Location of nursery? Home or work?

(26 Posts)
Pidgy Tue 03-Jul-12 08:57:54

I'm not due back to work Until May 2013 but seems I'm a little behind in sorting out childcare. I had no idea people were so organised in London!!

The big question is should we go for a nursery near work (both myself and my DH work at the same place) or do we go for one near home. Commute is 60 mins by car in winter and about 30 in summer when kids are off and more cyclists.

Is it unfair to expect a 1 year old to spend that time in the car each day? Or would that be better as I could pop in at lunch to see him and would at least be spending that time with him.

Really confused as to what's best and would appreciate to know what others have found works.


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OlympicFlame Tue 03-Jul-12 09:00:05

We settled on home. Getting our child into London everyday was a nightmare. We have friends and family who could collect in an emergency. And the nursery have been very kind on the 2 occasions we've been late because of train issues.

OlympicFlame Tue 03-Jul-12 09:02:11

I should point out we tried a work nursery in London first, for 1-2 months and it just didn't work for us. I never went to see him at lunchtime because it disrupted him and upset him because I essentially left him twice in one day. So we were dragging him into London for no reason.

lilbreeze Tue 03-Jul-12 09:08:00

pros and cons of each... If you choose a nursery near work it would potentially allow you to work slightly longer hours. I wouldn't personally recommend going in at lunchtime though as it could be quite unsettling.

If your child is ill during the day you won't want to have a vomiting child in the car for an hour! Also if you have a second child it would be easier to drop dc1 at a local nursery than a faraway one while on maternity leave (though this perhaps doesn't apply as your Dh would be able to do drop-off).

Personally I chose a nursery near home not work and have been happy with that.

Kveta Tue 03-Jul-12 09:09:54

home! if you are ever ill, it makes such a difference to be able to drop your child off somewhere local whilst you stay at home. not so easy with the work option, as I have learnt from bitter experience!!

EMS23 Tue 03-Jul-12 09:13:47

Another vote for nursery near home so when you're off baby can still go to nursery if needed.
You won't visit during day, it will be too disruptive.
Plus, I'm about to go on second mat leave but DD is still going to nursery to
A: keep her place
B: keep her routines the same through upheaval of new baby.
That wouldn't be so easy if nursery was by work an hour away.

BonnieBumble Tue 03-Jul-12 09:14:02

I would go for a nursery close to home, I don't see any advantages of using a nursery close to work. My job involved a fair bit of travelling so quite often I wouldn't have been going into work anyway and would have had a extra hours drive at the beginning and end of the day just to do nursery drop off. Also if you work from home sometimes you will be really wishing you had gone for a closer nursery.


Theas18 Tue 03-Jul-12 09:22:38

I'd say work if you have no local support.

If he's ill you will have to get him. And that will happen repeatedly to start with with colds/sticky eyes etc. IMHO that's not for a friend who'll "step in if needed" to do - you'll doon get beyond the "if needed" threshold of collections of a poorly baby. A grandparents who really is willing to drop everything would work I guess.

BUT are you happy to be at work with someone else looking after him when he's ill?

I did go any breastfeed at lunch times from 6-8 months with DD2. She was at home with CM but I was still "leaving her twice".

I envisage one of you in the back shovelling breakfast into your son on the way to work LOL. THere isn't any reason (apart from him expecting "fun" in the car all the time !) why he couldn't be read to played with and generally have a nice time with a parent in the back of the car with him on the commute?

Theas18 Tue 03-Jul-12 09:24:15

I totally get the transporting a vomiting child home issue. But I'm not sure I could be 30 plus mins away from my child if they were ill.... I have no issue leaving them with a carer /rel if ill but I like to at least cast an eye to se how ill they are myself!

Pidgy Tue 03-Jul-12 11:03:04

We don't have any family local that could help out and if we did have a nursery near home we'd have to drive in separately as traffic is so much worse after 7.30am. DH needs to be in 8ish which isn't possible with traffic and nursery opening hours.

But, totally get the vomiting child and working from home debate.

Decisions decisions...

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Pidgy Tue 03-Jul-12 11:03:59

Maybe I'll just have another soon! ;-)

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Moomoomie Tue 03-Jul-12 11:12:00

Have you set your heart on using a nursery as opposed to a child minder or nanny?
Employing a nanny would probably allow you to travel into work together... Which will save you travel costs. I'm sure you have investigated all options.

Pidgy Tue 03-Jul-12 18:21:34

Looking into childminders now as I think the cost of a nanny would be too high. Perhaps a childminder would give us the flexibility we need.

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JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 03-Jul-12 18:26:34

Home, definitely. If you're ill its still close enough to do a drop off at nursery (crucial, this wink ), and if you need to pick them up if they're ill then there will be limited time in the car.

Besides, rush hour is bad enough for adults, bit much to ask a small child to. Also, it'll likely be the only time you get to yourself.

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 03-Jul-12 18:28:00

Thought of another reason - if nursery close to home then DC is less likely to drop off in the car. If you've got almost an hour long commute you'll have a right nightmare at bedtime

(i think that just about covers it grin)

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 03-Jul-12 18:29:59

BTW - we did a 7am drop off with DS, he had breakfast at nursery. Was perfect.

