Well, SIL is daft, then.
How old is your DD? If she would take the change ok (from nursery to childminder), I'd go for childminder in principle. I'm a big fan of CMs over nursery... and money wins the argument for me, any day, as well!!
Say that you have tried the nursery and feel that DD's needs (and your own) means that you would like to try a childminder - and if she does complain explain the drive is inconvenient and that 3 mornings would be easier for Jess and more productive for you
i havent met her yet, going to call her tomorrow but she is another ARMY wife so im fairly confident anyway. THere are loads more in my area with spaces as well that are charging the same rate, so even if the one i would like to see first is a no-go, im sure ill find one who is.
i just feel like im wasting a lot of my time, when i could be spending it more productively.
Oh I think you're doing the right thing - wish I'd gone for a c/m at that stage. A nursery day can be very long for that age whereas a few hours every other day sounds judt right. And you will probably find that your c/m will be able to be far more flexible than the nursery once number 2 arrives.
1.As Jess gets older, she is much more likely to make local friends if with a local childminder.
2. If you dont't NEED to drive 100 miles in a day, don't do it. As you get bigger, the journey will become more uncomfortable, and why risk yourselves on our busy roads if not essential?
3. If you have found a childminder you like who has a space, then grab it. It may be gone by next week.
4. A local childminder is going to be much more convenient in the days before and after the birth. She will probably be much more flexible aswell (I am more than happy to go to mindees houses in the middle of the night when labour starts!) - I just take them home with me in the morning when they wake up. It will be best for Jess if her life can stay as normal as possible round this time, and going somewhere local will be much easier for all concerned.
Driving 100 miles is costing you realistically somewhere in the region of £10, taking into account wear-and-tear on your car. If you were doing that for business, you would be reimbursed £40. It's a little ridiculous, even if Jess's auntie does run the nursery.
If it takes you 30 mins each way, you are spending 2 hrs in the car, and Jess is spending 1 hr, which is all wasted time.
Do you want to keep Jess in after baby is born? You seriously will not want to be doing this journey when you have baby as well. And you would wish to avoid changes and disruption to Jess's routine around the time of the birth, so you want to move her well in advance.
Quite apart from the travel, IME 2 or 3 monrings is more useful than 1 day. Also, your SIL's nursery may well be the most wonderful anywhere, but for me personally I regret having DS1 as a baby in a nursery, and wish I'd hunted out a good local CM.
Oh, and you can explain to SIL that you are really sorry to be taking Jess out of her wonderful nursery where she has had such a good time; that you're delighted that she's got to know her auntie so well and you hope to keep meeting up regularly for weekend lunch or whatever; blah, blah, but that you know you can't keep on taking her there once you are more pg /once baby is born.
But do check that you can find a lovely CM you're happy with who has vacancies before you hand in your notice!
Thanks for the compliments but no, not in Colchester, and no spaces anyway! But there are lots of lovely cms out there. I too think that babies (especially) and toddlers are much better off with a regular, loving cm and later a playgroup in addition, than in a nursery. Strangely enough I've been asked by 2 or 3 Social Services (as was) / Ofsted childcare inspectors if I could take their child / grandchild. They obviously prefer cms too! Good luck with finding someone nice for Jess.
Jessicamummy there are good cm here in Colchester, I am guessing you must be on the garrison. I know someone who also lives on the garrison who has experience in using CM's there. email me on lucy at essentialpublishing dot co dot uk as I don't want to mention any names here !!