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How many hours at nursery is too many?

(26 Posts)
twohearts Thu 14-Jan-16 16:25:58

My daughter is 18 months old and has been in nursery since she was 7 months old and absolutely loves it.

I've had the good fortune to be able to work a freelance job from home, so while she attends 5 days/week, it's usually no more than 6-7 hours per day.

Now, however, I'm in the final interview stages for a corporate job that looks like it could be a really good opportunity for me professionally.

HOWEVER, if I end up taking this job, it means that I'd have to increase my daughter's hours at nursery since I am her primary caregiver (husband is a workaholic and cannot do drop-off or pick-up).

This means I'd have to drop her off at nursery at about 8am and not pick her up until 5.30pm. It would be this way from Monday through Thursday (I'd have Fridays off). This just seems like too much time spent in nursery to me. She's only 18 months old, after all.

Am I being unreasonable? Is that normal and should I just get over it? She's super social and gets on well at nursery but, I dunno... it seems like a lot.

On the other hand, this looks like it could be a great professional opportunity. I'm so torn! The other option would be to pull her out of nursery and hire a nanny but she's used to being in a nursery setting (as opposed to with one primary caregiver all day long) so don't think that would be a good move.

Appreciate any advice/thoughts.


CMOTDibbler Thu 14-Jan-16 16:29:50

That sounds fine to me. But my ds was in 8-5.30 5 days a week from a baby, so I'm biased. He loved nursery and his friends there.

FemaleDilbert Thu 14-Jan-16 16:32:14

My 4yo and 2yo have been doing 7:30-5 3 days a week for 6 months now, seem fine

Duckdeamon Thu 14-Jan-16 16:35:09

Congrats on the job offer!

You're happy with her care, so those hours should be fine.

Your main problem is your workaholic partner, as am sure you know. He's a parent too and should do his fair share with DD, and WANT to do it!

magpie17 Thu 14-Jan-16 16:37:07

This is what I'm planning to do when I return to work, seems pretty standard amongst my friends. Go for it!

StandoutMop Thu 14-Jan-16 16:37:18

Mine went at 6 months from 8- 5.45, 5 days a week. She loved it, still remembers it fondly aged 9, and is generally happy, confident and sociable.

So not to much in my opinion, but someone will tell you it is (and nurseries are evil) shortly I expect.

StandoutMop Thu 14-Jan-16 16:37:40

*too much

snowgirl1 Thu 14-Jan-16 16:38:33

8am - 5.30pm sounds fine to me. My DD has been going to nursery 5 days a week since she was 10 months old. I make myself feel better about it by reminding myself of all the experiences (like some of the messy play things the nursery do!) she get that she might not have got if I'd had the chance to work fewer hours. The older they get the more they benefit from the social interaction at nursery too. Personally, I would think that the benefit of having 1 extra day with her would be worth it.

Mrscog Thu 14-Jan-16 16:40:13

She'll be fine - honestly, they're geared up for it and she's already used to going.

badg3r Thu 14-Jan-16 16:44:29

That sounds totally normal. My wee one is in from 8.30/9 to 6 5 days a week since 9 months. He has a great time. Don't chuck in a great opportunity just for the sake of one extra day at nursery, which she already loves.

twohearts Thu 14-Jan-16 16:48:03

Thank you all so much!

Really appreciate the feedback and am so relieved to know that 8-5.30 seems to be a normal length of time for most.

DD is already thriving in the nursery in question, so glad to hear that increasing the hours is essentially a non-issue since it sounds like most working mums do this same schedule. Thank you, it feels great to know I'm not alone.

As for the workaholic partner, yes, yes, I know it is not ideal but this was actually part of "the plan" as he's started his own company which requires basically non-stop commitment to work during the week. When he's with our daughter at the weekends, though, he's a terrific father and is very good about shouldering a lot of the childcare at the weekend to give me some "free" time... though of course I just want to be with my daughter anyway!

He's the primary breadwinner in the family by a massive amount. My income is a drop in the bucket but I do worry about "future-proofing" myself professionally so think this new job would be a good move... and it is great that they are willing to be flexible in giving me Fridays off to spend with my daughter.

Thanks everyone for assuaging my fears!

ChewyGiraffe Thu 14-Jan-16 17:02:43

I think the hours you describe sound quite ordinary for many children. My DD has done full days (8am to 6pm) at nursery since she was 15 months old (now 2.5). She has a nap at nursery after lunch, infuriatingly eats much more at nursery than she does at home (peer pressure?), talks chirpily on the way home about what she's done that day and overall seems to enjoy it.

Granted at the moment its only for 2 days/week (from 3 years old she's going full time due to increasing hours at work) but the long-ish days have never been a problem. I know several of the children in her nursery class who do 4 or 5 full days and they all seem to cope really well. I think my DD's quite a busy child borderline hyperactive so on each of the 3 days that she's not at nursery we do 2 toddler activity classes, plus usually go to the park; it takes a lot to tire her out and seems to be no danger of nursery doing that!

