Which is better??

Sarah - posted on 06/11/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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So this is half a general debate, and half something that I actually need to decide upon, so any help would be great!

Which is better........a child minder or nursery?

For my specific situation, here's the situation........

My youngest is 2 and she goes to a child minder (who she LOVES) 3 times a week about 4 hrs at a time while I go to work. I'm extremely happy with the care she receives, and as I said, Shia loves going.

Once I learn to drive (fingers crossed!) I was planning on sending her to nursery (so that would be around September time) because I want her to get used to playing with other kids more and socialising etc.
The thing is, she loves going to the child minders so much, that I'm starting to wonder about whether it's worth uprooting her?

So what do you think, in general, and in my situation. Do you think she would benefit from going to nursery more? I've always thought kids should go to nursery before they start school to help "ease them in".

Sorry, it's long winded! lol :)

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It honestly depends on your daughter.....some children thrive in a daycare setting and others won't. From what I understand, talking with ladies that work in daycare centers ( Nikki Schumacher, Kimbeley Forsyth etc.) children don't NEED social interaction until about 3 years of age......developmentally the won't play WITH other children.....they'll just play along side them not actually benefitting for social interaction. Oh goodness, I hope I didn't explain that wrong.....I'm going to find Nikki and ask for her help....LOL!

Anyhow, I was worried about the same thing with my daughter and what I mentioned above was explained to me......it doesn't negate the positive social interaction BUT it's not necessary or harming your daughter at all to be cared for in a more private setting.

I want to socialize my daughter more so for now we make an effort to go to the park once in a while or have playdates with the children we do know but I've decided to hold off putting her in a daycare setting!

Hopefully this helps and I haven't stuck my foot in my mouth?! Nikki, where are you when I need you? LOL!

Lady - posted on 06/12/2010

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Does the childminder not go to any groups? Most childminders I know attent plenty mother and toddler groups or special childminders groups.
I wouldn't worry too much about her socialising with other children until she is about 3 - this is the age that they really need to start interacting with other children but even then I don't think you need to neccesarly have to take her away from the childminder if she is happy with her. When I was a childminder and the others that I know are more than happy to have the child before nursey, drop them off and pick them up afterwards - depending on what the tories do - all children at the moment get free nursery places from the age of 3 but the session only lasts 9 -12 or 12.30 - 3.30 for five sessions so doesn't exactly fit into work schedules, which is why a good childminder can be so great - like others have said - the best of both worlds.
None of my children went to nursery before the age of 3 and none have had any social problems, I think before that age a consistant adult is key more than other children.
Good luck I hope this has helped!

Krista - posted on 06/11/2010

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A good child minder is definitely not something to give up lightly. When I was going back to work, I wanted to put Sam in daycare at the Y, figuring that they have good programming, they can use the pool, etc. But they don't take babies under 18 months, so I found a private sitter instead, who watches kids from her home. She has three kids she watches besides Sam, and she's AWESOME. Sam loves her to bits, and she's so great with the kids and really interacts with them and teaches them. My original plan had been to switch Sam to the Y once he reached 18 months, but now, I'm going to stick with Wanda. When he's three, I'll put him in French preschool a couple of mornings a week, but that'll be the only change.

C. - posted on 06/11/2010

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I think a nursery would be better.. Your child will learn how to play with others, socialize, make friends, etc.. But on the other hand, you know she already loves the Child Minder.. Maybe the Child Minder could make some play dates and then you all could have the best of both worlds! Your daughter can stay with the person she adores and she can still learn how to play w/ others and make new friends!

Nikki - posted on 06/11/2010

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Your right Dana, well said! Sarah, I see you have made your decision, I think you have made the right choice, as Dana said the need for social interaction is not there until they are over 3, before this age it is more important for children to build close relationships with their carers/parents, there's where the personal carer works so well, by just having one carer, she can bond and feel safe in her environment, which nurtures her self esteem and independence skills. Good luck!

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19 Comments

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Lyndsay - posted on 06/15/2010

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I think that if she's happy where she is, then leave her. My son has been seeing a child minder for two years now while I've been going to school full time, and he absolutely adores her. I planned to keep him there for his entire pre-school career, right up until he goes to kindergarten. However.. things have changed. I am moving him to an actual child care centre in September (he will be 3) for a few reasons. One of them is that he has trouble concentrating and sitting still when it comes to tasks that he is not interested in, and I'd like him to have some "practice" in a more structured environment before actually going to kindergarten the next year. Another is that he's been in speech therapy for awhile, and he's supposed to be moving on to the next level. They have a speech pathologist at the centre, so instead of waiting 6 months for him to be accepted to the new program I can just enroll him there and he will recieve services. If you don't have any specific concerns with your child then I think the child minder is a great place to stay.

