Should you choose daycare or a nanny?

Anne Halsall March 26, 2019

Parents and caregivers know how difficult it can be to make childcare choices. Should you hire a nanny to take care of your child in the comfort of your own home, or should you enroll your child in a daycare? It can be a daunting decision. Below are some of the pros and cons for both options to help you make the best choice for your family.


The pros and cons of hiring a nanny

Hiring a nanny can be a wonderful, well-suited option for many families. Nannies come to your home, follow your rules, and may be able to give consistent care to your child over the course of several years.

Nannies typically come to your home, allowing your child to be cared for in a familiar environment. Being surrounded by their own toys and a familiar setting can be really comforting to a child whose parent is going back to work. Having care available in your own home also allows parents to have more control over what their child eats and how the day-to-day schedule will look. Additionally, nannies may be able to provide care for longer hours or more flexible hours than a daycare center, which may be more sensible for many parents.

One of the downsides of hiring a nanny, however, can be a lack of social opportunities for your child; however, there are ways to work around this. If your nanny has safe transportation, you could provide her with a car seat so she can take your child to storytime at the library, music classes, athletic activities, outdoor playdates, etc. Another option is to arrange a nanny share, so your child has the opportunity to interact with other children regularly.

The pros and cons of enrolling in a daycare

One of the major benefits of finding a daycare for your child is the opportunity for socialization. Being around other children helps your child learn and grow, and it fosters stronger social skills.

Daycare centers are often more professionally equipped to aide in the development of your children. Daycare centers generally have more access to funding for resources like toys, books, games, and play equipment, all designed with early childhood development in mind. Additionally, teachers and caregivers are typically required to have some training and education, whereas a nanny might not be formally trained in early childhood education.

Choosing a daycare rather than hiring a nanny is also less expensive and can offer better value for your money, as you are sharing the cost of care with other families.

However, some of the downsides of having your child in daycare rather than hiring a nanny can include the limited hours of operation and the sheer number of kids. Nannies often have more flexible schedules than a formal daycare center and they offer one-on-one attention all day long. Additionally, putting your child in daycare may expose them to more germs and illness than they would encounter in the care of a nanny.

Which one is right for your family?

When making child care decisions with your family, it can be helpful to make a list of the factors that are most important to you. Nannies and daycare centers are both excellent options. Finding the care solution that works best for your family is within reach.

Looking into daycare centers? Find out what’s available near you.

One of the biggest drawbacks to hiring a nanny, however, can be the expense. If you have multiple children this may be less of an issue, or a nanny-share (sharing a nanny with another family) can help offset the cost too.


Anne Halsall

Anne Halsall

Anne Halsall is the Chief Product Officer (CPO) and co-founder of Winnie. Anne is a product designer & developer with a background in knowledge systems & consumer technology. She has two boys and resides in San Francisco.

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