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Childminder, nanny or nursery? For under 18months old

(59 Posts)
SlB09 Thu 06-Apr-17 18:49:25

Just wondering if anyone has experience with the above and which they preferred for 18months or below?

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 06-Apr-17 19:28:15

My DS1 started nursery at 11 months. It was a very good nursery with excellent staff and a small baby room. I preferred a nursery for several reasons, I needed an early drop off and I needed reliable childcare. If a childminder of nanny is ill then you've got no option whereas a nursery can manage individual staff absence. Also, with a single carer like a childminder/nanny you have to rely on one person and their capacity to provide good childcare. In a (good) nursery there are lots of staff who can provide different aspects and you've got a management structure to support them.

Also with a childminder, I didn't fancy my child being taken on other children's school runs as a lot of childminders do pick up/drop off etc or take their own children to school.

Nannies are obviously more expensive but they'll only have your children and in your home.

So it really depends on what you need and what's important to you.

SlB09 Thu 06-Apr-17 19:56:54

Thanks that's really helpful. For me its the thought of leaving baby in a nursery, toddler age I have no issue with but it sounds like actually the benefits outweigh my own issues ha! We would need an element of flexibility with our jobs and the reliability is a definate bonus. Did you feel like your child was properly looked after and nutured?

Fairybella Thu 06-Apr-17 20:00:21

But if you have a childminder it is the same care giver every day to build and relationship with your child and get to know them personally.
I adore the children I care for... I start early and work late. I swap days for them and hours. I also have and amazing network of Childminder's who can step in if needs be or emergencies.

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 06-Apr-17 20:04:14

Yes, otherwise I'd have removed him pretty quickly! The staff were really warm and nurturing, the baby room had a high ratio of staff and they have a key worker who is the main carer. It was lovely place, and my DS2 will be going there when he is 12 months.

I think it's really important to go with your instincts on what you feel when you visit a nursery. There were several good nurseries that I could have gone for but I just knew wouldn't be right. When I walked into the nursery we chose I just knew I liked the atmosphere and the space. Also the staff turnover was very low, they had a range of ages of staff from young to older. There was lots of outside space as it was next to a farm and the nursery had their own chickens and other animals too.

EyeStye Thu 06-Apr-17 20:05:39

My preference would be

I'd speak to a few though - have visits and go with your instinct

Nanny can look after your child when ill at home which would more than make up for any occasional nanny illnesses

Cutesbabasmummy Thu 06-Apr-17 20:08:19

My DS started nursery at 9 months and he loves it! The reasons for choosing a nursery were: open all year apart from Christmas and bank holidays so no paying to keep a place when the childminder is on holiday; structured key stages geared to my son's age, lots of children his age; no getting dragged on the school run or round the supermarket; no tv. He is very happy at nursery and has made some really lovely friends. He's 26 months now x

SlB09 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:08:25

Thanks guys, all your info is really useful x

Aliveinwanderland Thu 06-Apr-17 20:08:35

I would much prefer a nanny but far too expensive.

I've decided on a childminder for my DS who will be 7 months when I start back at work (only for 3 weeks then off for the school holidays). Main reasons were; one care giver to form a relationship with. A home environment. Older children to learn from and play with. More days out and visits.

museumum Thu 06-Apr-17 20:10:45

We chose nursery as we wanted ds to settle in one setting till school age. I think change can be unsettling in toddlerhood.

Aliveinwanderland Thu 06-Apr-17 20:11:30

Just to point out childminders have to use the foundation curriculum the same as a nursery. They do not usually take children on supermarket trips in my experience!

I have no issues with DS being taken on a school run. It's a short walk getting him some fresh air, they stop at the park on the way home some days and he gets to see something other than the house for a while! In the nurseries I visited the babies spent all day in the same room which I didn't want for DS. However once he is around 2.5 he will definitely swap to nursery as I feel the advantages then switch the other way.

SlB09 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:15:51

Any childminders - what would your typical day comprise of?

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 06-Apr-17 20:17:39

Even the baby room at the nursery we used had free flow outside space that mobile babies could access. It was covered so that it could be used even if the weather wasn't great. I think my DS1 spent most of his time outside! The staff would do activities outside as well for all the little ones. Having lots of access to outside space was one of the reasons we chose that nursery. They did also do trips out as well to the usual kinds of places - sensory rooms, the beach etc.

