childcare - professional or family?

Emma - posted on 08/19/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

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am struggling to choose between putting my 5 year old in after school and holiday clubs or to opt for my parents to look after him, any suggestions or thoughts?

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Terri - posted on 08/26/2010

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I think after school programs are wonderful. It encourages learning and social developments... I would save the holidays for grandparents and family time...

Bonnie - posted on 08/26/2010

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It depends on the age ofthe grandparents. My mom would never do this but my mother-in-law would and she is getting to the point where all she does is watch TV. She doesn't go outside or do ny playing . I think for 1-2 hours after school is fine but for holidays I think a professional daycare or Y is the best bet.

Wendy - posted on 08/26/2010

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I would opt for professional care personally or grandparents once or twice a week (a combination I guess). My mom looked after Mika until she was 22 months but she found it exhausting (especially when she became a toddler - my daughter that is, not my mom:)), difficult to do her shopping, pay her debts etc. Once she broke her arm and I had no contingency plan (and it was obviously unfair to expect her to look after M). Looking after a young child full time is exhausting. There were also the usual issues about sugar etc. I don't think you can expect them to abide by your rules - you generally get " If it was good enough for you then it is good enough for their grandchild". So if you want peace you need to compromise on some things. My mom also became panicky if Mika got sick, or if she got hurt would blame herself and phone all night to check if she was ok. Still Mika is a happy, intelligent well adjusted child who is extremely close to her grand mom. ( A friend of mine left her son with her mother- in- law though and this really put strain on the relationship - a least your mom still loves you when you argue over some minor child care issue). With Tristan I opted to use an Au pair from 6-9 months and then put him in a excellent nursery school from 9 months when I went back to work, as even though I paid my mom, I felt it would be unfair to leave Tristan with her. I do leave my children with my mom though when I am on a 30 hour call on the weekends ( I am a doctor and often work long or odd shifts), or if they are sick and sometimes in the holidays as we both feel this provides them with bonding time and helps me out with my career without putting undue strain on my mom. She also finds them a bit easier now that they are a bit older.

This was just my personnel experience though, other people may have had different experiences as each family is different and has its own dynamic, and your situation my be completely different from mine.

Keisha - posted on 08/26/2010

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If you can afford it, I'd go with the after-school program, however talk with the Grands and the child and see what they want to do. At 5 years old your child will have an opinion, so go with whatever he wants to do.

Alison - posted on 08/26/2010

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Sounds like you've got two great options. Ask your son, and follow your gut. Remember, sometimes in life there is not a good and bad option, but rather good and different but also good.

Lisa - posted on 08/26/2010

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Afterschool programs work better because your kids get to see their friends(it's like a play date). My kids got bored with the grandparents. Maybe you could use your parents 2days and send you child for 3 days(so you don't hurt their feelings). Good luck!

Helen - posted on 08/26/2010

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Is it not possible that you could do both? Say grandparents for 2 days and after school club for 3 days? I have a wonderful childminder who looks after my son during work hours and his nan loves looking after him on the rare occasions that we go out (cinema, drinks, gym etc). Plus most after school clubs allow you to just take the odd day and then your child has a varied experience of time with the older generation and with friends. Good luck whatever you decide upon

THEONI - posted on 08/25/2010

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I THINK THE HOLIDAY CLUB WOULD BE MORE INTERESTING FOR HIM AS HE WOULD SPEND TIME WITH CHILDREN OF HIS AGE.STAYING WITH YOUR PARENTS WOULD FIRST OF ALL MAKE HIM FEEL BORED AS THEY WILL NOT BE PLAYING WITH HIM ALL THE TIME AND WOULD RESULT TIRING FOR YOUR PARENTS.

Kyra - posted on 08/25/2010

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I am a preschool teacher and a mother to four girls and I think your doing both is the best option, you wont tire out the grandparents and they get quality time with them and your child gets time with peers too. I think there is a great benefit to have an unstructured play time with peers. If you are at all concerned with the program just ask your child how they like it. Your child can have a great insight in how they feel about a given program

Carey - posted on 08/25/2010

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A nice dose of half & half is my thought... a structured daily routine is great and afterschool programs usually have a healthful snack, outdoor playtime, homework help & other enrichment activities, but every kid needs a healthy dose of grandparent spoiling but not so much that it affects your parenting & structure!! Maybe the grandparents could pick your child up one or two days a week from the afterschool program to give you a little extra time to run errands or go write home to get some extra things done or maybe there could be one night of dinner with grandma... a special time for attention and spoiling and a big help for mom but still lots of structure and activities!! Good luck with your decision!

Leonita - posted on 08/25/2010

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I would give anything for my little girl (age 3) to be able to stay with her grandparents as she adores them and they her- but they are too on in years to handle it, mom 87 dad 77 - Her other set live in Australia - She attends a wonderful daycare that I think is the top in the state - but there are many days my little one will say mama do I have to go to school today and she will say cant you just stay home form work and play with me, or can we just go to mimi and papa's and it breaks my heart because I have to work and my parents could not handle her all day - If you have a good relationship with your parents I would go with that- I feel like someone else is raising my child - actually smeone else is- they are with her more then me at 8 hrs a day - This thing about socialization - I dont buy it I was an only child -never went to daycare or kinder- started the 1st grade at age 6 and I was a social butterfly - my whole life I have been like that - Its how you raise your child- and the experiences you expose them to and the values you instill - what a wonderful experience for your child to have that time with his grandparents - people who are invested in him not because they are being paid but because he is their grandchild and they love him- I think its a more nurturing environment - The family unit is now lost in our society because it takes two incomes to survive - He is in school all day- a family experience is priceless.These young years go very quickly and soon he wont need after care - Just one moms opinion - Best of Luck in whatever you decide.

