Are you looking for childcare at the moment?
Maybe you need to start looking for childcare but you aren’t sure where or how to start.
Maybe your child was due to start somewhere before lockdown but it never happened. Maybe your maternity leave came to an end during lockdown and you are having to look for childcare for your child during a pandemic. Maybe your childcare facility has had to close, or they’ve reduced their capacity and no longer have space. Maybe you’re looking to move your child to a new childcare provider. Maybe you’re moving and will have to start a new search in a new area. Maybe you had plans for your child to attend a certain setting but now after the past few months, you think a different type of setting would suit them better. If any of this resonates, I’m hoping I can help you by answering a few questions about different childcare options.
I also run webinars on this topic where I delve deeper in to common worries, questions and the different options open to you. I talk about what is important when searching for childcare and how to go about it. I give you a list of questions to ask as well as lots of tips for the settling in period - not just in the run up but also things to consider after your child has started. I want parents to feel confident, not stressed when returning to work. You can find out more and book the next webinar, on March 1st, here on my website.
The basic differences between childcare providers. There are various options: Childminder:- Childminders follow the EYFS and are Ofsted Registered. They work from their own home and can look after small groups of children of mixed ages. They are self-employed and will each have individual policies and contract arrangements. Normally open all day. Nanny:- A Nanny will look after your child from your home and will be employed by you. You have to pay their National insurance and Tax and pension if they opt in to one. They are sometimes Ofsted Registered but do not have to be.
Pre-school:- Follow the EYFS and are Ofsted Registered. Pre-Schools are for children aged 2-5 and often are open between 9am - 3pm term time only. Often pre-schools offer a half day or full day option. Day Nursery:- Follow the EYFS and are Ofsted Registered. Offer care for children from 6 weeks old until school age. Open all day. Children are usually looked after in separate rooms dependent on their age group. School Nursery- Attached to a school, School maintained Nurseries are led by a qualified teacher. Children are normally able to access from the September after their 3rd Birthday.
I am a Childminder and have also worked as a EYFS Teacher in school. I, like so many Childminders I know, have always had to explain and prove the point that we are qualified and get assessed and monitored in exactly the same way as Nurseries (by Ofsted). People will often think that a Childminder is unqualified or more of a babysitter. This is not the case and often we are highly qualified and passionate individuals who just want to be self-employed, running our own settings that we can lead in our own unique way. The term 'minder' has a lot to answer for I think, as we do so much more than this!
I did some research and asked people for some positives for both Day Nurseries and Childminding Settings. As you can see, what was a positive for some was the opposite for others – e.g., the size of the setting, or how children are grouped. It is completely an individual choice and no shame or pressure should be felt by anyone for the choices they make. This blog post is about providing information so that parents can make informed choices for their family.
"Nurseries tend to have more resources"
“There are more people and children at the setting”
“Always someone working – no holidays to figure out”.
“Children are in groups with children of their own age”
“All food is normally provided”
“Can be more flexible with what your child needs, their likes and dislikes”
“Less potential illness, from both the children and the childminder”
“Less people to get to know, the childminder gets to know your child really well”
“More personalised service – my Childminder came and got my child and had them at the weekend when I went in to labour!”
“The children mix with different ages”.
“They get to go out more to different places”
How to decide what would be best for you and how to approach a setting: The best thing to do is speak to (and visit if you’re allowed) a few different settings. It’s a bit like buying a house. It’s often not until you see a few places that you know what it is you do (and what you don’t) want. Do not immediately discount any option without giving it full consideration.
If you are feeling:
Confused about the different options and what would be best for your family
Unsure about what to look out for and what questions to ask.
Unconfident about making visits and asking for what you need.
Worried about leaving your child, the transition and settling your child in.
Unaware of the things to prepare for after your child has started childcare
That you need some reassurance...
Then please join me on my next Online Session where I will cover all of this as well as offering a Q&A at the end to answer specific questions.
Finally, here are some good websites and places to find out more about where to look for childcare.
www.childcare.co.uk - providers and yourself can list your requirements. You may need to pay something to make contact with providers.
Your Local Authority - they will have a list of all the providers in your area. you should be able to search online for a list.
Social Media - some providers will share their work online - on Instagram or Facebook for example, or they may have a website. My Instagram account is www.Instagram.com/rosie.orchids.and.dandelions and my website is www.orchidsanddandelions.co.uk
For information with regards to financing your childcare and any help you may be eligible for, please go to https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.