If you would be working 4 days, would you have the option to change your non-working day to Wednesday, perhaps even just temporarily? It might help to break up the week for your DD - i.e. only 2 nursery days before a day (or weekend) at home. And just a personal opinion, but I'd say that generally children get more out of being at nursery, with all the social interaction with their peers etc, than at home with a nanny/childminder on a one-to-one basis. Particularly if your DD is used to being at nursery and it has a low staff to children ratio (like 1:3 or 1:4 if children are a bit older).

Anyway, good luck with your interview!

ChewyGiraffe Thu 14-Jan-16 17:07:05

Sorry X-posts with some of previous posters. Good to see lots of people with little ones in nursery 4 - 5 days and all fine!

twohearts Thu 14-Jan-16 19:29:33

Haha @chewygiraffe my daughter sounds just like yours - has loads of energy and puts it to good use at nursery ;)

Also likewise eats things there that she would flat-out balk at if I tried to feed her at home.

Totally agree that kids in nursery get lots out of it... glad to see so many mums in the same boat, so to speak, on here. Thank you for your comment smile

Queazy Thu 21-Jan-16 12:48:17

Many kiddies round here do 7:30-6 if not 7:30-6:30 purely because many commute into London and it just wouldn't be possible to do a 9-5 or longer job without that. I found it a push even with those hours ( with a childminder though). I don't think the hours you say are too long, and are exactly wha my dd now does. In an ideal world I would want the hours you're currently doing, but this job sounds exciting for you, so I would go for it smile

museumum Thu 21-Jan-16 12:55:58

8-5:30 sounds fine.
My ds does 8:30 to 5/5:30.

My personal choice (I'm lucky to be able to choose) is to limit hours to have breakfast and dinner together but many children have one or other at nursery and are fine too.

daisyandtomsdad Wed 27-Jan-16 16:43:17

I think it's fairly common and not something to be overly concerned of like lots of others have said. We're lucky that my DS goes to a nursery just 2 days a week and my wife can spend time with my son the rest of the time.

The only worry is me trying to spend as much quality time with them as possible ( I work long hours and sometimes away from home) but from what I've seen children often thrive and develop at a pace with other children and certainly (in our case) has lots of fun when he is there.

Good luck.

HeyMicky Wed 27-Jan-16 17:00:55

Our nursery is now open 7.15am to 6.30pm to accommodate parents in London who work 9-5. Both DDs will be going five days a week 7.30-5.15 once I finish maternity leave. Pretty standard around here

SellFridges Wed 27-Jan-16 17:10:31

Pretty standard at our nursery. Both ours have been full time doing 8ish to 5:15ish (often later).

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Mon 01-Feb-16 11:03:06

My 14mth old is booked in 4days week 10hrs day in reality he is generally there 9hrs a day. My eldest did 4days childcare (2 nursery n 2 childminder) 9hrs a day also from being a baby.

Both did 3days 9mths-13mths then up to 4days

Think 3-4 days of 8-11hrs a day is pretty normal from my experience

wonkylegs Mon 01-Feb-16 11:08:24

Our DS was at nursery 8-6, 5 days a week from 7mths to 4yrs. He loved it and it was often difficult to extract him at the end of the day. He's now nearly 8 and is a fab, well adjusted little boy who gets on remarkably well with his parents (except for when he's being a cheeky monkey - which I blame on his dad) so I'd say it worked for us.
It was a fab nursery and I was very happy with leaving him there.

Junosmum Sat 06-Feb-16 12:33:44

Sounds like a lot to me and more than I'm happy with but due to finances and a similar work situation it will be what my son will be doing 5 days a week from 6 months! Sometimes you have to do these things for the longer term benefits. I'm very pleased to hear all these positive comments.

HarlettOScara Sat 06-Feb-16 12:39:44

My DD has been doing those sort of hours since she was about a year old with no problem. She's 3 and a half now and still loves nursery and is thriving there.

If she's happy in the environment and settled in nursery's routine then the extra hours should make no difference at all.

PagesOfABook Mon 08-Feb-16 22:02:42

To be honest I think it is a long time for a small child - and is not ideal from their point of view. I'm sure they would love to be home all day with their parents.

I felt very guilty leaving my own children in for long days....but, having said that, my children are now 6 and 4 and it has had no negative effect on them.

I think as children get towards age 3 then nurseries are more beneficial for them because they start properly interacting with the other children and making friends. It was at that stage I started feeling less guilty as when I came to collect them in the evening they were playing with their friends and seemed very happy.

Also, for the sake of a the relatively short time they are in nursery it might be worth going through with it if it means you are in a job you are happier with and has better prospects for you.

eckythumpenallthat Mon 08-Feb-16 22:08:46

You gotta do what you gotta do. My dd is often dropped off at nursery for when they open at 7:30 and picked up at 5:30 sometimes 6 if me or DH are running late. This has been since she started at 9 months and is almost 4. But needs must

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