A big question you ask when you are preparing for the arrival of your first child or making a change to your current childcare setup, is which is a better fit for my family – nanny vs daycare? Should you focus on a daycare or should you find a nanny near you? Both of these options have pros and cons that deserve a thorough review and comparison. Let’s review a nanny vs daycare.
Nanny: A nanny will provide your child with personalized one-on-one attention throughout the day. The nanny can easily tailor feeding and nap schedules specifically for your child.
Daycare: In a daycare environment, one caregiver is often assigned to watch at least six to 10 kids. The exact ratio is limited by the specific laws in your area. While daycare teachers do their best to cater to each child’s needs, their attention is understandably divided. They also must stick to a strict schedule for the benefit of the group.
Nanny: In exchange for the personalized attention a nanny can provide to your child, you may miss out on the daycare benefit of caregivers who are trained in early childhood development. A parent can get around this by hiring a nanny who has this experience.
Daycare: A daycare oftentimes operates similarly to a pre-school, where caregivers have been trained in early childhood education. They can teach reading, motor skills, etc. to your child.
Nanny: Generally, nannies are more expensive than daycares. If you have multiple children or do not need full-time childcare, hiring a nanny could be more economical. One way to cut down on costs is to create a nanny share and split the cost with another family.
Daycare: Many daycares are less expensive than having a full time nanny. However, some daycare rates can be astronomical, especially when you have to pay for a full day regardless of the hours you use and that cost multiplies with each additional child.
Nanny: In general, a nanny can provide more flexibility. For instance, a nanny might be able to modify their hours more easily if you need them to come earlier or later on a given day.
Daycare: Daycares have fixed hours of operation and most are closed for weekends and major holidays. If you arrive for pickup late, there might be a fee. If your job requires you to be available at odd hours or for long shifts, the daycare structure is likely not suitable for you.
Nanny: If your nanny keeps your children at home all day, your child could have minimal social interaction. Parents can overcome this challenge by setting up playgroups and taking advantage of other group activities, such as music classes for the nanny and child to attend.
Daycare: The social interaction of a daycare setting is a major benefit. This daily interaction can help young children to prepare for preschool and learn how to behave in a school environment.
Nanny: Your home environment may be cleaner than a daycare, and your child is likely to be exposed to fewer germs as a result. Some parents prefer exposure to some germs earlier in life to help their child build immunity.
Daycare: Daycare facilities must comply with strict cleanliness standards, but germs can still spread like wildfire through the classrooms. For example, one parent may bring a sick child to class, and many other children in the class could become ill.
Nanny vs Daycare – It’s a matter of personal choice:
The best way to determine with certainty which childcare solution is right for you is to explore each option. You can find a nanny near you that lives up to your expectations, and you can compare specific benefits against those offered by a daycare near you. Regardless of which option you decide on, make sure to ask for references and read reviews, if available.