6 articles Tag nursery

The ABCs of Daycare

You are starting a family and though everything has been planned out you still have that nagging worry in how you are going to care for your kid when you have to juggle between house chores and work. Sadly, an entire family cannot sometimes live off only the salary of one of the parents and thus leaving the care of the child to experts in Daycare Cambridge. If you are like most parents and shiver of the idea of leaving your treasure alone with practically strangers, then do not fret as this is absolutely normal.

Some studies conducted have estimated that about 70% of families rely on daycares or some version of it to allow them to work their 9 to 5 jobs. And as there is an obvious need, the market has done its magic and sprouted plenty of daycare options for you to choose from. You can select from one of the excellent daycare Cambridge centers to hiring nannies. There are essentially two different kinds of daycares, a group center or a home daycare with each having its own pros and cons. Group daycare centers are established by licensed professionals who hire people with expertise in child care. They offer an environment not just for learning academically but allow them to mingle with other kids their age so they mature mentally and socially.

This article will try to help you answer all your questions about daycare and how you can then decide which one you are going to choose for you child.

The types of day care centers

A daycare facility is the physical space where you are intending to keep your child while you are off to work. There are usually two options depending on where you are situated in the city.

Group Day Care – These kinds of centers are regulated by the state and are usually run by the owners themselves. About one fourth of all infants and toddlers go to these kinds of centers. Being in a shared environment such as this means your child will be allowed to interact with other kids.

Home Day Care – Home day care centers are less of a formal setting than group day care but it does not necessarily mean that it is inferior. It is often run by a homeowner and uses the home itself as the facility. Most of the time, the owner will have kids of their own and will care for their kids and yours simultaneously. While some of them are licensed, there are more that do not have any formal training in the field.

Why you should send your child to daycare

Continued care. Most center offers to care for children from as young as infancy up until they become toddlers and, in some cases, even beyond. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you would not have to worry about the formative years of your child as he/she will be exposed to consistent care through out.

Education. In order to prepare a child before going through formal education, there are some things that he/she needs to be able to do. This includes reading, writing, knowing their numbers and even talking properly in front of other people. Being busy at work, this might be time that you may not be able to set aside for your child. Day care centers usually have curriculums based on their age where they will be able to make most of the time that they spend while they are away from home.

Socialization. An integral part of developing a child before he/she starts going to school is to make him/her comfortable around other people, especially around other kids his/her age that he/she are yet to be acquainted with. Being in a daycare where there are typically a few groups of kids that he/she can be a part of will prepare him/her for the journey that awaits him.
Cost. A nanny is an alternative to a daycare cambridge center. While you can be assured of the quality that professional nannies can provide, they usually come at a price which renders the need to send your child to care so you can work kind of pointless. However, there are instances that children may need special attention and thus there may be no alternative to hiring nannies.
Reliability. First time parents are often not well versed with child care. There is no shame in this as there rarely is ever a chance for people to practice being one. Sending your child to daycare assures you that your children will be handled by professionals with countless years of experience among them. This, not only settles your worry of not knowing enough to care for your child but affording you an opportunity to learn as well.

Choosing your daycare

Choosing a daycare center is no picnic. Seeing that the best of the daycare centers are hot commodities, finding one that fit your route to work in itself might already be a challenge. This is the reality of it but through it all, you would do everything for your child and thus you still want the best daycare for him/her.

Research is key

In the age of mobile electronics, it is quite simple to track down establishments as well as learn what people have said about them. This should come fairly easy as long as you know where to start looking.

Interview the centers

It might not be enough to rely on the words of other parents to put your mind at ease before deciding to let someone else care for your child. You may go to the centers themselves and look at the facility as well as talk to the ones in charge. This is an important step as a face to face conversation can tell a lot about a service provider. This will also allow you to see the kind of children that your child will eventually be playing and learning with.

The Great Childcare Debate

childcareSomething which is on a lot of people’s minds at the moment is the issue of childcare, after the Government introduced free funding for 2 year olds from underprivileged families to receive 15 hours of nursery a week. The idea was to get parents back into work without having the expense of nursery hanging over them, but it’s a scheme which has been a bit of a sticking point for a lot of families. Until the age of three, working parents are expected to pay the full price for childcare and the prevailing attitude is that it seems unfair that familes who don’t appear to need free childcare are more entitled to it.

Let’s look at the brass tacks of it:

At the moment, Husband and I both work from home, which works for us and means we don’t need childcare. Now, let’s assume that I wanted to go back to work, full time, as a copywriter which is what I currently do from home. Let’s completely ignore Husband’s salary and assume that this is still going on things like rent and our bills, as it does at the moment.

