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Childminders vs nurseries

(54 Posts)
SophieB85 Tue 13-Feb-18 05:08:48

Hi everybody, I wondered if I could get some advice? I'm expecting my first child April 2018. I've just come to realise that I need to be enrolling them now into childcare well over a year in advance as a lot of nurseries appear to have large waiting lists. I'm finding the experience quite daunting as I require a maximum of two days. This doesn't seem like much in comparison to some parents who have full time but the cost is almost not worth me working (staff nurse) I just wondered if anybody knows whether a childminder is a slightly cheaper option or whether both types of childcare are on par with each other, price wise. Thank you.

Klik Tue 13-Feb-18 05:25:30

Nurseries don’t call in sick.
Childminders might be more flexible.
Costs will depend on where you live but prob £50 per day.

FloralSocks Tue 13-Feb-18 05:27:01

Childminders are a little cheaper

Notthisnotthat Tue 13-Feb-18 05:33:05

My DH works shifts and I find our nursery more flexible than local childminders, they are open 7.30am till 6pm, while most childminders are 8 -5. Our nursery only closes at Christmas for 2 days and new year for 2 days, suits us as DH is allocated his annual leave rather than taking leave when the childminder takes their holidays.

It's a tricky decision, there are some fab nurseries and childminders and some not so good, visit a good selection to get a feel for them and a decision may become clearer.

Notthisnotthat Tue 13-Feb-18 05:35:49

Baby rate is £37 and over 2 is £32, really quite cheap but I live in Scotland, some nurseries are up to £50 a day based on location.

Achafi Tue 13-Feb-18 05:39:54

When I looked in general childminders were cheaper but had more holidays and you pay for them and have to fund alternative care. Nursery marginally more expensive but open more with greater flexibility

InBlackwaterWoods Tue 13-Feb-18 05:42:20

Personally I found our local nursery quite institutional for our ds. The rows of cots and scheduled nap times just looked a bit sad for my wee boy.
mum was a childminder when I grew up and the children she looked after became part of our family.
So for me it was an easy choice. I managed to get a space with a lovely childminder I knew. With her, Ds is loved, happy and all the children she looks after are like siblings together.
So look around, you may have less clinical nurseries near you but for me it has to be a cm!

InBlackwaterWoods Tue 13-Feb-18 05:46:23

Oops! Price! Yes the nursery a bit more expensive!
Holidays are expensive for alternative care but cm tends to take her hols same time as us so not too bad!

jannier Tue 13-Feb-18 09:56:58

Both settings should offer similar experiences and will deliver the eyfs (standards for early years) and be inspected in by the same body against the same standards. The difference is in the more homely feel and generally more flexibility and knowing exactly who is looking after your child.
In most areas child-minders are cheaper.
There is a common preconception that childminders leave you in the learch when sick and on holiday, but they don't always that will depend on who you choose.....most childminders are reluctant to go sick as they don't get paid and being very low paid (in general few get minimum wage) the majority cant afford to and feel very bad about letting parents down so minor things like bad backs and non infectious illness are worked through. (I worked through cancer treatment including chemo and came out with an outstanding grade that year). Many also have assistants and/or co minders. You can also get childcare on domestic premises where there are several adults in a mini nursery.
Many will cover shifts and many will work between 6am and 6pm with a proportion starting and finishing outside these hours.

jannier Tue 13-Feb-18 10:00:31

Achaf - the majority of childminders do not have paid holiday but if you consider the annual rate 8 days on a full time contract is typically less than paying 4p and hour more in fees.
Many have people that they can recommend if they are shut and your child will know well. You can also choose to book the same time off as typically you will have up to 12 months notice of holidays. If on top of this you get ant tax credits that is paid all year around.

Discusting Tue 13-Feb-18 10:06:20

Round here a nursery place is around £45 a day, I pay £35 for my childminder. She opens at 7am and will work until the evening if it’s a one off and needed.

Mine doesn’t take holidays, but is term time only which suits me perfectly as I teach and so don’t want to pay for school holidays I don’t need.

Mine works with 3 other minders in her village and they do all their planning and out of the house activities together. If she is ill one of the other minders will try their best to have my child instead.

As DS was quite young when he started going (9 Months) I wanted a closer relationship with one person rather than a team at nursery that could be replaced more often. I also wanted him in a home setting where he goes out most days, rather than a nursery where he was stuck in the same room all day long.

My DS is taken to toddler groups, walks in the woods, gymnastics class, soft play, other minders house, farm parks etc at least twice a week. He also gets out every day on the school run to collect the minders older children.

Trampire Tue 13-Feb-18 10:16:40

My dcs are teens and tweens now, but I used a CM for many many years. She's now a become a close family friend.

I chose my CM as she was warm, lovely, sociable and caring. She took the small group out most days to the zoo, the beach, the park, toddler groups or in larger group outings with other CM'rs. In all those years she may have had 3 days off sick. She's covered for me when I've had unexpected business trips and held them longer for things like parent evenings. She was fabulous.

