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Nursery or childminder?

(16 Posts)
Ikeafootball Wed 27-Aug-14 13:33:46

Very quick poll please. Ds (16months) is not settling in terribly well at nursery. It is a highly rated childcare provider but my gut feeling (not always reliable) was that the toddler room had a tense atmosphere, not warm and fun iykwim sad. He cried for the whole morning I was told. I do wonder how difficult it can be to comfort a small child and make them feel at ease. hmm

I have never used a child minder before and am not sure how to find someone I can really trust therefore I feel apprehensive about using one rather than a nursery. Nurseries seem to have a very tight routine so perhaps a bit stifling ... Not sure.

in your view/experience would you rather send your <2 to a reputable nursery or a childminder? And why? Thanks.

tittifilarious Wed 27-Aug-14 13:38:39

Go with your gut feeling. My two went to a great nursery - the woman who owned it was one of those warm, loving but formidable types and her ethos permeated the entire nursery. Structure AND love.

My cousin had a funny feeling about the nursery her child went to but out it down to PFB. it turned out she was right to be concerned - don't want to give details as it wasn't my child.

There are good and bad childminders AND nurseries. If you're getting a funny feeling, it's not necessarily the type of provision but the provider itself. Trust your instincts.

Pinter Wed 27-Aug-14 13:39:44

My instinct was childminder.
I met with a few, with my DC, and spent some time watching them interact.
I read their Ofsted reports, sample menus and policies and checked their insurance and DBS documents.
I went with who I felt comfortable with and my DC is really happy there. I prefer a home environment and there are different ages children playing together. They do different activities each day and it just seems a really positive place.

Take your time about it would be by recommendation smile

MummyBeerest Wed 27-Aug-14 13:53:00

It's kind of shitty that they just said he cried all morning and not said what was positive or whay they did to help him.

Is he new to nursery? Is there a supervisor/manager you could speak with in regards to the tension in the room? It may well be an internal team issue.

gentlehoney Wed 27-Aug-14 13:54:41

Go with your instinct. Nobody knows your child and what he needs better than you.

Sirzy Wed 27-Aug-14 13:54:50

Personally i preferred nursery. I visited a few childminders but they just weren't right. We found a fantastic nursery though.

There are pros and cons of both though and it differs from provider to provider so you really have to go with your gut

Thebodyloveschocolateandwine Wed 27-Aug-14 14:00:59

Hi op.

As a cm it occasionally happens that children do cry forint periods even when you cuddle them. Some kids do take time to settle and it's a good sign they they are sharing that with you.

However there should be a plan to help settle him and that needs up be discussed with you and implemented.

I am concerned about the tense atmosphere? A setting should most definatly be a mix of relaxed, happy, busy and warm.

As s cm I always asked new parents to contact my old parents so they could get the real low down and feel happy. Have you spoken to other parents?

I would always say go with your instinct but back that up with references and good staff work.

A good setting is a good setting be that a cm or a nursery.

MozzchopsThirty Wed 27-Aug-14 14:15:07

Hi OP trust your gut feeling, I didn't and left ds2 in a nursery that he hated and where children we being shouted at (witnessed by me eventually)

I had a CM for ds1 and she was amazing so I moved ds2 there and he was a changed boy within 2 weeks

Again trust your instinct with CMs

I was so sad to say goodbye to mine, in the end she had looked after my dcs for a total of 9 years. smile

BackforGood Wed 27-Aug-14 14:19:38

There are Nurseries and then there are nurseries. Equally, there are CMs and then there are CMs. I believe strongly in 'gut feeling' or instinct about where it's good to leave my child(ren) and where I wouldn't, but you can't paint all of one sort of provider with the same brush.

Personally I preferred CMs, but then mine were little babies when left, and the experiences were so positive, it would have been silly to move them once they got older.

