Part Three Of My Three Part Series on the Benefits and Costs of Using Paid Childcare. 
Nurseries generally cater for children aged between 3 months and 5 years. They work to strict ratios – for children under 2, there will be 1 staff member for 3 children, for 2 year olds, 1 adult: 4 children, 3 years and older 1:8. This also means the younger your child, typically, the more their ‘space’ costs, to fund the extra staff members. 
Nurseries will group children according to their age, so your child will be provided with age appropriate activities, equipment and meals. They will also be socialising with children at a similar developmental stage to them. 
Day nursery opening hours vary from setting to setting, but will typically cover 8am-6pm or 7.30am-6.30pm. Some nurseries are open 7am-7pm.  
These hours are great if you have to factor in your commuting time. 
Nurseries provide structured play and learning in a safe and secure environment. They are governed by Ofsted, inspected and graded, and follow the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) framework. They allow your child to socialise and have fun, as well as encouraging their development. 
Children’s nurseries in Hertfordshire typically cost around £55 – £65 per day (10 hour days). They usually offer a sibling discount (10%) and you may have help with funding. From 3 years of age, your child can receive 15 free hours of childcare per week. 
One thing to bear in mind if you go down the nursery route is germs – especially in the early days, whilst your child’s immune system is adjusting, they are likely to get every bug going! Nurseries have strict exclusion policies to prevent illnesses spreading, so be prepared to take time off or find emergency childcare, as the nursery won’t allow them back until 48 hours after the last bout of illness. 
From this and my two previous articles discussing nannies and childminders, I hope you now have enough information to make an informed decision. If you would like more advice, or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with Rosebud Nanny Agency. 
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