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Childminder or Nursery? Advice needed

(10 Posts)
dixia Sat 06-Jun-09 17:08:36

We are moving back to the UK from Spain where we have been for 5 years. When we lived in the UK before, I looked after my oldest DS myself as I was at home. He is now school age and that is all sorted.

DS2 is 2.5 and has had a nanny in Spain for the last year. He loves her! When we come back to England we will need childcare for him 3 or 3.5 days a week as DH and I run our own company and both work full (ish) time.

Now I am stuck! What do I do - childminder or nursery? What are the benefits and drawbacks?

We will be in Amersham/Chesham area, so if anyone has hot tips - do let me know!


nannynick Sat 06-Jun-09 17:17:15

What hours of childcare do you need... such as 7am-7pm - that may influence the type of childcare you use.
Does your oldest DS not need any childcare at all?

dixia Sat 06-Jun-09 17:18:15

Hi nannynick

DS1 needs no childcare, he will be in school from 8.30am to 3.30pm

Need childcare for DS2 from 8.45 to 3.15

nannynick Sat 06-Jun-09 17:24:59

Some childminders will do term-time only contracts, others will work it so that your child has a place throughout the year but when you aren't using it, you pay 50% retainer.

Given the hours of care you need, a childminder could work out well.

I am guessing that you will not be working during the school holidays... is that right?

cat64 Sat 06-Jun-09 17:31:58

Message withdrawn

dixia Sat 06-Jun-09 17:32:07

Well, I will need to work at half pace during the school holidays. We have an education company so it really slows down when schools are out, but there are usually things that still have to be done. Instead of working 4 days a week I may only work 2 during the holidays.

Does that make a difference?

dixia Sat 06-Jun-09 17:34:06

Hi Cat64, I guess I would want DS at the same place during the holidays. could carry on doing the 3 days a week as in term time. Do child minders not do holidays at all? I suppose if they are mainly mums, they will have their own kids then?

nannynick Sat 06-Jun-09 18:39:54

I feel that could make a difference Dixia. A childminder could care for both of your children during school holiday's - were as a nursery wouldn't. A childminder may also be more open to having your youngest full-time during term time and 2 days a week during school holidays. Also don't forget about days during school term time when the school is actually closed... schools here in England have various days off during the academic year for staff training purposes.

Every childminder is an individual and will dictate their own fee structure and opening hours. Some childminders do work throughout school holidays while others don't. All childminders will take time off from time to time, as they will want to spend some time during the year with just their own family.

A childminder will typically have a variety of ages of children in their care and will probably also have their own children as well (though some childminders own children have flown the nest, and there are some childminders who don't have children themselves). Your youngest may be one of up to 3 children being cared for during the day during school term time. During school holiday periods the Childminder may be caring for more children, as those aged 5 upwards will also be present.

You can get a feel for what childminders in the area provide, what they charge, by contacting Buckinghamshire Children's Information Service. Send an e-mail to: telling them you are looking for a childminder in the Amersham/Chesham area.

cat64 Sat 06-Jun-09 19:44:36

Message withdrawn

dixia Sat 06-Jun-09 21:35:15

fantastic. Thanks so much for the help and advice. I will contact buckscc.


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