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"I was worried that a booking and admin system would be complicated and expensive. What we've found is that Kids Club HQ has saved me time and money with parents booking their own sessions and automated invoicing for those with regular days."

Yolanda
Manager
Charlton Breakfast & After School Club

Being a parent is a full-time job, but not all parents have the luxury of spending all day with their kids. They may have work to do, an appointment, or simply wish for some time to relax. In these cases, it’s common to find a childcare provider, who can take care of your children for you.

Most parents struggle to choose the right childcare service, whether that be a childminder or nursery. One provides more staff whilst the other is more tailored to your child. Both can offer wraparound care, especially with the help of admin services like Kids Club HQ. Each provider has its own benefits; choosing the right one depends on your circumstances.

Why is it important to choose the right childcare?

It’s important for your child to be nurtured in a safe and stimulating environment. Depending on how many children you have and your financial situation, the type of childcare you choose will impact you and your kids differently. Childcare isn’t necessarily cheap, so you should spend your money wisely.

If your child has special needs or requires a lot of attention, it’s vital that they get the right kind of childcare. Choosing childcare that can’t cater to their needs could harm or hinder their development, so make sure you prioritise their well-being.

Safety

You want to make sure that your kids are safe even when they’re not with you. Trusting another with your child can be difficult, so you should always make sure childcare providers are legitimate and qualified to care for children.

Cost

Childcare providers should never break the bank. Money is a necessity when it comes to raising children, so be careful when paying for childcare services. Providing a child with financial stability is important.

Environment

The environment you surround your child with can either benefit or damage their growth. Childcare providers should be offering a stimulating and healthy environment for your child to spend time in. A child’s surroundings can affect many things:

  • Enjoyment or Happiness
  • Productivity
  • Friendships
  • Social Interaction
  • Fitness
  • Development

Childminder vs Nursery

There are many differences between a childminder and a nursery. They both act as a form of childcare service, but there are fundamental factors that separate the two. One is not necessarily better than the other and each service has its pros and cons. Whichever one suits you better will depend on your children and unique circumstances.

Qualifications

Childminders: An official childminder must be registered with OFSTED or a Childminder Agency, which requires you to pass a home-based childcare course or equivalent training.

Nurseries: You need GCSEs in English and Math as well as experience with childcare. Depending on the role, you may also need a level 2 or 3 childcare qualification.

Setting

Childminders: Childminders often operate in their own home. The space offers more comfort but limits the amount of children they can care for.

Nurseries: Nursery settings can vary in size, from small establishments to much larger buildings. They can cater for anywhere between 15-100 children depending on the size.

Price

Childminders: On average, a registered childminder costs £118.30 a week (part-time) for children under 2.

Nurseries: Nurseries are free for 3-4 year olds for up to 15 hours a week. Otherwise, nurseries cost an average of £137.70 a week (part-time) for children under 2.

How to decide the right childcare provider?

Every parent struggles to choose the right childcare provider for their kids. It’s an important decision to make, and a wrong choice could potentially harm your children. When deciding on a childcare provider, it’s best to consider multiple factors whilst prioritising your children’s needs.

Step 1: Identify Your Requirements & Your Child’s Needs

Before you begin researching or contacting services, you must first identify what you want from a childcare provider. This includes cost range, location, staff qualifications, planned activities, and more. Remember to take into account your child’s specific needs.

For example, if your child requires a lot of attention, it may be best to look for a place with lower staff to child ratios. Or, if you want an environment that helps with your child’s development, look for a place that organises activities for children.

Step 2: Research Childcare Providers

Research for childcare providers that meet your requirements. Look at their websites and reviews for information. Find out what specific services they provide and how they manage their business. Look into aspects like their policies, schedules, management systems, and more.

It’s important to know how much care and attention your child will receive from the staff and whether they offer wraparound care. Some childcare providers delegate admins to services like Kids Club HQ, allowing them to focus more on the children.

If you’re struggling to find the information you want online, contact them by phone or email.

Step 3: Visit Childcare Providers

Once you’ve shortlisted a few childcare services, visit their base of operations if possible. You can arrange a visit or drop by unannounced for nurseries. Check out the environment and talk to the staff to get a feel for the place.

During your visit, you should look out for a number of factors:

  • Childproofing/Hazards
  • Cleanliness
  • Friendliness (from staff)
  • Staff to child ratios
  • Toys/Tools (for children)
  • Activities
  • Use of space

Step 4: Pay Attention to Your Child

Make sure to take into account your child’s opinions or reactions. During the visit, look to see how interested they seem in the environment. Ask your child questions to get their opinion. You can also monitor how the staff treat your child.

Conclusion

Choosing the right childcare provider for your kids can be difficult. Each child has different needs, so the right child care can vary from person to person. Childminders and nurseries are two popular choices; they operate in different environments and vary in price.

When deciding a childcare provider, you should keep in mind both the needs of your child and yourself. Research each provider thoroughly to find out how they manage their operations. We at Kids Club HQ strive to make admins simple and easy to manage for childcare providers. Check out our live demo to get a look at how we streamline admin systems.