Childcare

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morwen
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Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:51 pm 
Post subject: Childcare
So I'm thinking ahead to when the baby arrives, and trying to decide whether I'll prefer to stay at home or return to work once my maternity leave is over.

My husband and I do not live locally to either my parents or his parents, so asking them to look after the baby while we're at work is sadly not an option unless we move. That said, I'm not ruling out relocating at this stage, because having family and friends within visiting distance might be nice and something I think I may miss once the baby arrives.

I was wondering what other people's experiences with professional childcare is. Do you use/plan to use a nursery, or hire a "nanny" to babysit the child at home? And how old was the baby when/if you returned to work? Is there an age which is deemed "too young" to effectively be leaving your baby with a stranger? I'm still trying to gauge how I might feel about this when the time comes, but it seems really hard to know (this is my first pregnancy).

Finances are the other big factor in the decision of course. Has anyone got any estimates of how much per month it would cost for full-time (9-5.30pm, 5 days a week) childcare? Maybe returning to work part-time is a more viable option? Home working is also a possibility for me, but realistically, I'm wondering how much work it's actually possible to get done with an attention-demanding baby in the same room!

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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lisamummy
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Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:39 pm 
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my childminder i used to use was fantastic, my 2 boys where 2 and 5 at the time, and she also had a 6 week old to look after,
my advice to you if you was looking for childcare would be to ask at the local nurserys and play groups or even friends at work who have children.

i needed very flexible hours and wanted my boys to be together, thats why we choose a registered child minder,
when i picked them up at night they where happy and well looked after they had had there tea , and if there was anything that needed to be disscussed that was ok, ( she was more of a friend than a minder )
Im going back 5 years, i think it was 2.50 per hour per child ( just over 100 a week ) but im sure there is help with childcare now through the government. ( worth looking at )
or ask your midwife she may have some leaflets.
I was lucky that i had my mum to do the early months, but theres no harm in looking at nurseys and private minders, You will know what is best for you and your lil one when the time comes.
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asfletcher
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Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:02 pm 
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work with children so im VERY fussy about childcare. i would never leave girls in private nursery as i know what they get upto (4 of the ones i worked in were all rubbish and unprofessional). it took me over a month to find my childminder and she is lovely! u will know where u want to leave your child and will know the right person for the job when u meet them!
morwen
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Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:25 am 
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Some good advice there - thanks. I think I need to start meeting some childminders and visiting nurseries in my area to get an idea of how I'd feel about leaving my child with them. I've spoken to work colleagues, but unfortunately they all use family as babysitters! I wish I could, it would save me so much money!

I did a bit of web searching, and found this page about choosing a childminder. It's got a useful list of questions to ask - which is exactly what I need because I am the sort of person who always leaves a meeting thinking "damn, I forgot to ask about X.."! I've linked it here in case it's useful for anyone else in a similar position.

And funnily enough, asking my midwife about it is a really obvious suggestion and yet one that I had not considered at all until now! Every time I see her, I'm thinking so hard about the actual pregnancy, the birth, how my baby is doing, etc, etc, that it's never occured to me to ask her about stuff that happens once the baby actually arrives, lol!
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