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7 Apr 2016

6 Ways to find the best childcare


How do you find the best childcare?

Finding the right childcare can be so daunting. You are about to trust complete strangers to look after you precious baby, so these strangers need to be the best strangers possible. So, how exactly do you find the best childcare available? I viewed 8 nurseries for my son and 1 childminder and ended up sending him to a childminder in the end. Why did I choose the childminder? Because the only nursery I was entirely happy with had no spaces and I felt a connection with the child minder within minutes of talking to her. Whether you decide on a nursery or a childminder, here is my list of things to consider when you are searching.

6 Ways to find the best childcare

1. Go with your gut! 
I’m a firm believer in first impressions and boy oh boy were some of those 1st impressions terrible ones. If you are not feeling something you see or a vibe you get, go with that feeling and move on to the next.  How happy are the babies they look after? Look at the babies already there and how happy or unhappy they look. Their little faces say a lot- a lot more than what’s coming out of the mouths of the staff. I visited one and took my mum with me. She nudged me slyly and told me to look at the faces of some of the children there. When I did, all I saw was sadness and misery on their little faces. I felt sorry for them. I thanked the staff politely and kept it moving.

2. Avoid negative vibes
I visited one nursery and the lady who showed me around did nothing but bitch and moan about other members of staff and the nursery itself and how it’s not a patch on what it used to be. Needless to say, I threw the registration form in the bin as soon as I left.

3. Visit as many as possible
The more nurseries/ child minders you visit, the more you have to compare. I visited a total of 9 childcare providers when I was on maternity. Yep! I wasn’t playing around. Whoever had my boy had to be the crème de la crème. My partner and I tried to visit them together but it wasn’t always possible as he had work so I went on my own or took my son with me. He’s good at letting me know if he’s interested in something.

4. Don’t leave it last minute to visit nurseries
People warned me to start looking for childcare a good few months before I was due to return to work but did I listen? Ummm, nah! I thought 2 months would be fine but it really was not. The nursery I fell in love with was full and had a waiting list of 20 plus names. Despite having their number on speed dial and calling every week to see if my child’s name had moved up the list, I still didn’t manage to get him in.

5. Know exactly what you do and do not want
I knew I needed something that was en route to work to make it easy to drop him off and pick him up. I also knew I wanted one where meals were included. I wanted one with outdoor playing space, with a  loving and intimate environment and I got all of this.

If you are currently seeking childcare for your precious little one, I wish you luck. And remember to trust your gut!

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