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Did you pick your childcare because it was convenient rather than what you wanted?

(46 Posts)
Sunrise888 Sat 02-Jun-18 05:34:54

I feel like we are about to and getting very depressed about it 😥. I had my heart set on a childminders for my lo but it fell through and I have to be back at work soon. There are no other childminders available near where we live or work - the nearest would involve sitting in rush hour traffic on a bus/car or cycling on busy roads. I thought it was worth the extra effort but now DH just wants to pick the nearest nursery which is a 5 min walk (we'll visit next week). My lo is sociable but has never been looked after anytime except DH or me. 😥 Can someone talk me down please.

annandale Sat 02-Jun-18 05:43:55

I certainly think it is well worth looking at your nearest childcare. The stress and difficulty being on time with a commute to childcare will make a big difference to your lo and also to you, and it's OK to plan to make the pickup etc as simple as possible.

I wanted a childminder over a nursery but in fact thought the childminder I picked after visits etc was just not good enough. There were random adults visiting every day and a lot of telly because she had so many older children being looked after. A good nursery could have been a lot better.

Sunrise888 Sat 02-Jun-18 05:58:34

Thanks annandale. My DH would have borne the brunt of the commute during drop offs which is why he's so insistent. I am doing pick ups which is slightly easier travel wise.

Everyone, including work, has said to me the most important thing is to feel comfortable with where you are leaving your child, but now I'm not. I feel that whatever nursery we pick I am going to worry and think he could be happier and more settled elsewhere. Part of me feels I should adjust my expectations because we can't always get exactly what we want in life, and the other part feels that who I leave my lo with is one of the more significant decisions we will ever make and I shouldn't ignore these nagging doubts.

icklekid Sat 02-Jun-18 06:06:24

Go and see the nursery before you decide. I get it both of mine go to childminders by choice but honestly now the youngest is nearly 2 I would be fine with her going to nursery it really was just for when she was tiny. Nurserys can be very different so have a look around a few to see if any give you a good feeling- I'd be looking for older staff who don't tend to leave/have lower staff turnover so you get stability (not because younger staff aren't just as good if not better) I'd also go for a smaller nursery given the choice

Sunrise888 Sat 02-Jun-18 06:08:03

Lo loves exploring, and doesn't seem to be afraid of crawling away from us into other rooms. And though he's not been cared for by anyone else, he's been quite happy to be picked up by others and taken so we are out of sight for short periods.

We are staying with relatives for a few days - I feel like we should check how he handles the separation from us while we have the opportunity 😥

Sunrise888 Sat 02-Jun-18 06:14:36

I'd be looking for older staff who don't tend to leave/have lower staff turnover so you get stability (not because younger staff aren't just as good if not better) I'd also go for a smaller nursery given the choice

Thank you, this is good advice.

I fit to say that DH's fixed term contract runs out in January. He could potentially be offered another contract, but if not then we'd have to give up the nursery place as it's for staff members. They are other nurseries on the way to work so the commute wouldn't be too bad for lo, but we'd still have to bus or cycle there.

So the nursery 5 mins away may not be as convenient as we thought of we have to consider potential disruption.

Wellthisunexpected Sat 02-Jun-18 08:45:03

Location is really important. We picked a nursery we really liked and it was great, but the journey really got to me after a year. And DH had to take half a day off work if I needed him to pick up or drop off due to the location. Sitting in the car for all that wasn't great for DC either, he'd be tired and grumpy after nursery and just want cuddles, so the journey home was often lots of crying and screaming, very stressful!

We moved him 2 weeks ago to one 5 minutes away and the difference has been immense. He actually really loves it too.

I put him in childcare he absolutely hated or I didn't like, but one that's perfectly fine, just not my preferred is a compromise.

Wellthisunexpected Sat 02-Jun-18 08:48:58

*I WOULDN'T put him in childcare either of us hated.

Personally I chose a nursery over childminder due to increased safeguarding risks of a childminder (I'm a social worker so have a bit of a skewed view!).

thethoughtfox Sat 02-Jun-18 08:52:56

I went for the private more expensive option rather than the council nursery because we wanted dd to have the experience of a forest nursery. It costs a lot instead of being free like the other nursery would be but I am so glad every school holiday time because the private nursery is still open.

breastfeedingdrivingmecrazy Sat 02-Jun-18 08:59:31

I'm doing exactly this. There is very limited childcare where we live, and I'm putting my DD into a nursery that is convenient, but isn't what I would have chosen in an ideal world. Like you I'm a bit upset about it. I'm telling myself that it isn't forever, if we really hate it then there is only a month notice period and we can change.

Also, I went to the dodgiest nursery ever. I have a successful career, a wonderful life, and no adverse effects at all from it. Childcare at that age is really not impactful on their future lives.

Sunrise888 Sat 02-Jun-18 09:20:09

Personally I chose a nursery over childminder due to increased safeguarding risks of a childminder (I'm a social worker so have a bit of a skewed view!).

I have this niggling worry too - I'm always thinking over the worst possibilities.

