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Moving from CM to nursery...

(7 Posts)
KipperBalloon Mon 06-Nov-17 15:41:11

Probably more of a WWYD than AIBU in truth, but I suppose I want to know if I WBU to move my DD (18 months) from a childminder to a nursery. Mainly for logistical reasons.

Initial reason for choosing CM over nursery, was - mostly - an emotional decision, as the setting just "felt right". DH and I both felt at ease about sending DD there, whereas the thought of sending her to any of the nurseries we visited (which were all perfectly good nurseries) left us feeling a bit less comfortable. We always planned to transition to nursery nearer to the time she would start school, as the nursery would be linked to primary school (childminder lives in the town where DH works and looks after children from a completely different primary school).

Fast forward and DD is reasonably settled with CM, seems generally happy there. But we have some issues with reliability. Not through the fault of the CM really, just the reality of using an individual for childcare, rather than an organisation - sometimes CM has to close if she, or her children are, ill, or for other personal reasons. Then obviously there are DD's illnesses meaning she can't attend (which would apply in any setting of course). Between us it has added up to quite a lot of time off work for DH and I unfortunately. Our employers are reasonably understanding, but it's still tricky!

I blame myself as much as anything for perhaps following my heart, rather than my head. I didn't fully consider the implications - extra time off work etc, when CM closes unexpectedly. We don't have any family nearby who can provide emergency childcare if needed (we moved 180 miles away from our mutual hometown for DH's job) which I should really have considered. I feel a bit foolish in hindsight.

So now I am wondering whether to get DD back on the waiting list for our preferred local nursery sooner rather than later and move her earlier than we had planned (we were planning to move her at about 3y.o). Waiting lists are about six months here, so it wouldn't be an immediate move, but probably about a year earlier than we had planned.

I just don't know if it would be the right things to do for DD. Maybe I just need to suck up the need to sometimes have this time off due to CM closure, for the sake of not moving her when she's still so young and probably won't understand what's going on? Or maybe I am being PFB about it and she will be fine? I hate the idea she might end up being less happy in the nursery setting, but there is no way to know really. Settling in with the CM was a long process, it feels mean to start that all over again.

Would appreciate the mumsnet wisdom on this one. Even if I do end up deserving a biscuit!

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 06-Nov-17 15:58:13

I had a brilliant childminder who would arrange cover with another local childminder if she had to close/take leave etc. She even had my child when he had chicken pox because her oldest had already it and she didn't mind her youngest getting it so it was over with before school.

Perhaps you just have the wrong childminder.

Although nurseries won't close if one employee is off sick there are other issues that you might not have considered.

Start and close times are less flexible than my childminder was. They shut for a week over Christmas sometimes which can make things difficult if you cannot take the same time off.

However from a social point of view now your child is older he may enjoy nursery more (although my childminder used to take him to different toddler/play sessions).

RavingRoo Mon 06-Nov-17 16:06:43

Can you move her to a private nursery while you wait for a place?

KipperBalloon Mon 06-Nov-17 17:25:08

RavingRoo - do you mean private nursery, as opposed to one linked to a primary school? The waiting list is the same regardless around here. In fact the other nursery in the town has a longer list and only has places in September each year. Plus even if I could find another nursery with a place I don't want to keep moving DD again and again.

Christmas not an issue for us from a nursery perspective. CM closes over Christmas too anyway.

Candlelight234 Mon 06-Nov-17 17:33:49

The reasons you have outlined are why I chose a nursery over a childminder. Work may become less understanding over time with repeated absences for child related reasons, especially if you have no family nearby for cover. I would put my name down in nursery waiting list if I was you.

Candlelight234 Mon 06-Nov-17 17:34:45

No need to feel foolish btw, it just hasn't worked out as you hoped, that's all.

TuckMyWin Mon 06-Nov-17 17:49:52

I've done both - we used a childminder until we were recently forced due to circumstances to move them to nursery. I was very happy with the childminder, and for different reasons am also very happy with the nursery. Bear in mind that a childminder can often be much more flexible around illness than a nursery. They have the flexibility to have a quiet day with an under the weather child, whereas a nursery will often have a lower threshold to send them home. They will also be exposed to many more germs at nursery - sickness bugs and coughs and colds go round like wildfire at nursery, my three year old has been ill much more frequently since starting at nursery. However, yes, the flip side is the reliability of the childminder vs a nursery. I'd say unless your childminder is particularly unreliable, it's probably a case of six and two threes, and I wouldn't move a child who was settled in one setting unless there were other reasons.

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