The Daily Blab is now going to consider a nursery setting for childcare, and the pros and cons. We have previously considered the pros and cons of a childminder, and also hiring a nanny. The option or options you choose will be determined by your needs/flexibility and affordability that you require.
- socialisation, your child will be able to socialise with a range of children from different age ranges, your child will also socialise with adults and must have a key worker assigned according to statutory requirements
- environment, nurseries are regulated according to the building, amount of staff and certified health and safety personnel available (other additional criteria is considered), nursery environments differ on this basis, ranging from a home environment, to a busier and more lively environment
- number of children in the nursery depending on the environment you choose, it can be busy or quiet depending on what will suit your child’s personality best
- staff ratios and attention, ratios are determined by statutory frameworks, a nursery cannot go over the ratio numbers however, they can go below the ratio, this would obviously cost more for the nursery and therefore this price difference may be charged to the parent
- food, your child should receive a balanced diet, with fresh produce. This should be included in your daily rate
- nappies, largely depends on the nursery you choose, some include nappies in the price, if not, this is an additional cost which you will need to consider in your daily rate
- milk, in nearly every nursery, milk is provided by the parents as there is such a huge variety and range of formula, and breast milk which would need to be in a sterilised bag and stored in the fridge. The nursery is obligated to store breast milk correctly
- staff availability, the nursery should always have available cover and therefore it wouldn’t matter if a worker falls ill. However, if this happens to be your child’s key worker, this can cause upset in routine for that day, although nurseries tend to familarise your child with several workers encase of sickness, maternity cover etc.
- exposure to germs, more likely that your child will come into contact with germs or illnesses, although this is good for the immune system but may be tiring for parents if it is a repeat occurrence
- if your child falls ill the nursery will not accept your child until they are better, which may cause difficulties for working parents
- price, there are a range of different types of nurseries (montessori, steiner, mainstream and others), it is widely accepted that the price of childcare and in particular nursery fees have risen, the government does have some incentives for childcare in nurseries that can be found here
- vouchers, nurseries accept many varieties of voucher schemes through employment which benefits parents through tax relief
- OFSTED reports, nurseries are regulated and are obligated to follow EYFS criteria, it is hugely important to read the most recent OFSTED reports for the nursery you are considering as this will inform you how well the nursery is rated, find a report here
- tours, parents can tour the nursery facility which can provide a view if the environment would be suitable for your child, it will also allow you to observe how other children interact with staff, with other childcare options such as a childminder, this is more difficult to achieve, take a look at The Frenchie Mummy’s post about things to look out for during your tour!
- paying during holiday periods, most nurseries request to be paid a set fee monthly/weekly, with no relief if you go on holiday with your child or the nursery is closed
- notice, most nurseries will require notice if you wish to remove your child from their care
- secure, through OFSTED and other governing bodies, the nursery must be secure from access to the general public
The option you choose should work for you and your family, it is so difficult to think about returning to work and finding childcare. You want your child to flourish in whatever setting you choose. There is so much to consider when finding that arrangement that works for you, but have faith, after all the searching and the research you will find something that works for everyone, it might even be a combination!
Resource for finding childcare- here
Looking for a childminder- read our post here
Considering hiring a nanny- get all the info here