Nursery or Childminder? (cross post)(4 Posts)
DS has been going to a nursery either practically full-time or (at the moment) 2 mornings a week since he was about 6 months and has thrived on it. We changed his nursery about 5 months ago, coinciding with a house move and the birth of DD (and hence also my mat leave which is why he's not there as much at the moment). When I go back to work he will be 3 and eligible for the next intake of government assisted nursery places a month or so later. His current nursery participates in the scheme so we could get the costs subsidised.
When I am back at work the nursery costs for both children will be about £800-£900.
What I am trying to get my head around is whether there are any benefits in switching to a childminder for both children? I have no idea what the cost would be in comparison (I am in central Scotland). What happens in that case about the nursery place - does he just do without because presumably a childminder wouldn't be interested in just providing care for part of the day (and doing all the picking up or dropping off from nursery)? Is there any alternative benefit in employing a childminder or nanny at home for both children?
TBH I might not be puzzling over this but DS has been making frequent comments which makes me think he's not that happy at the new nursery. The carers there say he is doing great and as he's a very communicative sociable child I wouldn't disbelieve that - but on the other hand, if there are changes to be made, I'd rather get them sorted well before I go back to work.
Sorry for all the detail - any advice or comments would be very much appreciated.
(Also posting this on childminder/nanny board).
Hi there, I'm a childminder myself and I'm also a mother to a 2.5 yr old boy. The last couple of years as a cm has been wonderful. I feel that cms are able to offer so much more flexibility to the parent and the child. We normally will work a longer day and can accommodate for shorter days and part timers. Most cms who are taking on siblings will charge a set charge for both children and that would normally come with a small discount. This isn't a set rule but I have heard of this by several cms. Maybe its an idea to see what cms are available in your area. You can then get an idea of what they offer and if they can take on both children. Every situation is different so it might not be the best type of care for you family. I hope you've had some joy with your situation and best of luck.
Ironically, I had the complete opposite problem to what you offer TJ1976. I had initially opted for a childminder who a week before starting with her decided that she 'could not meet my family's needs.' I found another childminder who said I could not pick DD up before 6pm as they all went on an outing every afternoon. DD was 9 months old at the time. I then found a nursery who were able to meet our needs in more ways than one. We can book days a month in advance (don't have to stick to the same days every week) with no set drop off and pick up times etc. Nursery also provide a good menu of food, which saved me having to prepare and pack food every day. My DD now 20 months has absolutely thrived at nursery and I don't regret the change from CM to nursery at all!
There obviously is no hard and fast rule - and the best thing is to explore all options and find one that suits your needs best. Good luck.
Im a childminder and I would say Im very flexible with parents and childs needs. I have a designated playroom and toilet, which looks just like a nursery. Its not an easy decision, as a mother os 2 myself - one at 9 months and one at 19, having used childminders in the past, with good and bad experiences, I know how you feel.
I generally go with my gut instinct, and Im not normally far off. I would check out a few of both.
I have a fair bit of info on my web site, if you want to check it out.
Take care & Good Luck
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