Nanny vs. Daycare

So many working parents ask themselves, “Which is better – a nanny or daycare?”  The right answer will depend on your particular family and the financial resources available to you.  It will also depend on whether you have more than one child and the age of your children.  For example, infants and young toddlers will receive the benefit of one-on-one attention with a nanny.  The interaction that kids need with other kids does become important as they get into their toddler years but that doesn’t mean your nanny can’t organize play dates for your child!  Having your kids in your home environment will save you time since you don’t have to pack up the kids and take them to daycare in the morning.  Many parents will consider this a huge advantage.  On the other hand, you need to feel completely comfortable with someone in your home everyday while you’re not there and without any additional supervision.  The cost can also differ greatly and will depend on how many children you have, the provider’s reputation, curriculum, experience and education.  A nice benefit to bringing your kids to daycare is that you can meet other parents and may even develop life-long friendships!  Be warned – daycare comes with germy kids and your kids will be more exposed to illness (unless you have an older kid in school anyway!).  You have more control if you employ a nanny – you make the rules and policies.  If you opt for daycare, recognize that if you have another child, there may not be room at the daycare you are using and you might need to get on a wait list.  In a daycare setting, there should be more than one adult present to supervise the children.  It is a structured environment and this can be very beneficial for some children.  If you work odd hours, you may have to find someone else to drop off and pick up your child or find a daycare with extended hours.  Employing a nanny comes with doing your own payroll and ensuring compliance with employment taxes.  That can be a big downside for many folks but the good news is that it’s not that difficult to figure out.  The quest for your perfect nanny or daycare is a process.  Figure out how much you can afford, identify your goals of care and what will be convenient.  Tour the daycare centers and learn as much as you can about them.  Verify their licensing and understand all of their policies – request them in writing.  Interview enough potential nannies to give you a good idea of your options.  Call references and ask questions!  Click here to learn about nanny taxes and payrollClick here to see a list of questions to consider asking while conducting nanny interviews and here for daycare center or home daycare interviews.