more than one way to raise a child

Debate: Nanny vs Nursery – 3 months later

Debate: Nanny vs Nursery – 3 months later

Three months later, and some childcare anxiety on both sides, we wanted to update you all on our childcare situation – and why we have made the decisions we made! As a reminder – you can see the original debate here.

Em chose to have a nanny, why?

Three months later – I am still confident in our choice to have a nanny share. As The Boy has grown up, it’s been amazing to be able to watch his relationship with our nanny develop, and with the girl that we share with. I also feel really blessed to be able to have the access and visibility to their interactions – as they are based in our home I feel like I get the best of both worlds – brain stimulation at work, but the ability to grab a cuddle during any breaks if I am working at home.

That having been said, it’s not be without its challenges.

Our nanny share family had to give their notice on our arrangements as they are expecting twins in the summer. This meant that in order to keep our nanny we had to find another family that was a good fit for us, and for the nanny. I can’t lie – it was as hard as you might think! We had a good six to eight weeks of stress trying to advertise for a new family, and met quite a few families that didn’t quite work for us. To add to this stress, we felt that we had to ask our nanny to start to look for a new job in case we couldn’t find a suitable new family. This meant that we were under even more time pressure as she immediately got an offer with another family! Luckily we were able to find a great family to share with eventually and managed to get the contracts signed in the nick of time. We are looking forward to building new relationships with new share family!

We also had a terrible week where all of us had the flu – and not a cold, the real flu. Obviously the Nanny couldn’t work, which left me and our nanny share family’s mum looking after kids whilst at deaths door ourselves. We survived by each taking a half day to lie in bed, and then each spending half a day watching both kids. It wasn’t pretty tough, and I still feel a bit clammy thinking about how awful I felt, but we made it!

Kate chose nursery, why?

Since I wrote in detail about why I thought Nursery was a better option for The Girl, we’ve had quite a roller coaster! The nursery that I had enrolled her in, a series of events happened and The Girl ended up in hospital. Needless to say I felt I couldn’t trust the nursery again. It was SO important to me to choose a childcare option that I could trust that I wouldn’t accept anything else. We immediately gave notice and The Girl didn’t go back.

I quickly looked at every option (again!). Nanny, nannyshare, childminder and nursery — as well as staying home full-time (that’s another story). I ended up finding a nursery I hadn’t realised was an option before that miraculously had places. Even at the tour, I could tell it was different from the other ones. I took the time to view it twice as well as email and speak on the phone with the nursery manager. I was open about the previous experience we had and let them tell me how they would have handled it differently. I was convinced this was a better place for The Girl – so I signed her up.

The difference between how I feel about the old nursery vs new nursery and how The Girl is when she is there is night and day – the staff are SO much more engaged, attentive and cautious. Every time I drop her off, I am so thankful that I followed my gut and left the first one. Although she still cries when I drop her off, I wait outside a few minutes and within 30 seconds she has stopped, so I know she’s getting used to it slowly. She has started sleeping and eating after just one session, whereas at the first nursery she still hadn’t settled after a two-week settling period.

What I’ve learned: the childcare difficulties will never stop, even when you think you have everything ‘arranged!’

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