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Help us decide *tied up in knots about child care for 8 month old*

(20 Posts)
wearie Tue 16-Jul-19 22:33:35

I'm totally undecided about where to send my 8 month old from the autumn. I had to do a mini return to work this past month and he's done a day a week in a nursery and then a day with a childminder. We were all set to put him in the nursery longer term (two days a week) as that is what we have done with our older two children. But now I'm thinking maybe the childminder would suit him better as it's more home from home and she can be one point of attachment, I'm worried that the baby room at the nursery is v big (12 babies) and so willl be less nurturing for him.

Can't decide what to do for the e best. The nursery has been assessed as 'outstanding' and we have always been v happy with it. Great staff and amazing facilities. But the childminder seems lovely too and is calm and v child focused.

My instinct is that we should maybe take a gamble on the childminder but keep going backwards and forwards on it. Can you help us decide??? Please blushhmm

Cheeseandapple Tue 16-Jul-19 22:57:33

It's so tough isn't it! We ended up going with childminder over nursery as wanted DD to have a home from home, visiting aunties type feel rather than nursery, which can be institutional, one size fits all (not all and definitely not nursery bashing!) It's been perfect for us (had a blip in the beginning though). She's got 1/2 little friends, loves her childminder, goes to play groups and music classes, it's really personalised. Perfect for DD and us. However, obviously it depends on the childminder. What's made you consider something different to what you've done previously? Having said all that about our childcare, in your position I would probably stick with what I know works as I think it totally depends on the child minder/ nursery!

nannynick Wed 17-Jul-19 11:36:59

What about the older two children? An advantage of a childminder is that, subject to space, they can care for all of your children. They can also take/collect from school, so the arrangement can last a lot longer than using a nursery.

wearie Wed 17-Jul-19 12:41:02

Thanks so much for the thoughts. The older two were at the nursery (and the two year old still is) but it's grown since then and I'm really coming around to idea that my baby would be better in a home to home setting. Though do like the nursery and it's staff a lot too. My worry is that the staff are in and out of the baby room / covering different things and so it may be quite tricky for him to develop attachment and feel secure in that setting.

But can imagine nursery working well when he's older (from about 2 maybe) and that is perhaps a reason to keep him there now even if not ideal.

Def true that the childminder could help with pre school wraparound which would be good.

I am totally undecided on this one. Not easy

ReganSomerset Wed 17-Jul-19 12:44:32

I'd go with the childminder. Attachment is so important with the under twos and I'd prioritise that.

Rainatnight Wed 17-Jul-19 12:46:08

We went with childminder for exactly the reasons you describe - home from home, single point of attachment, and going out to ‘normal’ things like play groups and the shops!

Has to be a good childminder - there are some rubbish ones - but it sounds like yours is.

Downsides are that there’s no holiday cover - we pretty much have to take holiday when the childminder does though we’ve managed that ok so far.

Rainatnight Wed 17-Jul-19 12:47:29

I should say that DD is graduating to pre-school at the grand old age of 3 in September, which feels like the right move to give her a bit more stretch. So you do have the option to do that later.

wearie Wed 17-Jul-19 22:41:14

Thanks everyone. Yeah it does feel like the childminder is a good bet but I'm still nervous about cutting the ties with the nursery. So tricky...

Wildorchidz Wed 17-Jul-19 22:44:14

Childminder for sure

Geneva1995 Fri 19-Jul-19 18:17:56

I definitely think nursery is a lot better for socialising and independence (with a lot more opportunities)! Also, it will prepare your child more for school than a childminders. Is the option of 1 day at nursery and 1 day at childminders not an option? As a nursery practitioner, this is quite common smile
Also, you said 12 babies is a lot of baby for baby room. My nursery has 35 babies a day throughout 4 big rooms, with lots of lovely staff and the activists and resources provided for them is amazing. So don’t let this put you off! X

Geneva1995 Fri 19-Jul-19 18:19:15

Sorry, meant activities not activists *

Mummyshark2018 Fri 19-Jul-19 18:59:14

Given that you have a dc already at the nursery I would not want to do an extra drop off every morning for the baby.

Spanglyprincess1 Fri 19-Jul-19 19:02:04

My baby knew the childminder we used from 2 weeks old as she runs two of the local play groups we attended. I felt really comfortable as I'd seen her with kids etc before and interacting with ds.
He likes it and is happy there.
I never considered nersery though tbh. My friend sends her son there and he's really happy but there's only 3 babies in the bbay room.

SMaCM Sun 21-Jul-19 17:09:55

I definitely think nursery is a lot better for socialising and independence (with a lot more opportunities)! Also, it will prepare your child more for school than a childminders.

This is a matter of opinion. My mindees socialise a lot and are all well prepared for school.

Wildorchidz Sun 21-Jul-19 18:09:08

Also, it will prepare your child more for school than a childminders.

The child is 8 months old. Secure attachment is way more important than socialising at this age.

CrackOn Sun 21-Jul-19 22:02:16

The child is 8 months old. Secure attachment is way more important than socialising at this age.

Agreed. And, what's more, the baby will not be able to actually benefit developmentally from socialising for most of the next year at least.

jannier Mon 22-Jul-19 21:47:54


Socialisation and pre for school not that relevant for this age group more continuity of care but
Have you actually used or visited a childminder? It is very possible to do socialisation and prepare for school just as well with a childminder depending like with all settings the quality of experiences and care provided. Our local schools typically say how well prepared childminders children are, they certainly don't spend all day in a small group of 1 to 3 children ours will spend half there day with 20 or so children that they have become clos friends with and will start school reception with having not gone to any nursery. They sit for stories and singing and will stand and sing to large groups at toddler group. They can write their names, know numbers and recognise them up to 20, self care including dressing and zipping coats, wiping themselves, opening and selecting foods from lunch boxes able to select 3 healthy things to start, wait for others to be served and carry cups and plates to kitchens. they always have a wide selection of toys, messy play mark making and role play to choose from every day both inside and out.
The practitioners are degree level outstanding graded and Senco trained amongst many other qualifications they just choose to offer a smaller more individually tailored care.

Geneva1995 Tue 23-Jul-19 07:28:11

@jannier I used to work alongside a childminder and it personally wasn’t for me or my child, however obviously that doesn’t mean it’s not for some people. It may also have been this particular childminder wasn’t for me as I haven’t had any experience with others. I would definitely visit different settings, both nurseries and childminders and just see which you get a better feel for smile

winetomorrow Tue 23-Jul-19 07:42:37

You could always tell the nursery you're going to do the childminder for a few months then transition a bit later (let you settle into work without the inevitable 'can you collect due to temp/cold/general kid germs' that go with starting nursery. Which then gives you time to see how it goes without burning any bridges. Go with whatever you're most comfortable with, it's the hardest decision!

TheHandsOfNeilBuchanan Sat 27-Jul-19 12:59:56

We had this dilemma, we've gone for a nursery but they have a maximum of 6 in the baby room with three full time staff, at the moment they only have two babies! DS is very very active and energetic and loves being around older children, DH and I have both had consolidated hours approved so will be with him a day a week each and he is with each grandma for one day a week, so we thought nursery would be a nice change for the fifth day. It's a really nice setting.

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