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What's more important? Time at home or good nursery?

(18 Posts)
LovelyTrees Tue 09-Aug-16 14:57:48

Background: DS is 2 and for past year has been cared for 2 days week by a nanny and 3 days week at a nursery. Took a long time to enjoy nursery but is now very well settled there and looks forward to attending. Nanny was initially very good and I was happy DS was spending the majority of the week at home in familiar surroundings. However my doubts have been growing the last few months as the nanny seems more comfortable with babies than toddlers. Despite encouragement she does not do any activities with DS other than drawing/colouring at home or taking him to the local playgroup or for a walk to the park.

The nursery was originally full but now I have the opportunity to increase nursery days. But, I can't decide if it's better to carry on with the current nanny, look for a new nanny, or just go full time with nursery. Overall nursery would be cheaper but it's pretty full on and would mean DS has much less one to one attention. Has anyone else made this choice and what worked for you?

OP’s posts: |
MooPointCowsOpinion Tue 09-Aug-16 15:07:53

It sounds like a nice balance for him, some calmer days and some more active days. If you're just not sure about the activities the nanny is doing, and she's otherwise loving and gentle and he trusts her, then I'd be tempted to stick with it.

divafever99 Tue 09-Aug-16 15:09:22

I would go with full time nursery, he will get age appropriate activities and will put him in good stead for school. In my experience children adjust quickly to new routines.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 09-Aug-16 15:11:07

3 days a week at nursery was enough for my DS and we did tend to do more quiet, home-based activities on my 2 days with him. A walk to the park with an engaged adult can be a lovely thing.

Note I am in no way against nurseries, massive advocate of them in fact, but my DS showed me by his actions and attitude that big group stuff wasn't for him on non-nursery days.

OTOH, that was with me at home, I was knackered too - and obviously I wasn't paying for that care!

Kennington Tue 09-Aug-16 15:14:15

I had the same split: it works well. The 2 days at home helps them rest while the nursery days are great for playing and learning.
I wouldn't worry unless the nanny is rubbish in other ways. 5 days in nursery would have been too much for mine.

LovelyTrees Tue 09-Aug-16 15:17:33

The balance has been good but recently DS has been asking to go to nursery and never asks when the nanny is coming, although seems fine when she arrives.

I just worry his days with her are boring. He's like a sponge for learning new stuff and we're paying a lot considering the nanny doesn't do any specific activities with DS other than if I find something for them to go to like a local class. But I know it's not all about activities and downtime is important too. It's so hard to decide what's best

OP’s posts: |
LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 09-Aug-16 19:12:36

Is he just 2, or nearly 3? I think that would have a bearing on it too, if it was me.

LovelyTrees Wed 10-Aug-16 08:55:32

He's 2 and 5 months. Very good verbally but still quite clumsy. Tall for his age.

OP’s posts: |
mamapants Wed 10-Aug-16 09:04:06

What activities are you wanting her to do?

I'd stick with the balance you have. One to one attention is really important.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 10-Aug-16 09:06:30

Sounds a perfect balance.

What activities do you want the nanny to do with him?

Artandco Wed 10-Aug-16 09:08:45

At his age the park and drawing sounds fine though. If she's reading to him and maybe encourage some other basics like easy baking or whatever then it sounds good

At 2 mine would be super tired after just something like a morning at the park, and would need a good few hours nap after lunch. Then only a few hours left before presumably your home for them to pass on another local walk, reading, playing, drawing.

Millionprammiles Wed 10-Aug-16 10:07:59

It really depends on the child.
My dd has always loved big group activites so nursery has been ideal for her - group games in the garden, group singing games, watching the baby chicks/tadpoles/caterpillars hatch, feeding the bunnies, mini sports days, putting on plays etc. Lots and lots of creative messy play (without worrying about paint/glitter/glue on the walls). One day the kids had spent the day building and painting a giant cardboard train in the garden, working together in little teams.
The resources and creativity of the staff has been amazing.

And as dd has seen the same children each day she's built friendships that aren't dependant on my knowing the parents/arranging playdates.

But by 2.5 my dd had dropped her nap and was on the go all day. If she needed a 2-3 hr nap it might not have been ideal as its pretty full on.

LovelyTrees Wed 10-Aug-16 11:46:56

Reflecting on it, I think part of my concern is that I don't actually know what the nanny does with him all day and I'm worried he's bored. I've encouraged her to do crafts and bought a pack of 50 outdoor activity ideas and told her to just ask for any materials she needs a week in advance and I'll provide them but she's just ignored all of this. She does drawing with crayons or sometimes outside with chalk. They go on a walk to the park or the library once a week. Maybe I've got unrealistic expectations of the nanny but the nursery is so activity based its hard to compare them

OP’s posts: |
Artandco Wed 10-Aug-16 11:55:43

You can tell nanny what to do though if you want.

So for example don't just ask what she wants from that activity book, just buy the stuff for the first three and say, here, I got this, can you do one each day this week

Get iphoto on your and her phone, and get her to take pictures of him doing stuff or where they go in the day and can send them to you .

However a nanny should really be able to sort all this themselves and should be ordering stuff to bake/ craft, or inviting people to meet up for a play or walk, or looking up museums and local activities herself

LovelyTrees Wed 10-Aug-16 12:18:12

That's true Art but I think you've nailed it with the fact I'm expecting her to be making some of these arrangements myself and she's not. I'll have a chat with her at the end of this week about coming up with more ideas of her own or at least just tell her to do more of what I want! Like the photo idea too for updates

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DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 10-Aug-16 12:26:37

Is she very experienced? She might be responding to your child's needs by not doing lots of full on activities as he's doing lots at nursery. He's only 2, he should be having lots of down time, and there's nothing wrong with being a bit bored now and again. Children who constantly look for adults too entertain them find it really hard as they can't entertain themselves .

She takes him to the park, draws, library- presumably that includes reading with him.

All sounds fine to me she's only with him two days a week.

You could ask her to keep a diary so you can roughly see how his day pans out.

onemouseplace Wed 10-Aug-16 12:30:50

I think what she does sounds fine - especially as he is at nursery 3 days a week. I agree with the pp who said children do need to be bored sometimes and have some downtime.

What would you be doing with him if you were home those 2 days?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 10-Aug-16 12:37:11

The other thing to remember is just because he isn't doing lots of practical activities doesn't mean he's not learning- a walk in the park , engaging in conversation, looking at plants/ wild life etc is hugely educational.

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