Nanny vs. Daycare—How Do You Choose?

Some of the hardest decisions you will ever make revolve around the care of your children. As a loving parent, you want your children to have the best possible care while you're away at work.

Making childcare decisions can be complicated, so start simple. The first decision you should make is whether you will hire a nanny or find a daycare. Here are some key benefits and drawbacks of each to help you make a decision.

Hiring a Nanny

The main benefit to hiring a nanny is the personalized attention your children will receive. A nanny can cultivate a one-on-one relationship with each of your children that they won't get from a daycare teacher.

Hiring a nanny also simplifies your life. Rather than getting your children ready for daycare and driving them to school, you can simply walk out the door and wave goodbye to your children and the nanny. Plus, some nannies are willing to offer additional services like cooking and cleaning, which can be a huge stress relief when you come home tired from a long day at work.

With a nanny in your home, you also have more control over your children's day-to-day schedule. Since you are the nanny's employer, you can make requests for your children's daily activities and meal options.
However, there are a few possible downsides to hiring a nanny. If the nanny gets sick and needs time off, you may have to scramble for a last-minute childcare option. This won't happen with daycare since there are plenty of teachers on hand. Another potential challenge is finding the right nanny for your children. You'll have to be extremely careful as you choose a nanny. Make sure you interview a few different candidates, verify their qualifications, and watch them interact with your children.

Finding a Daycare

Placing your child in daycare can come with its own benefits. Daycares are staffed by certified teachers who offer learning activities that a nanny may not offer. This can give your child a head start on school.

The daycare setting also helps your child learn to get along with other children at an early age. Plus, daycare typically costs less than a nanny; although, daycares vary in price, so you'll still have to look for one that fits your budget.
The main drawback to daycare is that your child is more likely to get sick. In a daycare setting, your child is surrounded by many other young children and their germs. This may help build up your child's immune system. However, dealing with your child's poor health can be hard on you. Daycare employees typically don't allow kids to come to school sick, so you may have to arrange time off work to care for your sick child.
There's also been some concern that daycare can lead to poor behavior in children. One study tracked kids from infancy to sixth grade. The study found worse behavior in young children who spent three to four years in daycare before age 4 ½. But by sixth grade, there was little difference in behavior between kids who had been in daycare and kids who had other childcare options.
As a parent, you know what is best for your children. Use this information on nannies and daycare to weigh the pros and cons and make the best childcare decision for your family. Whichever one you decide to choose, finding an experienced, reliable nanny or daycare center is crucial.
Make sure you always have a childcare option when you need it. To learn more about sitters who can come to your home whenever you need them, contact Anytime Sitters.