Would You Put Your Toddler Into A Night Nursery?

14/08/2014 16:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
Would you put your toddler into a Night Nursery?
For some British parents, the idea of putting their children into daycare fills them with dread.

So how would they feel about adopting the example of Sweden – where NIGHT nurseries are becoming the norm?

Children are dropped off by their parents in time to eat dinner, clean their teeth and then enjoy a bedtime story with a member of staff.

With the numbers of parents working flexible or unconventional hours going up, local councils are increasingly providing more overnight and weekend services.

One British mum who uses the service is ballerina Gina Tse, 33, who lives in Stockholm and regularly puts her four-year-son Jacy into overnight care.

"As an expat mum, I have the same rights as a Swedish national in terms of maternity leave and access to childcare," she told the BBC.

"Being a ballerina, I regularly perform at night and at weekends.

"For my son, the night nursery is in the same location as his day nursery, so he has the same teachers and it feels familiar.

"When he was one they would put him to sleep in his pram so I could just roll him home after my performance and he wouldn't even wake up.

"When I speak to British friends back home I realise how lucky I am as the cost of childcare is tremendous compared with Sweden. I pay a total of SEK 890 (£93!!!!!!!) a month."

Another mum, Maria Klytseroff, 39, said her children spend about two or three nights a week at one of the preschools in the small, former industrial city of Norrkoping.

There are four council-run nurseries open overnight, the first of which launched 20 years ago..

"At first it was very hard to take my kids to sleep somewhere else and my heart was aching," she said.

"I am a single mum and I wanted to go back to my job, which is at night," explained Maria.

"The children soon got used to it, they have friends and they adore the workers who look after them."

In Sweden, it is up to local government regions (known as municipalities) to decide whether they want to offer publicly funded out-of-hours care.

It is currently available in 123 out of 290 areas and used by almost 5,000 children.

Hospital workers, restaurant workers, transport workers and shop staff affected by longer opening hours in recent years, are among those who benefit from the service.

Sweden's minister for gender equality, Maria Arnholm said: "We believe it is important that families can combine parenthood with work and that shouldn't just include those who work nine-to-five but also those who work inconvenient hours."

But not everyone is sold on the so-called Scandinavian model and its move towards 24-hour services.

Madeleine Wallin, president of the European Federation of Parents and Carers at Home, said: "Spending hours and hours away from their parents can be incredibly stressful for children. You only have to look at their body language when they get dropped off at preschool."

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