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can anyone tell from their experience the pros and cons of childminder vs. nanny

(19 Posts)
Roskva Wed 26-Sep-07 21:41:39

I'm probably going to have to go back to work in the new year. I won't be working a normal working week, and the nature of my work means that I may well have to work at least one evening a week. DD will be 18 months. I'm new to even thinking about childcare, and I wonder if anyone is willing to share their experiences on whether it is better to find a childminder of a nanny. Advice, suggestions, and practical tips please!

pyjamaqueen Wed 26-Sep-07 21:48:03

Childminders have to be checked by Ofsted, nannies don't. Nannies cost a LOT more. Childminders may take your child on their daily chores eg supermarket, nanny more focused on childcare.

nooka Wed 26-Sep-07 21:54:32

We have had both, and we use a childminder at the moment. Having a nanny is a great deal more flexible - they work for you how you want them to work, come to your house (or live there!), etc etc. With a childminder you have to fall into their routine, and your child will be in their environment. Nannies are quite a bit more expensive (although cheaper when you have more than one child, as with a childminder you pay per child). You have to do taxes for a nanny as you are their employer, but just pay the childminder. However in the end it's mostly to do with you and your child's relationship with the nanny/childminder. If you think along the same lines and you like each other, then it's likely to work. If not it will be stressful all round.

nannynick Wed 26-Sep-07 21:59:11

Nannies work the hours you require - you are their employer so dictate the hours. However the more unusual your requirements, the harder it may be to find someone who will do those hours.
Childminders may not provide the childcare hours that you need - eg. some will not start prior to a certain time in the morning, such as 7.30am, others will want to be finished by 6pm. However every childminder is different and some are registered for Overnight Care and thus could care for your DD overnight if required (rather than disturb her evening by picking up late evening).
Cost wise, a childminder in my view will always be lower cost than a nanny, when the care is for one child. Nannies become cost effective when parents have several children (as a nanny I care for 4 children currently).
Your location can make a difference to costs - London area is especially expensive for childminders and nannies. Please provide your general location, if you want better advice regarding likely childcare costs.
Can you explain what you mean by "I won't be working a normal working week". For example, will the days/hours each week vary?

Roskva Wed 26-Sep-07 22:31:24

I own a hotel. I'm taking back a lot of management work, most of which is behind the scenes things, the hotel will be staffed so I don't need to be there physically full time. But I will probablyh need to work one evening a week (ie 5pm to 12am), which will include at least one Saturday a month. So although I won't need full time childcare (probably a total of about 30 hours a week), the hours I will need it are not 9-5.

harrisey Wed 26-Sep-07 23:13:34

The flexbility of a nanny has been really good for us. SHe does pickup and drop off from nursery which is otherwise hard to get locally. SHe does loads of chores in the house - kids washing, cooking, tidies their rooms etc. She's great. We know we are very lucky as she does more than a normal nanny - all our washing, she hoovers the lounge if she gets a chance etc (which is not usual I believe), is flexible about hours etc ...

Yes, its more expensive than a childminder, but for us (we're students) the flexibility is really important. Our nanny is fab - her catchphrase seems to be "no bother".

For us, she starts at 11.45 am (as dd1 and ds are at school and dd2 is at nursery till then). She works till 6.30 4 days and till 7.30 the other. SHe feeds the kids, does all their washing, looks after their homework, takes them to swimming/football/kids club at church, liases with nursery. Because we have 3 kids and there is a lot of ferrying around being done, she allows our kids to have a "mother figure" doing all the stuff I would do if I was at home.

The kids love her, they are in their own home when they are not in school/nursery. I love having a nanny and will mis her when dd2 starts school.

Roskva Thu 27-Sep-07 09:24:45

how did you find such a great nanny, harrissey?

ayla99 Thu 27-Sep-07 09:59:59

With a childminder you will usually have a contract which states the time slot which the childminder has alloted to your child. So, if you only need a childcare on a monday morning but some weeks it would be the afternoon you may have to pay for the whole day to be reserved for your child. There may be a discount for unused time. Eg I've had contracts with shift-workers where they paid 1/2 fees to reserve certain days for their child then they would be billed full fees for the time used and 1/2 fees for the remainder of the reserved time.

