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nanny or nursery

(16 Posts)
hollyandnoah Fri 10-Oct-08 22:06:08


I am just looking for a bit of advice really. I admit i am pretty much clueless at the moment.
My ds is 9 month old and i have reciently been thinking about returning to work. At the moment i currently study two mornings a week and my ds is placed the nursery at my college.
I have an interview tomorrow for a part time, 21 hour a week job. My dp works full time and i really need to get a job to bring more money in as things are getting tighter.
My parents, sister, grandparents, aunts and uncles all live very close to me, but they all work. dps family all live an hours drive(but i dont drive) or 45 minutes train plus 2 busses away.
I want to look into child care, but i really don't know where to start. What do you think is best? What about costs, what should i expect to pay for childcare? Where can i find out what is available in my area? I live in Falkirk Scotland.
Thanks in advance! x

nannynick Sat 11-Oct-08 08:29:03

Nannies I feel are not cost effective if you have one child. There can be exceptions, such as if your working hours are outside of those covered by a nursery, but generally speaking, nannies are only viable once you have at least 2 children.

Scotland has a different system to England with regard to nannies, so for information about nannies contact an agency in your area.
guide from
Alison at A&H Childcare - 0141 248 6444 - may be able to help you. Think you are about 20 miles from her agency.

You may want to consider Childminders - Search for Childminders & Nurseries With a childminder, you take your child to their home, where the childminder cares for children from multiple families.

Helsbels4 Sat 11-Oct-08 09:02:24

I would say it totally depends on the type of care that you would like for your ds. I have worked as both a nanny and in a nursery and the care is totally different. Having a nanny or mother's help means a closer relationship for your child with the nanny as they are one to one and she will get to learn all his little habits etc plus you could get some help with light housework if that is written into the contract, whereas at a nursery, he will obviously be one of a small group of children. He will be able to mix with others at a young age and have a totally different experience. I still see the children who I have nannied for and it's lovely to have that relationship!

nannyL Sat 11-Oct-08 09:03:37

if you can afford a nanny then have a nanny

as a very rough guide think £10+ per hour gross + costs of gas / elec while in your home (heating in when it might otherwise be off etc)+ costs of toddler groups / outings / swimming etc that nanny will want to do with your child + costs of food for nanny and your child + 40p per mile that nanny travels to swimming / toddlers etc etc (or else get a car for her)
Also bear in mind your child will be in their own home / own bed / normal routine will be followed, you dont have to get you child up / dressed / breakfasted before you leave for work, you will have someone around to wait in for parcels / 'washing machine man' etc, and the nanny will launder you childs clothes, keep the childs bedroom & playroom / toys clean and tidy and cook nutritouse food for your baby.

A nursary will cost a LOT less, esp for 1 child, but you dont get all of the perks of a nanny either

hollyandnoah Sat 11-Oct-08 13:50:54

Thank you all for replying. I got the job today so i will for sure need to sort childcare out asap! I am off to look at your links nannynick.

chloemegjess Sat 11-Oct-08 13:58:00

I think Nannies are by far the best but they are expensive for one child.

I have worked as a nanny, in nurseries and now a childminder and from my experience I would go for a nanny if you have the money, if not then a chilminder. I don't really like nurseries for under 2-3years ish as they don't really need the social side, consiering the nanny/childminder would go to toddler groups etc anyway which IMO is enough for a baby that young.

I would have to be ver desperate to put my DC in a nursery, but thats just from my experience.

hollyandnoah Sat 11-Oct-08 14:11:12

hey, i'm interested to know why you would have to be desperate to put your DC in a nursery? That worries me slightly as i will probably need to use a nursery as i will only be working part time and i dont want all my income going back out on childcare.
I have been looking at local nurseries online and everyone i have seen so far says they only take children who are 2 plus. ahh

blueshoes Sat 11-Oct-08 14:15:28

From a pure logistics point of view, go for a nanny if you and dp have fulltime jobs with unpredictable hours. Go for nursery if you or dp have predictable hours that facilitate the drop off and pick up for a nursery and can generally take the day off for looking after your ds at home if he falls ill.

I could afford a nanny but still prefer a nursery - I am fortunate my dcs attend a really good one. It has a long waiting list and I put their names down when I was 5 and 3 months' pregnant respectively. But I am in London ... so hopefully different for you.

The one thing I did not like about nannies is you never know what goes on behind closed doors - without casting any aspersions on the nannies on this thread. A non-speaking child cannot vocalise their experiences. There are no guarantees with a nursery of course but more carers in the room lends itself to checks and balances plus ensures that no one carer gets overloaded and frustrated on her own.

Both my dcs are clingy and demanding children which made a nursery a good environment for them because they knew how to get attention and never got forgotten. Plus the hustle and bustle distracted and energised them and they forgot to fuss and just got on with it.

hollyandnoah Sat 11-Oct-08 14:25:23

Thank you blueshoes.
My dp will be working unpredictable house but not me.
I think we will only be able to afford a nursery anyway. But i like the idea of him mixing with other children.
I have just found one close to me that takes children from birth and have sent them an email asking if they have a waiting list.

magicofchristmas Sat 11-Oct-08 14:41:42

blueshoes "you never know what goes on behind closed doors" OK this is true, but, at the same time, I think a child would show other symptoms if there was neglect going on. A child should thrive in whatever enviornment they are placed whether it be in their own home or a nursery.

Insinct plays a large part too. Dont ever leave your child with someone who has not been thoroughly checked and most importantly trust your instincts. A nanny can provide good one on one care in your own home as well as attending playgroups etc to make sure they learn social skills.