Sunrise888 Sat 02-Jun-18 09:22:06

we wanted dd to have the experience of a forest nursery

I would love this too! I really want lo to have lots of outdoor play because we don't have a garden ourselves. I'm not sure what he'd get out of forest school now, but definitely in a year or two.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Sat 02-Jun-18 09:28:04

We picked nursery over the childminder and it was absolutely the right thing. These were our reasons: 1. DS will almost certainly be an only and we wanted him to experience having lots of friends of the same age to play with, not the smaller number and random age range he’d get at a CM. 2. The safeguarding policies at nursery are much more robust. Indeed all their policies are. 3. They take the children on so many outings and trips to the park and have so many additional classes like music, French and ballet, which a CM simply couldn’t provide.

Why don’t you at least look at nurseries before you panic?

Sunrise888 Sat 02-Jun-18 09:29:19

Childcare at that age is really not impactful on their future lives.

I hope so. I'm feeling massive amounts of mum-guilt. We are planning to buy a bigger home which I know that lo will benefit from, but it means I really need to stay in work at least part time. Last night I was contemplating pulling out of the purchase so that I can stay home for the next two years - crazy thoughts.

Wellthisunexpected Sat 02-Jun-18 09:34:42

@Sunrise888 most forest nurseries don't accept kids under 2, sometimes 3. Our nursery is a forest nursery but negative cheap, almost half price of the previous one!

Stompythedinosaur Sat 02-Jun-18 10:13:57

I also favoured a childminder, but in your situation would absolutely have gone for the local nursery unless it was terrible. Being able to get home so easily when your dc is tired at the end of the day will be good for both you and them.

kello Sat 02-Jun-18 10:23:12

OP I know that awful feeling about choosing the right childcare. I still find it tough and my younger two are 7 and 9 blush

What I learnt is to distinguish between my gut instinct about whether a setting feels right for my dc, and then my own sense of guilt/fear etc, which is to do with me not the setting.

I moved around a lot as a child so that feeling of unfamiliar school/nursery triggers my own stuff. I have learnt to hold that to one side and know that my children will be ok and they will let me know if not.

Sunrise888 Mon 11-Jun-18 13:55:23

Thanks for the advice everyone. We went to visit the nursery and it's lovely and only 5 mins away. 12 babies in the baby room - is that a usual number?

On the downside it's full-time and starting a month after I'm meant to go back to work. (They will be understanding but it's very short notice.) We're supposed to confirm acceptance today. This had turned into such a mess.

I have two more nursery visits tmw and wed, both about 15 mins away. I know that one of them may only have a place Mondays and Fridays which is not brilliant for work. I also have a final childminder visit but she's not available until September.

Feeling a mix of desperation and despair. I really wanted to leave my lo in the best possible care, not take what we can get at the last minute 😥

TheFifthKey Mon 11-Jun-18 14:08:41

I didn't have much choice and went for convenience and cost, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out! I didn't want a childminder because I'm a single parent who works full time and can't cope with childminder sickness or holidays - plus I love the flexibility of nursery (will accept DC at short notice if needed and do holiday club so there's my holiday childcare sorted even after they leave in a familiar, safe place!)

EgremontRusset Mon 11-Jun-18 14:09:50

Local is really good. 10 minutes closer to your house is over an hour and a half less each week travelling home with a tired LO. Our LO is happy at his nursery - but I’m definitely glad it’s close to home.

HairyToity Mon 11-Jun-18 14:18:12

We've used both. The childminder for our oldest was fabulous and our daughter was very happy.

The childminder had stopped working when second came along. We looked at others but didn't like as much. Plucked for nursery. Our son doesn't seem to enjoy it as much as daughter does but I reduced my hours, so now work 2 days rather than 4.

Semster Mon 11-Jun-18 15:25:52

We've used lots of different childcare for our 3 kids over the last 16 years, and one thing I can say for sure is that you never quite know which will be the 'right' one, and that it often isn't the one you predicted.

We've used nurseries (IIRC 4 different ones), childminders (2), nannies (3), and many holiday camps.

The other day we were talking about a camp that I put the children into as an emergency last-minute option, after our nanny pulled out at the last minute, and the children reminded me it was the best camp they'd ever done.

bubbleroad Mon 11-Jun-18 15:31:58

I chose the one nearest to work due to convenience for the first year, although am now investigating others to possibly use two settings - I feel a bit like I could have done more research initially. Had no problems as such but more aware what to look for now.

Hideandgo Mon 11-Jun-18 15:34:55

I personally would have looked at the nearest place first! The ideal is that place so if it turns out you like it, totally win win! Otherwise, could you afford a nanny?

pottilypottery Mon 11-Jun-18 15:39:52

i have moved my child between 2 competent settings for convenience. At the end of a long day, your child is really tired, the less time they spend on the way home, the better.

Also agree it's not a once and done, between my children we've used 5 nurseries and a CM over the years.

If you are working part time, you will be the biggest influence, as long as the other care is competent (and they should be or they'll get shut down), you should not worry so much.

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