Childcare Options for the New Year

If you are going back to work in the New Year, one of the things you may be thinking about are childcare options for your children.

Nannies provide one-to-one care for your child in your family home, which allows for plenty of stimulation for your child to develop. Having childcare at home allows your child to adjust more gradually to you returning to work, along with the familiarity of being at home with all their own toys and routines.  If you work long hours, a nanny can be flexible, as they can do the homework, dinner and bedtime. Although employing a nanny is expensive and you could look into the option of a nanny share with another family. If your nanny is Ofsted registered, you can use childcare vouchers to help offset the cost of paying for a nanny.

Childminders are Ofsted registered and provide childcare from their homes.  The number of the children for each childminder varies, as it depends on the ages of children. It allows children to make friends with other children of different ages. Depending on the school your child attends, some childminders will also collect your child from school. This option is great for working parents with older children especially. Childminders are trained in the EYFS curriculum and also can support older children with their homework. One of the cons is that childminders do get booked in advance so spaces hard to obtain.

Nurseries provide childcare in a group setting to children of a similar age group. The nursery staff are trained to create a fun environment for your child to play and develop, helping them gain confidence and social skills. The age range of nursery enrolment varies, starting from birth to 4 years old. Low income families may be eligible to claim tax credits, to help towards the cost of childcare. All 3-4 years old are eligible to 10-16 hours free childcare per week, which will also help to offset your childcare costs. One of the main cons is that if your child is sick, they cannot attend nursery. Also, nurseries have opening/closing hours and will also close for holiday periods.

Grandparents are a wonderful source of childcare, as you are leaving your child with a family member. Childcare would be at you’re your home or theirs, making it a familiar environment for children. They know the children well and it gives you peace of mind that the children are being taking care as per your instruction. Age or health of grandparents could be an issue, as some may find it hard to care for small children all week. Also, some grandparents may not be in a position to take the children out as much or have the social networks to allow for children to interact with other children of a similar age on a regular basis.

Mrs Manjit Shah, Director of Buttons Nanny Agency, December 2019