I have decided to write this blog about the pros and cons of sending your little one/s to nursery. I felt nursery to be an easy decision until we were looking for one. When my daughter started nursery there were things I noticed that are obvious now but, I would never have thought of at that time. These were more the negatives of nursery. I just kept thinking of all the positives of how much it would help her to interact with other children, especially as being born at the end of 2018, Covid locked us all down when she was about 18 months old. From 18 months children start to understand more and start learning to talk etc, whereas our daughter Ava didn’t really socialise with anyone else until she started nursery at 2.5. Ava was also not interested in talking as much as she was climbing, jumping and being physically busy all the time. So, for me nursery was a must, however, I want to share with you the things I have learnt since sending her to nursery and what I wish I knew before.
It’s such a difficult decision to send your child to nursery, nurseries usually accept children under the age of three. Children start preschool at three. The time has flown past, and your little one still seems so young and small! You’re concentrating on all those milestones and making sure your toddler has all the tools they need for the next stage in their life. Some people believe nursery is one of those tools, to help them through the toddler years before they start preschool. In this blog I will write about both the pros and cons of nursery (because there are certainly both) and if you do send your child to nursery, what you should look for when choosing one and everything you should ask and observe on your visit.
Both pros and cons of nursery are super important to consider as they will both affect your little one/s. Many parents send their children to nursery whilst they go to work or because they have other younger children at home to look after and many others believe it’s the perfect tool to help with their child’s development. We all as parents have different opinions of what is best for our children and our priorities as parents are all different. Some people do not have another option but to use a nursery. A single parent who works for example. Whatever the reasons, there are many things us as parents need to do day to day and dropping children off for a few hours or a whole day is just the perfect time to do these other things. So, this blog will give you all the pros and cons of nursery!
So why is it a good idea for your child/ren to go to nursery?
Nursery can be beneficial for both the parents and children. However, it can put a rather large dent in your bank account! Sending your child to nursery is not cheap, but it can be worth the money. Some people get assistance with nursery and preschool through the government, but this is not the case for everyone.
The reason both parents and children benefit from nursery is because children need to learn other skills and interact with other people. With life going at 100 miles an hour, parents need time away from the children and surprisingly the children need it too. It is so important for parents to have that time to either get things done, work or even just have some time to themselves.
Pros of nursery
• As explained above children going to nursery gives the parents time to do the things they need to do. Whether that be working, running errands, or just taking the time for themselves.
• Spending more time with other children helps children develop their social skills. Some of these skills include sharing, listening, cooperating, making eye contact and using manners. These are all very important skills that children should learn around this age in time for preschool.
• Being away from their parents’ children can start becoming a little more independent. Your child will need to start physically asking for things they want rather than just receiving it which us as parents do naturally, without even realising. This helps with their speech, vocabulary and listening skills. This also helps them understand that other people will only understand what they want if they ask for it.
• Children learn a lot from other children. They help each other with tasks and work together to achieve.
• Your child/ren will sure enough build their immune system with all the bugs, virus’ and flu’s going around the nursery.
• The nursery staff can spend quality time with the children. Often you find yourself looking after your little one/s but also have other things to do. You don’t have the time to spend hours and hours a day of quality time with your child/ren, even as a stay at home parent.
Cons of nursery
So, there are certainly cons of your child going to nursery. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things. These may not all occur to every child/ren but these are all factors you should take into account when deciding if nursery is the right decision for you and your family.
• You don’t personally know the staff looking after your child/ren. The safety of your child shouldn’t really be a concern as the staff are all checked and vetted. However, you won’t personally know the personalities of the staff you are leaving your child with. The way they speak, if they use their manners and how gentle they are or not with children. You know nothing about them. Their essentially vetted strangers.
• The other children, again you don’t know them. And you don’t get any information on any of the other children your child/ren will be associating with. They could be well mannered, well behaved children, they could be naughty and cheeky or there could just be a mixture of everything. Remember children copy everything!
• Time with your children. Yes, time apart with your child/ren is almost essential. However, if you’re a full-time worker (child/ren in nursery full time) and have all your errands do run on your days off, then how much time will you realistically spend with your child/ren?
• Nurseries have opening and closing times and often don’t open weekends. If you are not a Monday to Friday, 9-5 worker then often this choice of childcare will not always work for you if working is the reason for childcare.
• As we all know life doesn’t always go according to plan. So, if you’re late picking up your child/ren there are usually late fees. These are also not cheap!
• As much as this is also noted in the pro’s, your child/ren will likely be poorly a lot more often! Being with other children with coughs, colds and bugs will always spread well in a nursery. Plus, if your child/ren is/are sick you cannot send them to nursery, however, you still have to pay!
• Missing major milestones is a parent’s worst nightmare. You’ve gone through all the hard work of pregnancy and giving birth and then you pop your little one/s into nursery and you could miss all the best, proud parent milestones!
I know it seems there are many more negatives to send your child/ren to nursery than positives, however, it all depends on your circumstances and what makes sense for you and your family. Whilst writing this blog, our daughter is almost 3 and is currently in nursery part time. So as you can see I am not completely against nursery, nor have I had any experience to be overly biased one way or the other. From my own experience, the only thing that bothers me is that my daughter isn’t a massive talker. She tries but is not quite speaking enough to tell us how her day was, or her version of something happening. So, we can only go by what the staff say. This is of course not necessarily inaccurate; it is just not her version. If she has done something wrong, or gets upset, it would be nice to hear from her why she did what she did or feels the way she does. Rather than nursery explaining what they think based on how well they know her.
Choosing a Nursery
If you decide sending your child/ren to Nursery is the right decision for both your child/ren and the family then you must make sure you choose well. You must choose a place that suits your child/ren. That may not be the same place as your friend’s child/ren for example. I have put together a checklist of the things you may want to ask, observe when visiting your potential nursery in order to get a good idea of what happens there and how your little one/s will be looked after. Some nurseries are more geared to physical activities for example and for my daughter a nursery like this is perfect as she learns whilst doing. She is a very physically able child, and she is more interested to listen when she is being taught how to do something fun, like jumping or climbing. And the more listening she does the more conversational speech she learns. However, other children may learn through messy play, or reading. This is something you should bear in mind when choosing your perfect nursery.
Click on the button below to get your ‘perfect nursery’ checklist now,
Thank you for reading my blog on the pros and cons of nursery. I hope you enjoyed it and it has helped you on your way to deciding the perfect plan for your little one/s childcare.