Childminding v nursery

loulou41 Forumite Posts: 2,871 Forumite
My daughter is going back to work for 14 hours and she is debating whether to put her 3 yrs old son in a nursery or a child minder. The price is about the same. The child attends pre-school 3 mornings where she lives now so wants to keep him there as he is happy and has just settled down but will need to find a child minder who will do pick up. With nursery the child can go to work with her as there is a nursery nearby where she works. Obviously she wants the child to be disrupted as little as possible. I just want the opinion of other mums which is better nursery or child minder. I guess with nursery she does not have to work about childcare during half terms. Thanks


  • AngelOfTheNorth
    AngelOfTheNorth Forumite Posts: 199 Forumite
    There are a lot of pros and cons. A childminder is a more family type environment, which she may be happier leaving him in. And as she'll probably need to use a CM for wraparound care when he starts school, it may be useful to be on the books of one now. Nursery offers the opportunity to be around more children, and there isn't the worry about what to do if one staff member is sick as there is with a CM. Some people like the idea of a one on one relationship with the carer better, others don't want that at all. Nursery probably has more in the way of facilities, CM likely to get out and about more during the day.
  • jackomdj
    jackomdj Forumite Posts: 3,073
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    My children went to nursery on my work days, as stated above if a childminder is sick it disrupts your work, plus they (childminders) have holidays that you have to cover.

    However on my days off they went to the pre-school attached to the local school. Not because I didn't want them with me, but I thought it was important that they socialised with children that they would probably be in the same class at school with.

    For me the above worked out perfectly.
  • Miss_Samantha
    Miss_Samantha Forumite Posts: 1,197 Forumite
    Hi loulou41,

    I agree with others that a childminder is more family-like while a nursery is more school-like.

    Personally, I think that attending pre-school/nursery part-time is a good stepping-stone to prepare the child for school.

    We used a nursery near work before my daughter started school, then we used a childminder and the school's afternoon clubs (we stopped the later).
  • Bangton
    Bangton Forumite Posts: 1,053
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I use a childminders although there's 3 of them working from one persons house so it's a bit of a mix of two as my son has a key worker and record of achievements etc.

    I love the homelyness of the place he attends. I visited nurseries and overall liked that my son would interact with all ages not just be in a room with all 1 year old, 2 year old etc. He's come on fantastically..lots of toddlers attend my son's care provider but older children attend in the holidays and they really care for him and he's influenced by their good eating etc.

    What really irks me about our childcare is the holidays. Closed all Christmas and 2 weeks mid year plus lots of little days off here and there. I work full time and have no outside support so it's really annoying and would be different if he went to a nursery. I've had 6 Weeks off this year for holidays ..theirs not mine sop that's hard as my hols have to be dictated by them .

    Overall though they really care for him and I'd still chose this set up every time over a nursery but both have their place
  • LannieDuck
    LannieDuck Forumite Posts: 2,359
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I've used two nurseries (because of moving house). I went in that direction mostly because we didn't have any good recommendations for childminders.

    We've been very happy with both nurseries. My oldest (4yo) absolutely loves having lots of children around. She's very outgoing and sociable. She was quite upset when a lot of them went off to school this year, but she's looking forward to following them next year.

    My youngest is only 18 months, but there are 1 or 2 others of her age there too, and they're probably going to go through the whole nursery together, which is lovely :)

    While the first nursery mostly kept the age groups separate, the second nursery regularly mixes the classes together because they're relatively small. The older children love it when the 'babies' come to play in their room! :)

    I'm also very grateful that the nursery is open almost year-round and for nice extended hours (ours is 7.30am - 6pm) - it's a long day for the kids, but unfortunately we need it because we both work with long commutes (when we moved it was half-way in between our jobs :P). We've had to take a lot of time off with our youngest this year (normal starting-nursery bugs), and we couldn't have managed to take off extra to cover childminder illness etc.
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  • sooty&sweep
    sooty&sweep Forumite Posts: 1,316 Forumite
    I chose a nursery over a child minder because of the reliabilty & not having to worry about sick & holidays.
  • loulou41
    loulou41 Forumite Posts: 2,871 Forumite
    We visited a nursery and were quite impressed. A day seems very long for a 3 yrs old, he has just turned 3, 8.30 - 5.50 pm. It will be only for 1 day and will continue to attend pre-school in the mornings. Not sure how he will cope. He attends pre-school before he was 3 for three morning a week and he took about 2 weeks for him to settle crying and kicking when his mum dropped. He has settled down now but the manager of the nursery told my daughter she does not recommend him attending a nursery, a child minder will suit him best. Attending nursery and pre-school will only confuse him, she cannot mix both. He is quite sensitive and we need to explain to him what happens until he gets used to the idea. He has just accepted the idea when mummy drops him she will always come back to pick him. When I told him mummy is going back to work to prepare him, he looked sad and asked who will look after him, he will be on his own? Surely there are lots of children who attend a combination of nursery, child minder and pre-school. I prefer the nursery myself as there are lots of activities going on and it has a huge playground. Thanks
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Forumite Posts: 45,595
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Some children can cope fine with 'Monday's nursery, Tuesday's pre-school and childminder, Wednesday's pre-school and mummy picks you up' or whatever, but others struggle a bit. We don't know if your grandson is one of the copers, or one of the not-copers.

    And it may be that the nursery manager doesn't particularly want him for just one day each week, so is encouraging you to look elsewhere.

    Personally I'd look at a childminder before making a final decision. I think they can be more flexible.

    and FWIW, when I was running an out of school club, I used to beg parents NOT to send their reception children to us every day, because starting school is just so tiring. As you say, it is a LOOOONG day for a little one.
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  • onlyroz
    onlyroz Forumite Posts: 17,661
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have used both, and there are pros and cons. Nursery is a more formal environment - there are more children to mix with and probably more activities on offer onsite, and there will never be any problems with covering holidays or staff sickness. The only time the nursery I used ever closed was due to heavy snow.

    Childminders are often more flexible over hours and days, e.g. swapping a Tuesday for a Thursday one week, or having an earlier drop off or collection. They also generally take the children to more places, e.g. parks, libraries, playgroups etc. Childminders also often do after-school pick-ups. This does mean that if your child is a toddler they will often be marched on the school-run to collect older children in the afternoon.
  • Jagraf
    Jagraf Forumite Posts: 2,462
    I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 13 November 2015 at 7:31PM
    My DD loved nursery and was there full time prior to starting school - she loved it and I had no regrets at all. All children are different, what do you think your child would like best? Kids are also very versatile - go with what you feel is most comfortable for you and your child, obviously everyone's opinions are based on their own experiences x

    Don't get your own insecurities mixed up with what your child might really enjoy.
    Never again will the wolf get so close to my door :eek:
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