Childcare where do i start?!

Long story about my work being arseholes (denied [promotion coz pregnant and now refusing part time hours) but I have decided to go back full time.

Money is tight and although ill be working full time i work on my own and am out and about so easy to sneak off as and when I need to plus the money is really good!

Really hate leaving lo but am lucky coz Mother in law doesnt work (bad back) hubby has day off in week and my parents work shifts...


For one or two days lo will need a childminder WHERE DO I START??
She will be 9 months in March when i go back

Whats best childminder or nursery?
Where do i go to find out where they are?
How do you know if they are any good?

Any advice......???

[Modified by: mummythomas on 16 December 2008 18:51:02 ]


  • ring your local counsil office they will know all numbers to nurserys and childminders. childminders are best as they charge by the hour, nurserys charge mainly daily, so if your child is only in for few hours you need to pay full price. mine is with childminder now when i go back to work in feb.
  • The local library also has a list of childminders, day centres, nurseries, toddler groups etc etc.

  • Glad somone else is thinking what I'm thinking! Am totally dreading the thought of going back but know I have to-Christmas is gonna be tight this year-and was wondering where the heck you start and how you know thye're the right ones for your lo. x
  • Hi there. My mum runs her own childminding bussiness so I have a few pointers to finding a good one.

    1.Make sure they are registerd with ofstead and ask to see there most recent certificate.

    2. When you meet them make sure it is in there home.

    3.Ask a really silly question such as 'my child really likes to watch tv, is it ok for you to let him/her watch it for most of the day' I know this sounds silly but someone asked my mum once and she was very nice but also very straight and said 'im really sorry but we tend to go out places in the day or do reading etc but if they have a favourite programme im sure we can work it in to our day so they can watch it' The woman said afterwards that she had asked to see what my mums reaction would be. If they are a good childminder they will be soft but honest with you.

  • You can search for childcare providers in your area using this

    Im personally going to be using a childminder. I want my lo to be looked after in a home environment and get more one on one care than in a nursery. I also personally feel that the staff:baby ratios in nurseries are too high. They can have 3 under 1 whereas childminders can only only have 3 under 5 (1 under 1).

    Childminders are more flexible. My MIL works 6-2, 2-10 shifts so lo will only need a childminder for mornings one week and afternoons the week after.

    this is a good site, you can veiw ofsted reports too..... gee, my old middle school is doing so poor!!!
  • Ollie goes to nursery for one day a week, and he loves it. He likes interacting with the other children and having new things to play with. It taught him to be able to feed himself at just over 1 year old, and it's not too bad a nursery as there are only 10 in the baby room that he's in. 3 of them are babies, the rest are up to 2, and there are 4 permanent staff and one that comes in at lunchtime.
    The downside is it is more expensive (although will explain about that in a sec..) and he does tend to catch quite a lot of bugs.

    The money side - we get almost all our costs back from CTC. I told them he was going to nursery, and as long as its one that is registered, they give you up to 80p of every pound it cost to send him there. It costs us about ??5 a week to send him for the full day. (you have to be working 16 hours a week min to qualify for the childcare element)

    His full day routine starts at 8.30 when he gets in, and is given a big hug from one of the younger lasses there, then he takes her hand and off he goes without a backwards glance.... image :lol:
    at 9am they get toast (and I'm told he'll eat a slice and half - after his two wheatabix at home at 8am)
    then they have structured play till 10. At 10 they have either reading, tv, or outdoor play if the weather is ok, and then they get dinner at 11.30. They get a 3 course meal!!!
    after dinner they have a nap if they have one and then when they wake up they have messy play either with water, sand or paints (and he's never come home dirty from it yet) then around 3pm-3.30ish they are supposed to have a snack - Ollie has started having his tea about 4pm so he has a sandwich , or another potion of hot food, plus fruit and anything else they're having, and he always eats well then too. We pick him up around 5, and he comes home happy and full of beans. :lol:

    That's just our nursery though, and they are pretty good at sticking to individual time tables.

    A childminder will have less children to focus their day on, but a friend of mine is one and she says that it is much harder to give the kids individual attention childminding them than at nursery (she started out in a nursery) as you're always thinking of everything at home, whereas at nursery you're just thinking about the kids. (although i chose nursery over her.... )

    Sorry i've just waffled on there...

    At the end of the day you'll pick the best one for you and you'll just have that feeling that they/it is right...

  • Poppy is with a wonderful childminder and has come on leaps and bounds since she has been with her. I think it is partially to do with the fact that she is with children on different ages all the time - she talks far better than a few of my friends children despite being months younger. I personally much prefer the more personal approach that a childminder provides - Poppy goes everywhere with her childminder which is what she'd do if she was with me. She comes home each night with something she has made or a book telling what she has done that day and I think it's lovely!
    I found my childminder of the weblink that MKT86 mentioned, she has her Ofsted certificates displayed in the house. The 4 I visited before picking all had files of letters from the parents of children she had previously cared for and I was able to contact them for references.
    You will know when you have found someone you are happy to leave your child with.
    Best of luck.
  • Thanks ladies this is my job over the holidays to look around and see what's on offer around us. LIke the idea of the silly question too-good tip. Not sure about childminder or nursery now I know it's worth looking at both. Thanks again mummythomas for posting this x
  • personal i wouldnt use either as i prefer to say at home but if i day to i would go for a child minder as you get to know them a little better and so do the little ones
  • Lily will go to nursery two days a week starting January. She had her second prep session today for 2 hours - she went for 1 hour on Monday with hubby and will go for 3 hours on Friday with hubby again. I chose that nursery because it was recommended by the early years advisor at my local authority (am a teacher so knew who to ask honsetly!) I looked at a few but that one stood out as the better one. It helped that I knew what they should be doing ie planning for the children etc etc. They answered all my questions and I looked at their planning and I quizzed them on the new early years framework!

    Lily loved today and didn't bat an eye lid when I snuck out of the room.

    I think everyone's circumstances are different and it depends what is right for you and LO as to whether you choose nursery or a childminder. Good luck tho as it is a mine field out there! Don't be afraid to ask questions!
  • I always thought I'd go to a childminder for mine but they're now in nursery and they LOVE it! Evie was 6 months old when they started, she's now 9mth and I wouldn't dream of sending them anywhere else. I found the Childcare Information Service really helpful. They had loads of different questions to ask in all kinds of different settings. My best advice would be to visit lots of nurseries and CMs before you make your decision. If you have any niggling doubts, no matter how small then go somewhere else.
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