Nursery or Childminder - What are your views?

Im looking into childcare for the boys for one day a week as of September. I was automatically looking into nurseries as someone told me that childminders are not allowed more than one under 1 at any time and the boys will be 11 months. However, I have since learnt that special allowance is often made for twins so I am in a dilemma.

What are your experiences on what would be best? I have no experience at all!

Gemma, Ryan and Alfie 18 + 3
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  • hi hunny well i think it depends what you are looking for there are pro's and cons to both of them image sooo if your looking for a home from home with not too many other children and one person in specific who will always look after the boys then a childminder is the way to go and they tend to cost less than nurseries but if you want lots of social interaction with plenty of activities and guarenteed care even if there is a staff sickness then maybe look into a nursery ....hth a little xxxxx
  • Abi currently goes to a childminder but we had the same dilema a few weeks back when our then childminder changed career. We viewed a nursery and visited a couple of childminders but personally we preferred the childminder - nothing against nurseries at all as they can be great for lo's but we like knowing that Abi will be looked after by the same person all day and prefer a home setting. It's not an easy decision to make but I would suggest you go to visit both and that should help you gauge which you would prefer. Hope you sort something soon hunni xx
  • my eldest had both and truely nothing compared to her childminder, she was amazing, however when she started school she had to change to a new childminder as it was in a different area and she was rubish. I put up with it coz it was only for a few hours twice a week but i never let her go in the holidays.
    the nursery she went to started off good but then the staff seemed to leave and were replaced by school leavers who were training (I presume because they are cheap) they had no control over the kids (who were 1-4) and clearly no idea what to do.
    I'd go with a childminder if you can get a good one x
  • Its a HUGELY personal decision... but I'll tell you about our experience with Toby going to a nursery.

    I didn't want Toby to get attached to one person really - I want him to be taken care of by different people and you get that at his nursery. He doesn't have a key worker but there are 3 solid staff there that have been there for YEARS. The only niggle at his specific nursery is that in the afternoons, he tends to get a lot of different staff popping in and out to help and this is annoying for me as they are forever sending me home with the wrong stuff, stuff that should stay there etc. but that's a moot point really!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I HATED the thought of him getting really attached to a CM.

    I don't want Toby being carted around every single day on the "school run". Its good that he would be out and about and get fresh air, but I just don't like the thought of him stuck in his car seat or a buggy in that respect. My friends little girl is at nursery and she hates this part - especially as her LO HATES being in the car!!! Also I gather its quite restrictive in terms of timings - another friend has to get her little boy there by 8.15 and if she's not, she has to wait in the car with her baby for the CM to get back from the school run before she can get off to work.

    Some of the bad points for US about nurseries...

    This isn't the same for all of them, but Toby has had to fall into the nursery routine and hubby and I are finding this hard to stick to on Friday's and weekends.

    On the same point as routines... Toby's nursery doesn't have a seperate sleep room and for us this is causing MAJOR issues. I have lost my happy, smiley little boy. He is just SO tired all of the time and I hate it. But I can't convince my husband its enough of a reason to look at changing nurseries, he doesn't think its a problem. Toby is the youngest in the baby room and he doesn't get a morning nap anymore because none of the other babies do - they try hard to get him to have one, but he's too distracted by the other babies.

    Those are the main things I can think of really... the things currently an issue for us etc...

    HTH and good luck deciding!
    xxxx
  • Oh and I should add... that Toby has developed MASSES since being in nursery, he is totally thriving.

    They always say he's a sociable little thing and crawls around after his nursery buddies!

    He is so so good with eating now - they tell me he loves watching the other kids eat and are sure he's learning from them.

    He's pulling himself up LOADS now too and standing - because most of the other babies are doing it.

    xxx
  • Thanx for the replies ladies. It seems nursery is the way forward. I had already decided nursery and discreditted cm due to the fact that many are not allowed 2 under 1 but apparantly they make exceptions for twins. I have some good prospectus's for nurseries so I guess its just about arranging appointments and going and having a look. Thanks ladies, I do value your opinions.
  • ok things to consider:

    Childminder - can be flexible with timings etc BUT if they take a holiday or are ill you have to find another childcare for that time whereas nurseries are open year round (or you know when they are not!)

