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Nursery vs childminder vs nanny

(26 Posts)
starsintheskyy Fri 26-Jun-20 13:55:05

Hi, this is a tentative post as reality is everything is up in the air at the moment and DP isn't due back to work until at least October if not next year.
We originally had a deposit down on a nursery and then my job changed meaning I didn't go back when I was supposed to. The nursery has held open the place but I've had second thoughts over it due to the amount of illnesses etc that went around and the illness policy with money etc.

We are talking about where to send DS when the time comes and are in a position to choose from the three options. We have pros and cons for all three so I wanted to ask you what you have done and if you had any regrets etc.
Also in the case of childminders and nanny's what do you do if they say they are too unwell to look after your child. Have your works been flexible with you in this regard?

OP’s posts: |
Addler Fri 26-Jun-20 13:59:13

If you can afford it, a nanny. I've been one for more than a decade and you will have much less sickness issues than a nursery or childminder. If your nanny is mildly sick and has caught it from your child, be considerate and say they can come in and just have a sofa and TV day. Don't be one of those employers who asks them to come in because you've got a meeting and then expect them to perform at their normal standard.

On the very rare occasions I've been too ill to work, ie being in hospital or with something contagious I didn't get from work, my employers get a temp nanny. You can ring an agency and have someone there that day.

There isn't really anything your child can gain from a nursery that your nanny can't provide. They can take them to groups and classes and arrange play dates if you're concerned about the social side of things.

So if you have the funds available, definitely nanny.

okiedokieme Fri 26-Jun-20 14:03:57

They come at different price points! Up to age 3 or so a nanny is going to give you flexibility

Myusername2015 Fri 26-Jun-20 14:06:12

We’ve done all 3! We started with a mix of cm and nanny. Loved the cm and it was great having the nanny at home (no having to get them up ready; drop off if my child was ill they still had them etc) but the nanny just got too expensive for us so we changed to full time cm. Until the CV outbreak my son was with them and I had nothing but praise; sadly they handled dealing with lockdown poorly and we were Key workers forced into a quick move to a nursery/preschool. Now looking back I can see my son is thriving in a much bigger environment with far more stimulation than with a cm focused around babies nap time/school pick ups etc.

So if I had another and could afford it I would definitely go for a nanny until about 2/2.5 years and then a mixture of nanny/pre school type environment until the year before school for that socialisation.

I was lucky my work were very understanding as I had a lot of time off for illness; so I would factor that into your decision.
Ultimately if you can afford a nanny and find the right one who takes them out and about to groups etc I think it’s the best of both worlds. The costs just add up with nannies quite quickly.

Tsarboretum Fri 26-Jun-20 14:15:25

Nursery as the staff are more accountable due to working with others. I wouldn't be comfortable leaving my child alone with an adult all day with no other adults around.

Also at toddler groups I'd often see childminders who clearly were only in it for the money and would spend all day at groups/the park/the beach chatting with each other and moan if they had to do anything like nappies, bottles etc.. They didn't watch the babies very carefully where choking hazards etc were concerned. I also overheard them making rude remarks about my son with ASD (undiagnosed at the time). Obviously Not All Childminders but I bet these ones put on a completely different front when selling their services to prospective parents.

mindutopia Fri 26-Jun-20 14:17:55

Unless you have a nanny, you will have to deal with illness. It's just what happens with small children. And even if you have a nanny and your nanny is taking them to classes and groups, they'll still get ill - you'll just have the option to leave them and go to work (personally I couldn't leave my vomiting child home with someone else who wasn't one of us unless my job involved being a trauma surgeon or something where I knew someone else's life depended on it). It's good for children to get ill and build their immune systems.

I've had two of mine in nursery from 9 months and the only times I've not been able to send them in where for vomiting bugs (once with each of them), chicken pox (once for the oldest one), and a handful of times they had a high fever. Otherwise, they have taken them sick as long as it was a normal viral thing and fever was well controlled with Calpol and they were well enough in themselves. It really hasn't been an issue in terms of work.

And they have had a wonderful little group of friends there (not the case with a nanny), my eldest is 7 and still friends with her friends from nursery. And they formed wonderful relationships with staff. And they had amazing facilities and offered activities that just wouldn't have been possible at home. The bonus with using a nursery (or childminder, but I'm not as keen just having one person I have to rely on) is that you have the flexibility to have a quiet house to work from home. I have worked from home at times 100% of my week's, but at least 1-2 days every week. I wouldn't have wanted my dc and a nanny wandering around the house while I needed to work.

