Are you a working mum who’s just returned to work after many months off after having your baby? It will have been a big wrench to go back to work and leave your baby with a child minder, nanny or nursery. How did you make your choice and are you pleased wtih the way things are panning out? Let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of childcare options:
Firstly how do you make your choice?
Which is the most important factor to you?
- Opening hours or
- Whatever isÂ theÂ best choice for your child
What are the options and advantages of childcare?
Nanny’s can fit in with your hours and can eitherÂ daily or live-in. YouÂ will need to have a spare room and not mind another adult living in your house/space if you go for the live-in option. They tend to work longer hours (10-12 per day) and can be useful if you have to leave early or get home late or do overnight travel and your chidl’s day will not be too disrupted. When people complain about the cost of a nanny they forget to add up their full hours, most full time nannies work hard and long hours approx. 50-60 hours per week. If they are working a third more than the average person of course they will need toÂ be paid more! Check references yourself do not solely rely on an nanny agency.
You can find these by contacting your local council children’s services department, they wil lhaveÂ a full list of locally registered minders (all minders should be registered now and hold up to date CRB checks. Some child minders are great and really care well for your child whilst others may have too many children or the wrong ages to fit in with yours. If there are several children under five they will be competing for attention, whereas if your child is the youngest he or she could well get alot of attention particularly from other children who tend to like looking after or playing with babies or toddlers. Child minders may be a convenient option for you and cheaper than a nanny. If you have irregular hours check they can accomodate your plans at the outset, some finish at 5-6 and that’s the end of the day for them. Ask lots of questions about how your child will spend their day, what food they will eat and what do you need to provide each day?
Nursery or Day Care Centre.
These cater for larger numbers of children which can be a bit daunting for very young chldren especially young babies. Do not be bowled over by their extensive range of activites, babies do not need all this stimulation atÂ a few months old. I prefer a home enviroment for a cihld under 2 unless you have no other option. Some babies adapt well and others cry alot, it can be quite distressing leaving your child at a new nursery, try to leave your child with the same person each day it wlll help build the bond and make your son or daughter feel more secure. ItÂ will also make the parting easier for you too. Take any special toys or comfortersÂ they like in with them, report any concerns or signd of illness or sleep issues you’ve had and ask them to keep to the sane routine as you at home. exoect a few tears at the beginning but if this continues fr some time, maybe you should waitÂ until your child is a little older if possible. Most nurseries prefer your childÂ to come in on consecutive days so your child can adapt better.
If you are a confident parent your child should not be too difficult to leave wth a good carer so go, give them your blessings and a kiss and rest assured your child will have an enjoyable day and don’t be suprised if they burst into tears the minute they see you when you return!
Think carefully about the long term, the cheapest option may not be the best, your child learns so much in those first few years. Making an early investment in your child’s care and education can really pay dividends.
Do you have any childcare questions?