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We are all aware that as parents, after our parental leave we are encouraged to go back to work but what happens to our little bundles of joy? What do we do with them? Some of us are lucky to have our extended family around to help with childcare, but the majority of us will need the help of childcare settings.
The first thing that you need to ascertain is what kind of childcare you need and what you think would work for your family dynamic. All settings will have had an OFSTED report (unless very new) which you can check online, or if you're struggling to find feedback, posting in local Facebook Groups works a treat.
Types of childcare and how to choose which one:
- Private Day Nursery
- Nursery School
- Nursery Class within a school
- Childminder Setting
- Nanny - Live in/Live out
When going down the nursery route, its helpful to be aware that there are different options depending on your child’s age. For younger children, day nursery is the only option as they take babies from as young as 6 weeks old. This is ideal for parents who absolutely have to go straight back into work and need full days of childcare.
For children over the age of 3, Nursery School becomes an option, whereby they can attend for a full school day (9-3pm) or solely morning / afternoon sessions. Again this is completely dependent on your individual needs as a family.
To find the nurseries in your area please check your local boroughs website, which should list them all. If you are thinking about a school nursery, you'll need to contact them to check their admission procedure - it’s important to do this early on around when your child is 2 years old, to avoid missing the admission deadline.
Having a childminder is another option if you want your child to be with other children, but in a much smaller setting. There is often one or two adults caring for the children in a home environment.
Childminders can have up to 6 children of all different ages and often do the school runs, as well as caring for younger ones. It’s important to find a suitable childminder that you feel meets your child’s needs.
Recognised Childminders can be found on your local boroughs website with OFSTED reports available for you to view.
So this is obviously my field of expertise!
There are different types of nannies depending on what your family needs. You can hire a nanny part time, full time, ad hoc, living in and living out! Plenty of options!
I'd suggest calculating the number of hours and the key times of the day you would need help along with how many days of the week and whether you need a driver. The nanny will essentially take over from you, so they will be doing all the things that you do daily, because of this you need to make sure they are capable of the responsibilities.
Always listen to your gut! You need to 'click' with your nanny as they will become a part of your family and will be working very intimately with you all. You both need to feel comfortable in addressing any matters or issues and you need to be able to trust them.
There are lots of places to find nannies - agencies are popular and are useful for those families that do not have the time to search themselves, but they come with hefty fees!
A few other places I would recommend to look for a nanny, which I’ve used for myself as a nanny and as a parent when searching for a childminder for my son:
Hint: your local Facebook Group is a great way to find recommended nannies in your area.
I highly recommend doing your research and using these resources online - I've personally had great experiences and think they are definitely worth a look.
Important Notice: Breastfeeding is best. Kendamil Follow-on milk is only for babies over 6 months, and should be used as part of a mixed diet. Please talk to your Healthcare Professional.