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After school clubs or childminder?

(14 Posts)
LotisBlue Thu 16-Feb-17 12:57:58

I am just thinking ahead to when DD starts school this September.

Currently both DC are at nursery three days a week. We love the nursery, but it is a bit of a walk from our house (but close to my work). When DD starts school, our options will be to keep DS in nursery and on the three days I work DD can go to after school clubs. Alternatively, I can look for a childminder who can take DS three days a week and pick DD up from school on the same days.

I can't decide what would be best, so WWYD?

I can't make any fixed plans until April when we find out which school DD will go to, so this is just speculation at the moment.

peppatax Thu 16-Feb-17 12:59:48

I'd go with whatever is easiest for you. I realise a lot of posters would go with best option for the children but getting used to the new school routine if you are at work is interesting and therefore make life as easy as possible for yourself.

DonkeyOaty Thu 16-Feb-17 13:05:48

When mine were nippers asc were sometimes subject to cancellation at very short notice (football coach ill, maths club teacher off, that sort of thing) so couldn't br depended on

Hullabaloo31 Thu 16-Feb-17 13:07:47

Depends if you mean after school club as in breakfast and after school club type arrangement, or just general clubs after school. Lots of schools have none of the latter in reception.

BubbleWrapQueen Thu 16-Feb-17 13:08:08

I kept DS2 in nursery, and used after school care at the school for DS1. It was the proper Ofsted registered kind though, not the football style clubs Pp mentioned. They still use it now. Though I'm trying to figure out what to do for a Y7 now!

attheendoftheday Thu 16-Feb-17 13:09:26

I'm not sure there's a right answer. We chose to have both dc with a childminder when dd1 starred school so they could see each other after school as they are very close, and I'm happy with the decision. I like the childminder as there is more capacity for chilled out activities after school when dd1 was exhausted.

snowgirl1 Thu 16-Feb-17 13:15:47

OP when you say after school clubs, I assume you mean a professionally run after school childcare scheme - rather than football clubs, maths clubs etc.?

We went with afterschool club, but if you have a baby as well it sounds like a child minder would be better - also means you'll have your childcare sorted for during the school holidays.

You might want to start contacting child minders near the schools you want to get into and, if cost is an issue, compare cost between afterschool and child minders.

padkin Thu 16-Feb-17 13:50:04

I was going to check what showgirl said.. if by 'after school' clubs you mean an official after school childcare set up that you pay for, then fine. But if you mean after school clubs that teachers run for free, then don't count on those as childcare - they will likely be cancelled if there's a teacher absence for whatever reason, or there is a parent's evening that week etc..

LotisBlue Thu 16-Feb-17 14:05:47

thanks all, lots to think about.

Yes, I meant a proper paid for after school club - they have one at both of the schools DD is likely to get into, and they take them from reception age.and they have a breakfast club too.

I thought a childminder might be a good idea because they could cover school holidays (although I don't know if they are likely to be flexible enough to do this?).

NotCitrus Thu 16-Feb-17 14:18:39

Start looking for childminders now - they often have long waiting lists of younger siblings etc.

My decision was simple as I couldn't find a single childminder who would collect from ds's school that wasn't 40 minutes from my house.

LotisBlue Thu 16-Feb-17 14:24:03

That's true NotCitrus - this is all dependent on me being able to find a childminder with a space - but I can't confirm anything till I know where DD is going, which we find out in April

IToldYouIWasFreaky Thu 16-Feb-17 14:25:51

Some childminders will be that flexible, yes. DS used to go to one after school for a couple of days a week and she would have him for the odd day in the school holidays too.
However, it might be hard to find a good childminder that will be able to look after your DS, pick your DD up from school and be able to do some holiday care too.
I would advise getting a list of childminders that collect from your DD's potential school and ringing round to see what their availability is like.

I used two childminders as afterschool care and they both stopped collecting from DS's school, and no others did so he had to go to (offsite) after school clubs which ended up being better as they were more reliable and DS is very sociable and sporty so really like being able to run around with lots of other kids. They also ran holiday clubs which were good as it was a familiar place for DS where he knew lots of people.
He's now at school run after school club which, IMHO, is the best solution all round. Reliable, no travel for DS, easy for me to manage the admin of booking and paying as it's all done at school.

DropZoneOne Thu 16-Feb-17 14:34:36

When DD first started school (having gone to nursery full time before that) there was no wrap around childcare at the school so we had to use a childminder. She did also do some days in the school holidays, so we used her when we could, and used a local holiday club at another school on the other days.

Turned out a few of her friends started to use the holiday club, so we used that more and more, as it was also a lot cheaper.

Then last year, the childminder set up the after school club. This worked out better as it meant DD could go to after school activities and then join the childcare whereas before she missed out.

She misses the smaller group of the CM, and being outside - they do go outside at the after school club, but it's more formal i.e. everyone outside for an hour, then inside for food and film or craft whereas at the CMs they could just wander in and out as they pleased.

Unfortunately, there are no other local CMs with spaces that would fit our working pattern, so she's stuck with what we're doing now.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Thu 16-Feb-17 14:35:36

Mine goes to a childminder after school. I really like that he gets to chill out in a nurturing home type of environment, rather than spending the whole day in the classroom and then an after school club. She also has him most school holidays. He loves her and, as he is an only child, I really like that he has sibling-ish interactions with children of other ages in her care.

Different things will suit different children, and I need after school childcare every day of the week - if he was coming straight home some days, maybe asc on the other days wouldn't sound so knackering.

Asc would certainly be cheaper here though! But I don't know if thats typical or not, and I also don't know how nursery fees for the youngest would affect the balance (my cm is slightly more expensive for a full week than my nursery was, but again I'm not sure how typical that is).

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