However, some dc do take a while to settle, so "just" the fact that he cried on the first day might not mean the Nursery isn't a good one, on it's own.

cailindana Wed 27-Aug-14 14:23:30

As others have said there are good and bad of both but on the whole for a child under 3 I would choose a CM over a nursery (and have done for my DD). How good a nursery is really depends on the culture of the place and it's very hard to tell that when staff are on their best behaviour while parents are around. I used to visit nurseries as part of my research and if I was there long enough they'd forget I was an "outsider" and that's when I'd see small but significant things like children being ignored or talked about within their hearing, parents being slagged off in front of the children, nasty things being said to one child about another child and so on. IME what can happen is that if the management isn't good, low pay and poor working conditions can mean that the staff get a really bad attitude that infects the place and makes the whole atmosphere horrible and unsettling for the children. With a CM you have the disadvantage that he/she is working alone and so doesn't have the checks and balances provided by other adults but balancing that, it is easier for a CM to create and maintain a certain atmosphere and to be genuinely caring towards the children.

My super-clingy DD absolutely loved her CM right from the off and had no interest in leaving when I went to collect her on her settling in day. That says it all for me.

Ikeafootball Wed 27-Aug-14 14:26:59

Thank you all for your responses. I am sat here crying as I can't put my finger on what seemed 'off'. The nursery is absolutely reputable and people I know rave about it.

Their settling in policy is to 'drop and run'; it is not encouraged that parents stay around as it apparently makes things harder... I asked to stay for (and did for a bit) and just had a feeling that they didn't appreciate my staying around.

The room was very calm but didn't feel fun and warm. My 'evidence' for this is that the nursery nurse didn't engage much with ds whilst I was there. She didn't smile or laugh, none of the children did actually. The staff looked serious (but maybe they are just calm?). Maybe the nursery nurse is efficient but not fun? I am really worried as I have to return to work in a few weeks. sad [worried].

cailindana Wed 27-Aug-14 14:31:42

It is really hard to decide, and heartbreaking if you feel stuck and worried about doing the wrong thing.

I would always be wary about a place that doesn't want you to stay - IME that means they have something to hide. Not necessarily anything bad, but just that they are "on best behaviour" while parents are around and are very quick to slack off when they're gone.

I would say that if you have no other option for the time being then your DS won't suffer if he goes there for a month or two while you sort out an alternative. If you can sort something else out I think you should, if only for your own peace of mind.

KleineDracheKokosnuss Wed 27-Aug-14 14:49:17

Go with your gut feeling - at the least it will make your return to work calmer. I've gone with a nursery for DD - and she loves it. It has always been welcoming and I've got every confidence in the staff. She's also had a few days with a childminder (work emergency) which was...OK...but I wouldn't want her there full time.

There are various websites you can use to hunt for a childminder, and if you ask around at your baby groups you will probably get a few recommendations.

Davsmum Wed 27-Aug-14 14:57:57

Not wanting the parent to stay at drop off time does not mean they have something to hide.
Often children do not settle until the parent leaves - and the parent hanging around just makes the child unsettled because the parent is fretting or worrying about the child. Children pick up on their mother feeling anxious.

I know some parents worry, and want to see the child happy before they leave but really,..that is more their own benefit more than their child's.

It takes a little time for a young one to get used to being at a nursery. Tey not to worry and see how your DS is after a week or two.

Singmetosleepzzz Wed 27-Aug-14 15:11:02

Sounds like an awful place, you must be worried you poor thing. I have used childminders and nurseries and it depends on the child really. I am generally happier with a smaller, homely nursery from my own experiences - the thing about a childminder that we encountered was that she wasn't able to follow my DC's routine so well as she had older children who were taken out on visits. My DC was very small (10 months) and basically didn't nap when he needed to and was overtired and hysterical by evening. Nursery did follow the routine. I was also a bit paranoid that the childminder might not engage with my DC as much as a nursery - you are putting your trust in one person who may or may not play/care for your child - does that make sense? Nursery is more visible and it is clearer to see what is or isn't being done. Hope that makes sense, just my own feelings and experiences.
What would you like to do? Have you visited a range of settings?

ArsenicyOldFace Wed 27-Aug-14 15:47:48

Warmth matters. You know it does. It matters more than almost anything else.

Go with your gut smile

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