Lately I’ve had quite a few messages asking my opinion on childcare options. Having a profession within the education setting sees me inundated with questions, queries, reassurances and general musings (which I love, honestly, ask away!). The play school/ nursery/ childminder/ pre-school debate is always something I see on the internet and now social media has become it’s own power house of potential judgement it makes the decision even more challenging. I recently read a fantastic blog post by the gorgeous Susie (linked here) on her experiences with her first born on his route in and out (and in again) of nursery/ pre-school. Her words rang SO true with me. Not the same as our experience. HOWEVER I feel that was exactly her point. Everyone’s decisions are made for a variety of life reasons. Our circumstances lead us down our own path and this is what I’d like to put as a preface to my blog post today.
I went back to work when Evelyn was 10 months old. Partly out of choice, partly for financial reasons. That was never something we could choose. Before having Evelyn I always expected her to go to a Nursery – “surely that’s the only choice?” – the voice in my head told me. I had a very few friends who had children to call on for recent advice which meant that it came down to what was the ‘done thing’. Knowing I had to go back to work meant I knew I had a little while to think about it. How wrong was I? According to my experience getting the childcare in place as early as possible is the thing to do!
Seeing as Evelyn was only 10 months when I went back to work I did stop and consider the options. A friend had mentioned a child minder that she adored and that had been a life saver since going back to work. Hmmmm, I’d not initially considered a child minder. “Surly they need to be surrounded by children in order to get fully developed in social development?” Wrong. Knowing your child is the best way to support their social development. Knowing what enables them to thrive is the best way to support their overall development. I was blown away with how much Evelyn responded to her child minder.
Evelyn went to Kim 3 days a week to begin with with my Mother in Law picking up the other 2 days when I want back full time. We initially went to meet Kim in her home and we instantly knew she was the one (we both fell in love). She became my right arm, my godsend and Evelyn was happy. This is what matters most. How will your child be happy. When children are happy… children develop… when children develop… children learn. In Susie’s blog she talks about how at that moment in time, being home with her was the way for her child to be happy, develop and learn. There is nothing wrong with the choice you make about childcare as long as it works for you as a family and your child is happy.
Financially for us, the child minder was the most cost efficient – click here to view Martin Lewis’ Tips for Childcare Finance. This will hopefully answer some of your questions on saving money with childcare and ensuring you get the best out of your situation.
So, whatever choice you make about your child’s care remember that they are YOUR children and YOUR decision. Even pre-school Nurseries are not compulsory (although I will always recommend children having the opportunity to settle into a school setting before they become school age (reception age) as this will always ensure a smooth transition. Evelyn has been at School Nursery since September and is in love with it, doesn’t want to leave and has grown up so much since starting.
Go with your gut and listen to your heart. Ensure it makes your life work as smoothly as possible and don’t listen to negativity.
I hope this has helped, please comment below if you have any other questions or want to share your story.
Thanks for reading ❤