Nursery or Childminder?(43 Posts)
Sending my first DC (DS aged 9 months) to childcare and have worked out our finances etc and can afford a nursery or a childminder which is great.
I just wondered, Is there either that’s better? With DS not having any siblings I’m wanting him to interact with other children and be stimulated and interested in different things. I don’t want him to be too used to being on his own anymore.
I know both providers follow the early years framework but I wonder, Will he get the same level of learning and stimulation from both?
As in, even though the finance isn’t an issue, is it worth spending the extra £40-£50 a week on a nursery if he can get just the same from a childminder?
Hope what I’m asking makes sense! Thanks in advance for your replies xx
Do both have spaces? I would say childminder but I know our local ones have very long waiting lists.
There’s quite a few childminders in my area and I know they have spaces so that’s not a problem. Just wondered with regards to what he will get out of being at either provider xx
I found nursery better and more reliable. When child minder is ill you're stuck. Also I work some bank holidays and childminder was taking them as holiday. Not a problem with nursery they only close a few days a yr so always there when needed.
My personal preference would be a childminder until DC was 3 years old then a pre school alongside the childminder if necessary for the socialisation side. However I'm sure there will be some others that say different, but this balance has worked well for all my DCs
To be honest I’ve never thought about if a childminder was poorly...what do you do in this situation?
I personally would never ever use a Childminder. I’ve witnessed some disgraceful treatment of children by groups of Childminders and you can just never tell... I also never liked the thought of them. When my daughter was tiny and went into Childcare, the thought of her confusing a Childminder for Mummy really freaked me out. (We had bonding issues after a horrific birth).
I advise sticking to a Nursery
I didn't want to be worrying about someone else's holidays and sickness so went with nursery. The other bonus for me is the local childminders only provide a cooked tea, whereas nursery does breakfast lunch and tea so way less hassle for me.
A good childminder is probably better for littlies but you've got to go with whatever setting you get a good feeling about when you visit.
Also, if a Childminder has a different parenting technique to you in a certain area, that you haven’t mentioned to them then there will be an inconsistency.
Also,^^ Childminders generally take 2 weeks a year off that you have to still pay them for! Which I can understand to a degree. Can’t imagine what I’d do in that instance however!!
My personal preference would be a nursery. But it does depend on what is available in your area - an excellent childminder is better than a mediocre nursery and vice versa. So, visit the options and you may get a ‘feeling’.
Nurseries tend only to close at Christmas for about a week (as well as evening, weekends and Bank Hols usually). With s childminder, you have to take leavr when they do.
My DS is with a nursery for the following reasons
Nurseries do longer days for a day rate, which worked out cheaper for us.
More kids for him to interact with
They’re open all year round except at Xmas, of course.
He is 16 months old and has been with them since he was 7 months. He settled in really well
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'm a childminder and the Children I care for are part of the family. Most of my littles call me aunty glen.
In a good childminder setting your child will be out and about socialising. I meet up with other minders frequently so the children are socialised and so there's backup care if needed. Saying that, I've closed for 4 days in 7 years.
I do know some awful minders but also some incredible ones too. The ones I work with are fantastic.
I personally love doing crafts with the kids, we go to soft play, we visit lovely old ladies, go to the shops, do toddler groups and play in the woods and at the park.
I've used both for different reasons. DD went to a childminder at 7 months when I returned to work. She absolutely thrived, the CM was fantastic and took her to wonderful places. The home from home environment was appealing to me and I never regretted it.
Circumstances were different when DS had to go to childcare - he was 2.2. For this reason I decided to go for a nursery. We had also moved house and couldn't use the same CM as before. The nursery had been great for his social skills and he has a ball. So imo both settings are fine, but I would err on the side of s CM for a baby.
My DC have gone to nursery.
I like the idea of them mixing with children of different ages and a home setting of a childminder but in the end I was concerned about childminders.
I have seen childminders ignoring their mindees at playgroup etc whilst they sit at the other end of the room and chat. Of course I'm not hovering over my DC all the time but just recently I had to stop a child with hands around another's neck and one who had fallen off a chair and was howling and CM was in another room. I understand it must be very difficult to keep an eye on more than one child at a time but you want the best for your child don't you? I feel that nurseries are generally safer environments - they have stair gates into the rooms, key code locks etc at ours whereas a CM would take them to the library or church hall etc which isn't designed to be safe for children.
It's a really difficult decision. going back to work is not easy!
Thank you for your experiences and insights - they’ve been really interesting to read!
I’m not sure which I’d prefer really, I do like the home from home feel of a childminder and this can be an advantage and disadvantage for one so young. I think I’ll need to go and see different settings and see what I get a feel of xx
I think a good childminder is better than a good nursery but a bad childminder is worse than a bad nursery.
I used a childminder she was excellent.
To answer some points.
I didn’t pay her for her holidays but this varies. Her children were at the school I taught at and she only took holidays in school holidays and notified in August her holidays for the year.
She worked with another childminder, so if she was ill the other one could take my DD. I think this is common.
She took my DD to groups so DD got to socialise. This is the norm I think.
Visit both and go with your gut.
Please please go and visit a few if both types. It really is personal preference and will depend on the settings local to you.
Be aware that some people displaying their preferences who only have negative things to say about one type will have other issues that that stems from. It’s not a preference for the other type but an anxiety that makes them afraid.
I prefer a childminder for my 11 month old as I felt that as she is so young the calmer more homely atmosphere suited her better where she would be cared for by the same person rather than several different staff. When my daughter is older I plan to send her to nursery at least half the time as I think once she’s older the structure and stimulation will be good for her.
I made my decision by visiting both in my local area so I would suggest doing the same
Exactly what Marco says.
Please please just go and visit both. I didn’t and regret it (we chose nursery, it was too loud, too busy and not enough care -the staff were just firefighting crying babies all day. By the time I decided to look into childminders the good ones were too busy and I have to wait another 5 months for the amazing one I want)
Visit both. If you find a CM you like, ask her if she goes to any toddler groups and you can go along, see her in action and talk to other people at the group. I am very happy for parents to do this. I took 1 week holiday this year, I told the parents a year in advance and I don't get paid for my holiday.
You can only know by visiting settings and asking them about their approaches.
What are your hours/days?
I started back at just three days, no significant commute so went for Nursery.
If it had been five days and long days I’d have been more keen on a childminder.
Thanks everyone, I will certainly go and visit both definitely! I feel there are pros and cons to both. I know everyone’s experiences and preferences differ but was just interested in what others had to say about the settings.
There’s a nursery near me which is based on a farm (gets absolutely excellent feedback from local mums) and the children go and feed the animals and do loads of farm and land based activities which I love the idea of (I know DS will be small initially but he’ll still benefit from the experiences!) but then there’s loads of local activities that the local childminders attend with their children and meet up with other childminders as someone else said. I live in a small, semi rural village on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border so everything is kind of outdoorsy and plus side is everyone knows the childminders and who they are and the main 2 seem great.
How do I decide!? 🙈😂
* *I found nursery better and more reliable. When child minder is ill you're stuck. Also I work some bank holidays and childminder was taking them as holiday. Not a problem with nursery they only close a few days a yr so always there when needed.
I found the opposite, nursery was closed on BHs, where the CM could sometimes take them, but it is true if she's sick that's it. But mine has extra sessions more often than nursery which tends to book up to the maximum.
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