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Random musings about the cost of childcare

35 replies

islandofsodor · 25/07/2007 21:42

I have to admit that I always assumed that a childminder was a cheaper childcare option than a nursery. I chose nursery myself for various reasons but I've just been looking at my bill and am quite surprised.

A childminder charging £3.50 per hour (is that an average rate) would be just 75p per day cheaper than my ds's nursery. That includes all food and any days out etc.

Do you think that childminders have become more expensive or that nurseries have become cheaper and what impact has this had on childcare providers?

OP posts:
CristinaTheAstonishing · 25/07/2007 21:47

I think the overwhleming benefit of CMs would be that they can do shorter days (which is why they could work out cheaper)and things like pick-ups and drop-offs. Never used CM for my two, only nurseries.

ChasingSquirrels · 25/07/2007 21:49

Personally I think the overwhelming benefit of a CM is that they AREN'T a nursery. My CM is as expensive as local nurseries.

CristinaTheAstonishing · 25/07/2007 21:50

Oh great, a thread of CM vs nursery. Count me out tonight.

granarybeck · 25/07/2007 21:51

Chilminders in my area are more 5 pounds per hour per child

fifilou · 25/07/2007 21:51

childminders are a much betterchildcare arrangement than nurseries IMO.

Nannies cost a packet!

islandofsodor · 25/07/2007 21:51

C the A

Our nursery offers full half or shortened days too and is inside the school dd attends which is a big reason I chose it. I can see how some childminders could be far more flexible than some nurseries though. Some are way too rigid.

OP posts:
islandofsodor · 25/07/2007 21:53

This is NOT meant to be a CM v nursery thread.

It is meant to be a thread on the impact that the increased use of nurseries/cheaper nurseries has on CM's, are vacancies harder to fill etc as I often see on here and other forums more and more CM's training then struggling to fill spaces.

OP posts:
hatrickjacqueline · 25/07/2007 21:53

This reply has been deleted

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ChasingSquirrels · 25/07/2007 21:54

Presumably day care nurseries are a relatively new thing, and now that many more parents have to work, childcare has become more important to us. Thereby pushing up the cost of a CM as they now maybe percieved to be offering a more rated service. So not necessarily a case of one changing because of the other, but both changing (nurseries existing, CM's becoming more expensive) because of social circumstances.

ChasingSquirrels · 25/07/2007 21:57

From talking to people, vacancies maybe harder to fill because more and more cm's are training, without maybe finding out if they are needed. I know people who signed up to the courses to find out the 2 other people in their area were on the course. And on completing the course they found out that existing cm's couldn't fill their vacancies anyway. I guess that depends on the area. Presumably a glut of cm's would lower to price to an extent?

canmummy · 25/07/2007 21:58

I'm going back to work in 6 weeks after maternity leave and was grateful to have a valid reason to "sack" my childminder. She was so much more expensive than a nursery and afterschool club will be and she's up to (in fact ofsted have approved it and she's over) her quota of children. So my lo's will actually have less children to compete with for attention.

CristinaTheAstonishing · 25/07/2007 21:58

I had DD in a nursery for half days and short days, around DS's school hours. I think what I meant was that a CM could possibly do the after-school pick-up and have the child for just a couple of hours. So it would be more flexible and cheaper than any other arrangement. Or perhaps drop a child off at nursery and pick up 2.5 hours later. I don't know if there are that many that actually do it or if you'd need to pay them for those 2.5 hours too, I have no idea, just saw some children at DS's school being cared for in this way (but never asked about payment arrangements).

Compared with 7 years ago when we started looking at nurseries for DS there are many more around now for DD. At the same time, I now have a car so I can look further, all these options may have been available then as well, I just didn't know about them. So the increase I see may not be real. The prices haven't gone up as much as I'd expected.

twofishes · 25/07/2007 21:58

in the area I live there is a high demand for childcare that does school pick up from the village school, the Nursery charges £21 for before school (8am -8.40am) and after school (3pm-6pm with light snack)and the only childminder is £10 for the same with full meal, but both have massive waiting lists ( hence me in process to register as CM!)
However am sure if another nursery opened in village, prices would drop as demand would drop if you get what am saying

islandofsodor · 25/07/2007 22:02

Ds's nursery is part of dd's prep school so in a way I use them as preparation for starting school. I was just surprised to find the price around the same as I know they are average for the area.

I've never needed childcare for a baby though, guess I would look for different things in those cases.

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Shoshable · 25/07/2007 22:03

Here we are about on par with nurseries on price, but nurseries then charge for lunches which we don't, and how many nurseries do you know that go swimming, to soft play, walks, farm visits etc. Different kind of care altogether, people that come to CM's don't want the same sort of care as nurseries, which I think is why they come to us, price hasn't really got much to do with it. Incidentally, I charge 29.75 for a nine hour day all inclusive (apart from nappies and baby milk0 compared to 32.00 at the local nursery, they also charge for lunch.)

bozza · 25/07/2007 22:03

Well I use a childminder for DS (no after school club or holiday club option) and a nursery for DD. The other day the childminder was off to attend her DD's graduation. Fair enough. Was not a big effort to arrange for DS to go to a friend's for tea. Would probably have had to take the day off if DD was there too.

moljam · 25/07/2007 22:04

our cm is much cheaper than is £10 for 4 hours

CristinaTheAstonishing · 25/07/2007 22:13

Shoshable - I used a nursery for my two not because I don't want them to go to the farm, playcentre or whatever. What an assumption to make. I think you're seeing some kind of divide between CM and nursery users when in fact it's not there.

bozza · 25/07/2007 22:14

DD's nursery costs £31.50/day. I pay £28/day for DS in the hols. But I don't know if my CM has a flat rate for children of all ages.

EffiePerine · 25/07/2007 22:17

Whre I live (in London) nurseries are more expensive than CMs (about 10-20 quid a day difference). I chose the CM route for lots of reasons and price wasn't one of them. It works for us

Shoshable · 25/07/2007 22:23

Christina, Im going on what the parents that come to me tell me. They are telling me that they want the type of care a CM can offer, which IS different than a nursery can offer.

Genidef · 25/07/2007 23:23

One factor may be that now that maternity leave has been extended to one year, nurseries are having a harder time filling places, so have to lower their prices, or not increase them as much.

Are you sure that CMs really have become more expensive than nurseries - daily rate may be higher, but many offer a deal whereby you don't pay for their holidays and their days off sick...whereas at a nursery you pay for the place and pay whether you're they're or no, or if you use bank holiday days, they're open or not. I realise there are variations on this with CMs, but I've never heard of a nursery which doesn't charge year round.

cornsilk · 25/07/2007 23:27

My CM charges £5.50 for a drop off - worth every penny and more, they are fabulous.

MrsScavo · 25/07/2007 23:32

I think parents are recognising the quality of care from an experienced childminder can be very high. Higher, possible than can be provided by nurseries with a higher adult: child ratio. Childminders are regulated by ofsted, and have to doing a reasonable amount of paper work and ongoing training. I believe childminders feel they are worth at least £3.50 ph.

MrsScavo · 25/07/2007 23:33

Sorry for typos - I'm off to bed!

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