Are private paying nurseries worth the money?

Since we had our first child, H, we had always been adamant that both children would go to a nursery, even though both Mrs F and I had planned for Mrs F to take a full year out. We were still determined after Mrs F’s maternity leave had ceased, that although it can be extremely expensive, both children would experience nursery in some shape or form. But looking back, have we really had our monies worth out of it?

There were a few key reasons for wanting our little ones to go to a nursery following enjoying their first year with Mrs F. The first reason was out of necessity if I’m being honest, I’ve said before but Mrs F and I don’t have large families, anyone who can look after our precious ones when we are at work, its predominately just us, with Mrs F’s Dad and a couple of very close friends helping us in times of dire need. The second is that we also like the finer things in life, believe in saving and being able to “splurge” a few times a year if needed so Mrs F was always going to go back to work in some shape or form and having worked out the finances, its didn’t make sense for her to go back on a full time basis but she is still employed for 3 days a week as a result.


Due to this, it meant both children were in our chosen private nursery on those days, costing no less than around £500 per month for three days a week. This was per child, but thankfully, due to some well planned out age gaps, H was just receiving his free 30 hours be the time D was due to start so we never paid for both fully at the same time. Thats a lot of money, even for one child though, it’s essentially someones mortgage (if they are lucky) so for the price of a roof over a families head you’d expect a fair bit in return. Taking care of your little ones is of course the primary focus and ensuring their happiness and welfare is paramount. However as they start to grow, their development and learning journey is another important factor, especially as they enter their 3rd year.


Now looking back, it’s important to stress that we never had any major concerns about both children in their private nursery setting, the staff were lovely. Yes we’d be lying if a few things didn’t annoy us from time to time; coming home with stains which weren’t able to be washed out, the fact that tea (something which we had to pay extra for) was sardines and as a result our little one didn’t eat it so would be hungry and need feeding when we got home post 6pm and said child is over tired, but on the whole it was a pleasant journey both for the children and for us.

Now D is of the age she can go to our local schools own nursery (or preschool whatever you call it) we’ve really seen the difference between them. The amount D has learnt in the past 8 weeks compared to what she did in her final year at private school is immense. Yes you could instantly say it is down to her age and ability, but equally I think the structure and fun play which the school nursery puts in place, the inclusion with the main school years (attending assemblies etc) in comparison is a million miles apart from the private nursery. It’s obviously too late to raise any concerns now but looking back, its definitely something I would do if we were to have a third child.


Do you think there is a difference between private nursery and school nurseries, are you more of an advocate of them not going to them at all until they legally need to (reception year)? I’d love to hear your comments below.


The main thing is that both D and H are healthy and happy but I can’t help thinking of all those £500 per months which were paid away without much resistance.


Until next time