Friday 15 May 2015

Finding the right childcare and when is the right time?

Finding the right childcare has to be one of the most stressful and hardest thing that I as a parent has had to do in my children's lives.
When Finley was 9 months old I had to go back to work. We were lucky enough that we had parents that would help out with childcare but there was one day a week that he needed to go to nursery. I found the perfect nursery and I was so happy with the staff and Finley grew to love it. Then when I went on maternity leave he had to leave the nursery as it was a 40 minute journey from our house and just not practical. He stayed home for a while but I realised he needed some other child/adult interaction other than me and his baby brother. There is a nursery just around the corner from our house which we enrolled him in for one morning a week. In all honesty I wasn't all that pleased with it and there were certain things I wasn't sure about. It was nothing to do with their care of the children, I just had a feeling. And I don't think Finley was all that settled there.
He was approaching 2 1/2 so I started to look at preschools. I looked at a few and just didn't get that feeling and then I walked into the one he is at now and loved it. I really truly loved everything about it. The staff, the setting, the interior and exterior. They had an open door policy which I think is so important and he cried when we left after viewing it, which had to have been a good sign. So in September 2014 he moved to preschool and we haven't looked back.
Noah has never been to nursery or any childcare provider as I stayed home once my maternity leave finished as this is what worked for us. So I have always felt that there is no need for him to go to nursery as he has this older brother to play with and also have a close friend with a little girl the same age which they spend a lot of time together.
But recently I have noticed that Noah is very shy and wants me to hold his hand with most of the things he does and doesn't really venture off at soft play/playgroups by himself. He also isn't great with sharing and when he wants something he won't take no for an answer. He also has almighty tantrums when he isn't allowed to do something or he isn't allowed something. I know all children are like this at some time in their childhood but it has made me think that maybe a morning a week at a nursery might help him.
But this is a huge thing for me. Because as I am at home I feel that I shouldn't put him into nursery as I am here to look after him. But the more and more I think about it the more I begin to realise it will be a good thing for him and I need to stop being so selfish.
It then comes down to where does he go. I am looking for somewhere that would accept him for 3 hours a week, preferably 9-12 on a day that Finley goes to preschool. Finley's preschool does accept children from 2 and does have space for him on a Thursday morning which is the same time that Finley goes. This would be perfect but then I start to question this idea and come up with negatives and question if it's the right thing.
Will Finley get annoyed with Noah being there?
As the setting is just one building and their is a learning difference due to age, would Finley feel held back as Noah will want to do the same as him?
Would it benefit Noah to go somewhere on his own?
But then would having Finley around help him settle in more?
From January I was planning on putting Noah into the preschool as he will be 2 1/2 but just feel he needs something now.
The whole accepting 2 years olds at the preschool is something I am undecided about. I'm on the committee and from this point of view it makes sense as they need to increase numbers. But from a parents point of view, as it is just one building, the children all learn together and I think when some 2 year old are in, Finley and others his age don't get to do things they like, i.e marbles (Finley's favourite).
I then found a lovely nursery that would work in with the preschool run, but when I called they were full. I need to do some more research on nursery's in the area but the only thing is they are not as flexible as preschools and usually have a minimum of 6 hours per week policy. And financially we can't do that and it's not something we want to do. 
So we come back to that the preschool is the best place.
This is such a hard decision as I need to make one that is right for both boys and I don't want it to interfere too much with Finley's learning. Then I think its only 3 hours a week. I am always so scared of making the wrong decision. But I need to remember this is how I felt when I was planning on moving Finley to preschool from nursery.
Why is choosing childcare for our children so hard?! And then I have the added guilt that I shouldn't be sending him until he is 3 because I am home. And I am here to look after him. 
I'm sure parenting is just full of guilt and we will always feel we are not doing the right thing. I need to go with my gut and that is saying preschool!