Her OFSTED rating was Outstanding and she worked really hard for it.

coffeeforone Tue 13-Feb-18 17:57:17

Lots of people say childminders are better for little ones as they provide ‘home from home’. They are also very slightly cheaper than nurseries in most areas. They may also be slightly more flexible when child is ill etc.

That said, we went for a nursery as we didn’t want the uncertainty of childminder holidays or sickness. We needed reliable childcare as we have no backup plan.

RicStar Tue 13-Feb-18 18:05:36

In my area se London there is not much difference in cost - childminders are quite hard to find and a good one is extremely in demand. But it is very area specific.

fairypuff Tue 13-Feb-18 18:13:04

It's worth checking ratios too. I was surprised to find out that a local nursery had one adult to 15 children!!! Our childminder cant take more than 4.

insancerre Tue 13-Feb-18 20:26:18

1-15 is not a legal ratio in England
Where are you that has such a high ratio?

coffeeforone Tue 13-Feb-18 21:59:54

Nursery ratios depend on ages. My DS’s room is under 2’s and there’s always at least 1:3 ratio (usually about 1:2 from what I’ve seen). As they get older they need less staff. The preschool room has a teacher and one other staff member for about 15 3-4 year olds so a much bigger ratio there!

insancerre Wed 14-Feb-18 06:28:11

The ratio for nurseries in England is
Under two 1-3
Two year olds 1-4
3+ 1-8 or 1-13 depending on qualifications

MaverickSnoopy Wed 14-Feb-18 07:07:08

We've done both. It's swings and roundabouts.

Nursery:
* Approx £50/day (payable all year round)
* Available here between 730am - 6pm
* Never phones in sick and doesn't have holiday
* Childcare mostly confined to one room (sometimes the garden too)

Childminder:
* Approx £40/day but you can pay for what you need so work on an hourly rate rather than daily rate (eg our average day is 8 hours so we pay 8 x £4 per day but in nursery this would be a blanket £50 for the same hours)
* Available here from 7:00am - 6:00pm (different childminders do different times)
* Might phone in sick (ours hasn't yet) and will take some holiday (but we don't pay for either and we get all holiday dates at the start of the year)
* Childcare predominantly based at childminders house but they take children out daily to school and park (and occasionally other fun places)

There are of course more positives and minuses as with everything. Look into the options available to you and work out what would suit most. Using a nursery suited us well for a while and childminder wouldn't have worked because of where we were working. Now we use a childminder and it works well for our circumstances now. My personal preference is a childminder as I feel there is more stability, but then my eldest went through 14 keyworkers at nursery.

jannier Wed 14-Feb-18 09:07:25

The ratio in a nursery is staff in building they can leave the room to do things but be on call so this may not be the actual staff working with the children. In my work in nurseries I've seen this many times. Some will have a bell system to call staff back if needed in times of staff sickness if they don't pay the high agency fees they can call on office staff heads etc. I've worked in some nurseries with a when the door rings leave time to allow staff to return to correct rooms. The staff maybe working on paperwork etc. not with the children.
The ratio in childminding is 1 to 3 under 5's (unless in full time school) with some scope for variation under continuity of care with parents consent. As in nurseries there is a chance this may not be followed but a setting that goes out in public will find it harder to hide ratio infringement which is why we like people to question things if they see them.

JessieMcJessie Wed 14-Feb-18 12:30:29

Congratulations! From what you say your baby will be going to nursery around his/her first birthday, right?

My DS went to nursery from that age and has loved it (he’s now 18 months). can’t say how it compares to childminder as we have only used nursery but you have lots of good advice above. My main tip would be think very carefully about location, so that you can incorporate pickup and dropff easily into your morning routine and don’t be tempted to go miles out of your way just because you’ve heard how amazing a particular provider is. It’ll get tedious very quickly and as long as the convenient places have good OFSTED or above they will be fine, particularly for a young toddler who doesn’t get much out of organised activities for the first year or so.

WaitingForEgg Wed 14-Feb-18 13:39:05

We use both. LG went to childminder to begin with as I liked the home environment as a baby. She’s now two and does 2 days forest nursery and 2 days childminder. Childminder charges £4 ph and actually is extremely flexible (she is open 7-7). Nursery is £54 per day. I think it depends what you want from the setting

JuniLoolaPalooza Wed 14-Feb-18 14:25:10

When I went back to work my mum had my DD originally. A colleague used a childminder and it seemed every other week she was juggling because she'd called in sick. I just couldn't deal with that so went for nursery. It's much more reliable for us (apart from when DD is ill herself) and it's easy to book random extra days usually etc.

wizuwox Wed 14-Feb-18 14:34:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

snop Wed 14-Feb-18 14:49:10

Both mine went to a childminder, I did look at nursery but when I went to visit I just didn't like the look of them. I liked the home environment and the fact the children where taken to play groups and outings so each day was different. Both went to different childminders but in both homes they had huge playrooms and loads of outside space.

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