Best type of childcare for 7 month old(16 Posts)
Hello, I am going back to work in Feb when my DD is 7 months old and not sure if a nursery or childminder is best option? Also any recommendations in Stoke Newington area would be gratefully received. Have no family in area so thats not an option.
As a Childminder myself I wiil give you my perspective:
For young children I believe a Childminder is better for the following reasons:
1. More individual care as the CM cannot have more than 6 children in total, some much less due to the size of their home or personal preferences.
2. Home from home environment so it is more cosy and familiar.
3. More 'personal' than a nursery which has lots of other families and childrens needs to accomodate.
4. Your child will be taken on outings regulary such as to the shops, walks, playground, park, beach, mother and toddler groups, library etc.
5. Possibly able to cater for more individual needs and take on the parents individual preferences.
6. As safe as can be as CMers, like nurseries, are regularly inspected and are first aid trained.
6. No changes of carer. Just one consistent carer so your child can build up a close relationship with that carer.
Agree with elli - I would definitely go for a CM - however that's probably because mine is so wonderful and I couldn't imagine leaving DD with anyone else! You do need to find someone you click with if possible.
Its really up to you, and what the nurseries and cms around you are like - there are lovely Cms (like ellideb)and awful ones (like my SIL who never takes the children anywhere and does very little with them - she also regularly has more than 6 children in the house as she'll have her 3 who are over 11 and a number of other over 10s who aren't counted in her numbers).
Similarly with nurseries - there are fab ones and awful ones - you can't tell from the Ofsted report.
My experience - DS started nursery at 4.5 months. There were never more than 9 babies in his room, usually 6 and at least 2 staff at all time - so the ratio was always 1:3 or less, and all the staff had to think about was the children - not cooking/cleaning etc. They went out for walks every day, and would watch the older children in the playground etc. One or other of the two core staff was always there so they had a very close relationship with them. I felt that they were very willing to work around our needs, and were totally on board with demand feeding, unscheduled naps, cloth nappies etc
We moved, so he now goes to another nursery, and at 2.2 adores being with other children around his age, and everything is run around age appropriate activities. He is very close to a couple of the staff, and they do sooo much with the children.
My DS went to a CM at 7 months and he loved it,
I felt happier that he was in a home environment, with less formal structure than a nursery.
But agree that it really depends on the CM or Nursery so visit them and try and stay for at least an afternoon to see if you think they are what you want.
If there are local mums you can talk to about what childcare arrangements they would recomment in your area this can help too,
I chose my CM mainly due to the overwhelming glowing references she got mums I talked to at various baby/toddler groups.
What are yuor gut reactions. What is it that you want ? What is msot important. I often feel that teh Cm/nursery decision is quite simple.
Would you prefer one to one ? = CM
Would you like variety, other babies/children = Nursery ?
For me also, I needed a cast iron guarantee. It was no good to me the idea of being let down by CM being ill, or on holiday. and none of the local CM (although plenty seemed LOVELY and a few came very very highly recommended) were part of a group, where they cover eachother in these circumstances. So that decided it for me.
Plus I visited 3 nurseries. I wasn't keen on 2. Then I went to the third, I loved it, I just knew. And I was always happy. Ever since. A couple of minor things happened over the time, but I still look back with contentment at my choice.
That is what you need. You need to feel happy and sure.
I felt happier with a nursery.
Funnily enough, my son was 7 mths old when I went back to work and we lived in Stokie .
I made my decision after seeing a few childminders and nurseries (be prepared for waiting lists with a lot of nurseries in that area, though!).
my friend put her son in nursery at 5 months and said she just knew as soon as she walked in the place
she says you just have a feeling it is the right nursery/childminder, she looked at ofsted etc and went with recs from friends but said they only underlined what she felt iyswim
can you view a variety and then do a pros/cons list (but I do think the best places get booked up asap so maybe sooner rather than later)
AND, my nursery often went out on trips. And ds did have the same carer.
She was a scottish... mrs doubtfire. She was called Anne. I loved her. My dh liked her alot. I think ds did. There were other girls and carers there, but Anne was always there. She looked after ds.
Then he moved onto 2 more groups. The same room leader. The same key worker, who was with ds EVERY day, well almost.
The idea, that you have 100's of different carers looking after your child, at a nursery, is not always the case.
I had total continuity of care with ds.
And Anne and Zoe, for example, I know are still at the nursery.
Should add, too - my DS had a lovely key worker at his nursery who was always cuddling him or had him sat on her knee giggling away. They were very attached to each other. She cried when we moved away and he had to leave the nursery.
I truely believe that a CM is the best for children.
The continuity of one to one care in a home environment is of utmost importance imo. They are treated as indviduals rather than one of a group, with many nurseries having a fairly high turn-over of staff.
For me it has worked our brilliantly.
Plus you have to think longer term, my CM has just been with me today to start my DS1 at pre-school as she will be doing drop-off and pick ups on some days, and when he starts school next year she will be giving me peace of mind by doing the same. His days stay consistant with some one he knows and loves and he still gets to spend time with his brother.
Thank you all for your advice - its so hard to know what to do especially as I hate having to think about giving her to someone else to look after when she is still so small.
I have worked in Nurseries and been a Nanny, now I have children of my own I say the same as some others I think one just has a feeling. I would be tempted to check out CMS and Nurseries in your area and find what sits best with you. Whatever the form of child care there are sadly some not so wonderful ones and then there are some that are excellent, even the great ones will differ slightly in the way they work, worth checking out what is around indeed.
I'd say childminder - though as children get older they would enjoy the social aspect of nursery - but then that depends - sometimes there's a fab age mix at a CM and it's like a little family...
DS started with a CM at 10 months, I couldn't afford the nurseries that would have been able to take him at that point, plus only about 3 are close to home and not in the wrong direction for getting to work etc - one doesn't have a baby room, one is at a church and I'm not really that comfortable wtih a religious setting. So a CM wasn't my first idea of what I'd choose but what I thought I had to look at.
After 6 months I'm very happy with my decision and so is dp, we know he's very happy there, he's always pleased to arrive and often sad to leave, he adores his CM and her family.
My dd is with a cm and has a wonderfully strong bond with her. I think that the turnover of staff in nurseries is generally very high esp. in London. Small babies need very strong bonds so that is why I made my choice. As she gets bigger and needs what the nursery offers, I will review it. Good Luck...it is very tough leaving them, isn't it. I cried a lot.
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