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If you seek answers to this question from only parenting forums or even family, the answers and feedback you receive will leave you more confused than you were before you asked the question. But the truth is that choosing between a nanny and a daycare doesn’t have to be that confusing. All you need is an understanding of the pros and cons of either approach. Even though they have different financial implications on your family, you should not put the financial bit first.

So, how do the two compare?

Nanny Care

A nanny is an individual with specialized training on a child’s early development, and he/she is employed to care for kids on a daily basis, fulltime or part-time. A nanny dedicates more time and care to the child (ren), unlike a babysitter who plays more of an accessional childcare role.

Often, most families hire live-in nannies, and they are given their own rooms (with separate bathroom), but there are families that prefer live-out nannies (there also is an arrangement called nanny share where families share a nanny then split the cost costs).

Pros of hiring a nanny

  • The nanny takes care of tasks like packing lunches, taking the kids to school, and also from school to after-school activities. A nanny could also help the kids with their homework.
  • A nanny also offers consistency, stability, and they also create/ develop a one-on-one bond with the child. The nanny serves as a sensitive and caring parental surrogate
  • Nanny care also means the care of a child in a warm and familiar environment that is safe and child-proofed to the parents’ standards

Cons

  • Nannies are expensive
  • If a nanny falls sick or if she needs the day off, then your entire schedule gets disrupted.

Daycare

Daycare services, on the other hand, are childcare services that are run in either standalone centers or daycare offered by childcare providers in their homes. 

Whichever option you choose, you need first to ensure that the daycare center is licensed and run under the highest possible levels of trust and care. To get a clear picture of daycare, do the following:

  • Tour the daycare (and other daycares) you are considering
  • Create a checklist of questions to help you learn everything you need to know about the daycare
  • Check and ask about meal times and whether the facility offers dietary or allergy food recommendations
  • Check the hours of operation
  • Find out about the child-teacher/ caregiver ratio

You should also enroll your child for daycare if the facility ticks all your checkboxes. Also, the daycare should go above and beyond when it comes to offering the best care to kids.

Pros of daycare

  • They provide set lunches and breakfasts, meaning you won’t have to pack meals
  • It exposes kids to different social events, situations, as well as activities.
  • The teachers in daycares are trained and skilled professionals
  • They have specific start times, as well as backup caregivers.
  • Affordable (relatively)

Cons

  • High risk of germs exposure
  • The hours could be an issue for parents working non-traditional hours
  • High-employee turnover rates
  • Overstimulating environment
  • Kids may pick up negative behaviors like screaming and biting.

 

Conclusion

Nanny care or daycare? It all depends on what you need. You need to think about your care expectations, the comfort of the care, flexibility in terms of scheduling, and the cost. At the end of the day, your decision might be determined by how much emotional attention and comfort either option offers. Most parents with babies prefer nannies to daycares, but as kids grow older, daycare centers become a preferable option.

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