If money wasn't an object...(14 Posts)
Would you get a nanny?
DD is due to start nursey next week and I'm really having wobbles. I spent most of last week bursting into tears at the thought of it. It's a local nursery that has a fantastic reputation (and places are like gold dust) but I haven't been that comfortable at the playdates - DD climbed up on a chair and dived off head first and was eating crayons while staff just sat around. I'm also worrying about the food as it's not particularly healthy (e.g. Rice Krispies, cornflakes or weetabix plus toast for breakfast)
She'll only go 3 days a wk but it's a long day in a small room with a tiny amount of outside space. Also I don't feel I've really bonded with any of the staff and if I was choosing a nanny I wouldn't necessarily chose one of them. But does this matter? They all seem fine. Am I being too pfb about it? Should I just settle her in and see how she gets on? She's 11 months and I'd like her to go to nursery at some point. She's very sociable and everyone keeps telling me she'll love it. I suppose I'd just like her to have more 1:1 attention.
DH is really upset that I'm not raving about it and we could (just!) stretch to a nanny though we've left it very last minute and would lose deposit and probably incur termination fee at nursery so seems a bit mad?? WWYD?
Maybe worth thinking about a childminder?
Is there another nursery around? A tiny room and a tiny garden with staff that you aren't comfortable with doesn't sound great who raves about it? Sometimes parents rave about nurseries as their children attend and they want it to be excellent when in reality it is very average iykwim.
To answer your question if money was no object I would have a nanny but from around 2 I would also send my dc part time to an excellent nursery I think dc get a lot out of them.
I am in a similar situation with dd going to nursery for 3 days a week from sept when I go back to work (she will be 1yo - also is pfb). The first time I looked at the nursery I was happy with it but I went back to have another look last week and started having second thoughts for the same reasons; small room, long hours etc. I started looking into childminders but so far have found they are either full, or live too far away or don't work full time. If I could find a nice childminder I think it would be a great solution, however I think I can trust a nursery more than a childminder, as it is not just one person and the nursery will never take holidays or be sick!
Likewise with the nanny, when we looked at the cost I think we would just break even, so I would be working just to pay for the nanny - part of the reason I want to work is so we don't have to worry about money and we can have a better quality of life.
So, looking at all my options, although the nursery isn't exactly everything I want, it does have many benefits over nanny or childminders for us.
If money were no object I'd have a nanny or nanny share. Without a doubt the best for a baby IMO.
Then a childminder.
Then a nursery.
I did both. On the whole, nursery was better - the children get to play together, they learn routine, it's very calm, the nanny is never off sick. On the downside, nursery doesn't babysit or take the DC when ill.
I have to say that I would choose a nursery again if I had small children again. My children went to a nursery attached to a children's centre and it was lovely. It isn't a home environment, but it was still warm.
Staff sitting around is never good, but I wonder if your anxiety at going back to work is affecting how you feel about the nursery?
A downside about chikdminders and nannies is that if they are sick, you are stuffed. Also, if they are sitting round ignoring your children there's no fellow staff to tell them to get off their arse.
Thanks for the replies. After panicking yesterday (and calling a couple of nanny agencies) I'm feeling so much better about the nursery today. We had another play date this morning and I left DD in the room for an hour and (spying through the door) she seemed pretty content pottering around with the other babies and her keyworker was making a fuss of her.
I think you're right 2cats my anxiety about going back to work/leaving her and has definitely been clouding my judgement. It was so great to see her happy today and made me see eveything in a whole new light - the staff seem really nice and the manager's been bending over backwards to help
me DD settle in, adapting the menu etc. Also knowing DD's personality I think she will enjoy it a lot more than being on her own with a nanny.
This whole process feels like an emotional rollercoaster though! Trying to brace myself for tough times ahead - I'm sure there are lots of tears to come as her days get longer and longer!
I'm pleased you're feeling better about the nursery. I bet she'll love it.
It's so normal to feel like you do about returning to work. Take lots of hankies on your first day. You'll need them for when people ask you how the nursery drop went!
It's quite possible that he staff hung back whilst you were in the room because you were in the room.
You've seen they can be quite different when they are in charge (IYSWIM).
You will feel more reassured if you or DH can manage to pop back every now and again when they aren't expecting you and you can see what is happening in the room. You do need to keep an eye on it, but as it's your first time with a nursery too you need to 'settle' too.
I hope it all goes well. But if you find you have doubts you can't shake (even just too many incidents you are finding you are having to explain away) then you'll need to arrange a different form of care.
I was you this time last year! Utterly wracked with guilt that my son was going I to nursery rather than have the luxury of me at home like his older sister did. Fast forward 12 months, and I can honestly say I think that it is actually him that was advantaged over his sister. He has learned to have wonderful, strong relationships with other adults (I trust the staff implicitly), knows how to share, take turns, eat with others in a social situation, engage with activities, count to 20, recite the alphabet, and has access to resources, toys and activities that we couldn't dream of at home. I guess the key is finding the right nursery.
I had initially considered a childminder but I did not find a single one that I thought provided a suitable environment or the kind of care I wanted. I did not fancy him being bundled in an out of a buggy potentially 6 times a day during school drops/collections and contending with much older kids. Just my opinion of course!
I agree with Chestnut - before I went back to work, I'd definitely have looked into a nanny if we could have afforded it. However, six months in, I'd now choose a great nursery every time. I'm constantly astounded.by how much my dd is doing and learning, and most importantly, how happy she is.
However, every nursery is different and every child is different. I'd recommend at least giving it a go - you're not committed to staying with the same childcare arrangements forever, so you can always review things if you feel it could be working better.
I would not get a nanny even if money was no object. This is because I don't like the idea of someone else being in my house while I am away. Plus my house is often filthy and I think a nanny would complain about the working environment
I would, however, (and did, infact) choose a child minder over a nursery. For reasons of 1 to 1 attention and attachment forming. Childminder is cheaper than a nursery as well.
I'm glad your DD is settling in though, OP. I'm sure it will be fine.
I chose nursery for my DC. My boys enjoyed it, they sat at tiny tables when they were very young and seemed to really like meal times. Both the social aspect and the food. Once they were toddlers there was quite a lot of room swapping during the day which broke things up a bit for them. A big treat was all of them going to one of the upstairs room and playing with the toys there. Even though some nurseries seem like a long day in one or two rooms once the DC are very young toddlers the days get structured into different activities.
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