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To ask why you chose a nursery over a childminder or vv?

(179 Posts)
mummyrunnerbean Sat 31-Jan-15 08:59:06

Just that really. Starting the great childcare hunt and feel all at sea- I'm going back to uni in September when he'll be 13 months.

Also, have already posted asking in childcare, but what in particular should I be looking for, in either case, beyond the obvious?

Preciousbane Sat 31-Jan-15 09:02:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mixtape Sat 31-Jan-15 09:02:21

I initially chose a nursery because
I felt it was "safer" and more structured - activity sessions, more
People, guidelines, feedback.

Went with a CM in the end after visits - just preferred the home environment. My CM is very laid back and it suits me. I know some people using other care are horrified that she doesn't give me daily written reports or that she puts films on for them to watch sometimes but it isn't a problem for me - I trust her and she has had both DS1 and 2 for over 8 years. It depends what your expectations are, and which setting will best meet that.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 31-Jan-15 09:03:02

Because if the childminder is ill you're in trouble, and because we happened to have a good workplace nursery available. It's horses for courses though, there's a lot to be said for childminders. With a nursery, look for low staff turnover and a calm atmosphere.

EssexGurl Sat 31-Jan-15 09:05:51

Reliability. They found the staff and covered sickness/holidays. I had lost count of the number of times my friends had to find new nannies/CMs or had to change working hours to fit in with the CMs life.

Sociability - mixing with other children. DS met his best friend there 10 years ago.


Specific roles - nursery had cook and cleaners so room staff were dedicated to the children.

Hours. Open 51 weeks a year and I could drop off / collect without impacting my working hours.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 31-Jan-15 09:08:04

The childminder illness issue may not be such a problem for you as a student than it is for some jobs, depends if your course has attendance requirements. Cms usually cheaper but you might have a subsidised nursery on campus that is designed to fit around terms so when you do the sums, look into how it works with vacations.

CrohnicallyCold Sat 31-Jan-15 09:08:42

Like precious I was concerned about what would happen if a cm is ill. Also with a nursery there will always be other adults (and CCTV) around so I felt they would be less likely to treat your child badly (don't just mean actual abuse, but inadequate supervision, too harsh punishments, that sort of thing). The nursery I chose has an open door policy (not literally!) so I (and other registered parents) can and have walked in at any time to see what they are doing. As there are several adults involved in my DD's care, it's less of a problem if she doesn't particularly like one of them.

I work part time, so the 'home environment', opportunity to go to different groups etc that a cm can provide were less of a concern for me- we do those things together when I am not at work.

Tisnemo Sat 31-Jan-15 09:09:05

I went for the nursery option because I wanted the structure and the social interactions with a view to preparing them for school, but I come at it from a slightly different angle as I am an early years teacher. That being said, children who began school in my class who had been to a good childminder did not have fewer skills, it's just my preference. For others, they want that more family/home based approach. Childminders still work from the same early years curriculum as nurseries and schools and still have to plan their days.

NotCitrus Sat 31-Jan-15 09:10:19

I chose nursery because I wanted reliable care, fell in love with a small local nursery, and there aren't many childminders in my area.
Been very happy with the nursery (max 32 kids in 3 rooms so they all get to know each other well), though there was a period with a lot of staff turnover (few months in over 5 years)
Very similar to many local childminders who work in pairs or threes, which would have been good if one had had space. I wouldn't have liked a huge nursery like dn attended - over 200 kids, 32 per room with strict age criteria, so moving room was like moving to a whole new nursery.

betweenmarchandmay Sat 31-Jan-15 09:11:28

Initially, I chose a childminder for DS but I was unhappy about him going on school runs, to the supermarket, the dentists and so on.

But I would judge on individuals not because it's a childminder or a nursery if you see what I mean!

lollipoppi Sat 31-Jan-15 09:11:54

I've tried both

DS went to a private nursery until he started preschool, and DD now goes to a childminders

DS was a very confident boy and found it easy to settle in at nursery, he loved it there
DD on the other hand is very reserved and quiet and I felt she may get over looked in a big environment. She absolutely loves her childminder, they go out to a group/park/walk every morning, it's a very relaxed environment

The main thing is both my children are / were happy in their settings

Micah Sat 31-Jan-15 09:12:10

I chose nursery as I felt they would be more reliable in terms of staff holiday or sickness. Also I had no recommendations for childminders, so i was relying on my first impressions of one person. Nursery there are several carers, so I felt i was less likely to misjudge.