    When the boys are 3 they will be entitled to 15 hours FREE placement at a nursery or preschool - GREAT money saver I hear you say - BUT if you are with a childminder and the boys go to preschool you would have to drop them at childminder first adn then they take them to the preschool and pick them up etc and you will still end up payign the childminder! A nursery can have the boys still and you just save the money.

    I too didn't want to feel that Max was being dragged from pillar to post by a childminder dropping other kids off etc

    I also wanted Max to be used to beign part of a group of children just like he will be at school and also cos he is the only one at the moment and has no other family his age etc.

    They do a FANTASTIC range of activities at his nursery and he totlally THRIVES there!
  • I completely disagree with the "school run" issue. I had a childminder for Jack, and he loved the school run. He got to know the teachers because he was visiting the school with the childminder, and he couldn't wait to start school because he'd seen his friends from the childminders going each day and thoroughly enjoying themselves. When i did take him to school on his first day he just ran into the building and didn't look back at me (holding back my tears as my little boy grew up before my eyes!)

    I wouldn't have been without my childminder - she was fabulous. I don't use her anymore because i've decided to be a SAHM - but she's still considered part of our family.

    When she did have holidays she tried to take the weeks off work that we too would be taking so as not to put anyone at a disadvantage - and for those who couldn't take the same weeks as her, she would organise coverage from other childminders in the area - so that she could ensure all the children were looked after.

    Jack learned loads of fantastic things while he was there - she would cook with him, have trips out to local parks, farms, museums etc - she wouldn't simply drag him around tesco with her - she did all that in her own time.

    Jack came on in leaps and bounds in her care - and his friend of the same age who was at nursery didn't get as much one2one attention and didn't seem to flourish quite as well (although i'm sure there are brill nurseries out there, our local one isn't that great)

    As the others have said - it's a very personal decision, but don't let one persons bad experience make you think that you would have the same things. Equally, i'm sure there are childminders out there who aren't as good as the one i had - but if you research them all - take a visit to the nurseries/childminders, and see which one fits best for you.

    Good luck xxx
  • Hi Gemma - you are correct about twins/childminders.

    After speaking with my friend who is a child psychologist, she says that with regards to which one is better emotionally (i.e. with regards to bonding) - she would go with a childminder.

    It is vitally important for a baby to bond with their carer for their emotional wellbeing and at nurseries the employees do not spend enough one to one time with the babies.

    I personally would go with a Childminder.

    Good luck xxx
  • Does anyone know how many children a CM is allowed as a maximum? Just interested...
  • Like you, we are only putting Peter in childcare one day a week because I work from home so can (sort of) work around him. So our main reason was so that he could socialise with other children his age, which made nursery the logical choice for us. When there was a chance that I might be working full time I started researching childminders as I would have wanted a stronger bond with an individual for him if he was going to be away from me for a greater length of time. In the end I didn't get the job, so nursery it is.

    We are lucky that there are some good nurseries in our area, so we had a level of choice. For what we want from it, the nursery he is going to is very good but I would have certainly looked at childminders if we hadn't found a nursery place that fit the bill as I do now need one day a week clear for getting into archives etc.
  • I think it is MAXIMUM of 5 under 8yrs old and only 1 under 1yr (excepting twins) but it depends on your property and how many OFSTED register you for BUT over 8's you can have as many as you like - there is NO LIMIT image
  • the legal limit throughout the uk set by ofsted/estyn inspectors is 1-2 years 1:3 2-3 years 1:4 and over 4 its 1:8 the 1 being staff and the other numbers being children ....childminders obviously have all different ages at 1 time so i would think it was at a childminders discretion how many prams,car seats and walkers she would have but definatly no more than 5 under 8 xxx
  • Hiya Gemma

    I think the other ladies have given you some good stuff to thing about here. As a fellow teacher, I found it pretty difficult to decide what to do, but in the end decided that I wanted Daisy to go to Nursery. However, I was very specific about what I wanted from a Nursery - it had to be small and cosy, not more than 20 odd children there (that was tricky!!!!) and with a small amount of adults that would look after her..

