Wraparound Care(9 Posts)
After-school club or childminder?
DD1 starts reception in Sept.
I'd always assumed I'd send her to After-school club. She's been in ft nursery since she was 11 months so used to a group environment, but now wondering if childminder would be better.
Flexibility for school holidays, more chilled out in smaller more home like environment, fresh air everyday from walking.
Any thoughts on what's "best"
I have opted for childminder for my twins who start Reception in Sept for a few reasons:
- after school club finishes at 5pm and although they said they could maybe extend to 5.30pm I would be rushing to get there for that time every day
- I will definitely need holiday cover and it makes sense to have childminder for that
- mine will do breakfast club from 7.50am so I thought after school they might prefer a change of scene/a home environment
- I am a single parent, the childminder is a couple who mind together - I like the idea of them having a day to day male role model (is infant school and no male teachers/staff)
- the childminder is actually closer to work/easier to pick up from than school
I am open to changing things in time if the boys decide they want to do after school club at some point (eg if their friends do) but I think for Reception and definitely the first term or so I just feel happier with childminder
All that said, I don't think there is ever a universal "best" - only what is best for your child/ten good luck with sorting it all out - took me a while to find right childminder but now I have I am very happy with the plan (we'll see how it all works out in Sept mind you!)
We've done breakfast club/after school club at school for DD since reception. They do all day in holidays/inset days too. It's fine but if I'd had childminder option at similar price I'd have done that as she was exhausted in the first term even though she's done FT nursery from 6 months. Sadly there are no childminders at all who pick up or drop off at DD's school so I had no option
It's like most of these things - a great CM is better than a mediocre afterschool club, but a great afterschool club is better than a mediocre CM.
I personally prefer the CM - they can be a bit more flexible in terms of helping them coping with being exhausted when they first start.
If the OfSClub is on-site, then it should be fine, but if they bus or walk them elsewhere, they can be less flexible when your dc get to an age where they want to go to after school activities or if they are late back from a trip etc.
If the CM will do holiday care then that would probably swing it for me - a nightmare otherwise.
It will seem a long time off, but I was SO pleased we had a lovely CM when pfb started secondary, and, for the first few weeks he used to walk back to her house, which was lovely for us all. Can't do that in OoSClub.
Our school have wraparound care from nursery. The children all go to the same breakfast club but the nursery children have a separate "after school" facility where they have their school lunch in the dining hall with the primary children before going to their club. We decided on this for ds3 as it gave continuity and it was easiest for me to drop off and pick up at the school every day.
We had a fantastic CM that cared for ds3 from 8 months until he went to nursery and it was a difficult decision to move him but she didn't do any school holidays and ds was able to start at the school holiday club the summer before he went to school. I haven't regretted our choice.
Another that prefers a CM.
Both of mine love school but some days they've been so busy they're exhausted at 3.20 and want to veg out.
Our CM completely adapts to them - so some afternoons they'll go to the park afterschool or for a 3 mile walk/scoot - on others they'll chill out playing games, watching the TV or playing on the CM's wii. Pretty much the same as they would at home depending on how they're feeling.
I don't think you get that level of flexibility or home comforts in afterschool club.
CM every time. When they start school, especially if they are only 4 rather than closer to 6, they are so very tired. Whilst after school clubs look like fun for bigger kids, for little ones they are just a continuation of the heightened stress levels of school (even if school is great and they love it, at the start they are so keen to do the right thing that they are actually quite tense, keyed up, all day). In my view little kids benefit from down time after school - be that at the park or playing a familiar game - they need to know that they can now relax and be themselves and show their feelings. A CM is more likely to cater for this - to give hugs and understand that the headache is because they haven't drank all day because they were tense about using the toilets, etc.
Our after school club had hardly any Reception children and a friend's DD begged to swap to a childminder as she got really lonely. It is also a large room, not really a possibility to hide away when tired and overstimulated.
DD started at a childminder and while she does holiday covers most times we hardly used it. It is a long day for a 4-8 year old and she fast preferred the clubs offering lots of activities.
Check out both options but be prepared to swap if your first option doesn't work.
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