The average salary for a copywriter is £23,047 per year before tax and National Insurance, so my take-home pay would be approximately £18,840, or £1570 per month. I’d probably have to travel to London to find this kind of work so I’d have to factor in £355.60 per month in season ticket fares. The nursery attached to Sausage’s school charges £4.50 per hour, plus £1.75 for a hot lunch, which would make my monthly nursery fees (assuming I’d need to drop her off at 7.30 am to get the train and not collect her again until 6.30pm) £1110.42. Of course, this also doesn’t factor in needing before and after school care for Sausage.

In travel fees and nursery fees alone, my monthly expenses JUST FOR GOING TO WORK would be £1466.02, leaving me approximately £103 which, as far as I’m concerned would make it absolutely POINTLESS going back to work.

I know that there are flexi options, sometimes family can help with childcare, or companies which allow a homeworking element during the week, but these figures are the exact reason that so many people are up in arms about the government’s scheme. Being a copywriter isn’t the loftiest career in the whole world but it sure as hell pays more than retail work or other minimum wage jobs, which means that even people with hopes of getting a mid-level job will struggle.

Obviously, this is all part of a MUCH bigger problem. The cost of living is too damn high in the UK, whilst wages are depressingly low. Family-friendly working is more-or-less non-existent and women are usually expected to bear the burden of this. I know that there’s a prevailing attitude that women SHOULD be the ones to bear the burden because they’re the ones who CHOOSE to have the babies (obviously the men have zero say in this and we’re all just sperm-harvesting lunatics…*sarcasm*) but this is a hugely outdated notion and many men also feel penalised because of their inability to contribute towards the childcare duties.

I don’t begrudge families who are on a low income the opportunity to have free childcare, I really don’t, but I also don’t think it’s a solution. It’s a really romantic notion, hoping to help people back into work, but let me ask you this: 1. how are they supposed to afford that childcare once the funding runs out and they’re on a low wage and 2. WHERE ARE ALL OF THESE JOBS THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE FILLING?!

I think we can all agree that the Government has well and truly got its head up its arse on this issue and that more help needs to be given to ALL parents who want to go back to work, not least of all because we’ve probably got a massive pool if untapped talent in this country, desperate to get back into the workplace but unable to afford it. It’s all very well for the hate-mongers in the right wing press to be content with demonising benefit claimants but the Government has basically created this viscous loop of never being able to AFFORD to come off of benefits, for so many people, who are essentially tied to living in permanent poverty.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this. Are you a Mum who’d love to go back to work but simply cannot afford to? Would you have a career if the childcare was cheaper or more affordable? Are you in receipt of two-year-old funding but still unable to find a job? Please leave me a comment below.

Welcome Your Gorgeous Baby Into Your Home With These Amazing Nursery Ideas

After nine months of nurturing the tiny infant inside you, you’re about to meet him for the first time. When you bring your new bundle of joy home, you will want to make sure that you have a gorgeous nursery room that he can be comfortable in. There are tons of great ideas for decorating and furnishing your nursery. As this is often the smallest room in the house, it’s important that you also make sure it is functional.

Once the room is empty and cleaned, you can start to prepare the walls for paint and wallpaper. Many parents prefer to choose a sunny yellow colour, whether they know the gender of their baby or not. It is a bright colour that reflects light well. And it’s ideal for a newborn’s sensitive, developing eyes too. You might choose an accent wall and paper it with cute animal characters. This gives baby something to start focussing on when his eyes are ready.

A lamp shade is ideal if you have a ceiling light. Wall lights may be preferred, though, as the baby is often on his back staring up. Keep a lower watt light bulb in there. You can always use a nightlight to make checks on your baby in the dark. Blackout blinds and cute animal curtains will ensure naptimes are not interrupted by intrusive light. They can help to keep the room a little cooler in the summer too.

Nursery-Rocker and Changing Table

Photo at Flickr.com

Many wifi baby monitors include a temperature monitor so you can check on the heat. Ideally, the room should be around eighteen to twenty-one degrees Celsius. This isn’t always practical, so add or remove blankets to keep your little one comfortable. You can find lots of options for baby bedding online that will ensure you have the right ones for each season. Choose plain designs or something your little one can enjoy looking at.

No baby’s cot is complete without a hanging mobile. Many also make music and turn. They’re great for helping your little one focus on new things. It will also encourage them to reach up and kick out. Eventually, in just a few months, they will be the inspiration for trying to sit up. It’s at this point that you might want to consider a baby nest to help support their back in the sitting position.

Your baby shower probably provided you with dozens of soft toys for your baby. They can be a source of comfort for tiny tots, as well as something to explore and enjoy. Your nursery may be full of soft toys that he or she can practice conversations with. Be careful not to allow too many in the cot as they can become hazardous without proper supervision.