    Our Nursery is fab - Daisy has been going since she was 5.5 months old and is totally thriving there. She's independent, happy, confident and eats better there than anywhere else!!!! There are only five maximum in the baby room at any one time (normally only two babies though on her days) and the staff are just gorgeous - you can really see that they care so much - they give Daisy cuddles and throw her about (as she likes!!!!) and if I say that she's started to do something specific at home, they really make a real effort to encourage it too!

    Sleep is not too awful - though she mostly manages only about an hour or so most days (am and pm) and they have a separate area for them to sleep in.

    I just love it there - can you tell?!?!

    C xxxx
  • Hiya Gemma

    I think the other ladies have given you some good stuff to thing about here. As a fellow teacher, I found it pretty difficult to decide what to do, but in the end decided that I wanted Daisy to go to Nursery. However, I was very specific about what I wanted from a Nursery - it had to be small and cosy, not more than 20 odd children there (that was tricky!!!!) and with a small amount of adults that would look after her..

    Our Nursery is fab - Daisy has been going since she was 5.5 months old and is totally thriving there. She's independent, happy, confident and eats better there than anywhere else!!!! There are only five maximum in the baby room at any one time (normally only two babies though on her days) and the staff are just gorgeous - you can really see that they care so much - they give Daisy cuddles and throw her about (as she likes!!!!) and if I say that she's started to do something specific at home, they really make a real effort to encourage it too!

    Sleep is not too awful - though she mostly manages only about an hour or so most days (am and pm) and they have a separate area for them to sleep in.

    I just love it there - can you tell?!?!

    C xxxx
  • Hiya Gemma

    I think the other ladies have given you some good stuff to thing about here. As a fellow teacher, I found it pretty difficult to decide what to do, but in the end decided that I wanted Daisy to go to Nursery. However, I was very specific about what I wanted from a Nursery - it had to be small and cosy, not more than 20 odd children there (that was tricky!!!!) and with a small amount of adults that would look after her..

    Our Nursery is fab - Daisy has been going since she was 5.5 months old and is totally thriving there. She's independent, happy, confident and eats better there than anywhere else!!!! There are only five maximum in the baby room at any one time (normally only two babies though on her days) and the staff are just gorgeous - you can really see that they care so much - they give Daisy cuddles and throw her about (as she likes!!!!) and if I say that she's started to do something specific at home, they really make a real effort to encourage it too!

    Sleep is not too awful - though she mostly manages only about an hour or so most days (am and pm) and they have a separate area for them to sleep in.

    I just love it there - can you tell?!?!

    C xxxx
  • Hi hun, i think your best bet is to visit both options and then decides whats best for your boys.

    Im a SAHM and am currently training to be a childminder, my own children are included in my Quota so thats something you need to remember as well when looking.

    You know your boys best and what environment theyl thrive in so it depends what your looking for.

    I can assure you though, i dont cart my own children around or drag them from pillar to post by doing the school run let alone anyone elses :\( Once you have more than one child your older ones will obviously have to start school as thats the law and unavoidable, so childminder or not when you have more than one thats what happens - personally i take that opportunity to talk to my youngest about the outside, be it trees, leaves, road safety etc

    Its your choice hun, make sure its the right one for you xxxxx
  • I'm trainig to be a childminder myself so you would imagine I would say childminder!! Tbh, and I know this is going to sound really odd but if it's just for one day a week I would prefer my child to go to Nursery for the social element and difference of environment. If I was using Childcare full or near full time I would opt for a childminder for that home from home environment and for one person to be my sons sole carer. I think the other ladies have given you great advice and it's only a choice you can make for yourself and there will always be pros and cons, good stories and bad stories.
    Also, just wanted to add as another lady mentioned about when the childminder wants a holiday or calls in sick, many childminders will arrange a holiday period with you in advance and will also have an emergency childminder friend as back up that hopefully your child would be familiar with.
    xx
  • Maximum do you get 15 hours a week free placement or is tha a month. If it is a week that will really help reduce the cost for us when our LO is 3
    x

  • It is PER WEEK - check here:
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Preschooldevelopmentandlearning/NurseriesPlaygroupsReceptionClasses/DG_10016103
    at the moment it is 12.5hrs but it is going up to 15 at some point this year (not sure when but I know it is before MAx's 3rd birthday in Dec :lol: )
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