Julie - posted on 08/25/2010

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Things to consider: Grandparents are great, but are their days/ time going to be restricted to care for your child M-F daily? If they are like mine, they still have a life and like to vacation, but they would rather care for the child than have the child sent somewhere. K-garten/ pre-school at that age already gives social interactions. I see that 1-3 days could work out.

Nicole - posted on 08/25/2010

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I have a 4 year old grandparents are are great and all but socially its good for them to interact with other children. Grandparent are very important part but if for any reason you need a break its a great place to go, and if they wach them all the time they wont want to watch him when you really need it. I love my inlaws for that but the time they spend with him is more precious when that dont see him as often

Becky - posted on 08/25/2010

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Does it have to be one or the other? I don't know how "after school and holiday clubs" work...could you alternate to give your child exposure to other kids and new situations and experiences, but also time with his grandparents? Maybe this won't work for you, but I thought I'd put it out there.

This is a similar conversation to the idea behind whether someone should be a SAH mom or go back to work and put their child in daycare or with a nanny. I recently blogged about the pros to both; maybe this will be somewhat helpful in your decision?

http://vakkermom.wordpress.com/2010/08/2...

Emma - posted on 08/25/2010

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thanks for all ur comments, I think I may do both, after school a couple days and some activites during hols then let my parents look after him, he gets best of both worlds then, and hopefully i'll have saved enough holiday from work to get holiday off with him too. again thankyou x

Tanjala - posted on 08/25/2010

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Is the 5 year old an only child? If you find a good afterschool program that your child will benefit from then I would go with that as long as your child is not going to be there 2 hours or more before you are able to pick him/her up since the child has already been away at school all day. I would talk to my child and parents and go from there.

Melissa - posted on 08/25/2010

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Beverly,

There are a ton of government programs out there to help pay at least a portion of your child care costs. Check with your local daycare centers; they can probably point you in the correct direction for applying and obtaining some help.
Good luck!

Beverly - posted on 08/25/2010

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Be thankful you have family to watch your child, I am a divorced mother that is unemployed and looking for a job that will pay enough for me to afford childcare or a part time job that will pay enough to support our household. I can't afford to work because of the cost of childcare and I have don't family that can help. Any suggestions?

Julie - posted on 08/24/2010

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Well I had my 3 year old going over to a family member for a while which she wasnt terribly unhappy, then we ended up moving and I didn't want to commute so I put her and a montesorri school and she loves it. Plus shes a chatter box so she always has somebody different to talk to!!! lol

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If you have a good relationship with your parents and like the way they raised you go for them. Trust me putting your child in after school care rarely works out the best for your child and besides your parents can get time with him. If you don't I would look into more personal help with an actual daycare setting.

good luck and god bless

Debrah - posted on 08/23/2010

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Hi, had to make a similar decision myself. I ended up doing both options. My daughter spent a few days a week in after school care and then for the other half of the week it was nanna and grandpa's turn. Worked out fine for us as my daughter got quality time in both, and it was less strain for already worn out grandparents :). Just do whatever works best for you and your family.

Melissa - posted on 08/23/2010

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If at all possible, I'd see if I could do the clubs part-time and part-time with the grandparents. That way, he gets new friends his age to socially develop with as well as bonding time with his grandparents.

Angi - posted on 08/22/2010

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The connection with grandparents is a good one, but after-school programs can be beneficial, also (provided they abide by state regulations and offer quality service). Your child will have the chance to interact with other children his own age (if he's not in school already), and will have the opportunity to learn and grow in an (hopefully) educational and safe environment, especially if the after-school care implements curriculum and learning experiences.

Julie - posted on 08/22/2010

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Parents...If you are close with them. My mother moved 50 miles built a new house when I had was pregnant with my second. She died last year. And the relationship she built with my kids by taking care of them before school and after school was something so beautiful...we have destroyed so much of the positives that came with multi=generational living when we started moving far from families..

Darcey - posted on 08/22/2010

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Personally, family connection these days is very important. My kids didn't have that growing up since my family lives 3,000 miles away. Send them to Grandma's!!!!!

Kerryn - posted on 08/21/2010

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Personnally, I'd opt for the after school care and use holiday clubs and grandparents for the school holidays - this is purely for the fact that (in my case anyway) I struggle with the grandparents being that involved - I can see all sorts of issues arising, like disciplinary issues, interferring issues.

Patricia - posted on 08/21/2010

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well i suppose it really comes down to can u afford to put him in these clubs . While its great to have ur parents have him it does get a bit much i know as im a grandparent n while i love them so very very much its nice to have my space some days just to do whatever i want .

Melissa - posted on 08/20/2010

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I would go with the grandparents as long as they will abide by your rules as far as healthy snacks after school and completing home work. Besides, they probably won't charge you for taking care of their own grandchild, whereas most after school programs cost about as much as full-time preschool!

Emily - posted on 08/20/2010

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Does your 5-year-old have an opinion on it? I can see pros and cons of both situations. I guess it all depends on the quality of the programs and also what benefits you think your child will get from being with family.

Naomi - posted on 08/19/2010

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if you have a good relationship with your parents i'd opt for that... i think grandparents play a very important role in kids lives and if they get to have quality time with them on a regular basis that is a very very good thing. Plus, your kids been in school all day, i think another activity after all of that would tucker him/her out.

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