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22/10/2014 at 13:05
Feels very early to be thinking about this but after calling my preferred nursery, it seems it isn't! So I'm hopefully going to be returning to work 3 days, MIL will have baby 1 day and I will need childcare 2 days, currently I'm trying to weigh up whether to use a nursery or a childminder and would be interested in viewpoints from people who've used either (or both?).
22/10/2014 at 13:37
We have a cm.
the only reason I'm not keen on nurserys is because there is no need for every member of staff to be first aid trained and trained in paediatric life support. Currently it's only one person in the building, although there is recommendations that this should change do hopefully it will soon. Where as my cm has to have regular training so I know that should anything happen then she should be able to act iyswim.
I think it depends what you want though. I'm happy with my cm, she's happy to do BLW, she only has 2 other children (apart from school pick up time when she has 2 more), and I like the environment he is in.
The downside of a cm is if she is ill then she can't take him (this has never happened but she did have a gas leak about 5 years ago when L went and I had to pick him up early, although I suppose if nursery had a gas leak it would be the same but obviously if a member of staff was ill at nursery then it wouldn't affect care iyswim)
22/10/2014 at 13:42
I was convinced I would send Isobelle to a childminder when I 1st went back to work. My mum was a childminder when I was growing up & I felt that I liked the personal service but when I actually went to look round it was 1 nursery in particular that I loved & she loved going there for the 2 days a week that I worked. There were lots of things I considered like: location (near home or work as I commute 45 mins), did they do/understand baby led weaning, cost (incl time of in school hols as I'm a teacher), gut feeling. I tried to approach them individually rather than looking at just nurseries or just childminders.
So the nursery that I picked was near work, understood BLW, didn't charge during school holidays & was a very happy nurturing environment.
Good luck with your search
22/10/2014 at 13:43
I've used both. I got the kids into a fabulous private nursery back when E was a baby and I used them for 12 years all in, the kids thrived there and still ask to go back for their holiday camps. I did look at some more recently as we'd moved and I wanted somewhere closer so I had a look around a few - any you approach should be willing to show you around the setting so you get a feel for it when they kids are actually there. I also read the Oftsted reports, though reserved judgement for the actual visits. I never did move the kids in the end.
My eldest two also went to a childminder as she was a little cheaper and I needed childcare on a flexible basis. She was really good too and used to do loads with the kids, she actually stopped doing it to go work in a private nursery.
Check what their holiday policies are. The nursery I used had set holidays that they closed the whole place down for which was a bit of a pain sometimes and I don't think all nurseries do this, but it was the same with the childminder when she wanted to take time off.
Have you asked friends locally for recommendations? Costs wise I found that childminders were around £35 - £40 per day and nursery was £50 - £55 per day for the baby unit (I am in the South East). The bill used to reduce a little as they got older and moved floors to nursery then pre school as the staff ratios were smaller.
22/10/2014 at 13:49
Actually just to add some nurserys do train ALL staff in paediatric resuscitation and first aid (one has just opened locally and this Is a huge part of their advertising), but it's not yet a legal requirement so just look into it when looking round x
22/10/2014 at 14:29
I chose a nursery. A is very very social. She thrives off lots of people being around. I also loved the nursery and I like the idea of her being looked after by various different people rather than her getting attached to one. Makes it easier if things change.
I also found a nursery where a high proportion of the staff are first aid trained. Some nurseries do this now rather than following the recommendations. I also didn't like the idea of having to take time off work or find an alternative if the childminder was ill or on hols. My nursery only closes for 1 week over xmas.
I picked our particular nursery as when we were looking round they were not just trying to seel themselves. They were genuinly interested in A and with us as a family.
22/10/2014 at 14:34
Thanks ladies. I've been recommended a childminder through a friend, I think I'd be wary of just picking one randomly as I would worry they aren't as regulated as nurseries, although I realise this probably isn't the case. Cost wise, there isn't too much difference, I'd be looking at around £38 a day for a cm and I have 2 nurseries, one is near home and is about £40 a day and then there's a nursery at my work but it's £50 a day, I'd stupidly thought it might be subsidised!
I'm going to look around both nurseries and meet with the cm I've been recommended and maybe another one or two and will see what sort of feel I get from them.
22/10/2014 at 16:17
Just a thought, does your employer have a child care voucher scheme? You potentially could start claiming them before you go on ML if they use a provider whose vouchers don't expire and build up a little reserve whilst your off to pay your childcare with when you go back to work.
22/10/2014 at 16:24
We chose a nursery. My main thought was that I didnt want to be lumbered with finding alternative childcare if the CM was ill or on holiday. Also, as someone else said, Z is very sociable and I wanted her to mix with lots of children her own age, rather that just one or two, of maybe older/younger children at a childminders.
25/10/2014 at 22:24
I rang numerous childminders and nurseries. No one wanted different days each week and different hours per day and different total hours per week. We had 2 nurseries that would do per-hour charge and one was minging. So that left one! I wanted a cm but I love the nursery. I love that she watches the other kids, that she can be with one of 3 people, that they will be flexible and start earlier/stay later if needed. She gets so excited when she's there and I know she's happy because I'm her favourite person in the world and she doesn't really react when I go to collect her because she's happy playing :) Our home environment is homely (obvs) so she gets a different experience at nursery
03/11/2014 at 16:23
I chose a childminder. We follow a fairly gentle approach and I wanted her to have an attachment with just the one person, just one person dictating her routine and changes to it etc. E loves children, but especially loves those older then her so it was the natural option for her,
She is also allergic to milk so again, I thought the less kids around at lunch time, best chance of controlling that and our cm only had e and one other at that time.
I did visit a handful of nurseries but never was happy with them. Not something I considered at the time either but totally need some flexibility which nursery tend not to give. So 8pm Sunday evening I get a message meaning I need to drop e in 30mins earlier, or I'm ten mins late in traffic. Fine with my cm but a nursery would levy heavy fees for that.
04/11/2014 at 09:26
We chose a nursery. We wanted him to get used to the sort of environment that would hopefully prepare him for school i.e a routine, his own peg, etc little things. He also loves being around others and he thrives there. I felt it was important that he wasn't spending time in another home type environment.
05/11/2014 at 22:00
We use a childminder. Because we're quite far from our families and T is an only child I personally wanted him to have a home environment - the childminder's parents are around, she has 2 older children as well as doing a school/nursery run with older children. She's flexible with what day T isn't with her and with the times we drop off and pick up. Drawbacks are if she's ill or if one of her children is ill we have to make arrangements, but it's only happened a handful of times. Something I like is that she's part of a childminding group that meet every week, so all the children can socialise, and they go on trips and walks and things.
There are lots of things to consider, a lot will depend on your gut feeling!
06/11/2014 at 08:40
Thanks for all the opinions, definitely lots to think about! I'm going to view 2 nurseries next month and have contacted a childminder too so will probably go on gut feeling.
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