Alternatives to nursery

What to do if your child isn’t happy at nursery

The best nurseries in London are fantastic places where children thrive. If your little one is in one of these nurseries, hold on tight and cross your fingers and toes.

Unfortunately, each week we get lots of calls from parents who are not happy with their nursery. In many cases the nursery itself is perfectly great, but the setup is just not working for the family for one reason or another.

For example, we recently spoke to a parent whose baby had just never settled into nursery. “It’s gone beyond normal separation anxiety,” the mum said. “Morning dropoff is heartbreaking, and it doesn’t seem to be improving as time goes by.”

Another family I spoke to recently were at their wit’s end as their daughter seemed to be constantly sick. “Every time Nora has a loose poo, even if it’s just from teething, the nursery calls and I have to drop everything to pick her up,” the mum told us. “Then she can’t go back to nursery for 48 hours afterwards.”   

If you’re thinking of switching out of nursery for whatever reason, you may be wondering, what other options do we have? Is it a nanny or nothing?   

Nanny share – an alternative to nursery

For many families, a nanny share can be a great alternative to nursery. The children still get the benefits of social interaction, it’s flexible in terms of location and timing (with less time off sick), while also being much more affordable than a nanny.

If you live in an expensive part of London, or are paying more for a part time place, a nanny share could cost about the same as your nursery. If not, it could be a little more. As a guide, the cost of a nanny share is generally £9-11 per hour.  

If you’re interested to explore nanny share as an alternative to nursery, do bear in mind that the more pickups/dropoffs involved, the tougher it is to find a nanny share match. So an afternoon-only nanny share could be difficult to find.  

Whole day shares, however — even just a couple of days a week — are very doable. Find a great family to nanny share with using our free family finder.

We often find the families who are leaving nursery to do a nanny share are the happiest with their matches, as they have some flexibility on their start date and therefore can wait a bit to find a family that really suits them.

Find a local family to nanny share with using our free tool

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