- B is at the local nursery school, two minutes drive away. She started there when she was 1 and (besides a first 3 months of seperation anxiety) has always been happy, well fed and loved there. So when the school said they're adding a baby class from 6 months of age, with no more than 8 in the class, it sounded perfect.
- L gets educational stimulation, they play in the sand, in the water, with musical instruments, they go for walks, they have mat exercise time where they have tummy time, rolling practise etc. I've often heard of nannies putting children in front of the tv so they can get some cleaning done or have a tea, lunch break but I know L is getting some serious stimulation while I'm at work.
- All her food is made at school, she now eats four different kinds of cooked porridge and so many varieties of vegetables. As a working mom to know my child is being fed healthy food is wonderful. I also don't have to fit in the time to cook it. I just make fruit purees in bulk on the weekends now and defrost some in the evening after work, add greek yoghurt and her dinner is done.
- L started school before she had any stranger anxiety and is never anxious to leave me. As soon as her teacher says hello, L holds out her arms to go to her.
- I believe children need a routine (it's the teacher in me) and her school follows a routine. I know that she'll nap and eat everyday at a set time and I follow that routine at home on the weekends too. The school also allows for off days when a child needs to nap earlier or longer so I know her needs are met.
- Each class at school has a teacher and an assistant so if the teacher is sick, L can still go to school and I don't have to miss work. The one drawback here is, if L is sick she must stay at home and I must therefore miss work to stay with her.
- In S.A. we often have transport issues: taxi strikes; bus breakdowns; copper cable theft which causes train delays and these all mean a late for work nanny which means a late for work mommy. L's school opens 7am and closes 5:30 pm every weekday without fail.
- All the teachers and other nursery school kids adore L. Everyone greets her, and the kids want to see her or ask to touch her or ask me questions about her. She's getting very well socialis She has a huge extended family of people that adore her. Most of all B adores having L at her school and showing her off.
- The teaching staff have all studied early childhood education and have also all completed first aid courses. One of my biggest fears is L choking at home with a nanny and the nanny not being able to help her or get her medical help quick enough. I work 20 minutes away but I know if anything happens to L the teacher can try save her and as the school has transport they can get her to the local medicross in under 5 minutes.
- And lastly security, we live in a country with a lot of home invasions. Criminals follow nannies to work knowing they'll be home alone with the kids and are then easy targets to attack to gain access to the house especialy when the nanny is taking your cherub to the park. When I drop my kids at school I know they are safe there. There are lots of staff, surveillance cameras, security gates and alarms keeping my cherubs safe. For me safe, happy children is my number one priority.
L at school
During my maternity leave I had to make the serious childcare decision. I went back and forth for a while but finally I opted for daycare over a nanny and this is why.
I'm 35. Married with two small girls. I'm a teacher and writing about my life here, in Cape Town.