New Year…New Childcare

Deciding which childcare options are best for your family

Nanny

Nannies provide one-to-one care for your child in your family home, which allows for plenty of attention and stimulation for your child to develop. Having childcare in your 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 will be more flexible than other childcare providers as they can do the homework, dinner and bedtime. All nannies should have a valid police check undertaken on them (DBS) and would have a background in childcare. 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.

Nursery

Nurseries provide childcare in a group setting to children of a similar age group. The nursery staff are trained to create a fun and happy environment for your child to play and develop in a group. This can help them gain confidence and develop social skills. The age range of nursery enrolment varies from each nursery, starting from birth to 4 years old. If you’re on a low income, you may be able 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 and closing hours which is an issue if you work late. The nursery will also close for holiday periods, which means you would need to ensure you have alternative childcare options in case of any of these eventualities.

Childminder

Childminders are registered to care for only six children younger than 8 years old (including their own child). Only three of these should be 5 years old or younger, and only one should be under 1 year old. The number of children the childminder may have will be dependent on the size of her home and if she employs an assistant. As the children can be of varying age, it means your child would benefit from mixing with children of different ages. One of the main cons is not all childminders collect children from school/nursery. Childminders are inspected regularly to ensure that they provide good quality care.

Manjit Shah, Director of Buttons Nanny Agency, December 2016