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  1. It's hard isn't it. Like you I went back to work when Zach was 9 months but he only had to go one day a week. He now does two days and we've had two nurseries due to moving house - each has been pretty wonderful and we've been very fortunate with that having to choose twice! It's so hard to entrust people with our children. I definitely think nursery/pre-school is good for them - I see your reservations with sending them both to the same one though! It's a tough one! #bigfatlinky

    1. That sounds great that you found two nurseries you loved. I think I out them down as I would rather they didn't go, haha, and were with me! I really don't know what to do, I'm thinking I may go nursery route but need to find the right one xx

  2. I still feel guilty for sending my little girl to nursery whilst I work, she was 9 months when I returned to work. But I know she loves it and it will be great for her. Her brother went to nursery from 7 months and I'm sure helped shaped him in to the social and very kind boy he is today. Even if I didn't work I think I would still want some exposure to a nursery as the benefits are so great in shaping them. It's me that suffers not my daughter! I struggle every week with not being there to look after her myself or not pick my boy up from school (he goes to after school club too). Fab post x

    1. Thank you. It's so hard as I'm sure everything we do as parents we will feel guilty about. But I totally agree they have benefits xx

  3. I'd go with your gut on this one. I think it sounds like you are leaning towards the pre-school. It will be fine! They boys need their time away with other adults and people of their age and you do need a break. I think if I have another..I'll be keeping Arianna in nursery 2 days a week. It's good for her and I will need time with another as well. Try not to feel too guilty xxx

  4. I always say go with your gut instinct, but it is hard, I stayed at home with all of mine (I had 4) and sent them all to pre-school, the eldest two went at 2, although my eldest didn't settle, then we moved and I hated the pre-school and pulled him out, then we moved again and he got 6 weeks before school started (looking back I often think why did I put us both through it as he hated being left, but he's a strapping 15yr old now and seems just fine lol) the second one loved pre-school and often got upset when it was time to go home! My youngest two didn't go until the year before they went to school and that was right for them. You know your children, trust yourself x
    Lupin Girl x

  5. This is such a hard choice. We put M into a nursery from 8 months as I went back to work. She loved it there so much, and when I decided to leave my job I took her out so that I could look after her. I felt so guilty as she loved it there, and I was taking her out of the environment that I forced her into! Now she is 2 ½ we are applying for nurseries for her to go to after Christmas! Its scary, but I do feel now she needs some other interaction and get her out of her comfort zone. I'm sure you will work it out! Lovely post :-) #twinklytuesday x

  6. As all the comments say- it is very hard. It seems like your gut instinct was right the first time so I would go with that again. You won't be happy until your children are. I found it very hard leaving my girls at nursery but they did settle and I think it helped them when it was time for preschool as they were used to the idea that they could have fun without me- and that I would return! Good luck with your choices. Believe in yourself as a mum and know that your decision will be right (you can always make a change in time if its needed !). #twinklytuesday

  7. This is one of those horrible guilt things where it's a massive decision and with it there are many decisions that carry benefits as well as guilt. Especially as you said you're staying at home.
    We went through this with both the boys. And even then with the idea of home school. Everything has its ups and downs. But one thing I have noticed and particularly with home school as there are more ways to socially connect with a child than preschool or nursery settings.
    I get how it has to be right for you and for the family including how each part affects noah and finley separately and together. My only advice would be to try it and see how it works and give yourself time to reflect on it. And if you decide then it's not right then change what you need. If you ever want ways to integrate him/them outside of nursery give me a shout and I'll give you some bits that we do. :) thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week

  8. Childcare is such a huge decision. You're essentially looking for a coparent. I was lucky to find the perfect childcare for us when my girls were about 2 months old, and they started going at age 11 weeks, when my maternity leave ended. The people there are STILL like family, even now that my girls are 9. In fact, we sat with two of the teachers at church yesterday morning! We spent a less lovely year at the supposedly excellent childcare provided by my employer, but it was a terrible fit. We ended up going back to the first place.

    Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

  9. It is a tough choice to put your child into a strangers care and making the right decisions. But kids are tough and they thrive as anywhere as long as they have support o the parents I think. I am about to move my daughter to a new place and am a little nervous but I know she will settle in well.Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round #sharewithme



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