HeadsShouldersKneesandToes Tue 03-Jul-12 18:34:48

I would always recommend near home, so long as you can get there for a sensible pick-up time. I don't feel it's fair on a small child to have to do a long commute, once you collect them it's much better to be home quickly. Plus, if you are off work sick and your child is healthy, you want to be able to take them to nursery and then go back to bed, not have to choose between either having to look after a child whilst poorly or do 4 lots of commute journey feeling dreadful to take them in.

Mandy21 Wed 04-Jul-12 12:42:58

I would also say home - for a number of reasons. Just from my experience, life changes - jobs change / hours / flexi working (all of which mean you might be able to work from home occasionally / not have to commute so far), you might have another child (so be on maternity leave but want some nursery sessions). If you're staying in the area when your DS goes to pre-school / school, he'll have made friends at nursery. Nursery staff will often babysit for parents at the nursery - not much chance of that if you're an hour away. When they get older and they're invited to parties by other children, you don't want him to be missing out as its too far / driving for an hour on a Satureday / Sunday. Easier for you to make friends with other mums (through the children) if you're local. When he drops his sleep at 2 or 3, he'll doze off if he's in the car for an hour and then he'll never go to bed and you'll not have any adult evening time [can you tell this is the voice of experience?!].

babybouncer Wed 04-Jul-12 19:41:07

We've just moved dc1 to a nursery near home partly to make it easier to me now I'm on maternity leave but mostly because I want him to get to know some local kids as friends to make the transition to school easier. We didn't think of this when we first chose the nursery and he's found leaving his friends at old nursery tough.

SkiBumMum Wed 04-Jul-12 19:47:42


At 3 my DD has lots of friends from nursery who she loves spotting in town and going to visit.

Try looking for a nanny share - makes it more affordable. We used to drop DD1 at another family's house with their nanny when we lived in London. It was a wonderful solution. There is a specific website where you can search for matching families etc.

Pidgy Thu 05-Jul-12 09:53:21

Ooh..lots of good things I hadn't even thought about. Eg. Friends and school. Falling asleep in the car.
Also, I called a nursery local to work and they also said they don't advise that we drop in at lunch either as it's unsettling for them...as you can tell, I'm new to parenthood! :-) (but learning every day!)
Thank you.
I'm going to also look into the nanny share option as that might be more affordable and be more flexible.

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citymum11 Thu 05-Jul-12 16:26:36


Just thought u might like another view as I am in a very similar situation to u.. we live outside of the M25 and both myself and my DH work in London and car share to and from work Mon-Fri. I have my DC (who is now 14 months) in a nursery close to work and I have to say I love the arrangement and am really happy with it. One reason I like it is because I get 2 extra hours with my DC every day and we can play / read in the car to and from work/nursery.. when we get home around 6:15pm its straight into bedtime routine so I really value our time together in the car. Obviously this works better as I am car sharing so not always driving. My DC has no problem being in the car for the commute and as it is an early start he can sleep on the way in if he wants to and he has breakfast at nursery (so getting him ready in the morning only takes about 15 mins). Also when they do shows etc for the parents - which usually last only about 15 mins or so - I can pop out of the office and back again whereas if he was near home it would mean a half day and use up precious holiday! The worst outcome is when he gets sick at nursery and I get a phonecall at work to come and collect him, as we have no family available to help either way its a bit of a nightmare but as I am only 3 mins away I know I have 30-45mins to at least tie up loose ends at work before I rush off. If I had a 40 min drive I would have to leave immediatley.

I did think about nurseries close to home but decided against them due to a) opening too late, b) we have no family locally who could do any better than us picking DC up in case of emergency (they work similar hours) and c) maybe a bit selfish reason but I just like having him near me so I can pop in if I want to. It would have been cheaper to go to a local nursery thats true but for me it just didnt work because of our circumstances.

The other thing worth checking is that with the London nursery they provide EVERYTHING, so all I need to do is turn up with my DC. The local nurseries needed me to provide bottles, nappies, clothes and all kinds of stuff which would have meant me sterilising and repacking each night and with a hectic schedule every minuite counts!

Everyone is different I am sure u'll come to the right decision but just thought u might like to hear my view! I hope this is all okay its my first post on mumsnet so hope I got it all right!

Pidgy Sat 07-Jul-12 21:10:29

Hi Citymum, thanks for your post as it does give me another perspective. Your situation sound v similar to ours. I am no closer to making a decision on child care, but your set up is how I 'imagined' it working when I first got pregnant.
What I do now know is that there are quite a few options, but we really need to research and visit a few nurseries and childminders. I'm not going to be forced into a quick decision, but will aim to get this sorted ASAP do we don't close out ant options.
Thanks though for your post.

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citymum11 Tue 10-Jul-12 14:26:28

If u have any specific questions about how things work for us feel free to ask I'm happy to help!

rathlin Mon 16-Jul-12 00:23:39

I use a nursery beside my workplace. We have no family or any other support locally so I drop my son off in morning and collect him. It's roughly a half hour drive although can be a bit more depending on traffic. My reason for putting him in nursery at work was because if I was stuck in traffic, I would have no-one to collect him so would prefer that he is stuck with me. We have a great time in the car and have lots of CDs to listen to and it's also extra time I have with him. I'm rarely sick so that situation hasn't come up yet. We live in outer London and a lot of my colleagues use the same nursery. It all depends on what suits you.

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