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Childminder or Nursery? Help!(20 Posts)
I am due back to work in November but am also looking for a new job as don't think current employer are going to allow part time working. As I don't know yet what hours I'm going to be working I haven't arranged or even thought about childcare for my DS. where do I start?! Is a childminder better option because there he will have closer attention than him being in a nursery? Or is nursery better because more children to interact with? And what about costs? I am literally clueless and would really appreciate any advice. Also, DH works shifts in a 3 week rota so some weeks we would need childcare M-F and some weeks only 2/3 days. Is this going to cause a problem? Thanks in advance for any help x
I've had excellent experiences with both. The child adult ratios are about the same I think (1:3), by, with good nurseries often having a waiting list, a cm might be able to offer more flexibility around your working hours. OTOH, your holidays will be tied to com's hols, they will be closed if they or their child are ill etc.
A nursery is unlikely to do some full weeks, some part weeks. It will probably be more expensive than a childminder. It may well offer a wider range of activities than a childminder, and is less likely to be closed or unavailable because of sickness etc.
So much depends on what is available in your area, what your child is like, what you can afford etc.
I suggest you go and look around a few nurseries and childminders and see what starts to feel right.
Good childminders are like gold dust and nurseries more likely to have places. Nurseries also more reliable, no staff sick days or holiday you have cover. Childminders are more home from home, but personally resent paying someone to do school run with older kids and their supermarket shop with my child.
It depends completely on the individual childminders and nurseries concerned, really. I would visit loads and see which settings can offer the things you need. I've used both very happily.
Good childminders don't do their weekly shop with their mindees.
Shopping trips can be educational too. I took my mindees to the local Garden Centre to choose a bird feeding station and nuts and seeds. We then put it all together and I'll let them top it up with water etc.
School runs are the ideal time to get some fresh air and have a little snooze. And it's no different to millions of other children's daily routine. And it does them no harm.
I have actually seen our local nursery emulating childminders by taking the children to local shop and by taking them to pick up their peers from school nursery.
I'd choose a good CM for a baby. There are some down sides such as cover for holidays or sickness.
But I book my holidays in advance.
Children are not meant to be kept in one room all day! Getting out and about is really beneficial for them.
We had one of those gold-dust childminders - a former nursery leader who had a daughter the same age as ours. Fully qualified but in a home environment. They all went together on outings, had picnics, went to the library for music class - it was amazing - she got a small home life with a cat and her own cot there and a garden, plus she did the school run for the CM's elder children so saw big kids out and about. Home cooking. It was amazing, and very nurturing for a 1 yr old.
Sadly I didn't have a good childminder. So 4 months and a v stressed toddler later we found a nursery with good management. It's hard to find a good childminder.
Thanks everyone, I hadn't thought about things like holidays or sickness cover. Still think I'm swaying towards CM though, I like the idea of DS going out and about.
I think whatever I do I'm going to find it difficult to let go and see someone else look after my child. I know it sounds stupid but I don't want him to start seeing someone as his 'second mummy'!!!!!
I am a childminder, so there may be some bias here, but I always think it's better for babies and very young toddlers to go to a childminder. Smaller groups, quieter environment and the ability to focus a little more individual attention on each child.
I think older toddlers can cope with the pace and structure of a nursery much better, but babies need something a little bit more like home. Especially if it's their first time being away from their mum.
That said, it's also up to how you feel about it. The best thing to do is go and look at some childminders and some nurseries and see how you feel about them. Some parents prefer nurseries, some parents prefer childminders. Unless you go and look, you'll never know. Ask around any friends you have with kids, and see if they recommend anywhere.
If you're having a problem with thinking someone might be his 'second mum' a nursery might be better for you. You could always do both, and send him to a childminder for a few months, until he's a little older and used to being away from you, then change to a nursery.
Some nurseries can be a bit inflexible with times, because they need to close and can't have kids and staff having around waiting for parents, whereas a childminder can be much more flexible. On the other hand, if a childminder is sick they might have to close at short notice, whereas a nursery might have staff to cover. (Same with hols!)
Good luck, I hope you find somewhere to suit you both!
Try and think of your CM as an Auntie type figure not a second Mum.
I would never try and be a parent figure to one of my mindees, but I like to think I am important to them. I don't do school runs at all.
I agree that you need to visit nurseries and CMs, to see how you feel.
We have been very happy with our cm, and now 3yo dd1 goes to ps for a couple of sessions I can see that a nursery environment is a very loud, busy place for a small child to be all day.
I like the fact that the dcs go out and about in our local area, and they have no worries about going to school having done pick ups etc and knowing older dcs there.
Hey I have been an assistant manager of an outstanding nursery, and loved it. The children loved it and it was an amazing social experience for the children.
I am now a childminder and have been for around 18months, I love it! I have such an incredible bond with the children and parents. I can do things without having to worry about other staff/children/parents and so on. We go out in the morning and afternoon, something we never ever did at the nursery, we were lucky to get out to the park once a week! (Although had a huge garden)
I would personally chose childminder over nursery every time. This is my career now, and when I have my own children, they will not be going to nursery, even an outstanding one! The quality of care I can provide is ten times better than I could ever provide at nursery x
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the comments and it has helped to make my mind up, I am going to stick with CM option, just need to find a bloody good one! Don't suppose anyone knows one in Chesterfield, Derbyshire area?! X
I made the decision to send DS to a cm as I have to start work really bloody early so needed to be able to do a 7am drop off. He goes two days a week (is now 16mo). She's really flexible and I was able to negotiate a term time only contract, which saves me £££££
They have a lovely time, she runs a toddler group so he goes to that once a week, and they also go to the shops, school run, garden centre, play in the garden, soft play etc. good luck with whatever you decide.
I found nurseries much, much more flexible than childminders. Everyone says "Oh, a childminder would be flexible." Well, believe me, I looked everywhere. These excellent, flexible childminders must all be very good at hiding!
I found the surestart nurseries the best, and in Chesterfield used Families First in Birdholme (yes, I know.) You can be as snobbish as you like about the area, etc, but the funding is there, and as it's not for profit, you know the money you spend is going on the kids, and not lining someone's pocket. The staff are that little bit older (surestart places tend to pay slightly better, and have better condition, so retain better, as well as offer more training.)
A good childminder is fab, but hard to find. I looked round loads of nurseries in Chesterfield (and saw some horrors!), but would recommend Families First, and Daisy Chain where my friend's children went.
Nurseries especially smallish ones may be flexible, usually for a fee. Ds's were great at collecting him from home and taking him in when I couldn't walk during pregnancy, some staff not even charging for it.
The people are the important thing, whether cm or nursery.
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