Consider the following when deciding what kind of childcare would suit you.
- During what hours of the day or night do you need childcare, and are the hours regular? A live-in nanny is there at all times but you'll need to arrange it right at the start if you want her to work unsociable hours. The same goes for childminders. Some will take children at odd hours but it needs to be arranged in advance.
- How much are you willing to spend? Remember nannies are the most expensive option and if you pay her badly she will resent that.
- Do you want your child to get one to one attention or are you happy for her to share a carer with other children, say in a nursery setting.
- Do you need someone who can do some housework or are you only looking for childcare.
Decide well in advance what type of childcare you want to go for. Some nurseries have waiting lists - especially good ones - so if you're considering using a nursery, get your name down soon! If you opt for a nanny or childminder start looking about 2 months before you need her to start. Nanny agencies can be expensive but are a great way to find nannies, as that's where we all go when we're looking for a job. Also put up notices in local libraries and toddler groups, and ask around. If you know someone with a nanny tell them to tell their nanny that you're looking. That way, she'll tell all her friends who are looking, and it'll soon spread around the nanny community. Whoever you choose, remember that experience is the most important thing. The more childcare experience a carer has, the better. And of course qualifications such as N.N.E.B. and Norland Diploma count for a lot too!