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Is a Nursery or Nanny Better?

We are often asked for our expert opinion on whether a nursery or a nanny is better for a child



That is probably (one of) the 60 million dollar questions out there. Unfortunately there is no straight answer because there are too many factors to consider.

For example, I have 2 boys. With my first, he went into a nursery and for my second he had a nanny.

What was the reason for this?

  1. I felt that being an only child at the time, my first son would benefit from being around other children.
  2. By the time my second son was born, I needed much longer hours which a nursery could not accommodate, but a nanny could.
  3. When you have 2 children, it can sometimes be more cost effective to have a nanny rather than place them both in a nursery.

Your family's circumstances

You have to make a choice based on your own circumstances, as well as what is right for your child. Some people don't have a choice, and a nursery is all that they can afford, particularly with the free entitlement funding for 3 year olds.

Choosing a nursery

What is very important is making the right choice of nursery. Personally I wouldn't rely on Ofsted reports, but instead I would place heavy emphasis on recommendations from other parents.

Go and have a look around a number of settings to get a feel for what size and type of nursery would best suit you.

Don't always book ahead as they will be on their best behaviour if they know you are coming. I would just turn up on the doorstep and ask if you can have a quick look around. If the manager says she is busy, ask if you can be taken around initially now by a member of staff, and then book to see the manager at a later date.

You can also speak to your local Tinies agency, because we supply staff to nurseries and therefore can recommend some of the good ones.

Take 'expert' advice with a pinch of salt

One piece of advice - don't read all those reports and pieces of research by experts on what they perceive is the best childcare for children.

They don't know you and they don't know your children - you are the best judge of what is best for them.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director


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