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Anyone use chilminder rather than nursery ?

Hi, I'm trying to organise childcare for my lo for when I return to work. Not having much luck as none of the nurseries near me can take him on the days I'm looking for. But a local chilminder can. I've been ro see her and she seems nice and her references were all great. I quite like the idea while he's so young, he'll get out and about in pram loads etc. He'll be 7/8months when he starts.
but would probably like to put him to a nursery after a few months as I think the opportunity for educational play and development are better at nursery. Anyway, do you or have you used a chilminder, if so how was it etc. Thanks
Suz x


  • I use a childminder for my daughter and I love it and wouldn't consider a nursery at all. Childcare in general pays so little that the turnover of staff in nurseries is normally high and they're often very young people too.
    Poppy is cared for by a wonderful woman and her husband (both registered) and because she is with children of different ages (rather than in a nursery where children are separated into groups according to age) her speech and vocabulary are way ahead of children 6 months older than her. She is in a home environment and has so many toys, outings and playgroup sessions - it's fantastic. They are also much more flexible than nurseries.
    Poppy was 7 months when she first went and hand on heart - we have had no tears at all when leaving her there! All weekend she repeatedly calls out for her minder and I love the fact that she is so happy and content there.
    They are also governed in exactly the same way as nurseries by Ofsted so as long as you go to a registered one with great references you'll be fine!
  • Sonny also goes to a cm & has done since he was 8 months (he is now 21 months) as tbh I found the nurseries to be too much of a business. I want my son with someone who is like a 2nd mum or auntie, not a series of staff who can be replaced. She is also really flexible & we often switch days or sometimes I will leave him for an hour longer but she doesn't charge as another day I will collect him early for an appointment etc.

    He goes to her 4 days a week & they do a playgroups 3 days per week, with visits to the park & other activities all the time & he mixes with all older kids as he is the youngest which has made him so independent & advanced in terms of his abilities. He is going to preschool nursery in January next year but will still spend his afternoons with his cm & if I do have another baby will def send that baby to her too.

    The one major benefit I can see with a nursery is they tend to have longer opening hours. My cm starts at 8 am & finishes at 5.30pm which would be a problem if I had a commute to work or didn't work flexible hours myself.
  • I've just confirmed with the cm that I'm gonna use her and I feel good having read these posts. I'm gonna put him on a waiting list for a nursery and decide if and when a place comes up.
    I've spoken to work though and they are being rubbish about the hours I've requested. Just anotehr thing to worry about. S x
  • I use a childminder and the love and attention that they give is outstanding. They often take them to meet with other childminders or to groups such as our local children's centre organises meet-ups with all the childminders so all the kids get to gether then and play. there have been trips and outings and the ammount of art and projects that my child came back with has been amazing!
    good luck with going back to work and getting your hours sorted.
  • Hiya,
    When i go back to work full time (am only p/t at the mo) I'll b usin a childminder 4 a few days a week. Was talkin to a friend bout childcare today and she asked y i'd chosen childminder not nursery and tbh i'd never even considered a nursery. Much prefer the idea of a childminer, more homelyi think
  • Ladies can I be really cheeky and ask how much you pay for your cm. I'm only 30 weeks pregnant but will have to return to work and am trying to do a bit of research before I actually star contacting people. Thanks Debs x
  • I've been told it can range from ne where between 4 and 8 ?? per hour, altho i haven't actually contacted ne1 yet and i spose it would vary from place to place xx
  • my cm is 4 pounds per hour which is the lower end, but tbh anything over 6 would be expensive imo.
  • My cm is a measly ??2.75 ph!! I don't know anyone else who works for this little! In our area - the going rate for a cm is between ??2.25 and ??3.50 so very low compared to the rest of the country.
  • blimey that is low, where do you live donna? South london 4 is about the lowest I've heard of.
  • My los have all started off at a cm then when 2yr old, went p/t to cm and p/t to our local preschool nursery. Our cm charges ??2.75 and all food etc is included. Nursery for my 3yr old is ??2.96/hour, snacks inc. They're opening a baby unit soon charging ??4/hr, but most nurseries overcharge i think!
    Both my cms have been great!
  • Beebee - we live near Warrington in the North West. I can't believe what a fantastic service she provides for so little financial reward!
  • In Somerset CM's are between ??2.50 and 3.75 (I haven't come across one over ??3.75 yet. I'm just in the process of getting a CM. When my oh asked why not a nursery, I said that I feel the quality of my lo's day will be much better. I don't want my lo being looked after by newly qualified nursery nurses (and that's not a dig at them). Many people talk about 'the system' referring to pre-school to GCSE's and it's this 'system' that I'm trying to avoid. In particular the education side of nurseries. Education doesn't just come from text books and being able to write before school isn't a priority for me when considering my son's development... I may well teach him such skills myself when his is 6 months from starting school but even then It will only be if he is showing an interest.
  • Hi ladies.

    We are TTC our 1st at the moment but this is already something I have been thinking about!! I think I would like to send my LO (when we are blessed to have one!) to a childminder. Can anyone tell me if they have some flexibility regards when LO goes to them? My DH works 8.30-5.30pm Mon - Fri(leaves home at 8am & gets back at 6pm, I on the other hand work shifts and these vary from day to day basis and also shifts are either days or nights (not in the same week).
    Would a childminder be more flexible than a nursery?

    Hey Donna&Poppy!! Wow!! that is cheap!! Where in the Warrington area is ure Childminder as we live just outside Warrington.
  • Hi there NowMrs M - it is cheap and she's fantastic! We live in Lowton, how about you??x
  • OMG Donna& Poppy!!! What a small world!! So do we!! We are at the Lowton St Lukes end, how about you?
  • Same end!! On the Lowton/Golborne border - opposite where the Horns Inn pub used to be on Lowton Road!!
    What a really small world it is!! How about you??
  • Live off Slag Lane on the estate that built at end of both Braithwaite Rd & Garton Dr!!
  • That's where my childminder lives!! What a small world!! xx
  • I'll have to get her details off you so I can get in touch with her when we finally become pregnant & start to get things organised.
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