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Genuine downsides to FT nursery?(11 Posts)
We're about to have DC2. DS is 3 and in nursery FT (since he was 1). DP and I both work full time and both took 5/6 months off when he was born (staggered- I was off first obvs, then DH took over when I went back to work). He's a happy, clever, well-adjusted child, and seems to love nursery. Our first instinct is to do the same arrangement with this next child. DP and I don't feel like we thrive being at home FT, would love to be the kind of mum who enjoys SAHPing but I'm not, and we couldn't afford it anyway (I'm main earner). Starting to feel guilty about FT childcare though when I read people's views on here etc.
My questions are: a) if your children were in FT nursery from a young age, is there anything in their personality or behaviour that makes you think you'd have made a different choice if you could do it again?
b) how young is young and why? DS was in from 1 yr and did well, but if you have a different age in mind for when it would be OK to go FT nursery, what is it and is it based on anything other than a general hunch?
I realise that we should go with what works for us, but interested to hear if anyone has good advice that might change my mind (rather than simply haughty unsubstantiated judgements/smugness, please!)
Could grandparents help out with childcare a couple days a week? You'd still be able to go back ft but only send baby nursery pt if that's what you want. Or could either of you condense your days by working hours each day? Or could your dh go part time if your the main wage earner?
There's no right or wrong way I'm sure there's equal pros and cons with each scenario.
a) No, at 10 he seems pretty well adjusted and happy
b) I don't think there is a 'too young' age - if the nursery is good and have a small number of carers for the babies, then it'll be fine.FWIW, my ds went at 4.5 months.
No options for anyone else to help out, and not possible to do PT for either of us. We didn't like any of the CMs we met, and nanny not financially viable
My dd has been in ft nursery since 6months, she's now 3.5yrs. DS is 14months and been in since 9 months. Both love nursery BUT dd prefers one on one attention and misses us. Has always been like this. Is fussy emotional etc. That's just who she is. She might have been better served by a sahp / pt nursery which neither of us could / would be. It's hard to say really. I could be wrong.
Ds loves nursery and is very good with change.
So yes if it works for you it works for you. But it depends on dcs personality or any needs they have.
Thanks all. No GPs near to help out sadly, but we might do some sums and see if either of us going PT could be an option.
DD1 has been in full time nursery since the age of 12 months (7:30 - 16:00). She's just turned 2 and is still there every day now I'm on maternity leave with DD2 (from 8:30 - 15:00).
I do feel very guilty about it, especially now I'm at home. But she loves going and happily heads in in the morning and, whilst happy when I pick her up, is never desperate to leave. She's very independent and does well in the nursery environment (Montessori).
If I'm honest I'm also not the type of person who loves being at home all day with the kids. I love spending time with her and we do lots of reading, puzzles, baking, cooking and visits to the park. But the ideas tend to run out and I'm sure she has more age appropriate stimulation at nursery than I can give her. We live in Germany where the nursery workers have to train for many years - I figure the training must be for a reason. If I'm honest I like to have my house relatively tidy and would go insane if the kids were tearing the place up all day every day!
I feel that I'm a better mother for her being at nursery. When she's at home I make an effort to spend lots of quality time with her and try and get the mundane stuff that needs doing out of the way whilst she's at nursery. I also have more energy and patience than I would if we were together 24/7.
I'll be sending DD2 to nursery as well at 12 months when I go back to work. Personally I wouldn't want to put a child in daycare before that. They develop and learn so much in the first year that it would be a shame to miss it. I also have difficulties with small babies being in nursery before they can fend and communicate for themselves. My gut feeling is that the absolute youngest for daycare is 8months but that's not based on any reasoning, just my own experience of the stage DD1 was at at that age.
Last time I went back to work I did 75% but I will be aiming for less this time just so I have more time in the afternoon with the kids or even a full day off. When they're small and in bed at 7-8pm there's not much quality time left to be had with them during the day otherwise.
Would a nanny be a cheaper option than paying for 2 children in full time nursery?
^^ yes to the pp saying would a nanny be cheaper than 2 in FT nursery. For us in south London, no, a FT live out nanny would not be cheaper (about £10-15k more expensive) but a live in nanny would, and so that is what we are considering when I go back to work after DC2. I appreciate not everyone has the space for this, and for us I imagine much stress and frayed nerves from living in constant close proximity to someone we don't know well, but it will also remove the morning and evening stress of getting to/from nursery. Plus - and this is something I think really could be a downside of two kids at nursery FT - our DC1 was sick constantly for first few months at nursery, and still is occasionally. DH and I simply don't have the annual leave available to take time off for 2x constantly sick children! DC1 will continue to do a few days at nursery on the free hours, DC2 will be full time with the nanny.
My 3 year old has been at nursery full time since 9 months. He loves it, has loads of friends and is very confident.
I'm due to have #2 in 2 months and he'll go down to 3 days for financial reasons.
Don't feel guilty, every family is different and I know my boy does things at nursery I wouldn't do, like making and playing with gloop!
My DD was 3 days/week nursery from 6m then full time from 18m until aged 4.5 when DS arrived and I went back to 3 days/week.
Mine have had nursery, after school club, Holidays clubs, childminders etc, all sorts. They are now 26 and 21 and high doing exceedingly well.
I asked DD the other year if she ever was resentful that I worked. She said no, it was what it was and she knew she could tell us when she wasn't happy. (We did have to change a few things as they got older and outgrew after school club etc, no longer liked a certain holiday club).
When youngest was still at Primary I switched to school hours every day which meant lots of holiday cover needed but no after school care etc.
As long as you at confident with the quality of Care and staff looking after your children, and keep talking to them as they grow to make sure they are happy, you should be fine.
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