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How important is Nursery/early socialisation without parents?

(11 Posts)
ChildrenoftheMind Tue 23-Nov-10 19:39:13

I am asking because I have a dilemma.

DD went to a fantastic nursery. She was a waiting list for several years (went to a different one before then, and we changed her). It was perfect for her, good strong structure, well organised, well run, good toys, Outstanding OFSTED reports consistently. She was there 2.5 days a week amongst of the 'elite' of the area (which we did not know at the time she started, sort of dawned on us as time went on). It is one of/the best nursery in the area.

DS has been on the waiting list since before he was born!!! We got priority in the baby room which has only a few spaces, and were offered a place in september, 3 days that did not suit at all. DS was only 8/9 months, and it was not essential that he had childcare as DH is able to care for him in the day time while I work part time, and I am home afternoons.

DH lost his job last year, and has struggled to get work. DD went to the nursery with some fees paid due to free sessions (still had to pay a substantial amount), so while it was not easy, we managed, thinking that by the time DS went to the nursery he would be working.

DH is not working yet. The nursery have called and offered us the days of our choice (minimum 3 sessions allowed) 3 x half days at £20 per day. This will be £60 a week, and it is paid calender monthly which is for the most part 4.5 weeks worth of nursery fees of around £260+ per month.

We can't really afford it. But we could find the money in the short term, as DH really does not want to be out of work even without this as an issue, this is making it worse as if we give this place up will lose our place on the waiting list. DH needs him in nursery really, so he has better availability for work. So catch 22 situation.

More than that, is that we had been thinking recently how good this would be DS now he is 1, ideal as he is a bit clingy so would maybe help him develop some independence, and DD absolutely thrived at nursery. DH and I will make the sacrifices we need to make it DS should go to nursery, if he will benefit from it, but we don't know what to do for the best. Would be be doing him more harm that good by keeping him out of nursery? (obviously aside from the whole DH/work issue).

I have banged on a bit and probably not really explained my concerns, I guess, in a nutshell, is nursery worth sacrificing all our expendable income (and more) on?

ChildrenoftheMind Tue 23-Nov-10 19:40:41

oh dear lots of spelling mistakes. Sorry, i am typing in the dark while feeding ds!

ChildrenoftheMind Tue 23-Nov-10 19:42:58

Now there is another option, which is to continue to manage as we are, DH will continue to look for work around my part time hours, and DS can go to the nursery linked to DDs school when he is two (don't take them younger than that). So, only 1 year away. There are many benefits to that, and had this place not become available, we would likely have done this, although we had been considering a nursery place of some kind just to help him socialise a little without us around.

rookiemater Tue 23-Nov-10 19:46:10

I don't believe that children as young as your DS have any inherent need whatsoever to get used to being without their parents. It is perfectly normal for a child to be clingy at the age of 1 and it may well be that your DS has a different personality from your DD.

Therefore whilst I also don't believe that nursery will harm a child I don't think your DS will lose out if he doesn't go.

However as your DH is hoping to find a job, and presumably if he doesn't then there are more fundamental financial issues than cost of nursery so on that basis if it were me I would take up the place and reassess in 2 months time.

girliefriend Tue 23-Nov-10 19:54:08

Could you not just take 1 or 2 of the sessions? Also if your husband is out of work have you checked if you are entitled to any tax credits? On my part time wage I used to get about 80% of childcare costs covered. I don't think the socialisation is really much of an issue esp for babies as family should be all the socialisation they need, IMO socialisation is more important once they are 2 and over.

ChildrenoftheMind Tue 23-Nov-10 19:54:22

rookie - we can manage as we are financially, just have little room to manevour so to speak. If we don't take up the place, he is more limited in the work he is available for. The nursery place will give him 3 whole days to be available for work for (plus weekends) as well as afternoons and evenings on the other days, rather than just afternoons/evenings/weekends, although he will still need to do the school run in the morning.

If he does not work imminently we will be skint but not desperately so, but if we do nursery, until he works, we will be without spare income at all.

ChildrenoftheMind Tue 23-Nov-10 19:56:49

girliefriend as it is just me working we already get the max tax credits that are available to us, we won't get any more for childcare as we both need to be working. Once he is working, what we lose in tax credits we will make up to some extent in credits for childcare, so that side of things are fine, and if he works full time we can afford the childcare regardless (again, not loaded, but enough to be ok on).

We can't take just 1-2 of the sessions unfortunately as that will be ideal. The nursery has a minimum of 3 sessions that you have to take, i guess they are so oversubcribed, they can afford to be this picky.

ChildrenoftheMind Tue 23-Nov-10 19:58:17

so, if we wait until 2 to send him to nursery, if that is what we decide, we won't find it more difficult for him to settle? i guess it was that DD was in nursery 1.5 days a week from 10 months so i saw the benefits.

girliefriend Tue 23-Nov-10 20:12:30

No I don't think so personally but you have to do what feels right for your family.

Nancy66 Thu 25-Nov-10 18:51:49

Children of that age don't need to/or want to socialise.

So if that's your only reason for putting a child in a nursery then I wouldn't do it. they're happier at home.

mummeeee Thu 02-Dec-10 19:00:21

Everything that I've read, would point to what others are saying. Actually better for most children to be with one main carer (usually the parent) until 2 years old. i.e. no need to go to nursery.

However, I agree with previous posts, in that if it were me I would take up the place (ask to start DS gradually anyway - not 3 sessions the v first week iyswim) because it gives your DH more flexibility with work. I am not sure what sort of work he's looking for obviously, but I think the more days he can work the more likely he is to find something paying reasonably well (I think for tax credits it is prob desirable for him to work at least 16hrs/wk since this will boost your income even more on top of his wage).

It is really difficult trying to balance the needs of everyone in the family and I think most people would find this a difficult decision. I think you're obv a great mum to be considering all this. I really hope work and money situations improve soon. My DH lost his job whilst I was on mat leave with our DS, so we had nothing coming in for a while.

Good luck with the job hunting

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