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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:
cece · 25/07/2007 23:41

I have always used CM and never used a nursery for a variety of reasons.

I have paid daily rates, set fees per week and at moment pay an hourly rate for DS CM. DD's CM I pay set weekly fees as her hours are constant.

Range has included £22 per day.

£68 for two of them for two days

£4 per hour

£8 for before school to include breakfast and £12 for after school to include a snack.

A local CM to my house charges £6 per hour

islandofsodor · 25/07/2007 23:42

At ds's nursery I don't pay when they are closed on bank holidays but I do pay when we are away.

OP posts:
cat64 · 26/07/2007 00:21

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

bozza · 26/07/2007 08:34

Well with DS's CM I get to take 4 weeks hols at 1/2 fees and she takes 4 weeks hols at 1/2 fees when I have to ferret around for childcare. At DD's nursery I get 3 weeks hols at 1/2 fees and they are closed at Christmas for a week and I am not charged. So, as I always book Christmas as one of DS's weeks, it works out very similar.

I work Tues-Thurs so bank hols are not an issue.

KTeePee · 26/07/2007 09:00

When i was looking at childcare for my dd 10 years ago there wasn't much difference in price between nurseries and childminders even then - so it's not a new thing.

Booh · 26/07/2007 09:38

There isn't much difference around here between the two - parent will choose what they think is better for their child.

I am a CM and charge the same as the local nursery........I am ALWAYS full (with a waiting list) and I know the the nursery has spaces at the moment

dmo · 26/07/2007 09:42

i suppose it depend on if your child needs childcare 5 days a week 7.30 until 6pm.
if this is so then i suppose cm and nurserys work out the same price
i have a little boy who comes to me now who used to attend nursery his hours are 7.15am until 1pm, i charge per hour but nursery used to charge per session (7.30 - 12.30 and 1pm -6pm) so the parents are paying less to me than they did to nursery.
also it depends on what parents want for their child as to what setting they choose

PavlovtheCat · 26/07/2007 09:51

CM and nursery costs are the pretty much the same where I live. I pay £29.00 per day for DD aged 13months, including all meals. There is an outside pay area, they go on walks in the local area, children have birthday parties at the nursery from time to time. It is possible to get a slightly cheaper CM, but the ones i considered using, reputation wise, would be the same, a little more than the nursery.

The flexibility is pretty much the same, when I compared the two ptions. CM and nursery both charge for days when DD is off, due to illness etc, both have options for bringing in a bit earlier if work needs it. Nursery also has short days, and drop-in sessions which I have found extremely useful. This is something I found more useful than a CM as I often need it with short notice. the CMs I looked at were, unsurprisingly very subscribed, and the days I used them for, were often only the days I could have their service, as the other days usually were full so unable to take DD for a couple of hours as a drop in.

I was initially surprised that the costs were similar, but on reflection not. As it has been said already, nurseries and CM offer the same standards of childcare, as long as you have the right ones, but the type of childcare is different, and I think for many people the costs are not factors in the decision, but rather the needs of the child/family being met best by one or other.

HappyMummyOfOne · 26/07/2007 18:34

Nurseries are the cheaper option here too, they do look after a lot of children so can keep the hourly rate down whereas a childminder is self employed and has less children and set their own prices.

I'm lucky that I have family to help and when DS starts school in September there is a very cheap before and after school club so I will use that.

If i didnt have family, i probably would have gone for the nursery option as it was the cheapest when i looked as we dont qualify for any help with costs. I also like that they group children together by age and dont have to travel in cars, go out to do pickups etc and visitors are far more restricted. Plus there is cover for staff holidays and sickness.

Its all about personal preference, cost does factor in it though as it has to be worthwhile going to work financially for most people.

Mum2Luke · 27/07/2007 16:50

I ama also a childminder in Greater Manchester, I am NVQ Level 3 (Nursery manager) qualified and because I am in competition with lots of other cms, 3 day nurseries and after school clubs in my area am having to keep my prices down at £3.50 per hour or £25 per day (snacks + drinks included).

My friend has just had one of her OFSTED inspections and the inspector told her she should charge £4 per hour as she has a Nursery Nurse (NNEB) qualification. Do they live in the real world? We have trouble getting the parents to pay their fees now!

If I went back to work I would choose a cm over a nursery simply because I have worked in the one near me and did not agree with some of their working practices. This is why I went back to cming.

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