NannyR Fri 26-Jun-20 14:18:11

Nannies are a lot more flexible and convenient. You can leave for work with your child still in their pyjamas, nannies will generally look after ill children, if you are unavoidably held up in traffic a nanny won't charge you an expensive late pick up fee (doesn't mean you can do this regularly though!!). I work as a nanny and have an excellent sick leave record, most nannies do - if I've got a cold or similar, the chances are I've caught it from the children anyway so I'll come into work and have a quieter day rather than taking a day off.
Your child gets to stay in familiar surroundings and gets one to one care. A nanny will take children to playgroups, classes etc and also tailor activities for your child's particular interests and obsessions!

starsintheskyy Fri 26-Jun-20 14:35:12

Thanks all. For context DS is 1. My job isn't going to be flexible at all but DP is able to be more flexible so we could cover illness.
Our issue with nursery was they won't accept children with a 'temperature' which was actually only 37.3 as DS hovers around 37 it doesn't give much scope! (It is the only one near our workplaces).
I love the idea of a nanny or cm but like PP have said the idea of leaving unattended with only one adult is worrying for me. Although I don't for one second think that anything would happen I think it's only natural to worry!

OP’s posts: |
user1493413286 Fri 26-Jun-20 14:39:37

When I went back to work when my DD was 11 months she went to a childminder and I was really happy with that as it’s a much calmer less tiring environment. Now she is 3 we have nursery and a childminder as I felt she needed that structured environment and more children to mix with.
In 3 years my childminder has taken 1 sick day and she called me the night before so I managed to organise family to help but I think work woukd approach it the same as my DD being ill (take annual leave or unpaid in my case)

user1493413286 Fri 26-Jun-20 14:41:00

Also with childminders you need to work around their holidays but mine don’t charge when on holiday so that money saved meant we could go away on an extra trip away

Twizbe Fri 26-Jun-20 14:53:01

My 2 go to nursery. All children get sick and if they don't build their immune systems, they will build them at school.

Your work has to be flexible when it comes to sick dependants. When my husband and I worked full time we alternated any days the kids needed to be home if sick.

Get him vaccinated against chicken pox. It's worth the money. My sons nursery got it before Xmas and 16 kids came down with it.

Main things my two have caught at nursery are hand foot and mouth (which I caught too) and a couple of sickness bugs.

Let nursery know what his normal temperature is. My son is allergic to milk and while their policy says 3 wet poos and they go home, they know that a wet poo can be how he reacts to dairy. That means their first thought would be reaction not illness

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Fri 26-Jun-20 14:57:09

If I had the money, Nanny. There are positives:
* child mainly stays in own home (aside from trips out)
* rate stays the same with second child (nursery or CM for no.2 would likely double your bill)
* I'd have some say over what dc did (e.g. swimming or farm etc) whereas you cannot "manage" a CM.
* presumably the contract could include the odd bit of evening babysitting at an extra charge which would make life easier.

We couldn't afford a Nanny so CM was our next choice.

Childminder Fri 26-Jun-20 15:03:35

I have been a childminder for 30+ years, I have had maybe 1 day off sick with only a days' notice. I always arrange medical appointments during my time off.

Most of us are a really healthy bunch and the children we look after rarely get lots of colds and cough, I have never sent a child home sick either. I think we become immune, whereas I have had calls from people as their child has been sent home sick 6 times in the first 3 months of starting and they have run out of leave!

AnnaSW1 Fri 26-Jun-20 15:05:18

I prefer nursery because I just don't trust a sole person to look after my child unsupervised.

starsintheskyy Fri 26-Jun-20 15:06:42

Just to confirm it sounded really shitty when I said if they're off sick. People are fully entitled to have time off and I appreciate and understand that just wondered if works had been flexible. I sound like a tyrant.
We have found a few on childcare website but didn't realise you had to pay to get contact details 🙈

OP’s posts: |
updownleftrightstart Fri 26-Jun-20 15:09:53

I love the idea of a nanny or cm but like PP have said the idea of leaving unattended with only one adult is worrying for me. Although I don't for one second think that anything would happen I think it's only natural to worry!

We have a CM duo who work from the same address and are related. I find this perfect because one for the majority of the time there's 2 adults there and children are split into 2 groups based on age giving more flexibility in the activities they can do.

But there's still enough other kids for them to socialise with, while being few enough that in the last 2 years our child has only picked up one minor illness from there. Being around only a handful of other children really reduces how many episodes of illness you have to cover.

There are actually quite a lot of CMs near me with this set up so if you can find one it's a great compromise.

Other advantages: they charge by the hour so we end up paying a lot less than a full day at nursery would be as our children go for 8 hours rather than the 10.5 hours most of the nurseries are open for, but they are also very flexible if one day we need to pick up late or drop early. Also most nurseries near us don't open until 8 which is occasionally too late for us. They are obviously less flexible than a nanny but also a lot cheaper.

There has never been a time I can remember when both CMs were ill and when one has been ill the other has still been able to still look after my DD. If they couldn't take them because they are ill, we don't pay. If our children are ill and don't go we still have to pay but if they have a temperature children are allowed to attend once they've seen a Dr.

We don't pay for holidays they take, but pay full fees for any holidays we take.

On you don't have to pay for contact details if the CM has better membership. I found mine there and ignored anyone who I couldn't contact for free.

