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Back to F/time work. Childminder vs Nursery advice needed please!

(23 Posts)
charlieplus3 Sun 16-May-04 09:10:38

Well the decision is made, im off back to full time work, which means working every other weekend, but it has to be done as Dp pays for everything and finding it a struggle.

My dilema is as the title. I have never left Dd about to turn 2, when i have tried creches she has screamed for at least two hours non stop. Left with a friend for 20 mins and she was the same. Ive no qualms about leaving Ds 8 months but im so scared about any lasting effects leaving Dd could have.

Do i go for Nursery which has lots of qualified staff who know how do deal with this BUT is a busy envoirement that shes not used to, so she wont get the full attention shes used to, plus different staff etc iyswim


A childminder who can spend the time with her and she could hopefully get attached too, but will i ever find one i really trust.

Im panicky about it already, its such a big step!

eddm Sun 16-May-04 09:57:26

Presumably you looking for childcare for both of them?
My ds (10 months) has been ill almost every other week since starting nursery in mid-February. People mentioned that 'they all get ill when they go to nursery' but I didn't realise quite how bad it would be. Maybe we are just very unlucky but it has been very distressing and very difficult with work, even though dh and I have split the time off. I imagine your 2-yr old would be OK but beware the effect on your baby and have a plan for deaing with it. Apart from that nursery is great, he loves it there and misses it when he's away (gets very excited when he goes back). They are very supportive, do lots of interesting things with the babies, give them loads of cuddles and know far more about child development than I do! They also have a key worker system (think all nurseries do) where each baby gets time 1-1 with a carer. And he gets to see older children, which he loves (is fascinated by them). Once he stops being ill, poor little sausage, it will be fine.
I was probably unlucky but I spent ages meeting different childminders, as that's what I originally preferred (I had a childminder myself as a toddler/older child, and they are FAR less expensive) and didn't find one I trusted and where I was happy with the environment.
With two-year old, could you build up the period of time you leave her? With nursery, I stayed with ds for his first visit. Then (after making sure he was OK, of course) left him in the baby room for 10 minutes while I went into the office so I was around if he howled. Then left him for an hour while I went shopping nearby. Then a morning, etc. etc. etc. Assume this would work just as well with childminder.

charlieplus3 Sun 16-May-04 10:02:44

Thanx Eddm, been sat here waiting for a reply. My friend actually took her DD out of nursery as she was always ill like yours. I supose its only natural as kids are always catching something or other. That side of it doesnt worry me, and leaving the baby doesnt as he will go to anyone. Of course i will miss them like crazy and feel like the worst mother on earth. Im just really worried about the wrench from DD, shes so clingy, she cant be apart from me unless its hwith her dad, dont know why she is like this, i hate the thought of upsetting her and her thinking ive abandoned her.

charlieplus3 Sun 16-May-04 10:07:14

Im getting upset thinking about it, god why as parents do we have to feel so guilty?

eddm Sun 16-May-04 10:31:03

I know what you mean...
BUT it has to happen sometime, she'd be going to nursery at least some of the time when she's three anyway, wouldn't she? If you build up gradually now, then it should be OK, I hope. Is she OK when you leave the room if you are round at a friend's for example? Perhaps you could try doing that.
Oh, one other thing, with ds, even though he's probably too little to understand, I make a point of giving him a kiss and a cuddle and telling him I'm going but I'll be back tonight and then waving bye-bye. And nursery staff always pick up whichever kid has just arrived, so he's always being held by someone when I go. Think helps make him feel secure. Maybe with two-year old one member of staff would cuddle her, or hold her hand, when you say bye-bye? Also, look for a nursery that encourages siblings to see each other a few times in the day, even if they are obviously in different rooms with their own age group.

Kayleigh Sun 16-May-04 11:02:25

c+3, hiya. was lovely meeting you yesterday, just sorry we didn't get a chance to chat. My boys both go to a wonderful childminder. She was the last one i interviewed out of 6. After the first 5 i felt terrible as not one of them "felt" right and i felt as if i would be compromising to choose any of them. But when i met our childminder I just knew. you have to trust your instincts. My ds1 has been with her since he was 5 months old and he is now nearly 6. Both boys are very happy there and i always wanted a home environment for them rather than a nursery which IMO would have been a bit too institutionalised and impersonal. FWIW my childminders daughter is a nursery nurse and she said she believes a childminding scenario is better for kids.

motherinferior Sun 16-May-04 11:27:48

I think the best thing to do is check out what's on offer in your area, of both types, and THEN decide.

