Nanny vs. Daycare: Which is the best path for your family?

Nanny vs. DaycareMaking the decision of what care options to provide for your child is one of the most significant decisions you can make early on. For most families, this decision happens before the birth as they start looking for infant child care. There are so many factors to making this decision – emotional, financial, practical – that it can be one of the most stressful aspects of your pregnancy.

One of the most common option comparisons is nanny vs. daycare. There are pros and cons for both. Each family is unique, so it is crucial to determine what your goals are for child care and know what benefits you are looking for from your particular situation. Start by making a checklist of what you require – hours, how many children, learning elements, cost, etc.

With your checklist in place, you can use the pros and cons outlined here to help you determine which path is likely the best for your family.

Nanny Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • A nanny can be more cost effective for families with multiple small children. Paying one person to watch your two (or possibly three,) children can usually be slightly more affordable than tuition for all of your children at a daycare center.
  • In-home care is more convenient and is more familiar to the child. This especially helps in the morning, if you’re trying to rush out the door. Not having to take your child somewhere can make the morning routine just a little easier.
  • If you work from home, you can see your child during the day, as your schedule allows.
  • Generally, a nanny can provide more flexible hours/schedule. This is ideal for people who work long hours or work an atypical schedule.

Cons:

  • Finances – Hiring a nanny is generally the most expensive child care option available. Additionally, you are required to pay various taxes (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment,) which adds to the cost.
  • There is no licensing, regulation or training required of the nannies.
  • On days when the nanny is sick, there is no back up coverage. And should the nanny decide to leave, they can leave you without any child care at all, without warning.

Educational Daycare Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Educational – Depending on your goals for your child, you can select a play based or curriculum based program. Curriculum based programs can provide a head start for toddlers in terms of learning the fundamentals of reading, mathematical basics and even beginning writing. These types of programs can provide a strong start for Kindergarten.
  • Availability – Often times, larger employers will provide on-site (usually subsidized,) daycare. If your company does not, you can usually find the type of program you are seeking near your house, office or somewhere along your commute.
  • Socialization – Unlike staying at home with a nanny, daycare allows children to have significant social interaction and learn about playing with others, sharing, communicating and more.
  • Licensing and Regulation – All daycare centers are licensed and regulated by the state, needing to adhere to strict guidelines. For education based programs, usually all instructors are trained in early childhood education, and often are provided with on-going education.

Cons:

  • Less individual attentional. Your child will nearly always have to share the attention of an instructor. States regulate the teacher:child ratio. Usually it is 1:3 for infants and 1:4 for toddlers.
  • Children can get sick more often. This is, without a doubt, true. But studies show that a child exposed to colds and viruses earlier in life will develop a stronger immune system and they are less likely to become sick in their later years.
  • More defined hours – Daycare centers generally have preset hours. While these hours are usually quite long (often from 7am to 6 or 7 pm,) they will not work for everyone. If you have an atypical schedule, this may not be the path for you.

Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer in the nanny vs. daycare debate – the decision should be what works best for your family and the future of your child. With a nanny or au pair you’re essentially sacrificing guaranteed education and socialization for the comfort of knowing your child is at home.

Connecting with a Local Educational Daycare Center

If you’re looking for an educational daycare center in the Maryland / Delaware area, you owe it to yourself to tour your local Celebree. Click here to schedule a tour or call 410-515-8750 today!

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