16 Nov

The Nursery Dilemma

We live in the wonderful confines of Nappy Valley, the place where more babies are born per square mile than any other part of Europe. It means that nursery places are as hard to find as the Mexican Walking Fish and you need to put your name down on the waiting lists before you even go on a first date with the father of your child.

So, imagine our surprise when the nursery that we applied to just after Baby was born sent me an email yesterday saying they were offering us three days. I was gobsmacked. It’s a really great nursery that a friend recommended and the Ofsted report is very positive. Having listened to so many people tell us that they couldn’t get nursery spots, I fully expected to be disappointed.

We should be ecstatic. But now that the possibility of sending Baby to nursery is staring us in the face, James and I are feeling strangely reluctant. First of all, we’re worried that it’s a bit too soon. Secondly, we’re not sure we actually need a nursery yet; we’re getting along well with our current situation: a friend comes over and watches her three afternoons a week while I work. If there is more needed, James takes her. We really like that we both get to spend so much time with her. After all, that flexibility is part of the reason that we run our own business.

I’d really like to hear your experiences about choosing childcare and sending your child to nursery. How young is too young? Has anyone had bad or good experiences? Please share.


  1. 16 Nov

    Hannah - The Ebury Collection

    We never had any intention of sending my little boy to nursery whilst I was pregnant. The plan was that I would stay at home with him until he went to school. However the first few months for me were so tough that I desperately needed some help with him and as I have no local family that could help, I started him off at nursery. It’s a very good one with some great recommendations and a good Ofsted report. So he started when he was 6 months old, for 4 afternoons a week. I cried the first day I left him, it was really hard to leave him with someone else, but he was absolutely fine. When he was about 15 months, we reduced it down to 2 afternoons a week. He is such a happy and content little boy. I think nursery has done him the world of good. He is so sociable, doesn’t get clingy when I leave him (which bodes well for starting school) and he’s very confident. In my opinion, nursery has been really good for him (and me!) and has made him the little boy he is today (he’s just over 2). So for me it’s worked out really well, and although it’s very expensive to send him, I’d rather still keep him going because he loves it so much!

  2. 16 Nov


    Hi Julia, our Edward is now 6, like the vast majority of sensible parents today we too didn’t have a clue what to do, especially when we got him home let alone a decision to go back to work. We had a number of nightmare reports of nurseries so explored the child minder route. Referred to a list of potentials by the local council we were well in the deep end. Delving a little deeper we found that quality childminders are also reported on the same ofsted standards and constraints. We fell on our feet with a childminder that has been reviewed with Outstanding reports ever since we have had our sons with her. The family environment is ideal with closer attentions offered, we could not be more grateful of te loving support and care we have received. Our second son Laurene was also rasped the same and is now 2, with our 3rd and final on on te way and due in late Jan’12. It is only then does it become no longer viable to send the boys, with even better home loving care from their mummy. So my wife will be giving up full time work in Christmas and I will be looking for more Weddings to shoot!

  3. 18 Nov

    Amy Georgina

    We send Scarlett to a Kids Unlimited nursery 5 minutes from home. She’s been going there since she was 2, up until that point she’d been with Andy full time as he was caring for his mum. When Andy got a job for 3 days a week we found the nursery and she got straight in. Eventually Andy went full time (I’ve been full time since Scarlett was 8 months old, needs must!) and so Scarlett has been there full time for the last year. She really loves it and as Hannah said, it has made her confident and outgoing. I do think it does them the world of good and makes them independent. She’s also learning so much, phonics, numbers and even sign language. We’ve been really impressed and are so pleased with the care they give her. I’d say go for it, if it doesn’t work, you can always stop, but it might be really cool for all of you (as much as we love our kids, it’s nice to have some grown up time, even if that’s going to work!!) I have a friend who is a childminder and that’s also a super option, we just couldn’t find one we clicked with (and when we did, she gave us the boot after 4 weeks as she had a better offer, someone with 3 kids full time!!)

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