I personally found a brilliant, fabulous childminder for my first daughter and have never, ever swerved. And I know people who swear similarly by their nurseries. Both can be wonderful - honestly. Good luck, honey.

charlieplus3 Sun 16-May-04 13:21:41

Thanks for all your advice. Ive been going back and forth all morning trying to work out which will be best.

And no Edmn i cant leave the room at a friends or at mother and toddler group, she freaks cos thinks ive left her which is stupid really cos i never leave her.

jmg1 Sun 16-May-04 13:31:21

charlie, when my partner died our youngest was at home all the time and the other two were at nursery for 1.5 days a week. After Partner's death I gradually increased the Nursery time because I could not get any work done when the 3 children were at home. I felt really guilty but I didn't have much choice. I have chosen nursery because:
1. lots of staff so less chance of a single carer getting too stressed looking after kids on her own.
2. lots of other children to play/interact with and make friends.
3.If a member of nursery staff leaves you have continuity but if you loose your primary carer you have to start from scratch.

My children all got upset being left at nursery in the beginning, I found the key was to give them a hug etc but not to hang around too long as this can really get them going. also if they look like they might get upset the staff sometimes take them to the window to wave goodbye to me and this helps.

My girls really love the nursery (and routine there) and now sometimes when i turn up to collect them they just carry on playing with their friends which is a sign to me that they are comfortable.

robinw Sun 16-May-04 13:56:07

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bunnyrabbit Mon 17-May-04 16:08:35

DS (8 months) goes to nursery and I would agree with all the other mums re the possitive aspects. The carers are all lovely and carers from the other rooms come in for a cuddle in their break! Social interaction is also an important benefit and DS will (hopefully) learn that he is not the centre of attention all the time, and will learn to play with others.

My friends baby is 1 year older than DS and, unlike DS who will go to anyone, seems to behave similarly to your DD. He doesn't like it when she leaves the room and, although he's been going to nursery since he was 7 months, he nearly always cries when she leaves. However, as soon as she leaves the room he goes off to play! She watches him on the monitor.... it did take a few goes for him to get used to it, some babies are just like that. Recently he moved to a different room, and for a few days he was upset, so they gradually introduced him to it, an hour at a time, and now he's fine.

Some kids, like some adults, take longer to adjust to change.... but as eddm says, she will have to go to nursery and then school (erk!) so if you can introduce her to it now, it'll be a lot easier later on.


And just to be a really selfish horrible mummy here... I prefer nursery over a child minder as I don't like the idea of DS spending that much time with someone who isn't me and possible becoming attached to someone else.... aren't I awful!!


Grommit Mon 17-May-04 16:26:17

I had this same dilemma with dd - I had her booked into a nursery when a friend's childminder suddenly had a vacancy (Kayleigh!). I felt secure sendin her to the childminder as she came highly recommended. We moved house when dd was 3 so I sent her to a provate daycare nursery for 9 months until she started state nursery. Ds is 6 months old and nearly went to a nursery as I couldn't find a childminder then luckily someone I know recommended one again. I do think this is the best environment for a baby - nurseries are impersonal and a bit too institutional. If you can get a good childminder go with this - I have heard too many horror stories about daycare nurseries.

jimmychoos Mon 17-May-04 16:35:11

Here's a vote for nurseries. Both my two go three days a week and have been there since 12 months old. I have also used a childminder for dd, so have seen both sides. I do not agree that nurseries are impersonal. My kids are very attached to their key workers but also, and as importantly, they have real relationships with all the adults in the nursery. They are very confident socially as a result, with other children and adults. They get to be with their friends all day and the days are devoted to fun and play! For me there was also a feeling that I wanted my kids to be somewhere 'public' rather than in someone's house all day.

Hulababy Mon 17-May-04 16:41:19

I would also vote whole heartedly for a nursery too. DD has gone since 21 weeks. She is nmow 25 months. She has gained so much from it, and loves it. And ous really isn't impersonal at all. The girls adores Dd and she them. The owner and the manager are involved with the children daily, and I chat to the nursery nurses each day DD goes - she currently goes 2 days a week. There is no way I could do allt he stuff she does at nursery with her - and her development, I believe, has really been aided by the nursery.

