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Help! Chilminder, nanny share or nursery?

(5 Posts)
SevernTrentWater Sat 29-Aug-09 15:57:26

Hello, i have lots of questions,
i don't know whether to use a childminder or a nanny or a nursery. I'm very restricted because i can't drive so it has to be very local to either work or home. Thing is, i don't even know where i'm working yet! And i feel guilty and paranoid about leaving her already but i don't really have a choice. I just know i have to start work in 3 WEEKS! Wasn't told until recently when my start date would be and my baby is only 8 weeks old. Don't know what kind of placement is best.
I know Nothing about nanny shares or where to find a nanny - will they be covered by the childcare vouchers i get?

I've already seen a couple of nurseries, not really impressed, i just hate the idea of all those children stuck in together, everything looks worn and i'm massively overprotective because i have a terrible fear of my child dying of cot death or something because nobodies noticed she's stopped breathing (well, she is only two months). The nurseries only had about 4-5 babies, but she is still by far the youngest.

People have told me childminder places for young babies are like gold dust - very rare, is this true?
I have a huge list of childminders, and am filled with horror at having to ring each one, then go visit, etc etc, i know, it's probably ridiculous, but i'm not a people person and borderline social phobic! This is my worst nightmare. What do i look for? How do i vet a childminder? Do they require a deposit? What if i decide not to use the childminder i select after all.

I intend to express milk (to keep the bond going and because it's better for her immune system with all those other kids!) and pop in at lunchtimes if possible to make sure that even if my baby is being ignored she at least gets a cuddle from me. I need to be sure she's going to get lots of attention, not stuck in front of a tv or some such which i totally disagree with.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 29-Aug-09 16:26:25

If you want to pop in at lunchtime then a nursery is probably best as CM's tend to go out to playgroups, school runs, shopping etc.

Nuseries have legal ratio's sp will have a good number of staff, especially in a baby room. Good quality care is more important than brand new equipment so dont let that put you off.

Most childminder will require a deposit, retainer or first months fees on advance but so can nurseries - all depends on the contract. If you decide not to use the childminder you select after signing a contract you'll be subject to charges.

A nanny must be registered with Ofsted for you to be able to use childcare vouchers.

BlueGreen Sat 29-Aug-09 18:38:51

I think you better hire a nanny if you want your baby to get one to one attention. And if you do do not let your nanny read your post(this one).

You need to relax otherwise you would drive your nanny mad.

nannynick Sat 29-Aug-09 18:42:46

Give the short time span in which you have to find childcare, I would suggest that you concentrate on looking at Childminders and Nurseries.
Obtain the latest Childminder Vacancy List from your local Families Information Service (Link will take you to online listing... but it's best to call your local FIS to obtain the full listing as only some Childminders will list online).

Questions for childminders (by Alibubbles)

How long have you been working with children?

What training have you had? Any qualifications? Are you part of a network, achieved a quality assurance qualification, look at registration certificate, insurance details, business use for car. First aid must be no more than 3 years old, food hygiene certificate, Certificate in Childminding practice or NVQ 3, Contracts and record forms

Do you enjoy being with children and why?

Can I look around, see the rooms and outside play space? If there is no outside play space - how will you make sure my child gets the chance to play outside?

Where will my child rest?

What kind of food and drink will you give? Can I see a menu?

What will my child do all day?

How do you encourage good behaviour?

Will my child be with a regular group of children? How old are they? How will their timetable fit in with my child?

How will you make sure I know how my child is getting on?

What hours is she open?

How much does she charge?

What about when my child is sick, holidays, days off

What do you do in an emergency?

When was her last Ofsted, can you see the report?

Top 10 Quality Pointers

When you visit possible childcare options, look for these Quality Pointers:

Are the children calm, safe, happy and busy?

Do children play and talk together?

Is the childminder listening to the children and answering them carefully?

Is the childminder friendly and proud of her work?

Is she joining in joining in with what the children are doing?

Are there lots of fun activities planned to help children learn and play? Can children plan some of these activities themselves?

Are there plenty of clean toys and equipment for children to use?

Is the premises clean, well kept and safe for children with a fun outside play area (or will the child go to parks and other places regularly)?

Do parents have plenty of chances to say what they want for their children?

If there are other things you want to know, don't be afraid to ask. Good childminders expect you to ask questions and will be happy to answer them.

Always take up references. You could ask for names of other parents to talk to about the service.

limonchik Sun 30-Aug-09 01:08:58

With a baby that young I would definitely go for a nanny if possible - that is the most expensive option though, maybe £8-£12 an hour depending on where you are. With so little time I would use an agency.

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