I am an introvert so I felt it would benefit my kids to be around bigger groups of their peers and adults, as it's not something I do.

I do think it also depends on the child. My first was a mental case who was really high maintenance at home, very active, challenging and busy. She thrived in nursery with loads of activities and things going on.

Always though, a good nursery will be better than a bad childminder, and vice versa. Keep an open mind smile

WidowWadman Sat 31-Jan-15 09:12:17

Reliability - my daughter's nursery is only closed on weekends and bank holidays, don't have to worry about illness or holidays as I would have if it was just one person looking after my child.

cosytoaster Sat 31-Jan-15 09:14:35

I'd heard a few horror stories about cms and didn't trust myself to pick a good one. I thought a nursery would be a safer and more reliable bet. I visited some and chose one that had separate rooms for different ages, where there was a calm and welcoming atmosphere, good outdoor space and plenty of activities. Mine went from 3 months and 5 months until school, they're teens now but still say how much they enjoyed it.

That said my best friend went down the cm route and that worked really well for her.

Maybe start by visiting some nurseries/cms and seeing what you get a feel for.

Sirzy Sat 31-Jan-15 09:15:25

I visited both but went with nursery in the end.

For me the main thing was their ability to deal with his asthma but also the fact that I like the fact that holidays and illness wouldn't lead to no continuity of care which it would possibly with a cm

museumum Sat 31-Jan-15 09:15:30

Nursery for reliability - they never close for their sickness and mine is open on bank hols too. It only closes for five working days over Xmas/ny.

I am self employed and missing planned meetings / events would have a big impact on my reputation. It's tough enough covering my own family holidays with dh's work schedule and my ds's potential sickness without worrying about the cm being closed or taking their holidays. Many cm's have school age children so take holiday in the school holiday. We don't want to have to holiday then while we can still avoid it.

monkeymamma Sat 31-Jan-15 09:19:16

More structured activities and better facilities.
More socialising for ds and better preparation for school.
More regulated and transparent - I felt nervous not knowing what might be going on in someone else's home (dogs, smokers, visitors/relatives/friends - no chance for these things in nursery)

Things to look out for. Well when we visited the nursery we ended up choosing it smelled nice - of freshly baked cakes. The other we visited smelled stale and farty. And the children were happy and smiley where they were miserable and crying at the other one. Also the staff seemed happy and nice - at the other nursery the staff were in wellies (indoors!) and fleeces while the kids wandered round in socks and t shirts with their noses running and crying for their mummies. So much of it is obvious - trust your instincts too. And read offstead reports obviously.

Charlotte3333 Sat 31-Jan-15 09:19:50

We chose nursery for YS because he was always very sociable and outgoing. He started one day a week at 11 months and now at 4 he does 3 days a week while I work. It's bonus points for us is that it's very flexible so I can add on an extra morning or afternoon if I'm needed in school, it's staff turnover is incredibly low (in the 3 years he's been there the only person who has left has been a lady on maternity leave) and the staff are mainly women in their 30's and 40's who have children of their own and are very calm and chilled.

I have a friend who is a childminder and she's fabulous, the things she dreams up to keep them learning and happy and occupied are incredible. And I'd trust her in an instant to have YS, she just had no vacancies when I was ready to go back to work and he settled so well at nursery I didn't want to take him out. Horses for courses, really, just look at lots of places and find somewhere that feels right in your gut.

ilikebaking Sat 31-Jan-15 09:20:31

We chose a child minder for our 13 month old.
I have worked in private nurseries and wouldn't send a baby to one.
Childminders give a human touch, more cuddles, calmer, quieter environment, more 1 to 1 time.
She has school aged children so any holidays would be in holidays when I am off anyway and if she is ill then between my husband and I we would work it out.

monkeymamma Sat 31-Jan-15 09:20:54

Although it's worth saying our nursery is rated good in offstead report whilst miserable farty one is a national chain and regularly receives outstanding or excellent (can't remember now how it works!)

