I am paying around £1300 per 4 weeks for childcare for 3 children. Three different forms of childcare - nursery (full time place) before school club and a childminder after school. I am finding it all rather stressful. Does anyone else use a wide variety of childcare? Does anyone have any suggestions how to make my life and my families less . . . . well mad!!!!
If the current arrangement isn't working well for everyone, then you are right to take a look at it and see if anything can be changed. Since you started the various arrangements, things may have changed - such as the childminder may not have been able to take the nursery child at that time... but now does have a suitable space. You need to look at the costs, your current soluition could be lower cost, or higher cost, then other solutions - is cost a major factor, or is it worth paying more to get care provided by less providers? Also take into account how well settled your children are into their various childcare facilities - if they dislike it then a move may be good, if they love it then they may not appreciate being moved.
I disagree that a live-out nanny would cost similar to £1300 per 4 weeks. A live-out nanny I feel will cost more... especially once you add on the extra costs involved such as Employers NI, Heating/Lighting of the home, Nanny mileage, Nanny activities/outings, etc. While a nanny may be a soluition, I feel it will come at more cost.
Thanks for all the really useful replies so far. The childminder cannot have my youngest (aged 9 months) as she has a baby of her own. I also pay £40 a week for someone to help with ironing/light house work and although I know nannys do not do housework I feel my arrangements are just all to complicated. I also pay £100's for holiday clubs. My youngest seems very happy in nursery but the others do not really like the before school club but as its only for about 40 mins in the morning they put up with it. My childminder lives to far away to pick them up in the morning to take to school and after school as well. Was having a talk with my manager this morning and he asked me how things were and I burst into tears!! A sign I need to do something I think!!
if you like your existing cm and she likes you she could apply for a variation from ofsted to have 2 under 1s - this would be granted on the grounds of "continuity of care" - ie if she already cares for your other children.....
I'd move to a live in nanny if you have the room. I don't think a live-out nanny will be more cost effective. But one of the great benefits of a nanny is that s/he will still work when the kids are sick, whcih is more than any nursery or childminder will do.
And, nannies generally love 4 day jobs so I think you'd have a good job to offer.