What is better for 11mo in nursery?

(41 Posts)
MisterSafetyCatchIsNotOn Sat 15-Jun-13 20:41:46

I have just got new dream job, hurray! However, it leaves me with childcare decisions to make and I wondered if anyone has any advice for me?

DS is 11 months old and we are planning to start him in nursery in a couple of weeks as I don't know anything about local childminders and those I have contacted are all full. We have found a nice local nursery, very big garden, good ofsted, low staff turnover etc. but I am still worried that he is young to spend long days in a nursery environment, especially as he has not spent much time at all away from us yet. He has had one afternoon with a friend that he knows quite well and a few evenings but he was mostly in bed then anyway.

My new employers have said they are very flexible about hours, it is a 2 day a week position but could be worked over 2 full days, 3 shorter days, 4 half days etc. There might even be some scope to do a few hours remotely. So what would be best for DS do you think? There is a long commute involved, about 1hr 20 minutes each way, so I was thinking that it would be better to get everything done in the 2 days and maximise my time with him, but that will leave him with very long days in nursery (about 10-11 hours, DH also has a long commute so can't pick him up earlier). 3 shorter days might be better but with the commute he would still be in for 7+ hours on each day so we couldn't go out or do anything else with the day and obviously it would then work out more expensive (with childcare + extra travel costs), although we can afford it if necessary.

So any thoughts? Better to have 3 full days at home with me and 2 long days in nursery or should I try to spread it out a bit? Thanks!

insancerre Sun 16-Jun-13 17:34:12

The nursery you have found sounds lovely- I would agree that a smaller baby room is better for the babies- and a maximum of 6 is about right.
All of the baby rooms I have worked in have all felt very homely- they are designed to be like that as is is the best environment for them.
Also, what happens if the childminder is ill or on holiday? At least with the nursery you can practically they will always be there.

TinyTear Mon 17-Jun-13 13:23:00

Daughter FT at nursery since she was 8 months and she is now 16 months. she loves it there, is happy, doesn't even wave goodbye when we drop her off as she is too pleased to see her friends/the staff.

I visited some childminders and they weren't for me. My daughter gets the home environment at home...

MummyOfSunbeam Wed 19-Jun-13 14:23:55

No experience to share OP but I am in a similar position - might be able to adjust hours and facing the same question! So I am reading with interest.

gameofmoans Thu 27-Jun-13 14:52:19

Another thing to consider in deciding about longer vs shorter days is your dc's nap times - I considered doing a half day at one point but realised that it would be around 2pm by the time I picked DS up which is smack in the middle of his afternoon nap (he can sleep as late as 3.30) so either I would need to pick him up early enough to have time to get him home for his nap or if not there's no point in picking him up until 3.30 as I don't want him woken up half way through his nap. Worth thinking about if your shorter day options could mean drop offs or pick ups at nap times.
Fwiw DS has been at nursery FT since 10 months and is thriving - he has settled in brilliantly, loves his keyworker, has a great routine and we couldn't be happier with his quality of care. I don't really get the whole CMs are superior to nurseries thing, I actually feel the opposite but that wasn't the purpose of the OP so I won't hijack the thread for that purpose as others have done...

MaryPoppinsBag Thu 27-Jun-13 16:43:04

Gameofmoans - you did hijack it though and entered into the CM v.s Nursery debate! wink

OP not sure what I'd do. 2 full days is an attractive option as it gives you 3 wonderful days with your DC.

No point in doing the CM v nursery debate if you've already decided on nursery. But can I offer my opinion as a CM who has worked in a nursery too ...

I think two long days are quite difficult for little ones, whether in a nursery or someone else's home. So 3 days might be better. Especially if you can drop off later and DH can pick up.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 16:54:17

I would start with 3 or 4 shorter days until he's more used to being left, then go to 2 long days if your work will allow this.

I think a good nursery is better than a mediocre childminder, but a good childminder is better than a good nursery. All you can do is pick the option that you feel happiest with.

gameofmoans Fri 28-Jun-13 10:14:30

Mary - I suppose I did, sorry OP! Did genuinely mean to just leave a bit of advice about nap times from my own experience though!