ME - posted on 06/12/2010

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Travis and I are facing the same situation with Miles actually...we've decided to send him to an early childhood education program for 3.5 hours a day/2 days a week while I am teaching...even though we don't have to. He could stay with family (like he did last school year) but, he will be 2 1/2 in Aug when their Fall program starts, and he is almost NEVER around kids his age...so, we feel like it would be best for him to start going now...

Lea - posted on 06/12/2010

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At age two, a babysitter is fine especially if she is happy. I would start thinking seriously about preschool in another year.

Tracey - posted on 06/12/2010

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Having worked in a primary school for the last 8 years I can say that by the time they get to my class age 6 there is very little, if any difference between the children who had stay at home mums, childminders, or nursery.

Suzette - posted on 06/11/2010

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You've already got your decision and it was what I was going to suggest too! LOL. I hope everything works out!! :)

Sarah - posted on 06/11/2010

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Thanks for all the advice!!
My child minder has a baby, whose about 9 months old, but other than that, there's no other kids being watched by her.
Shia's had to learn to share because of her big sister! lol! also sharing with the baby at the childminders.
She gets taken to the park, and I know a few people with kids Shia's age (though they're mostly boys! haha) so she does play with other kids.

I think you're all right about "if it ain't broke don't fix it" I guess because my eldest went to nursery, I just assumed I would do the same with Shia, but things have worked out great using a child minder! Bloody cheap too! Plus she lives just around the corner! :)

Sharon - posted on 06/11/2010

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I like the child minder better for daily care and nursery care for the additional activities now & then.

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Stick with the child minder till she turns 3 IMO. You get free nursery places then. 1 year for that socialisation is plenty before starting school.

Marabeth - posted on 06/11/2010

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i would say keep the child minder (that's such a cool term, everyone says babysitter here which is kinda weird. or nanny.) until she's 3 or 4. if she already has an attachment to someone who you approve of why mess with that? my mother watches my 14 month old when i go to work (about the same hours as you) and i can't imagine taking that away from either of them unless it was for school when she is older. by then she'll be dying to go to school. but until then it seems like a better idea to keep a constant person in their life who they are used to and respond well with. i don't know about there but here pre-school ages are 3-4 here and 5 is when they start kindergarten. it seems like anything before 3 isn't really necessary to socialize with lots of kids very frequently-- maybe just big groups of them here and there and siblings all the time.

Rosie - posted on 06/11/2010

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ii think both are great actually, but for your situation i would keep her with the child minder. my oldest child is the only one to ever go to someone other than me, and my other 2 children have never been around other children other than their siblings. anyhoo, my middle boy just finished preschool and he had NO problems adjusting and such. in fact the teacher told me that he was quote "a pure pleasure to have in class. he always shares is very mindful of other children, and always seemed to be enjoying himself". i was floored cause well, while he is mostly good at home he has his moments with sharing and socializing and i was a little worried how he would react.

i think i didn't realize how good of a job we had done, lol! kids are pretty adaptable to any situation, so if you took her to the nursery i don't think she'd have a problem, but why fix something that isn't broke? am i making sense, lol?!!

Louise - posted on 06/11/2010

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Your child is only 2 so you have plenty of time to intergrate her into school life. Why not try a playgroup when your child is older. I don't know where you are in the world but in England most playgroups start around the age of 2.5 and then this playgroup is linked to a primary school when they are 4 they go from playgroup into the school for afternoon plays and to get used to the environment. I would leave your daughter with the childminder and then as she gets older ask the childminder to take her to the play group and pick her up. Most play group sessions last for 2.5 hours. You have then covered all aspects. Your daughter feels safe and secure with the childminder and she will be getting interaction with other children and learn all those things she needs to know for school.

Having worked in Nurseries and Playgroups I do favour the playgroups as they are more friendly. Nurseries tend to be large establishments with lots of children of different ages where as playgroups tend to only have children 2.5 to 5. All training by the staff is age appropriate for your childs age and children tend to flourish in smaller groups.

Krista - posted on 06/11/2010

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I would say that if Shia is happy at the child minder's then don't mess with it. Is she the only child there? If so, and you want her to get used to being with other kids, ask the child minder to maybe take her to the park, or to kids' days at museums or activity centres, so that she'll get used to being in a more rowdy, kid-filled environment.

Best of both worlds, in my opinion.

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