Choosing a nursery for DD's care was one, of not the, best decision we have made for her.

A childminder would not have suited me at all I'm afraid. For various reasons, but mainly as I was not sure I would want DD being looked after by just one adult on their own, when DD was powerless to tell me if there was a rpoblem. An extreme situation which was very unlikely to happen - but it did prey on my mind.

DD is soon to move to a new nursery - work reasons on my part. She will be 29 months at the time. Over the month before she starts we have a series of settling sessions booked with the nursery. For the first parts I stay with DD, before later being invited to go and have a cup of tea - still in building but not with DD. And this builds up as slowly or as fast as DD requires.

dinny Mon 17-May-04 20:24:00

I vote for nurseries - not all of them are large and noisy. My dd goes to a small, loving nursery with a very calm, quiet feel (apart from when there's outside play on the trikes/climbing frame etc).
It did take dd (who started at 16 months) a while to settle but it was built up gradually and now she loves it - and her carers.
I think nursery is good because I suppose it is a way of gradually loosening the dependence on Mummy and preparing them for school. And they learn how to socialise with their peers too.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Dinny

charlieplus3 Mon 17-May-04 20:38:46

Well after a day of serious research i found out that its actually cheaper for me to get a nanny. They are cheaper than nurserys plus not as much up heaval for DD as she will be in her own surroundings.


Work said i can do it from home and just go in a couple of days a week. Hooray!! So now im gonna get a mothers help instead.

Hulababy Mon 17-May-04 20:41:47

Good to hear everything is falling in place

bunnyrabbit Tue 18-May-04 12:22:11

Very pleased for you and very jealous!!!


hatter Tue 18-May-04 15:18:06

Hi Charlieplus3,

on your original q I agree with Kayleigh - and personally felt that a home environment and a good relationship with one person was what I wanted for my two. A good childminder will also combine the home environment with outings which I don't think a nursery can manage so easily. On the other hand I agree with Motherinferior that plenty of people find a nursery works well and I know plenty of kids who have been to nursery and enjoyed it.

If you want to find a nanny/home help and don't want to pay the v. expensive agency fees and if you're in London try It's a subscription magazine full of adverts and you can subscribe and put your own ad in for about £40, which compares with agency fees of at least 250, and sometimes over £500. Other advice would be to have a contract and talk talk talk with your nanny. We got it wrong first time round and it can be very difficult - esp if you're working form home. Sorry, wffling here in order to have a break from work - haven't stopped since 8am

secur Tue 18-May-04 16:00:28

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secur Tue 18-May-04 16:02:22

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Aero Thu 20-May-04 17:54:14

Speaking as a nursery nurse who has worked in a nursery and been a nanny and until the recent arrival of our no3 have been a registered childminder I can say that all parents should go with their own instincts when meeting anyone who is caring for their children, but all these environments are good in their own way. The biggest problem in the nursery was trying to divide attention between several babies with various needs at once, so for the under twos I felt I was better able to look after their needs as a nanny or childminder, but around the age of two they're ready for so much more stimulation and for this I recommend a nursery setting. Hope this helps some of you. It's quite a dilemma and the reason why I chose to mind my own troop!

FairyMum Fri 21-May-04 07:19:46

Hello. Sorry I haven't read all the other posts, so hopefully I am not repeating just what everyone's already said......?
I personally go for nurseries for my children and especially around the age of 2 I think they are ready for some more stimulation and play with other children than they can perhaps get at childminders. I have had mine in nursery since they were babies so they have been used to this kind of environment from the start. At this age, the ratio of staff-baby is very good, so they do get plenty of individual attention. This is not always the case when they get older. I have seen in our nursery that the staff are far too busy now to pay much attention to each child. I have also seen children coming to nursery at a later stage having more difficulties settling because they are used to being at home and with 1-1 attention.I . Having said that, I think it's a myth that childminders have so much more time with each child. You'd have to find a childminder with only 1 or 2 children. Most of my friends childminders look after a few children and often 1 baby which require a lot of attention. They also often do school-runs, so it can be just as busy an environment as in a nursery in my view.......
Good luck with whatever you choose!!

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