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    Childminder or Nursery? Which is better

    What are the Benefits of a Nursery and Childminder?

    Struggling to decide whether to send your child to a childminder or nursery?  This can be one of the toughest decisions for any parent as there are many benefits and drawbacks of both.  Below you can see some of the key benefits of both to help you with your decision.

    Childminder or nursery? You decide:

    childminder or nursery


    childminder or nursery

    Advantages of a Childminder

    For most childminders:

    • More intimate - can get one to one attention, or with very small groups, which can make them safer (see how we stay safe)
    • Home environment - usually in a home which helps your child settle as they are used to this environment
    • Continuity of care - your child will get familiar with one or few carers, therefore building a strong relationship



    For some childminders:

    • More flexible - can help with school drop-offs, and offer flexible start and finish times to fit around work and other commitments
    • Regular trips - childminders have the opportunity to take out their children more often and some take advantage of this
    • Meals - often get home cooked meals (see how your child stays healthy here)
    • Get to mix with other age groups, can learn from older children or become role models for younger ones

    Advantages of a Nursery

    For most nurseries:

    • Lots to do - nurseries have a wide range of activities for your child to get involved with (see our activities)
    • More children - will help your child develop their social skills and gain confidence
    • More staff - meaning the nursery is unlikely to be closed for unforeseen circumstances like illness to staff members
    • More structured and organised - your child will benefit from a routine that can help with the transition onto school

    For some nurseries:

    • Different staff - get to mix with a number of different staff which can improve their social skills and confidence
    • Better education - staff are trained to create a safe and stimulating environment for your child to enjoy and develop in (see how your child can develop here)
    • More funding - greater access to funding as can access workplace funding etc (see what help is available for you)

    Disadvantages of a Childminder

    For most childminders:

    • Random closures - if the childminder is sick or away you may have to find alternative childcare yourself



    For some childminders:

    • Less varied activities - childminders tend to not have much activities to do with their children can lead to less stimulated children
    • Your child is less priority - in some cases your childminder will also look after their own children, meaning their child will likely get more attention

    Disadvantages of a Nursery

    For most nurseries:
    • Less flexibility - strict procedures and opening times
    • Overbearing - A lot of nurseries are usually very active, and can get very loud.  This can be overwhelming for young children or children who are quite shy

    For some nurseries:

    • Less frequent outings - nurseries tend to not go on as many outings and are restricted to where they can go due to large number of children
    • Pay for unused hours - as most nurseries charge per session and not per hour parents tend to pay for hours they have not used
    • Catch bad habits and illnesses - Mixing with lots of children more likely to pick up illnesses and learn negative behaviour like biting

    Generally, a nursery is better if your child is more outgoing and confident as there are more children for them to play with and a lot of activities to do.  If your child is the quiet type or needs that extra care or support then possibly a childminder is for you as they will get the personal attention to help give them that extra confidence.

    Personally, I would only recommend a nursery for children over two, as the younger ones tend to need extra personal care.  This is supported by research (early years education) that suggests that children up to the age of 3 progress better with childminders.  After which a nursery or a combination of childminder and pre-school is better suited.

    The ultimate decision of whether to choose a childminder or nursery depends on you and what you want for your child.  A benefit for one parent could be a negative for you.  Though, I hope this article has helped you in your decision.

    Which would you choose?

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    Find out how we manage to balance the benefits of a childminder and a nursery below:

    How we give the benefits of a nursery

    How we give the benefits of a childminder

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