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Nanny or Daycare: The Pros and Cons

Nanny or Daycare: The Pros and Cons

Do you prefer having a nanny or daycare? 

I polled Instagram last week, and 75% of those who responded preferred having a nanny!

Nannies are expensive, but daycare can be just as expensive if you have multiple kids.

We had a nanny leave us unexpectedly after 1.5 years and I had trouble finding a suitable replacement. We ended up enrolling our son in a daycare as a last resort. It was emotional for both of us. 

Of course, this is a highly personal decision, but I’m sharing some of the pros and cons that I’ve experienced with both. 

Nanny or Daycare Pros and Cons

Nanny Pros

Convenience 

Having a nanny is convenient because there is no morning rush to get out the door. They come to your home and help with whatever is needed including getting kids dressed and prepping meals. 

Personalized Care 

Your kids get personalized care at home that they may not be able to get in a daycare setting. Your nanny can get to know their needs and provide specialized support. 

Less Sick Days

When your kids are home, they are not being exposed to the germs of a classroom every day. They are sick less often, which means you are sick less often.

Control

You have control over your kid’s schedules including activities and nap times. If you don’t want your child to sleep longer than 2 hours during the day then the nanny can wake them up. If you want your children to spend the entire day playing outside, then they get to do that too. Having a nanny allows you to create a schedule that you love.

More Time with Your Kids

If you’re a parent who gets to work from home, it can allow for more time with your kids. You get to skip the commute to and from daycare. You might get to take your lunch break with them or squeeze in a few hugs in between meetings. If you’re breastfeeding, you can nurse instead of pumping when your schedule allows.

Nanny Cons

Expensive

Nannies can be expensive especially if you have one child. I’ve seen ranges anywhere from 20-40/hr depending on experience. It’s easy to get priced out of working with the cost of childcare.

Last Minute Coverage

It’s up to you to find coverage if your nanny is sick or taking a vacation. Having a backup plan in place is helpful. 

Challenging to Replace

Finding the right fit for your family can take time. If your nanny leaves you unexpectedly, it can be challenging to find a suitable replacement on short notice. I’ve had luck finding local childcare through sites like sittercity.com and care.com.

Daycares also have waiting lists so it’s not so simple to put childcare into place quickly. 

Increased Distractions

For remote working parents, having the kids at home even with help can be distracting at times. Having structure, and outings with the nanny can be helpful.

Daycare Pros 

Set School Schedule

The daycare schedule is set in advance. Rarely, is a daycare going to shutdown on short notice.

Structure

Daycares have structured days filled with pre-planned activities. Kids are regularly learning through art projects, special guests, music, and more. It can help to advance skills and also to prepare them for kindergarten. 

Socialization 

Daycare can provide socialization. When your kids are home daily, their interactions are limited to you. Daycare allows them to meet new kids, and learn how to play with others. 

Less Distractions  

If you’re a working parent, it’s easier to work from home having your kids in school. There is less background noise. 

Daycare Cons 

Kids are Sick Regularly 

When your kids are in daycare, they are exposed to a lot of germs. They get sick often, leaving you with unwell kids and without childcare. 

Waitlists to Enroll 

Childcare needs are on the rise and many of the desirable daycares have waitlists to enroll. It’s best to explore options in advance.

Crowded Classrooms

Daycares are a business and some can have large classrooms of kids to maximize their profits. This can make for chaotic environments. It’s worth considering class size as you explore options. 

Minimal 1:1 Support

Due to the number of kids in daycares, it can be a challenge for kids to get 1:1 support. If your child has special needs or behavioral challenges, be sure to assess if the daycare can accommodate them. 

Final Thoughts on Nanny or Daycare

Finding the right childcare can be a process. I’ve had nannies and have tried different daycares. I’ve also had a combination of the two when I had my second child. I preferred a caring nanny when my kids were infants and babies. It was nice to have them close by when they were so little and control over their nap schedules.

I prefer daycare for toddlers. At that age, I liked providing the structure of a school environment and allowing for socialization.

As a full-time working parent, I didn’t love having my child in a chaotic daycare setting for 40+ hours a week. I chose a daycare close to my house so I could minimize the amount of time they had to spend there. If my day was done early, I would pick them up early.

My dream childcare setting is part-time daycare and part-time nanny. Either way, if you find a caring person or facility that you are comfortable with, that’s all that matters. 

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