CalicoBlue Sat 31-Jan-15 09:23:41

I chose nursery, mainly for the reasons others have said. I did not want to have to take my holiday when the childminder took hers, nor did I want to have to take time off if she was sick. I thought the same with a nanny, that I did not want my work life or DS's disrupted by someone else's personal life.

Mine were at nursery from 5 months to nearly 5 when they started school. They still talk about how much they liked it and still have friends they met there. I also made friends with mums there, who I am still friends with now the kids are teenagers.

The only thing that upset me was when my youngest left, the nursery gave me a statement of my account, everything I had paid them for 8 years. I could have paid my mortgage off! I really did not want to see that.

Groovee Sat 31-Jan-15 09:24:16

My dd was at school and Ds had started school nursery, so a childminder was easier.

thegreylady Sat 31-Jan-15 09:24:16

My dd chose a cm because she wanted a home environment where her ds could have a safe, happy environment. The cm was recommended by the HV and is in great demand as she rarely has vacancies. She was a trained nanny, now lives on a farm, is Ofsted Outstanding and is a truly lovely person. My two dgs have been with her since they were 6 months so it has been ongoing for 8 years now. I share the childcare so can always step in if she is unable to work. When she does the school run the children race up to her for a hug. Dd didn't fancy the 'institutional' aspect of a nursery where you can't guarantee continuity of care and you son't really 'know' who is caring for your children. 40 years ago I used a cm for my dd and had a similare experience. Ask aroundd, get recommendations and make lots of visits before you decide.

Momzilla82 Sat 31-Jan-15 09:24:36

Hi OP. to be honest a whole bunch of totally irrational reasons.

A list;
I didn't want him to attach to one single person who wasn't me (was there 5 days a week from 7 months).
I had a childminder decades ago and had a bad experience (think lots of children, a tv, and the childminder smoking out the back door)- although I know in my head times have changed I couldn't shake that gut feeling that I couldn't 100% trust any CM. my issue not theirs.
The nursery had a lovely outdoor area- which they had access to all day.
I would always know where my child was and who they were with, they wouldn't be out and about with strangers. Sounds paranoid but him being in one environment I could picture in my head was important.
The progression between rooms and them being with children at the same development stage as them (ie no unruly 3 year olds throwing cars at my PFB head!)
A lot of the childminders had charges to pick up drop off at school, which meant the routine of the under 4s was entirely dictated by this- no flexibility for nap/ meal times.
They had a cot room for the children to sleep in, he had his own cot which we personalised with replicas of everything he had at home. They checked the room every 10 mins.

Finally, I went to look around the place and it just seemed a really good fit for what I was looking for. You have to go on gut feeling. I looked around one nursery after I'd chosen to check it was the right one (their advice) and I knew within 5 mins my child would never be going to that nursery. So my advice is trust your instincts and look around lots of options until you know you've found the right one. Needless to say DS2 starts there in 2 months ( sob) and I've barely thought about it!

Good luck.

babybythesea Sat 31-Jan-15 09:25:50

When DD1 was small, she started at a child minder, then when we moved house and I moved jobs I enrolled her at a nursery.

I work part time but my hours are all over the place (zero hours contract). It's not shift work, and it falls between 9 and 5, but it means that one week I could be working Tues morning, the next all day Friday, the next Monday morning and Thurs afternoon etc etc.
The child minder I used initially needed me to book in on regular days each week, which would make no sense at all for me financially now.
I found a nursery which lets me book in as and when I need it, I don't pay if DD's not there. Which also means I don't pay for holidays etc.
Plus I was worried about what would happen if the CM was ill, as others have said.

DD1 is now at school and I do use a child minder who picks her up from school if I'm working, but the CM is a friend first and foremost, and has her own kids at the school, so as far as DD1 is concerned she just has loads of playdates with the same friend! The CM is also doing it for a bit of extra pocket money rather than as an income stream so she is also happy for it to be an 'as and when' arrangement.

DD2 is now at the same nursery DD1 went to. They are crap at giving me written reports on her day, but they are brilliant in every other way. The staff are almost the same as when DD1 started there five years ago. DD1 loved it there, and DD2 does too. She screams 'Wow! Wow!' when we pull into the carpark, and races inside, barely turning to wave goodbye (she's nearly 2, and clingy in almost all other situations).

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