Whilst pregnant with Munchkin, Natalie and me made the decision to tour the local nurseries and decided nursery care is for us. We both wanted to continue working but wanted to give Munchkin the best start in life. Nursery can cost a pretty penny, but is it worth that cost?
Even before Munchkin was born
We discussed, toured the local nursery options and decided nursery was for us months before Munchkin was born. We want to give him the best start and the best balance of different inputs to his education and development.
We knew we would have to return to work after maximizing and stretching out our funding benefit by using shared parental leave. See our post on that here. With Mummy, being a teacher and having the summer off, she could hand her leave to me to start in September and keep the government payments up to 12 months of age. One year old still felt young to take to nursery, but he settled in fast and immediately loved each day.
We decided nursery, albeit expensive, nursery gave Munchkin the best balance. Both my and Natalie’s parents each wanted a day with Munchkin so he would have 2.75 days at nursery a week. This would give four different inputs, with nursery, us as parents and both sets of Grandparents which I believe gave him the best benefit with different.
Cost and Support
Parents with low income, or claiming certain benefits can get help with childcare from 2 years old. For working parents, the government knocks tax off the cost deducting 20%. That said, our 2.75 days would vary month to month, depending on the number of weeks and holidays. However, this would range from £350 to £550 (£280 to £440 using tax free childcare) making some months tight at times.
From 3 years old, working parents get up to 30 hours free childcare in term time. It was a long time coming but we finally made it.
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Each day he is at nursery he comes back full of energy with new stories to tell, ideas and games to play. They nurture and develop his love to learn letters and numbers, read and sing, give him time to pursue his own enjoyments whilst giving him new opportunities and teaching new skills. He comes back and talk about the friends he’s made and who he plays with each day.
Nursery document his development and update us at the end of the day, and with development reviews on Tapestry, so we feel very much in the loop. They hold events to meet parents too, so local parents can say more than just the ‘Hey, how are you’ in the mornings.
I am thankful to them for the amazing little man Munchkin has become. It’s expensive but I think when you take in the benefits to their development, its worth every penny.
What are your thoughts on Nursery childcare?
Thanks for reading,
Daddy and Munchkin