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Overwhelmed by decision required - nursery v childminder

(11 Posts)
MudMum Tue 20-Oct-09 08:05:40


My DS has been going to nursery 2 half days a week in preparation for my return to full time work in Jan. The trouble is the nursery closes at 4 - so we need a child minder to pick him up and care for him until about 530 - 6. We had it all worked out, another mum was going to care for him but given all the recent press I got worried about her not being registered etc, plus still needing to find childcare for term breaks. I phoned directgov and also learned we wouldn't be insured, eligible for tax credits etc unless cm was registered. SO decided to find registered cm. We had a visit with registered cm who said she could do it, initially, but is now saying she'd need to pick up a 3, so if we keep ds in nursery in the afternoon we'd need to pay until 4 and disrupt the afternoon (plus don't know if it's allowed? to pick up early?). I've been through the entire list of other CM's in the area, no one else is saying they are definitely available.

He's had major problems settling in as has never been left or cared for by anyone else, no family here, but I'm very happy with the care he will get there (outstanding ofsted report). He needed 5 settling in sessions with me there, but finally last week I left him and he managed to have an ok time.

What do people think? Should I put him with cm from 1 so half day at nursery, half at CM's, or almost full day of nursery?

Just so worried I'm not going to make the right choice for my DS...this is the hardest thing I've had to do as a parent. Really wish I didn't have to go back to work and I could just be with him!

MudMum Tue 20-Oct-09 09:19:14

Hey all, don't bother reading/posting so sorry for wasting your time if you've managed to read the convoluted/panicked above. My dh has just called, he's decided he can do it, best case scenario! Now lets just hope his business survives!

facebookaddict Tue 20-Oct-09 09:32:35

I know you've got it sorted Mudmum but just wanted to offer support for stressful time when they settle. My DS went in at 6mths and I felt terrible guilt for months, but he has LOVED it from the word go and still does (2.5 now) so am happily preparing for doing same for DD in a few months time when she is 6/7mts.

Nursery care gives children a real edge socially, intellectually and creatively (I could never manage all the arts and crafts they do!) plus I really think you are giving your child confidence to know that he has his own place in the world and you will always be there at the end of the day.

Best of luck - sure you'll be fine once the nasty adjustment phase is past!

MudMum Tue 20-Oct-09 11:07:12

Aw thank you so much facebookaddict. I don't know anyone in rl who has put their child in nursery full time, guess my friends all seem to be somewhat priviledged financially, but no choice here. Am really feeling guilty, though I know he will be ok in the long run and he is really needing the stimulation. It's really nice to get your positive support. Today is a nursery day, so well timed!

facebookaddict Tue 20-Oct-09 11:40:52

Even if I had buckets of money and could have full time one on one childminder, and not work I would STILL choose some nursery time for my DC as I really think it is a good thing.

Esp as he is collected at 3/4pm so has a whole 3-4hours at home as well.

You'll probably find you meet friends when you get to know the other parents, your child will probably be better at eating a variety of stuff (and less messily) as the social aspect of mealtimes at nursery is so important, AND will be more flexible/adaptable to situations such as napping when out/at friends etc.

It is a tough start esp when they are young, but honestly it will be the making of him/her and it is MUCH harder for you than them. You will probably find that they get all the bugs at first (be prepared to take holiday/unpaid in your first month or two back!) but then they have a boosted immune system and you will all benefit from the balance that working brings to your family.

if it gets hard post again!!!

islandofsodor Tue 20-Oct-09 12:12:07

It is very uinusual for a daycare nursery to close at 4pm. MOst stay opemn until around 5.30pm-6.00pm to cater for working parents.

I'm guessing the reason a childminder wants to collect at 3pm is to fit in with the school run.

Sunshinemummified Tue 20-Oct-09 13:43:14

Mudmum my DCs both go to nursery full time (ours closes at 18:30 however) and I second everything that facebookaddict says about the socialisation aspect of nursery care. Obviously it does depend on the nursery but my children love it there and it has definitely been good for them in many ways. I still have days where it's hard, where one of the DCs cries when I drop them off, but this is infrequent and overall I'm more than happy with my decision to send them there.

MudMum Tue 20-Oct-09 20:27:37

Hey just to say thanks for the supportive words, really, really appreciate it. It's been hard. I did not expect all this guilt, as my mum worked, she often said she felt guilty about it, but I thought that was just her being my teary emotional mum. And here I am a nervous wreck.

Today was a marginally successful day at nursery, but the cm who said she could do monday 4 - 6 now has not called back to confirm, so dh will probably have to do more than he bargained for this morning. Damn it.

Yes, islandsofsodor, it's unsociable hours for a nursery. It's montessori, which is great but the hours may be unworkable for us in the long run. Damn it again.

facebookaddict Wed 21-Oct-09 19:55:58

How was today at nursery?

It does get better you know. Even if the nights are drawing in and you feel like you just get breakfast and bathtime.

Hope it improves for you.

MudMum Thu 22-Oct-09 08:52:23


Well yesterday was very encouraging indeed. When I went to pick him up he was very busy playing and didn't notice me for a few minutes. It was such a relief to see! And apparently he was laughing at one point, having climbed to the top of the climbing house thingy. Was so happy, he has the best laugh and so far all the staff has heard are his howls! Such a shame, they are off next week just when he's starting to get into it.

Think I may have found a childminder yesterday who can take some of the pressure off dh, so am thinking he'll be with her for 2 afternoons, my mil for one afternoon (feel sort of obliged to do this iyswim), so all may end up okay. I've come to realise that it's not viable for the cm to just do a couple hours a day. Plus may be ok for ds as days are pretty long

I'm really glad I posted as has been great to hear other experiences with nursery / going to a lunch group today, ds usually clings for quite a while then ventures, maybe today he'll fly confidently off leaving me feeling lost!

facebookaddict Thu 22-Oct-09 15:06:15

The arrangement with MIL, DH and childminder sounds great as he'll get such a mix of attention.

Shame nursery shut next week (is it a state one with school term dates? - my private one only shuts for easter and xmas and even then for only a few days - certainly helps when working as the summer would be hard to cover !)

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