Nanny vs. Daycare – Which to Choose for Your Child

When considering your family's childcare needs, you may have narrowed your choice to hiring a nanny or putting your child into daycare.

Making the best childcare decision for your family will depend on weighing a number of options. Not only will you need to consider cost, availability and quality, you will need to listen to your gut if you’re to choose your childcare confidently.

Cost
When deciding on a nanny versus daycare, consider the pros and cons of each. For instance, a nanny can be expensive and may be out of your price range. If you have more than two children that need care, though, going with a nanny may be cost-effective. Rather than paying a daycare fee of $35 to $60 per child, you’ll simply pay an hourly rate between minimum wage and $20 per hour to your nanny no matter how many children she cares for.

Ease
With nanny care, your child will be able to awaken on his or her natural schedule foregoing a morning rush to daycare. You’ll be free to leave for work confident that your child is in safe hands. A nanny may take on extra household responsibilities. A nanny may allow for a more flexible schedule than a daycare might.

On the other hand, taking your child to daycare will allow you to forgo having your house in order as you might feel is necessary having a nanny. But a daycare’s start and pickup times will be less flexible. Their schedule may conflict with your work schedule causing extra stress and possibly even financial penalties.

Learning and Play
A good nanny will have special childcare training. She’ll set up a schedule and plan daily activities. But unlike a daycare that’s full of other children and equipment, she’ll need to be intentional about creating opportunities for socialization and learning.

Licensed daycare centres employ certified teachers who follow curriculum with milestones for the children to achieve. A daycare will provide opportunities for your child to participate with other children his or her age–something most preschoolers crave. They’ll participate in stimulating games and activities including outdoor playtime. Your child may miss these things if you choose nanny care.

On the other hand, at a daycare, your child will be one of many children and not necessarily receive the same amount of one-on-one care he or she would receive from a nanny. He or she may also have to cope with other unruly children and their germs.

Consistency
A nanny will offer your child consistency of care, whereas some daycares interchange teachers and have high staff turnovers. You may be better able to personalize your child’s care with a nanny, instructing her to carry out duties as you might.

Nanny agencies make searching for a nanny easy and effective whether you’re interested in finding a full-time nanny, au pair (domestic assistant from a foreign country), student nanny or a part-time nanny.

Communication
If communication is important, you may find it easier to keep in touch with a nanny over a daycare centre. You and your nanny may be able to exchange text messages and photos. You may be able to check in by means of a nanny cam installed in your home.

On the downside, if you feel awkward having someone in your home all day while you’re at work, you may prefer going with a daycare.

Childcare cost is important, but sometimes the best childcare choice is the one that makes life less stressful and more comfortable for all family members.