Now, this is the one million pound question on every parent’s mind. Ultimately, it will all very much depends on your personal choices and preferences for your child. So here, I have laid bare all the pros and cons for you.
Both nurseries and childminders are regulated by OFSTED who may carry out planned as well as unplanned visits to ensure that good practice and standards are kept up. Ratings granted range from outstanding to inadequate highlighting areas of excellence as well as those in need of improvement.
Continuity of care
Nurseries may have a high turnover of staff which in turn takes away the opportunity for children to establish long-term relationships with their carers.
Childminders may look after children from the baby stage all the way to the end of primary school. Siblings may also be able to go to the same childminder regardless of their age.
In nurseries settings, various staff may be looking after the children, and therefore the opportunity to offer daily feedback to parents may be missed at the end of the day.
Thanks to having to manage a smaller number of children, childminders are able to offer daily updates as they care for the children themselves
Nurseries cater for a large number of children and may have food prepared and cooked off-site which may offer limited or very generic options for children with dietary needs.
Childminders will always endeavour to offer daily home-cooked meals catering for children the range of the dietary needs.
Nurseries have strict opening and closing times and are unlikely to accommodate parents work patterns. Late pick-ups may incur a surcharge.
Nurseries will operate closely in line with school holidays.
Childminders are more flexible and may therefore be able to accommodate parents who may have irregular work pattern, start work early and even offer evening or overnight service.
As self – employed individuals, childminders may take holidays at a time which may not be convenient for parents. If the childminder is not part of a network of other local trusted childminders, it might be difficult to have another childminder stepping in.
Out-of-site learning opportunities
Nurseries’ outdoor area may be larger but taking children out- on trips may be a logistical nightmare due to the large number of children they look after.
Childminders may take children on day trips to the local park or allotment, educational venues (museums, nurseries, aquariums, zoos, farms…) as a way of compensating for the lack of a larger outdoor space as it may be a regular size back garden but also as a way of boosting children’s learning experience.
Due to numbers in nurseries, they may not be room for this type of behaviour.
One of the most common concerns in regards to childminders is preferential treatment if they are also caring for their own children.
Regardless of the number being cared for within any setting, standards needs to be upheld to prevent and deal with any potential safeguarding
Skills and qualifications
Both childminders and nurseries staff have childcare qualifications, are subject to OFSTED inspections and have to work within the EYFS framework. The bonus for childminders is that they may also be parents and therefore have first- hand experience in caring for children.Both childminders and nurseries staff have childcare qualifications, are subject to OFSTED inspections and have to work within the EYFS framework. The bonus for childminders is that they may also be parents and therefore have first- hand experience in caring for children.
Children having access to a wider range and amount of children may enable them to develop a wider range of social skills.
The childminding setting may limit children exploration of some social skills especially if the number of children is very low and there is a clash of personality.
Nurseries may have a rigid timetable which does not allow flexibility for children individual needs such as nap time
A childminder may not even have a set timetable and be more inclined to adapt time for the various activities to suit the needs of the children.
Have you made up your mind yet?
Well, if you have decided that a childminder better suits you, Advance With Us Childminding is happy to help. I keep the number of children I look after small to enable me to deliver a holistic and more personable care. Children are learning through play and use the environment all around as the classroom. I ensure all children are able to achieve all their learning goals from Early Years to the end of Key Stage 2 without pressure in a loving, safe and happy atmosphere. If you would like to discuss your childminding needs further or just would like to arrange a viewing of my lovely setting, please do not hesitate to contact me on 07958 457 085.