Daycare vs. Nannycare: The Pros and Cons

Daycare

Pros:

  1. Cost: It is one of the most affordable options for childcare.
  2. Your child's care provider is in a supervised environment with many adults present.
  3. Daycare centers must meet minimum state safety and sanitary regulations.
  4. You maintain your privacy. You do not have to open up your home to anyone.
  5. Your child will have more opportunity to socialize with other children.

Cons:

  1. It is very likely that your child will be sick more frequently.
  2. Shipping your child to a daycare center can be inconvenient. Packing baby supplies, bundling kids up in the winter and getting yourself ready for work can be very time consuming.
  3. It is a fact of life that daycare centers pay their employees very low wages. Consequently, turnover is high. If consistency in care providers is important to you, this may not be the best option.
  4. If your child is very ill, daycare centers will not allow your child to attend. You will need to find back up care or be prepared to take days off from work.
  5. Many daycare centers dictate when your child should be off the bottle, pacifier, take naps etc. If the idea of someone else calling the shots with your child's routine turns you off, you may not like this form of care for your child. On the other hand, some parents like the idea of the daycare center doing the "dirty work" and appreciate someone else getting their toddler to give up his comfies.
  6. If your work hours are longer than the standard hours of operation for the daycare center, you will need to arrange for drop off and/or pickup by either a family member or another childcare provider.

Nanny Care

Pros:

  1. One-on-one care for your child. This is especially desirable in the infant years. Babies are held more often, comforted when crying.
  2. Your child is cared for in a familiar and comfortable environment, your home.
  3. More convenient for parents. Parents do not have to dress and pack up kids to transport them to outside care.
  4. Less illness. Children do not catch every illness that is going around. Parents are not required to find sick care for their child or to take as much time off to care for a sick child.
  5. Many times, parents enjoy a more flexible schedule. If parents need to leave early in the morning and can not return by the standard closing time of a daycare center, nanny care is sometimes a much better alternative.
  6. More control over values, rules your child is exposed to. Parents can communicate to Nanny the way things are done and ask that Nanny follow family rules, teach family values, etc.

Cons:

  1. Cost: Nannycare is the most expensive form of childcare. Recruiting a nanny can be costly when using a Nanny agency. Weekly salaries for nannies are 2 to 3 times the cost of a week of daycare. Cost becomes more comparable to daycare when 2 or more children are cared for by the nanny.
  2. Turnover: Finding the right nanny can be challenging. Some families go through many nannies until they find the right match. This lack of consistency is difficult on the children and the parents.
  3. Lack of Privacy: Some families do not like the idea of having a "stranger" in their home all day. And, when a live-in is involved, the lack of privacy spills over to evening and weekend hours as well.
  4. Lack of Security: Everyone has heard the stories of abusive nannies. Even though this is not the norm, many families feel the risk is just too high to trust someone with their child.
  5. Hassle: Employing someone in your home does come with some added "hassles." Calculating and paying payroll taxes, providing benefits such as paid vacation time, health insurance, sick days. All of these things are imperative if you want to keep your nanny and keep her happy. But, when holding down a full time job and taking care of your children when you are home, taking care of nanny too, can sometimes be difficult for families to remember.
  6. Back up care. You will still need to arrange for back up care when nanny is sick or takes vacation time.

Republished with permission from Parents With Nannies, Inc.