drive to nursery, pick up child, let them sleep while you do jobs, there is very little time to e.g. go to the park or the library.

If you have a full day, you can lounge around in the morning, go out somewhere, and still do chores while toddler sleeps.

It also gives the opportunity to e.g. have a special trip out to e.g. a farm or similar without overloading the child.

Maybe my days are structured differently to others, but when DS1 was doing mornings at nursery, and DS2 was having a sleep after lunch, doing anything - shops, baking, craft etc with both boys in the afternoon always seemed like a rush. A whole day felt much more relaxed for the kids than the rushing to fit something (which needed doing) in.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 06-Mar-13 07:19:10

When would your child nap on the half days?

purple15 Wed 06-Mar-13 07:17:24

The comment 'you can get lots done' with the child being in Nursery 3 days, why is this good for the child ?

The child just wants to be with you. The child can be watching you doing the cooking and cleaning. Going to the shops. The child wants to be part of this.

During my time in the setting, many children were in Nursery until closing time.

Beendonebeen Tue 05-Mar-13 21:35:58

I went back 3 full days and although it was okay, I worked Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday which I wouldn't recommend. Non-nonsecutive days off would have been less stressful but I guess it depends on the type of work you do. My son had no problems in nursery for 3 days, he started at 11 months.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:33:43

I would go with 5 half days. It's better for the child. I don't think you necessarily need to 'get lots done', as you can just do normal things together. If DC is in nursery every morning, baby groups are not really necessary.

I can see that adults prefer full days off, though.

cakeandcava Tue 05-Mar-13 21:29:15

purple15 that's very interesting, you're the second childcare professional with long experience I've heard from, and you've both said 5 half days...

nextphase I might be able to organise something like that (one long day, two shorter) with my partner actually, hadn't really thought of that. He runs a small company, so is flexible, but also often need to work long evenings/travel.

PurpleBlossom Tue 05-Mar-13 21:10:44

I'm going back to in September when DD will be 10 months old. I'm probably looking at 3 full days at nursery, but would definitely choose 5 mornings instead if given the choice!

Even though the 3 days would be better for me, the short days would be better for DD.

nextphase Tue 05-Mar-13 20:37:14

Interesting to see the professional's point of view.
I'm another one saying 3 full days, because:
you can get much more done in 2 days off.
its only 3 mornings you have to be up, dressed and out of the house
nearly half the commuting time

Have you looked at the cost of half days at nursery v full days?
Round here 5 half days would be about £100/week, but 3 days would only be £90.

Do you have a partner? Is there any way you could work a really long day once a week, and your OH work a short day, and the other 2 days you can then work a shorter day, and your son doesn't get the full lot as long days?

Mine run into nursery very happily, but equally are very happy to see me when I return.

purple15 Tue 05-Mar-13 20:16:58

I ran a Nursery for eleven years. I would do 5 part days. This will have more benefits for the child. At 14 months, the child would prefer to be with you than anyone else.

ceeveebee Tue 05-Mar-13 19:44:21

I do 3 full days and have 2 off with my 15 mo twins (although they are with a nanny, not at nursery. I really love my days off with them, on the odd occassion when I have had a half day off by the time I'm home its almost tea time, and in the winter its tempting to stay in as its dark and cold by 330!.
Also depending on your commute you'd be spending a lot more time and money travelling if you did half days.
So I'd definately go for the 3 full day option if I was you.

PandaG Tue 05-Mar-13 19:29:23

3 full days. much more productive for you, fewer commutes and I know that a couple of friends have said that a stress was switching from work mode to parent mode, so fewer switches too.

Days may be long for DS, but likely that plenty of other children will be doing full days too, the rhythm of the nursery day may well include a quieter time in the afternoon, or just different activities, so by doing full days DS would experience a greater range.

cakeandcava Tue 05-Mar-13 19:23:32

Thanks all. I hadn't thought about things like baby groups, that's a good point.

Those of you who had DC around that age in full days, did they handle it fine, or did they get really tired towards the end of the day? I do think 3 full days sounds best from my perspective, but I suppose I'm just a bit worried that it will be a bit long for DS?

christinarossetti Tue 05-Mar-13 10:50:34

Definitely 3 full days. Then you only have 3 days of a morning rush and can do something proper on the other days. Most toddler groups are on in the morning and generally speaking 1 year olds are at their best then.

I'm also much more productive at work if I'm there for a whole day and it's good having the flexibility of having a shorter lunch and nipping off early etc.

Pourquoimoi Tue 05-Mar-13 10:43:39

Apologies for the double post!

Pourquoimoi Tue 05-Mar-13 10:42:20

I did three full days and it suited us. I liked having two full days off to spend with dc, and to go out with friends / do day trips etc.

Check when activities local to you tend to happen, here they are mostly mornings so if you worked 5 mornings you may not be able to attend any of them?

Also keep in mind when your friends work, if they all work Monday to Wednesday then you probably wouldn't want to work Wednesday to Friday etc.

At the end of the day it is personal preference but I liked not having to go to work every day.

Ps I now work for myself so am even more flexible, hence replying now!

Pourquoimoi Tue 05-Mar-13 10:42:03

I did three full days and it suited us. I liked having two full days off to spend with dc, and to go out with friends / do day trips etc.

Check when activities local to you tend to happen, here they are mostly mornings so if you worked 5 mornings you may not be able to attend any of them?

Also keep in mind when your friends work, if they all work Monday to Wednesday then you probably wouldn't want to work Wednesday to Friday etc.

At the end of the day it is personal preference but I liked not having to go to work every day.

CMOTDibbler Tue 05-Mar-13 10:35:19

3 full days - then you can actually do things the other two, but by the time you get home, have some lunch etc, the afternoon is very soon gone

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now