If you have narrowed down your choices to either a nanny or a daycare center let's cover the pros and cons for each so you can make a decision.
Some working moms believe a nanny would be a better child care choice over a daycare center for their infant. Maybe they feel this way because a nanny is usually much more expensive.
To me, there are important differences of a nanny versus daycare that should be considered before you decide.
The advantages of hiring a nanny
A nanny will give your child one-on-one attention, similar to what you do. You will get the consistency of a single caregiver for as long as you employ her so your child will always expect her and not numerous teachers. Many nannies will help out around the house such as cleaning the kitchen after meals, light laundry or even tidying up, especially after your child.
Your child won't be exposed to other kids' germs in the first years of life, meaning fewer winter colds, fewer calls that you need to take your child to the doctor, and fewer days you need to take off.
Nannies can be more flexible with hours than a daycare if you have to work late or even be away overnight for work travel. You may not have to pay late fees for showing up late because you make up for this in other ways like buying her favorite lunch every week.
Finally, a nanny cares for your child in your own home. You don't have to pack up your child and all the baby gear every morning for drop off. Imagine being able to leave the house with just your purse and lunch! Also, your child feels comfortable in their own home with their own toys and their own bed.
If your child has any allergies you'll feel more at ease knowing that there are no allergens in your home because you have control over that.
You can connect easily with your nanny via text messaging during the day. You can get videos or pictures and get immediate responses to any of your questions.
If you want your nanny to follow a curriculum for your child there are many online that can be ordered. So you'll get a say in what you'd like your child to follow.
The advantages of a daycare center
Daycare centers provide your child with exposure to multiple, caring adults rather than just one person. There's supervision over how your child's caregiver is interacting with your child. The caregivers work as a team and get guidance from the center's manager if any problems arise.
Daycare centers socialize your child which can help your child build relationships with other children. A daycare center teaches your child routines for sleep, eating and good manners. You also may enjoy getting to know the community of other dual-income families who use your child's daycare. There are also milestones the daycare wants your child to hit so there's a curriculum in place to support that.
Your child gets to build immunity to colds early in life, so by the time they start kindergarten, they'll be less likely to be home sick from school.
Typically, daycare centers must meet government standards and pass licensing inspections. Daycare is a more affordable child care and introduces you to a steady supply of potential weekend babysitters.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider in choosing between a nanny and daycare. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on the care providers in your community. An excellent nanny is always better than a lousy daycare center, and an excellent daycare is always superior to a bad nanny!
Edited by Elizabeth McGrory.