Inside: Working parents often struggle with the childcare question. Find the best childcare solution with this list of pros and cons of nannies vs daycares, and determine if you should get a nanny.
*This post is sponsored by CareWorks.
From the moment you become a parent, you are faced with choices each and every day regarding how to best care for your child. Should I breastfeed? Bottle feed? Swaddle? Co-Sleep? Motherhood is all about choices, but one of the most important choices you can make is how to provide childcare for your little one once you return to work.
You do have choices. I mean, you could search for local daycares, hire a part-time babysitter, or consider a full-time nanny. Nannies are often a popular choice, especially when you work with an agency like CareWorks who screens applicants thoroughly and matches families with the perfect fit. However, as with any choice you have to make for your children, making this decision requires a thorough investigation of the pros and cons.
Begin your exploration of finding the best childcare solution for your children with this list of pros and cons, and determine if you should get a nanny or not.
The Child Care Conundrum: Should You Get a Nanny?
Let’s read some pros and cons of nannies vs daycares.
PRO: More Control Over Your Child’s Care
While daycares differ, many times parents are restricted to the schedule and routine that is already established. Your child naps at the time designated by the daycare, your child eats the food that is available, etc. However, when you hire a nanny to care for your children in your home, you have more control over the daily routine, his or her sleeping routines, and outings. You can set the rules for your children without regard to what other children are doing in typical daycares. In addition, you can also request that your nanny send you daily updates, photos, and messages throughout the day so you are more informed about what is happening at home.
Related: Here’s your checklist for finding a nanny
CON: Parenting Style Conflicts
While you may have more parental control, it is still possible that you may have parenting style conflicts with your nanny. For example, your nanny may prefer to discipline in a different way than you prefer, or your nanny may allow screen time when you’re opposed to this practice. As a working mother, it’s important to you that your children are cared for and parented in a way that is acceptable to you. To avoid this challenge or conundrum, work with a specialty agency such as CareWorks to thoroughly screen nannies to find an individual who meshes well with your family, respects your wishes and adopts your parenting style.
PRO: Individualized Care for Your Children
It’s an inviting option to find a loving and caring individual who can provide individualized care for your children. When you hire a nanny, that’s what you get. Regardless of whether your child craves one-on-one attention, has special needs or requires constant supervision while playing, a full-time nanny in your home can meet all of these needs and desires. Whereas your children will likely have to compete for attention among 10 or more other children at a daycare facility, when hiring a nanny to care for your little ones in your home, they get the one-on-one attention they deserve. Even better, a nanny can personalize daily play so your child is challenged and happy, and help to develop his or her social skills, emotional well-being, and academic performance. Nannies are skilled in creating a personalized curriculum that is designed especially for your children whereas daycares have a standard program that is designed for a more general audience.
CON: Shelling Out More Bucks
Child care, in general, is expensive, but hiring a nanny can cost you a bit more than daycare. Costs will vary based on whether or not your nanny is part-time or full time, your geographic location and the duties involved. You may pay more if you request light housekeeping in addition to childcare. For some working mothers and families, the cost is too high. There are ways to save a few bucks while providing your child with one-on-one care. Consider a nanny share with another family where the nanny watches children from two families in your home or a friend’s home. You could also opt for part-time care if your schedule allows.
PRO: Find Convenience and Flexibility With a Nanny
As much as you may wish every day that raising children brought about the same routine, the reality is that children demand flexibility. One day your toddler may be eager to get out the door to go to daycare, but the next day he may want to sleep in and stay in his jammies throughout the morning. When transporting children to daycare, you don’t have the convenience of adjusting the schedule; however, with a nanny providing care in your home, you do. When your schedule changes unexpectedly, nannies can adjust. When your child is sick, you don’t have to worry about taking a day off work. Instead, your nanny can provide in-home care to your little one and tend to his or her illness. The convenience is valuable with a nanny while many daycares may require that your child not attend for a few days after a fever or illness. As a result, your child gets the personalized care he or she needs and you do not have to lose money by taking time off of work. In addition, nannies provide the consistency your children need. Instead of having to adjust to different care providers in daycares with high turnover, your child gets the convenience of having the same nanny each and every day, which can ultimately help with social adjustments and emotional well-being.
CON: Some Nannies are Not Regulated or Certified
While daycares have extensive certification requirements and regulations, some nannies are not regulated by agencies and apply for positions. What you may find is that if you hire a nanny on your own, without screening from an agency like CareWorks, he or she may not be properly trained, certified in emergency procedures, such as CPR, and not possess the experience or references that are crucial to determining whether or not the nanny is a good fit for your family. In this case, it’s best to work with an agency that properly screens nanny applicants, performs background tests and interviews references to safeguard your family and your children.
You have multiple options when it comes to determining child care for your children. For some families, hiring a nanny is the best solution, and for others, finding a daycare or personal friend to offer childcare is a viable option.
Consider the pros and cons when making plans to return to work, start a new career or even afford yourself some time to volunteer or get involved in community events. Child care is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your children, so get all of the facts to determine whether you should nanny or not.
Read other posts from this childcare and nanny series.
We used both. My kids all had a nanny until they were 2 and then they went to school. It worked well for us and I was lucky enough to have an 2 amazing nannies
Having a nanny for the very early years is such a help! I’m so glad we had one when mine was real little!
Jasmine Hewitt says
I like how you laid out all the pros and cons. As a WAHM I never really needed to consider childcare, but more often nowadays I kinds wish i had a nanny. But the little one will be entering headstart soon, so summers are always an option down the road
Ooh congrats on headstart!
We had a nanny for the first year. She was absolutely amazing. I wonder how I will make it through infant stage without her. She didn’t speak any English – and we were really on the fence about this – but we were desperate – infant childcare was like $2200 a month where we lived and that was just not doable. We made the leap and it turned out to be really, really great. Unforunately we had to move and she couldnt come with us but it was a really great experience. I feel we got really really lucky.
It does sound like you got very lucky with a lovely nanny!
As a WAHM I admit it would be nice to have a nanny at least some times. But it’d take having a much stronger business and a lot more income I do not have. That is usually my childcare conundrum.
Definitely understand that. Child care does come with a price tag that can be scary.