My advice is to contact some childminders & go & visit them in their homes. This will give you an idea of the cost & suitability - if you don't find anyone you like or who is flexible enough for your needs then you can focus on the nanny route. If you are able to make a short list of childminders you like you will have something specific to compare with the nanny option.

eleusis Thu 27-Sep-07 12:21:02

I would very surprised if you could find a childminder to accommodate those hours. I think you are looking at a nanny and you will have to discuss at interview the hours are flexible, but that she can expect to be paid for say 30 hours per week. Where do you live? Do you have room for a live in?

Anna8888 Thu 27-Sep-07 12:29:24

If you have a hotel, could you not employ somebody in your business to provide childcare in a flexible way?

blueshoes Thu 27-Sep-07 13:35:51

Agree with eleusis. For the flexibility you require, you are better off with live-in.

eleusis Thu 27-Sep-07 13:46:02

I like Anna's idea. Can you hire someone through the hotel who offers in house babysitting... but then of course you get first dibs on her whenever you need her.

Anna8888 Thu 27-Sep-07 13:51:36

Or even someone (probably quite young) who would like a mixed role with some childcare and some hotel work? I'm thinking a gap year student or perhaps a foreign student learning English on their year abroad.

blueshoes Thu 27-Sep-07 14:00:31

good point, Anna. Though would be going into aupair/mother's help arena. For 18 months, Roskva, sole charge is not advisable, but if you are there somewhere in the hotel/premises and can keep an eye on things, then it is something you might consider.

Much cheaper and very flexible, if you find the right girl.

Roskva Thu 27-Sep-07 20:13:45

Having someone live in at home is not a problem. Having a childminder at the hotel is a bit of minefield in terms of insurance, inspections, etc. However, having a nanny on payroll who could be available to other members of staff to babysit in their homes if they are stuck for childcare and/or a set number of hours per month as a non-cash benefit is an idea I have been toying with.

Shoshable Fri 28-Sep-07 07:05:22

PajamaQueen, please dont think that Childminders can go off and do there weekly shop with mindees, we are not allowed by Ofsted, as we are not allowed to do housework, ironing etc.

Going to the fruit shop to let the children choose fruit sort of shopping we can do, but not our family stuff. That all has to be done outside of the childcare hours.

HarrietTheSpy Fri 28-Sep-07 09:00:00

The hours tends to be a big issue. You may not find a childminders' hours suit, that was the main reason why we couldn't use one in our area. They all seemed to have their own children and wanted us to collect by 5.30-6, which was earlier than the nursery we ended up using. They also weren't keen on early starts when I have to go on a business trip - again the nursery actually had better hours. But this is understandable if they've got complicated pick ups, drop offs they're doing for other families in the morning. But it may be different in your area. Also, it's worth bearing in mind that some nannies are more flexible than others. They may well baulk at regular changes to their schedule, even when it's necessary for your work. Our old one moaned about overtime, and we weren't talking about a couple of hours, more like half an hour but it was quite regularly.

Cost is a DEFINITE advantage in favour of a CM, it will be significantly less expensive than a nanny. Think of a nanny as the same as taking out a second mortgage.

At a CM you also have the added bonus of some of the benefits of a nursery - interacting with others etc. And the ofsted regulation....

frannikin Fri 28-Sep-07 15:28:27

With the OFSTED thing, you can now request that the nanny is either already approved, or becomes approved. That way they go onto the OFSTED voluntary childcare register and are subject to OFSTED regulation.

You can also pay your nanny using childcare vouchers.

Bink Fri 28-Sep-07 15:33:43

I should think, though, that, if you can offer live-in at the hotel for a nanny, the price differential b/w nanny & CM will be much smaller.

In your case I would definitely look at a live-in nanny - presumably you can also offer rather nice accommodation, which means you can attract good candidates.

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