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Can someone explain the advances of childminder over nursery to me?(34 Posts)
I thought it might be smaller rations but I believe childminders are 1 adult to 8 children and my local nursery is 1 adult to 3 (under 2 years)
The nursery isn’t right for DS but is chilldminder different?
They have different ratios to nurseries. It's one child under 1 (except twins), maximum of 3 under 5 years in total. Up to 6 in total under 8.
For example a childminder could have an 8 month old, a two year old and a three year old during school hours plus three children after school (all school age) as their maximum.
Benefits include a home from home environment, they will probably be out everyday e.g. Toddler group, library, park etc. Easier to form an attachment to the childminder over multiple nursery workers. Usually they are more flexible than nursery, they can cater to individual preferences more easily.
Thank you, more silly questions
1. So do childminders tend to have fewer children during school hours (I could work those hours so he’s in a smaller group)
2. Isn’t it hard managing such a diverse age range? How to they manage?
IME childminders know the children better because it is one person caring for them rather than a team. I know two childminders and they are both brilliant at finding a mix of activities to do at home and going out to classes etc
Yes during school hours there will be a maximum of 3 (there are a few exceptions where this can occasionally be 4, but not allowed on a regular basis).
They manage the same as any parent would with children of different ages. They will have age appropriate toys, and generally something like the park or farm etc can appeal to a wider range of ages. Sometimes babies will have an afternoon nap and the childminder might do craft for example.
I had this dilemma recently (been back at work a month). We decided to go for a childminder mainly due to the home from home, DD is so little, I felt she'd do better with one person taking care of her. I'm delighted as she's so happy there, she goes in and waves us off after kisses! But if you do go for a childminder make sure you visit a few and go with one that "fits"
If childminder is ill, or her child is, you need a backup.
Only downside to a childminder is if they are ill or closed for holidays. You’ll need to check if they have a few other childminders they can call on in emergency
Both my ds went to nursery but youngest hated the 2-3 room & I found him a childminder. He adored her & still wants to visit her & hes 9 now !
I’ve used both, but found CM didn’t really work for me: one had very poor quality of care (no art/baking/activities), for all 3 CM I had to provide nappies & 3 meals daily (evenings spent cooking/packing food). All 3 CM I used wanted to finish work by 5.45pm (too tight for me) & I would have to take my holidays at the same time as there was no plan B for childcare.
So I swapped to nursery, which is open 7.30-6.30, 51 weeks a year, provides 3 meals & nappies & where there are loads of activities. I can take my holidays when suits. I’m not reliant on one person.
I chose a childminder for 11 month old DS because I wanted that homely setting and the chance to go it to different places often. The nurseries I looked at often only did one visit out per term whereas my childminder takes him somewhere at least once a week. He goes to the park pretty much daily, visits soft play, nature parks, museums etc. If he isn’t feeling himself he can have a cuddly day and stay in.
My childminder has 2 under 3 during the day (11month old DS and a 2.5 year old), then her own children before and after school. She only works until 5pm and term time only though which is fine for me but may not work for others.
I must have had a fab childminder.
She used to arrange cover with other local childminders when she took her leave (usually one my child knew because they may have gone to toddler groups together or to the park etc).
She was also very flexible with collection times if I needed to work a bit late or was stuck in traffic (motoway commute). She even had my son when he had chicken pox as her son had had it (although the agreement was if he got really 'poorly ' with it I'd collect him).
She did all sorts of activities and trips out too.
So its like everything there are good and bad and I didn't really appreciate what I had at the time as I thought it was normal.
I had the same view as MoreProseccoNow. A child minder was too restrictive in terms of their holidays, all the ones in my area take full fees when they are on holiday. They also all told me after 3 years they recommend nursery (probably due to them not wanting rhe funded hours).
Nursery was £100/month more, doesn't close and provides all meals and nappies so I chose nursery over child minder.