If you have a large changing table or cabinet, you might consider popping a few extra toys inside. These hidden items can then come out at changing time to distract your little one while you get on with your job. Perhaps you wave these toys while you are feeding your baby? What’s the best thing you’ve bought for your nursery?

 

Where the Hell Did That Come From?

Skanking. See what I did there?

One thing we’ve started to noticed since sending Sausage to nursery is that she comes out with things that Husband and I have never heard her say before. It’s largely all positive and her vocabulary and comprehension, although already fantastic, seem to be improving daily.

However, yesterday she came out with an expression which was totally alien to us, but not in a good way. She’s been poorly lately and has very dry lips and whilst watching The Simpsons with Husband she turned to him and said “Daddy, my lips are skanky”. Now, skanky is 100% NOT an expression that either Husband or I use, nor have I heard any other adult use it in our company.

So, our thoughts turn to the kids. The only kids she socialises with outside of nursery are her cousins and not only have we not heard them use the word ‘skanky’, I can’t imagine any of them telling her that as generally, they all seem to dote on her.

We know it’s definitely not come from the telly, ‘skanky’ isn’t a word I’ve ever heard on CBeebies, and I know that Peppa Pig is causing kids to become riotous and end up in juvenile delinquent facilities (what a load of bollocks, eh?) but I don’t think I’ve ever heard such an utterance from her baconey lips.

The thing is, when we questioned Sausage on where she’d heard the expression from and after about ten minutes of clamming up like a good’un, she said to Husband and I “No, I refuse to tell you”. So, where do we go from here? I hate the thought that someone at nursery may have said something so negative to her, but she doesn’t seen adversely affected by it. Do we go to the nursery and ask them to look into it and keep an ear out, or do we drop it and hope it doesn’t happen again?

For the moment, as we have no firm idea of where it came from, I guess we have to just leave it. I don’t want to be one of those parents who flies into the nursery and scolds her teachers for the slightest thing, but at the same time, letting it go has left me feeling utterly impotent.

Any advice, dearest readers?

In the words of Bjork…

“Violently happy, I’m daring people to jump off roofs with me”.

Wait. Wrong song. What I meant to say was:

“It’s oh so quiet…”

Although, to be fair, the jumping off roofs part might be more accurate. This week has been Sausage’s first week of full sessions at nursery, so she’s been out from 9am until we collect her at midday. And do you know what? I’m fucking miserable. I know I use the f-word too much, but this time the occasion really called for it. I needed some oomph and emphasis so you know that I really am truly miserable. I’m well aware of the fact that it’s entirely selfish and self-indulgent misery, but I don’t care.

“Take some time for yourself”, everyone keeps saying. So I am. I’m taking the time during these boring, lonely, shitty three hours to sit and miss my daughter.

Next week it’ll be different, I’ll be out at work while she’s at nursery, so I’m hoping it won’t seem as utterly pointless as it does now, to have other people looking after her while I twiddle my thumbs. And fortunately today is her last nursery day this week, she’s off now until next Tuesday, so I get to have four whole greedy days with her until it all starts over again.

I’m doing my best to keep in mind that it’s all for her. She’s been getting over the tail-end of a cold and has had a couple of not-so-great night’s sleep in the last week, but despite all of this she’s told me every day that she resolutely wants to go to nursery. I wanted to keep her at home, but as long as she wants to go, I have to let her. Although, if she ever tells me she doesn’t want to go anymore, it’s game over for nursery and I’m taking my kid back!

I realise I’m probably being entirely irrational and I know the benefits of her going (at the moment) outweigh the negatives, but I’ve spent every waking moment with that kid since we were allowed to take her home from hospital (bar the occasional night out and trip to the shops) so shipping her out for three non-compulsory hours, three times a week feels totally unnatural.

Sausage seems to love it. She skips to nursery every day, loves playing with her cousin, who is in her class, and runs in every day without a backward glance. We did have an incident yesterday where I walked in to collect her and she burst into tears, but her keyworker said she’d been happily playing all morning and hadn’t shown any sign of being sad. Maybe it was just tiredness?

But either way, as I sit here in my strangely quiet living room and contemplate my daughter being quarter of a mile away, I can honestly say that it sucks to be away from her. But, for her sake, I guess it’s something I’ll have to learn to deal with.

A Step Towards ‘The System’.

Something terrible and terrifying is happening tomorrow. Something that I’ve spent the last three years trying to forget about. It’s never happened before and I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.

Yes. We’re taking Sausage to nursery.

We’ve ummed and ahhed for the last couple of years about whether we were going to send her to nursery, seeing as Husband and I both work from home and we came to the conclusion that no-one could look after Sausage as well as we can, so we’d keep her at home. And then the doubts set in. Are we holding her back? Depriving her of a chance to make friends and have fun?

Read more: A step towards ‘The System’ | iVillage UK