Misspilly88 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:19:14

Having been a nursery teacher, nanny and a childminder, I'd say it does depend on the child. Surprisingly, very needy babies usually do better in a nursery imo because there are more staff so there is always someone available to tend to them. Although the ratios are the same pretty much, when they're at a childminder it's obviously only one adult tending to several children on their own so there can be a lot more waiting for attention. Nanny 1to1 also great as they can develop that deep attachment.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:20:56

I put my DS with a childminder when I returned to work when he was 10 months. I wouldn't have wanted him in a nursery at that age. I loved the close attention he got from the childminder and just bring one of three children, I just felt much happier with him in a home environment. Both he and the childminder grew very attached to each other.

I put him in a nursery when he was 2.5years and after seeing the environment as very busy and chaotic I wouldn't have wanted him there as a young infant. Nine months after he started I got a call from the nursery to say there's been an incident with a member of staff and Ofsted had closed them down with immediate has since come out there were serious safeguarding concerns about the establishment.

As a result my DS went back to his original childminder (which he was thrilled about) and I feel more comfortable in the sense that he's with one adult that I feel I know really well as opposed to being around a lot of staff in nursery that you don't really know anything about.

When DS was in the nursery I fell pregnant (I'm 20 weeks) and I had no intention of sending the second child there upon return to work, I always would have planned to use a childminder for her whilst keeping DS in the nursery.

Misspilly88 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:22:49


It varied but generally one trip out per day (zoo, playgroup, park etc). Sensory activities, stories, planned activities to extend children's interests, nap time as per child's schedule. If we visited the supermarket it would be for educational purposes. No tv. Childminders have to follow the eyfs just like nurseries.

Oly5 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:25:00

It depends on the nursery. My son hated one and loved another.
We've also had a nanny which I prefer as I like them at home and the one on one care. But it depends on the child.
Ask for nursery recommendations from other parents

littlemissM92 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:26:25

NOT a nursery

Either nanny or if too expensive a CM so much more personal your LO would thrive with either I'm sure

GloriousSlug Thu 06-Apr-17 20:27:54

I work in a nursery with under twos and I want to say please don't rule it out as an option.

A good nursery (not just in the ofsted sense!) can be wonderful and a brilliant place for babies and young children to play and socialise. Sadly I think some nurseries are not suitable for the needs of babies so if you do go for a nursery, do lots of homework and visit the nursery. At my nursery we have an open door policy, parents can visit us at any time, and as many times as they need to so they are able to make informed decisions with all the information that they need

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 06-Apr-17 20:28:28

Why not a nursery littlemissM92?

ineedwine99 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:28:28

Same as assasinatedbeauty and museumum, my baby will start at 9m old, she's starting her settling in sessions now, nursery is lovely, great start to her education in the toddler room, baby room has lots of sections so plenty to entertain them and the ladies there are brilliant, no issues at all leaving her with them, they clearly adore the children and care for them extremely well

Freezingwinter Thu 06-Apr-17 20:30:22

My baby boy started at 12m at nursery, he built up such a good close relationship with his key worker. She was 19 years old and I was terrified at the thought of leaving him but my gosh, did she care for my son! I nearly cried when he had to leave the toddler room. It has been so so beneficial for him. He goes 2 days a week and I am really glad I chose nursery.

SlB09 Thu 06-Apr-17 20:31:22

Definately will be doing rounds of visits etc, its just really useful to get others experiences, it points out the things I might have never considered or know about. Its really encouraging to hear from those of you who work in that area and sound very interested and enthusiastic about the care you provide.

HatHen Thu 06-Apr-17 20:31:53

I would say nanny until around 3 years old. Then nursery/childminder. Personally I'd prefer an excellent nursery to childminder.

Redkite10a Thu 06-Apr-17 20:33:28

We haven't used a childminder but based on our experience of nursery and some good friends experience of childminders:

- Pros childminders are cheaper, you have the opportunity for your child to form a proper relationship with their carer, less full on so not as tiring as a nursery , opportunity to mix with different ages. Cons their holidays and sickness you have to cover, if they decide to stop childminding (as happened to a friend) you might have to sort alternative childcare with only 4 weeks notice, and then you have to settle your child in again... Childminders can't look after that many children so you are less likely to get a personal recommendation for one that happens to have spaces when you need it.

Nursery pros: with more staff they can do a lot more activities that take time to set up, mix with children the same age, ours has a chef on site so the food is good and has really helped DS eat a wide range of food, they are always open so no need to cover holidays etc, and I've also felt reassured that someone else monitors staff performance. As they take lots of kids chances are you'll know someone who can recommend one they are happy with. Cons for us are cost, it's a lot less personal, DS has been there 15 months and is in his 3rd room so although he has a key worker in each room they change regularly.

Ds only goes part time so for us reliability and lots of activities outweighed the home feel. If he was going more days a week I think we'd have probably tried to find a childminder.

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