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Nursery or childminder?(14 Posts)
I am returning to work in June/July and need to organise childcare for my daughter, who will be 10/11 months old by then. We're really torn between a nursery or a childminder, it's such a big decision! We are based in South London.
Any thoughts or advice?
Honestly, you might not have a choice. Good nurseries have long waiting lists and so you might not find a space in time for June or July. My advice is to research your local nurseries online, make a short list of 3-5 and go and see them this week. Ask friends and children's centres for recommendations for childminders and meet with them too.
Thanks ... We have her name down for a good local nursery
Cheers for suggesting children's centres to recommend childminders.
Not a big decision at all. If there is a good CM nearby, that beats any nursery for a child of that age. A good one will have a long waiting list too, though...
We used a great nursery for our ds's until they started meithrin (school nursery) just after their 3rd birthdays. Because of the drop offs and pick ups we had to swap to using a childminder.
After 4 years of stress with childminders deciding that they could no longer do the school runs, retiring at short notice and giving us notice to take just one of our ds's out of their care (all different childminders obviously!), I been lucky and been able to swap jobs to work around school hours (only possible now that ds2 is in reception).
Because of our bad experiences with several childminders, I always recommend using nurseries as long as you can because in our experience being dependent on just one person is a lot less reliable.
It has to be a personal decision, both have pros and cons for a parent, do you want your child looked after in a home environment, is normally a big question also childminders do normally offer more flexibility, i'd go and see both now, that may help you make your choice,, good luck.
Nursery for me any time, an excellent nursery is better in my opinion... i visited some well regarded childminders in my area and it seemed the younger 12 month old kids were dragged along with the older ones and made to fit the schedule...
I'd look at a few nurseries and childminders and then decide - they both vary so much. I went for a small nursery nearby (max 32 kids over 3 rooms), but would never have gone for one of the others I saw. Nursery means you don't need to worry that the childminder may be ill/on holiday on a day, but their opening hours are fixed and may not fit with your commute. Nurseries can also provide the craft and other activities you can't be bothered to do at home, whereas childminders may just be similar to your home, for good and bad.
Both mine went to nursery at 11 months, loved a couple of the staff and quite liked the others they encountered, and loved watching the other babies their age and a little older and doing stuff together. As it happens there's a good childminder in my street who I didn't know about when I was looking, so may see if she can do some care when dc1 starts school.
Tinytear, i very much doubt the younger kids were 'dragged' anywhere - particularly as you say you visited well regarded childminders!!
if anything my own dc who are school age have to fit in with my younger mindees. I certainly don't 'drag' little ones along anywhere, if you mean the school run, then yes, they do that with me, but it is an enjoyable part of the day and normally involves a trip to the park to feed the ducks.
A good cm provides a much more natural daily experience, as your dc would have were you at home with them - sitting in one room all day, being one of many, having to compete to see who can cry the loudest, as i have witnessed in very many nurseries is hardly my idea of fun for such a young child....
different story for older ones, who are able to hold their own, but for little ones a good cm beats a nursery any day (I have worked in nurseries and have 20 yrs experience before anyone jumps down my throat)
the key is to do your research - talk to other parents and if going for a cm go along to the groups and see them. if going for a nursery, be wary of those who do guided tours and won't let you in at other times!!
and as for schedule tinytear, nurseries are much more rigid in their schedule!!
Reet, I think I am lucky with my nursery... My daughter can nap when she wants and they have a separate sleep room (I also rejected a nursery where the naps were at set times on the main room)
My nursery also has two very large rooms with different areas and a lot of space to play.
What I meant by drag was that they visited some museums and other places where it seemed it was great for a 2 or 3 year old, but not much fun to a 12 month old... and when I asked about naps they said the naps fit around the trips they do each day, and that is what I wasn't so sure about...
Another vote here for childminder!
Have worked in many nurseries here and abroad, have been a nanny and now a childminder.
Would definitely recommend either nanny or childminder for under 2.
Childminder every time. Best of luck.