I have spent some time temping for Reed Education as a qualified Nursery Nurse. This has given me the opportunity to experience other settings.
Both childminders and nurseries work to the same welfare requirements and standards. Both are regulated by Ofsted and must deliver Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
Birth to three years
Early relationships and experiences impact on development for the rest of our lives. Failure to have trust in their cargiver and environment can result in a sense of mistrust of others. Children under thirty months mainly play alongside other children. Play itself is usually solo so each child needs their own playthings and own territory. In the comfort of a home setting with fewer children, babies and young children are more likely to get access to their chosen toys and find their own space. The home setting with the same carer, flexible routines, and everyday life experiences are the best place for the under threes.
Once children reach three years old they have become quite capable and independent. They like to do things for themselves. Many no longer sleep during the day and most manage to go to the toilet independently. Children of three years are interested in play with other children and like having friends their own age. This is when good nurseries come into their own. The limitations of the home setting may no longer provide the right environment for the pre-school child.
This is when I would recommend a transition period into a nursery. It is also when you can claim 15 hours free entitlement.
Once your child turns three, the start of their free entitlement, I will ask you to reduce their hours and use them to access a pre school nursery. This is the start of their transition period. Hopefully the child will be ready for a new learning experience. If you feel your child is not ready then this, of course, can delayed for a term. In any case the term before your child turns four would be the last term I can accomodate them.