When it’s time to return to work after your maternity leave, one of the most heated and nerve-racking decisions in parenting is nanny vs. daycare. While there is no universal “right decision,” there may be a choice that makes more sense for you. And whatever you choose at first may not be the best long term option as your baby grows older or you have more children. Today we’re examining the pros and cons of nanny vs. daycare.
The Pros of having a Nanny
- When you find the right fit for your family a nanny can be like a second mother to your children. Without the many distractions you face, a nanny may even be able to give your child more undivided attention than you could.
- A nanny is more convenient because you don’t have to pack up your kids – and their endless supplies – and take them somewhere outside your home. This is especially important if you have to report to work early or often stay late.
- Your children get to remain in their own familiar home environment and take naps in their own cribs.
- Many nannies help with other household chores including laundry, cleaning and food prep.
The Cons of having a Nanny
- Nannies are usually more expensive than daycare, especially when you have to factor in taxes.
- If your nanny is sick or on vacation, you will need alternative care for your children.
- Finding the right nanny can be time consuming. You may go through several nannies until you find the right one for you and your kids.
- Having a nanny in your home may make you uncomfortable and invade your privacy.
The Pros of Daycare
- Daycare provides a stimulating social environment for your children to learn to play, share, appreciate and make friends with other kids their age.
- Daycare workers must have certifications and often have special training to take care of young children. They can help you navigate parenting landmines and offer advice.
- Daycare is usually less expensive than a nanny and sometimes meals are included.
- You may also make new friends by meeting other families at daycare.
- The daycare you select may be closer to your workplace than your home, making it easier to visit your children throughout the day.
The Cons of Daycare
- Daycares offer less individualized attention for each child based on higher child/teacher ratios.
- Children who go to daycare are often sick more because germs are spread around like wildfires. If your child is sick, she may have to stay home and you’ll need alternative care.
- Your mornings will probably be hectic as you have to get yourself and your children ready and out the door so you can get to work on time.
- The comforts of home are lacking, especially when it comes to naptime.
- Daycares have high turnover rates so there may not be consistency of care.
- Finding a daycare with hours that sync with your work schedule may be challenging.
Deciding “nanny vs. daycare” is a very personal choice. Weigh the pros and cons to determine which seems right for your family. Then continue to reevaluate as your children get older and make changes accordingly.