Potatobug Fri 26-Jun-20 15:11:05

Nursery. Lots of children to play/interact with and it is actually good for kids to catch bugs and stuff as this is how their immunity will get stronger. Parents underestimate how much children want to interact with other kids on a daily basis. How can a grown up entertain a small kid all day? It is not the best option for the child. Children like to be part of a group, it’s a herd mentality kind of thing. This is how they learn how to share and learn that they are not more important than any other member of the group but they are all equal.

littlelionroars Fri 26-Jun-20 15:12:43

We originally had our son in a really lovely nursery which we were very happy with. He did get a lot of colds when there, especially when he first started. But once you get over the initial bad patch it becomes easier to deal with.

We moved to a new area and he is now with a childminder who has a huge garden. She is very attentive to his needs and has only had two sick days since he started with her.

You don't need to use paid sites to get childminder details. Follow this link:

Wecandothis99 Fri 26-Jun-20 15:12:45

I loved that my little one mixed with others with a CM. Developed a lot quicker than the one that had a nanny

DaffodilThatch Fri 26-Jun-20 15:16:12

I chose a nursery for my DD1, for several reasons: flexibility re drop off/ collection, open all year and more than one adult there. For DD2, I'm going for a CM. DD1 was (is!) extremely attached to me. I breastfed to 18 months, we didn't have any family nearby so I had literally never left her for more than a couple of hours. I found the nursery experience traumatic for both of us. I have also read that kids who go to nurs3ry have more cortisol in their systems. However, I think it depends a lot on the personality of the child. For DD2 I now prefer a childminder until she's 2ish and then we'll do a mix of childminder and nursery. Thought about a nanny but couldn't justify the cost. Would be my preference if money was no object and i wasn't working from home.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Fri 26-Jun-20 15:31:07

I love a nursery environment for us:
I personally don’t want my child with 1 caregiver (If not family), I prefer a school type environment with more children their own age, more activities and structure.
They have forest school, Spanish “lessons”, get them ready to start school- they have a mini sports day and carol service- I love all that!
Also my child is a summer born baby and I wanted her used to a school environment ASAP.
I don’t deal with any admin, NI, sick leave for the adults etc just pay my fees.

Every child is different, mine is loud and sociable and needs structure and lots of chances to socialise and keep busy. I’ve met many children though who are calmer and more reserved who prob would lend themselves to one to one care better.

Cattenberg Fri 26-Jun-20 17:34:27

I went back to work just after my daughter turned one. I chose a childminder over a nursery and I definitely think I made the right decision for my child (nannies weren’t on my radar as I couldn’t have afforded one).

You do need a lot of trust in your childminder as they’re working unsupervised. I was lucky to find a brilliant one who used to be a nursery nurse. With the childminder’s permission, I asked her previous employer for a reference, and it was excellent.

When DD was one, she enjoyed going to baby groups with me, but they tired her out quite quickly, so she’d rest at home afterwards. I thought she might find a nursery overwhelming and would prefer a home-from-home environment. Also, I thought she’d be happier with one consistent carer and the company of just a few other children for most of the time. The childminder did take the children out to groups and events, so I feel that they got the best of both worlds.

DD is two now and our childminder will soon be going on maternity leave. I think DD is ready for a nursery now as she’s fairly confident and sociable, and can express herself well. But we’ll see how it goes.

surreygirl1987 Sun 28-Jun-20 22:23:38

I chose nursery. Childminder would have been cheaper, especially as we're about to have 2 under 2. However, I don't think I could bring myself to trust a childminder or a nanny. My son was really hard work as a baby and I found him really frustrating. I don't think I would be able to bring myself to trust a stranger to be patient with him. He's much easier these days but I still don't think I could trust a CM to take care of him properly (I'm not saying CMs don't do this and I'm aware that this is a failing of my own not of CMs!). I felt like I could trust a nursery more because staff are accountable to each other. It is expensive though and with 2 kids I'll be making a loss by going to work! 🙈

FizzingWhizzbee123 Tue 30-Jun-20 23:43:43

I always thought if I could afford a nanny, I’d prefer that option. I’ve worked in both a day nursery (in a baby room with 18 babies! It was manic) and as a nanny. My experience as a nanny was far nicer, the nursery just felt like fire fighting the whole time.

HOWEVER, I’ve since realised that it was just not a great nursery. My child is in a wonderful independent forest school nursery, where the baby room was maximum 9 babies. My DS absolutely LOVES it there, and they do so much with him. You could offer me a free nanny now and I’d still choose to send him to his nursery.

Also my DH was wary of having a person in sole charge of our child. You do have to trust them, where as there’s several adults in a room at a nursery which creates more accountability. I’ve met some wonderful nannies too.

Really, it’s a case of finding a decent nursery, nanny or CM, as well as choosing which fits you best, as the quality of the childcare makes a big difference and can vary wildly.

JellyTipisthebest Wed 01-Jul-20 00:20:31

if you plan to have more children defiantly get a nanny. A nanny can be flexible when you are on mat leave. your child can do the same stuff the whole time. A nanny is the same price for more than one child although its not a bad idea to give a small pay rise when you go back to work after the second child.
You employ a nanny so you say what they do during the day. so you can ask the nanny to take them to groups you like or swimming, park ect. They will also do light housework and sort children's laundry out

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