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August 2nd, 2018

Nurseries or Nannies? Which is right for my child?

Benefits of Nursery

A nursery is a good option if you would like your child’s learning and care to be structured. All Nurseries have to be registered with an authority, in the UK it is Ofsted. Each nursery will be regularly inspected and their findings will be published publicly so you are able to see how the nursery is doing and if there are any problems.

There are many advantages to sending your child to nursery such as:

1. Helps to prepare your child for school

At Nursery each staff member will be looking after two or three children each thus your child won’t have all the attention at all times, this is important as they should learn how to do things alone as at school the teacher's attention will be split between at least 15 children. At nursery your child will learn how to interact, play and be taught in a group situation, this will help the child gain social skills which are vital when trying to make new friends.

2. A wider range of activities

At Nursery there tends to be a lot more activities on offer such as baking, playing with a large variety of toys and games, doing arts and crafts; activities your child might not have access to at home. Nurseries have greater messy play than if you were to play at home. At nursery, your child might also have access to large toys such as sand pits, climbing frames or paddling pools that might be too big to fit in at home.

3. Benefits parents

You can meet other nursery parents who can lend support and favours such as picking them up from the nursery or helping with babysitting.

The disadvantages to Nursery

1. Strict opening hours

Nurseries they have set opening and closing times and some nurseries charge you for late pickups, this, however, can be avoided if you have an Au Pair or Childminder. Also, some nurseries close for a few weeks in summer thus will have to find back up care.

“The inflexibility of opening hours resulted in me having to pay extra to drop my two children off early and keep them later as I am working a Full Time job.” Mrs Hardie, working mother.

2. Sick Policy

At nursery, your child is around many children the likelihood of them getting ill is very high. This would result in you having to find emergency care or having to take the day off work when they are ill.

Advantages of having a Nanny

1. Complete control

When hiring a Nanny you have total control over what your child does, when they do it and how they do it. You can also ask the Nanny for weekly reports on your child’s development, this wouldn’t be possible if your child was at nursery.

2. One to One attention

Nannies offer sole focused care for your child, unlike in nursery when where there is approximately 3 child per childminder. As your child has the Nanny’s complete attention, the nanny can get to know your child’s needs and interests in more depth and can tailor the day to suit these qualities, this can make the child feel more secure. Additionally nannies offer the opportunity for a child to be at home in their familiar environment, taking naps in their own bed, eating food they are comfortable with. This can be particularly beneficial to anxious children.

3. Hours that suit you

Anyone who is a working parent understands the trouble of nurseries have strict and set opening hours. Privately hiring a Nanny, you can set working hours that best suits your routine, whether it is Full Time, Part Time or a mixture.

4. Nannies can teach your child a language

It is becoming more common nowadays for parents to raise their children bilingually. You can choose a Nanny that speaks a language of your choice who can help teach and develop the child’s communication and writing skills in the language. This, however, is a lot harder if your child attends Nursery.

5. A better relationship

Due to the close working relationship between the families and their nannies, nannies will often help out when needed, such as additional hours subject to prior arrangement. This can be reassuring to a parent as they know they have childcare when they need it. Due to the personal relationship, it is easier to discuss any issues there may be and come up with a solution together.

“ I choose to be a Nanny instead of a childminder in a nursery because you have a much closer relationship to the child as they are your sole responsibility and you spend much more time with them. As a Nanny to one or two children you can arrange fun day trips and activities such as going to museums or the playground which would be near to impossible with 20 children even with shared care.” Laura, Nanny for 6 years.

Disadvantages of having a Nanny

1. No regulation

The Nanny is only regulated by their employers. Nannies aren’t required to have any educational or child development qualifications. It is up to the parent whether the nanny is screened and their references are checked. However, at Little Ones we have extensive vetting procedures and will only send your profiles of candidates who have been DBS checked and their verbal references verified.

2. Less social interaction

When your child attends nursery and primary school they are automatically put into everyday contact with multiple children and taught how to learn and play in a group situation, however, one to one sole care does not. The lack of social encounters with other children from a young age can make their first day of school all the more nerve-wracking as they don’t know how to interact and play in groups.

That said Nannies are able to arrange playdates and social activities such as going to the park or tennis lessons in a supervised capacity. Although this may not be as intense as in a Nursery, experts believe that in a child’s early years this can be better for the child’s development. For parent’s who are particularly concerned about social interaction there is the option of sharing a Nanny with another family, this can be more affordable than nursery with all the flexibility a nanny offers as both families split the cost.

3. Paperwork and payroll that comes with employing someone

As you would expect when becoming an employer you have the hassle of filling in paperwork and paying their taxes. However Little Ones offers a Payroll service that can give you advice and help make employing someone easier.

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