AliBingo Fri 28-Jun-13 11:46:05

My DD does 2 long days a week in nursery and its working really well, she loves it. She started at 7 months old and settled well.

notcitrus Fri 28-Jun-13 13:32:33

Both mine started nursery at 11mo, staff in baby room remember ds from 3 years earlier and two of them have adult children. The long days didn't seem to be an issue as the slightly tricky bit with dd was picking up, when she realised I'd been away. So from that perspective fewer long days better. Ds loved it from the outset.

I prefer split of either work or parenting, rather than working half days - but my commute is an hour including nursery dropoff. I might feel differently if it were shorter.

Mandy21 Fri 28-Jun-13 20:44:02

My experience for what its worth - DD started nursery at 12 months. Long days 9-5.30/5.45 but the Baby Room had a separate room with dedicated cots so once she was settled, she slept as well at nursery as she did at home.
In my view, it would be better to do 2 long days (providing your LO sleeps well). As others have said, maybe a couple of weeks doing 3 days to settle, but then 2 long days. A nursery will charge you for 3 days irrespective of whether you're collecting slighter earlier, you'll have 3 days commuting costs but still be paid the same as working 3 days. I'd much rather have 2 manic days at work, and an extra day in my PJs were your LO where you can relax, do things together, just generally relax and enjoy yourselves.

poopnscoop Wed 03-Jul-13 11:19:23

Go for the full days... less disruptive and less expensive for you and your child. A long day is what childminders and nurseries offer... and as long as you're happy (in your gut) re your nursery/cm choice then go for it. Your little one will be fine... as long as they're looked after well, they'll be happy... albeit tired.

There are some HUGE generalisations about childminders and nurseries made in this thread - not sure whether to laugh or despair..

NOT all childmnders are mums... some are
NOT all childminders are qualified.... many are
NOT all childmnders offer full days... many do
NOT all childmnders are flexible.... some are
NOT all nursery staff are young and inexperienced.. some are
NOT all nurseries are inflexible ... some are

Do your homework and see that there is a VAST array of experience/practice/qualifications in Early Years... and then make your choice smile

Leaving aside the nurseries v childminders bunfight for a moment - is it possible for your partner/husband to help out a little?

For example, I am out of the house by 7.15 3 days per week and in the office by 7.30. DH gets DD up, gives her breakfast and plays with her until he drops her off at nursery where she is working towards her first ASBO, naturally at 9am, and then he heads off to work. I pick DD up at 4.00 and have a couple of hours with her before bed. DH is back after bedtime, but he's had a lovely time with her in the morning. It's needed buy-in from both our employers but it really works for us.

For what it's worth, when DD started nursery at 11mos she'd not spent more than 3 hours away from me. She didn't bat an eyelid at her settling in sessions - she wasn't remotely upset. I was the one in tears! She's now 14mos, loves her keyperson to bits and pushed DH out of the nursery door the other day when she thought he might not be leaving grin

KnittedWaffle Fri 19-Jul-13 21:22:39

I have 3DC, two of whom attend nursery for 2 full days a week.
I will be returning to work when DC3 is 12 months old and he'll be attending for two full days too.
IME the full days are better.
The shorter days mean you are limited in what you can do in your time together and when I was doing mornings I felt like I was a rubbish mum and rubbish at my job because I never had enough time in one block to do either.
Ignore those who criticise nurseries - the one my DC attend is fantastic.

KnittedWaffle Fri 19-Jul-13 21:25:42

Oops posted too soon!
My DC had never been away from me for longer than a couple of hours (and I am of the AP persuasion) when they started nursery as I have no family nearby but they had a settling in period and my boss was pretty flexible. If your boss is too then there really shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck.

didireallysaythat Fri 19-Jul-13 21:36:53

Tough one. I think I'd try the 3 shorter days as in my limited (2 kids both been to nursery 9-6 from 11 weeks) experience sometimes (but not always!) babies who go less frequently to nursery find it harder to settle at first (less reputation of a routine). Is your nursery flexible about letting you change your sessions ? The popular ones here can't accommodate changes quickly as they fill to their maximum ratios.

aliceinapalace Fri 19-Jul-13 21:45:02

I would suggest it depends very much on your child's routine and naps. If they nap well and are usually up early a longer day might be best. If not then shorter days but more if them might be the answer at least till they get older. I have been a nursery nurse before becoming a childminder and would say you being happy, comfortable and able to trust those looking after your child when they are still very young is the most important thing!

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