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ratios of adult carers to babies in nurseries compared with childminders

(7 Posts)
Jules125 Thu 08-Sep-11 21:07:38

Having tried it (briefly) I don't think I am very keen on nurseries for young babies (under 18 months or so). The 1:3 ratio just doesn't allow for much interaction with the adults. I know many people prefer the childminding option as this is a more home-like atmosphere, which seems reasonable to me, but it worried me that the ratio of adults to children can be really poor as each CM is allowed to look after up to 6. How can one CM really cope with this many children (even if they are a bit older). Can anyone who has used CMs give me any insight on this?


An0therName Thu 08-Sep-11 22:37:02

CM can only have 1 under one - and normally 3 in total under I think 5 - and then older one are there for school drop and pick up - except perhaps in the school holidays - but my experience is most childminders are not full in the holidays - and clearly need much less attention - and in fact often enjoy the little one - also quite often one of the under 5s will be a pre school for some of the time - and then often the children had naps at different times so I always felt my DCs had lots of attention. You need to visit some CMs to get a feel for it - and of course it differs alot how old and how many children they have - I wonder if you are just worried about childcare in general

MatLeaveForever Fri 09-Sep-11 08:17:08

I've just chosen a childminder who works alongside another childminder in the same house, so between them they look after maybe 6 children on one day but I like the fact that there is always an adult around if one of them is in the kitchen, loo, dealing with one upset child etc! My DD hasn't started there yet but I'm hoping she'll be happy there.

Jules125 Fri 09-Sep-11 15:06:54

Thanks - yes I am worried about childcare in general. I'm sure there is good childcare to be had, but without a personal recommendation how do you know? Still thinking a childminder or a nanny share might be better than a nursery for DD at 13-14 months though.

ShelBel31 Fri 09-Sep-11 15:21:07

I put my 4year old son into Nursery at 9months old; i was so scared and nervous. I believe it was the best thing i could of done for him given he is an only child. It gave him the ability to work and share with others. I do share all your concerns and the nursery i placed my son in crippled me financially as it was costing £1k per month. I worked to pay another persons wage, literally. He has just started reception and i am now facing the same situation and have had to leave work due to them being so ridged. The parents of the other children in my sons class are gathering together on Monday morning to create a support network between ourselves, so those whom want/need to return to work can. WIN/WIN... But lets see how we go. The ratio is 1:3 as AnOtherName says but that depends if someone chucks a sickie or not at the nursery. With a childminder if they are sick you have no cover and would need to take the time off work to care for you child. It a big and complex decision to make. Good luck

BranchingOut Fri 09-Sep-11 15:54:01

I have just started my son in nursery aged 23 months and am quite happy that I didn't start him any earlier (we had home-based care up till then). To be honest, they just don't get the same level of physical contact, holding and cuddling as they might with a lower ratio.

Childminders can be a good option as the slightly older children are often attending a playgroup/pre-school.

The best thing you can do is get busy visiting lots of different childminders and see where you feel comfortable.

Also, look at a nanny share. This can be quite a good option and then maybe you can start at nursery at a later date.

An0therName Fri 09-Sep-11 19:52:32

I havn't had personal recomendation for any of the childminders I have used - its more about visiting a few and getting a feeling - to be honest what suits one person may not suit you
Also my childminders have almost never been of sick - in over 5 years of using them- as they are self employed - and one of them used to arrange cover as she was in a network

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