My childminder does provide all meals (cooked) though and only charges 50% during either my holidays or hers.
She has 3 under 3 in the day, sometimes 5 when she has her assistant with her. DD has been going since age 1 and has a great bond.
They go to groups every day, do crafts etc and once a term do a bigger trip (zoo or farm or something relevant to the theme of the month)
I'm totally happy!
HAving said that, we met 3 and picked this one! You do need one that clicks for your family
I’m a childminder - my key advantages (as I see it from my parents POV) are my flexibility and home-from-home environment. I have 4 children aged from 1 to 3 (though I only have 3 at a time due to ratios) and I know and love them as my own. I currently work 7.30-6.30 but have worked 6.30am-8pm when needed. I take funding for 3yos and teach all ages to the same eyfs standard as a nursery would. We are inspected and graded by Ofsted to the same criteria too. I plan activities that I know the children are interested in to meet their learning goals and I make lunches and cook a homemade meal each evening for them. That’s almost part of the problem - childminders do differ what they offer/ charge for whereas nurseries are often similar wherever you go. The only downside is when I am on holiday there is no childcare, though I am good friends with other childminders and have helped sort short-term holiday cover with them before now.
Oh, and we go out loads - to the park, the farm, the woods, toddler groups and anything else that takes my/their fancy!
Childminders terms and conditions very as do their working hours so you are very likely to find one that fits with your working hours.
In general we don't take much sick time and holidays are planned a year in advance. Ive taken 2 days for my parents funerals, about 10 days sick and 6 afternoons going through chemo in 25 years , as I dont have young children I don't take time off for them. I take 4 weeks holiday a year always Christmas and a week Easter and 2 weeks summer booked in January. I network with other child-minders who can offer cover if needed but nobody ever has.
Cms can work with assistants or co minders - I have a co minder and an assistant but never have more than 4 under 3's.
Many cm's have higher qualifications than nursery room staff and could if they wanted run their own nurseries, personally I choose not to because I assess in nurseries and don't like the restrictions that are imposed on the children and staff such as we have planned a theme, you all sleep now etc.
Children often start at 6 months to a year old and leave at 13 or 14 years its like home from home with extra learning put in.
We have to do the same things as nurseries but I think because we are better able to individually plan for and support children we can support their learning far more effectively. In my setting it is normal for 3 year olds to be recognising their name, self dressing, and do other things that are preparation for school like group sitting and speaking many are also starting to read simple words, write their name, order numbers to 10, do 24 peace puzzles and more.
I also have children placed with me for specialist support by health visitors and social services.
Thank you everyone - a question for the childminders particularly, how do I find a good one? You all sound great and I’d love to have someone who can really connect with my son
You need to visit a few and find one who 'fits'. I work with my husband, provide all meals and nappies and don't charge for my holidays, but I charge a bit more than a CM up the road with a slightly different set up.
We are out most days and do a range of activities each day. We don't do school runs, but we do have children in the holidays (the ones we have cared for since they were babies)
Visit a few and follow up references. Remember your gut feeling is usually right
Yes you 100% need the visit, read their prayed report too if you can. Be aware though it's very hard to get outstanding so don't judge them badly if they don't have it. Unfortunately there are some minders that aren't great or may not be a good fit for your family. Don't let this out you off and have a look at some more! You may want to look slightly out of your area too to get a bigger pool to choose from. Make sure their charges (children) look happy and content too.
I’m worried I’ll make a bad choice and my boy will end up really unhappy and won’t be able to tell me. It’s so hard.
Is outstanding quite rare because we have a few I outstanding In our area. To be honest I don’t care about all the fancy stuff, I just want them to be kind
Remember outstanding doesn't always mean they will be the best fit for your family. We have an outstanding grading, but I want parents to choose us ... not the Ofsted grading.
Visit a range and the person who loves children, is rubbish at paperwork and has a satisfactory grading might be just what you need.
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