Childminding v nursery

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  • dangers wrote: »
    Your daughter maxwell have now decided which way to go, but I'll put my thoughts across. If the child is already 3, then there isn't too long before they start school. A childminder, especially one within the catchment area of the school the child will attend, will be able to help settle the child into school.

    Otherwise, you'll end up taking all sorts of holiday off during this settling in period. If the c/minder already does school runs, this can also help a child to get used to the school they will attend.

    My boys attended the nursery attached to the school. They had a great transition period, as the staff took the children over to the school, where they met teachers, recognised kids who had moved up the previous year, joined in with some activities, and generally integrated easily. The settling in period for both boys went very smoothly. They were familiar with the school, buildings, teachers and children, so they immediately felt part of the school. In addition, they had a routine in nursery, which prepared them better for school.

    Some childminders don't do school runs, and if they do, you have to ask yourself if you want your child to be walking (or going in the car) to take someone else's child to and from school five days a week - no matter what the weather.
  • Similar to what others have mentioned here, if your child minder for some reason is sick or cannot work, you really are left in a tricky situation. My main reason for being pro nursery is that it gives the child a chance to engage with other children. This is such a crucial time in their development, learning to play and communicate with children of a similar age is such a vital part of progression.

    Of course it's important you do your research, it can't guaranteed that every nursery is following best practise guidelines. A good idea is to spend time online reading their website and customer reviews, always pay a visit prior to making a final decision. This will really help you later on when you leave your child there for the first time, knowing it's a happy healthy environment. Take the opportunity to ask current parents using the nursery about their own experiences and if they recommend. From my own personal experience I know many close friends who use this nursery in Brighton , their website in a prime example of all the information a nursery should provide online: http://www.hopscotch.uk.com/our-nurseries/preston-park-brighton

    Take a look and take note, it will certainly help with your decision. The more info they provide, the better! Never accept less!

    Nat xx
  • chelseablue
    chelseablue Posts: 3,288
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    My son goes to nursery 3 days a week and has done since he was 10 months old (he's 19 months now).


    I chose nursery as its open all year round (apart from bank holidays and a week at Christmas) plus he's with children similar age to him
  • vroombroom
    vroombroom Posts: 1,117 Forumite
    I chose a nursery when my son was a baby and he attended for 3 years, then went to preschool for a year and then started at the school attached.

    Whilst the nursery was excellent and flexible, I kind of regret choosing it over a CM. The reason being is that now he is at school, it is hard to find childcare around the holidays and stuff. My son is starting at a childminder soon due to me going back to day time hours in a new job.

    Personally I would look at both and go from there.
    :j:jOur gorgeous baby boy born 2nd May 2011 - 12 days overdue!!:j:j
  • I have 3 children and since my oldest was born (hes just turned 6) we have used 2 child minders, a nursery and a pre-school. I am lucky to have great options around me as none of them are bad in any way. there are just pros and cons and it depends what your looking for.

    I personally prefer childminders as its a more homely setting. There are a lot of childminders out there that are truly passionate about their jobs whereas in a nursery setting you will find that its very paperwork and goal focussed. Nursery's are nearly always more expensive (only by a little though) but they are tougher on rules and regulations. They are more likely to send your child home with a slight fever or a slight rash then a child minder. On a downside childminders can become ill or may need personal time (in 6 years - we lost 2 days through their illness). Childminders are also more flexible and more willing to help (although they are entitled to holiday but I get a years notice for that and we take holiday at the same time). I'm not saying I wouldn't use a nursery again but if I can stay with the childminder till my son goes to school I will stick with the childminder. As for getting prepared for school - childminders are as good at doing that although may not be as well connected to the local schools. for example, when my oldest was nearing the start of school - his school teachers would visit his nursery to meet the children. My 2nd starts school this year and although is incredibly social from going to playgroups ect with the minder he wont get to meet his teachers till school.

    I hope all that makes sense. There are pros and cons and it does depend what your looking for. Definatly research it and see what's around you. Also, arrange visits to the nursery's and childminders so you can get a feel for which one will suit best. :)
  • tallyho88
    tallyho88 Posts: 51 Forumite
    I personally have had experience with sending my son to a childminder and nursery whilst I went back to work full time. He's 5 and now at school and baby number 2 on the way, I feel nursery was more adequate for my son as he interacted with children more and to me it felt safer? Childminder did her job but didn't go out of her way to entertain my son, however all childminders are different and my son only went for and hour a day.
  • I have used both and been a childminder. I think the main difference is that child minders can be more flexible, I was always willing to work around the parents change dates occasionally, book my holiday around the same time as parents when possible. You also have more say about how you want your child cared for. With a nursery you have no control who will actually care for your child so you need to be more careful that you trust the nursery to employ wisely. That being said a nursery is able to offer your child experiences and equipment that most child minders wouldn't. There isn't a right or wrong answer it just depends on the family and what you want.
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