I am due back to work 4 days/week in 6 weeks time when DD will be 10.5mo. She's all booked into a nursery that I'm happy with, but nevertheless having a bit of a wobble...
I think the issue is that I can see the pros and cons of both types of childcare, and I'm wondering if it's possible to outweigh the cons a bit, as well as giving DD the exposure to the pros of both, by doing 2 days at nursery and 2 days cm? I originally looked for a cm and saw lots that I liked, but none I could see myself leaving DD with for 4 days - however if it was part of a combined approach I can picture it much better iyswim.
Or would this just mean DD would find it difficult to settle at either, and should I just get on with it and stop overthinking it?!
Would be grateful for any experience/views/wisdom!
Our DD did this- starting at similar age. She had 2 days with a childminder very near our house and 3 with nursery where both DH and I worked. It worked very well. Although I was very happy with the nursery and it was very good for being near work I didnt want her traveling the 30 min journey every day and I wanted her to have a more cosy home atmosphere for part of the week. This combination worked very well for 4 years 'til she went to school.
I think it would depend on the child - it is increasing the number of carers by quite a lot (IME they don't really get one 'key person' at nursery the way they're supposed to because of part-time work, shift patterns, illness, holidays etc) at an age when separation anxiety is at its height and they do best with just one person looking after them. I would tend to think you should commit to one type or the other. What was wrong with the CMs that you didn't think your DC would flourish there four days a week?
Both DD's were solely with a CM from 1-2.75 when they got their free preschool places and then we did a mix. I think at 10.5 months i would stick with the CM full time (more stability) and then maybe use a nursery when a bit older.
I still have the diaries from both childminder and nursery and she settled in well with both-there was a definite key worker at the nursery -who was there for nearly all of her nursery years and who she still remembers. We are still in touch with her childminder 11 years on.
DS did 2 days at CM and 3 at nursery and it worked well. He prefered the CM but I think that's more just his personality than anything (likes more adult attention than playing with other kids). In fact, if the CM was ever ill, I could just phone nursery and take him there if they had a spare place which was a real benefit.
As a PP said though, I would CM til he's a bit older then introduce nursery. DS had CM til he was 2 and she went on mat leave, then nursery while she was on mat leave then a combination of both when she was back and he was 2.5