When I worked previously, I put both my girls in nursery. Both were happy there, but when I took a year out to study FT I couldn't afford the fees anymore, so I switched to a CM. She was absolutely fab and I realised that I much prefered her care to that of the nursery I had chosen before. It surprised me, as I had never considered a CM before this point as I thought the girls would be 'safer' in a nursery where there are more staff on hand.
Unfortunately, I could not committ to hours for Septmeber as I hadn't secured a job so I had to hand in notice to the CM, and predictably she was snapped up by other parents very quickly.
I now have a job for September, 3 days a week and need to make some decisions...
dd1 will be in reception, so I only need care for her before and after school, but I need all day care for dd2. The thing is, there are a couple of CMs available, but I'm not convinced they will be as good as our previous CM, perhaps because I don't know anyone who has used them, or because they always seem to be together with lots of children between them. Neither of them appear to drive, so they seem to spend a lot of time around town, whereas the old CM took them out and about all over the place. The main reason is probably because I loved the old CM so much, that I'm sceptical anyone could live up to her standards!
I was considering nursery for dd2, as she may enjoy being with other children more now she is older, however, there will be more children there than with a CM, obviously, which was one of my concerns about using a CM! Also, it would mean the girls being apart from each other all day, as dd1 would be with a CM from 7.30-5.30 (with school in the middle) and dd2 would be in nursery from 8-6, whereas if they both went to a CM they could be together from 7.30-8.30am, then 3.30-5.30pm.
I realise this is a long and boring post, but I'd love some opinions on what you would choose in my situation. Thanks!
I would go for a CM in your situation - easier to use one form of childcare and better for your girls to be together I think. Of course, it depends on you finding the right CM!
Maybe you need to resign yourself to not finding a new CM as perfect as the old one, but it doesn't mean you can't find a good one where your DDs will be happy. If I were you I would meet with all the local CMs and make a decision then.
I would go with CM , less running about for you re drop off and pick up for a start. what are you going to do in school holidays for childcare with DD1 ?, will CM be flexible and take her all day instead of before and after school .
or have you thought about a nanny - often more flexible with school runs etc as only have family to work for, but also once have 2 children can work out possibly cheaper esp in hols,as the nanny would still be paid the same regardless of 1 or 2 children
Thanks for the advice! I'm a teacher so I don't need childcare during the holidays, which my old CM never charged for, as she liked the time off with her own children- see, I told you she was perfect! She is definitely not free, I checked today. She suggested the 2 CMs I have tried, but advised me to 'keep looking around' which suggests she is not fully recommending them. I think I shall do some more searching for a CM as I think it probably is the best solution. Thanks again