Sounds like the OP would benefit from a nanny. Central Scotland prices will also be a great deal lower than London and other cities. Like NannyL says, if you have it written into your contract then the nanny can also do light housework/ironing etc and she will do ALL nursery duties as well so this means more time for yourselves on the weekend. It does have advantages.

blueshoes Sat 11-Oct-08 14:44:30

All the best, holly. Remember to visit the nursery and ask questions and take the time to settle your dc in. You and ds must be happy with it. Gut instinct is as good as any. Recommendations from other parents are a good sign. At this stage, your ds has as good a chance of settling in a nursery as with a nanny so no need to shell out beyond your means.

nannyL Sun 12-Oct-08 09:37:56

"you never know what goes on behind closed doors"

true but that is why you have to trust your nanny.... and if you cant do that then there will never be a good nanny / boss relationship at all.

I have seen alot with my own eyes at nursarys.... even though i have never ever worked in one (and never would).... what i have seen angry has been while I am picking up a child in the care of the nursary.... and even WITH me there the staff have still behaved like they have angry angry angry

for this reason in would NEVER EVER leave my own baby in a nursary.

I appreciate that not all nursarys are like this, but some are sad angrysad... and i know for sure that I would never ever treat babies the way i have witnessed them being treated in a couple of specific nursarys local to me

Out of myself and my at least 40+ nanny / nursary worker friends who I have had this conversation with, not so much as one of us would leave our own children (as babies) in a nursary, and one of my friends is the nursary manager of the nursary in their town that everyone wants to send their baby too.... and if she wouldnt leave her own baby their

IMO that says it all

blueshoes Sun 12-Oct-08 11:02:39

nannyL, sorry to hear about your bad experiences with local nurseries. I can only assume that you were picking up a child in your charge as nanny from the nursery. So seeing what you did, did you inform the parents that their child was getting substandard care at nursery?

If a parent was picking up their own child from the nursery and you also happened to be there, did the angry attitude of the nursery staff suddenly switch to put on a caring show that they did not put on for you?

BTW, the nursery manager at my dcs' nursery uses it for her son.

In choosing any form of childcare, whether nursery or nanny, I agree there has to be gut instinct and trust. I have not hired a nanny but have quite a lot of experience hiring aupairs to do childcare as part of their duties. So I am aware of the impreciseness of the recruitment process. I always start off by giving the nursery/aupair the benefit of the doubt but at the end of the day trust has to be earned . I would never just base my decision on gut instinct and then close one eye in the interests of building a 'good relationship'. That would be exceedingly naive.

If a parent was picking a child from your local nursery and witnesses what I can only assume was neglect from your angry, are they supposed to ignore it? Similarly, if a parent came home and saw their baby with a dirty nappy and sore bottom, are they supposed to not query their nanny?

My comment about 'not knowing what goes on behind close doors' clearly struck a nerve, as I thought it would. Apart from neglect, I was also concerned with physical abuse - I explained before my children were full on and demanding. Gut instinct applies to choosing a nursery or nanny. But the point with a nursery, you are choosing an institution with all its checks and balances, procedures and policies, not just a sole carer. So long as my dcs are non-verbal, that is the arrangement I prefer, but that is just me. And I choose with care.

blueshoes Sun 12-Oct-08 11:13:57

Holly, there are lots of scare stories out there about nurseries and nannies and any form of childcare you can think of. I include things that end up in the news or in the infamous Daily Mail articles.

You just have to be vigilant at all times and use your child's wellbeing as the gauge. For nurseries, a good sign is when they allow parents to drop in at all times of the day and stay if they wish, a decent settling period whereby you stay for the initial sessions and slowly shorten your stay until your ds is alone with the carers - he needs to be build a relationship with the carers. To this day, my fifth year of using nurseries, I peep into the room before I enter to ensure that all is well, with not just my child but also other children.

You want a nursery with a culture of putting the childrens' wellbeing at their heart. When the nursery tells me my child has had a good day, I can see that they are happy for him as well. Just as if they said he had a bad day, there is concern in their voices and demeanour. Keep talking, communicating with the staff, do at least some of the drop-offs/pick ups - you probably would though not all parents do. If you are concerned about your ds (within reason), the staff will also naturally look out for him. Little things like if the nursery is organising a fancy dress, put your baby in one even if he might not appreciate it at his age. It just gives the staff a sense that parents care about what they do and boosts their confidence and motivation.

Also, look for a nursery that treats their staff well - it is important for their morale. My nursery sponsors their childcare courses and sends them for training as well as regularly promote staff. Helps with keeping turnover low.

I have no doubt there are bad nurseries out there. But the good ones are worth their weight in gold.

HarrietTheSpy Sun 12-Oct-08 16:56:18

I think that is just bizarre - the idea that someone working in a nursery has so little confidence in the care provided there they wouldn't dream of leaving their children there. How could you possibly reconcile that??? Even if it's only for a specific period - say under ones - if you work in a place that provides that care (and you're the manager) surely your ambition would be to take steps to ensure it's fit for purpose??

chloemegjess Sun 12-Oct-08 17:08:09

OP - sorry I posted and then wasn't online since. My reason I would never send my DC to a nursery until they are older, is that I have worked in several nurseries and most of the time the parents thought it was brilliant but it was actually awful. For this reason, even if I were to find a "brilliant" nursery, I could never trust them because i know how "fake" the ones I worked in were.

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