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How do you decide between a Nanny or Daycare? Are you happy?”

9 replies so far...

  • I can only say why I chose the way I did. It will really depend on what your family needs.
    Reasons I did not choose a nanny (or in home care):
    1. If the individual is ill, parent is left scrambling. A problem for someone that is not in a flex/management position.
    2. Nanny is not monitored or required by state to maintain certain standards of care.
    3. Considering my child would be in the care of this person for more hours in the week than with me or my spouse, I did not want my child being that close to any one person. (Hand That Rocks the Cradle, anyone?)
    4. A nanny doesn't necessarily have experience in EDUCATION, and there would not be a set curriculum for my child's learning.
    5. My child(ren) would be very used to being the center of attention. Could be difficult to acclimate to the school environment.
    6. My children would not have exposure to DIFFERENT people. Different shapes, sizes, colors, religions or abilities.

    Truly, the deciding factors for me were, first and foremost, number 3 and then number 1.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Tikibelle on 3rd March 2013

  • I should point out some of the pros of having a nanny, because what I wrote below sounds all negative. The pros included: I potty trained early, and the nanny worked with me (though she thought I was nuts), where I doubt many daycares would. I was able to decide what my kids were going to eat all day, every day. I got the nanny on board regarding certain values I wanted to teach my kids, like not being wasteful, etc. These were really important to me. I also had an instinctive trust when I needed to leave the girls with Nanny; she cared deeply about their health and well-being. While the kids are too young to really communicate well, it's nice not to have to wonder about that. Now, the girls can tell me if something upset or scared them, and since they are together watching out for each other, I have comfort on that level. But I am not sure how I would have felt if they were in daycare before they were very verbal.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SKL on 20th December 2009

  • I chose to hire a nanny after my adoption leave, when my daughters were a year old. There were many factors to consider, but for me the deciding one was that I needed to minimize the disruptions in my daughters' lives, especially those involving bonding and adjusting to "home." I was never totally happy with the nanny. She was wonderful in many ways, but a few things just bugged me continuously. She and I had very different styles and I felt she was spoiling the girls and not understanding what they were capable of. In addition, she continually failed to honor my wishes regarding the girls' language development. One of my daughters had a hard time relating to her and was mostly mute around her for about a year after Nanny started, which Nanny took to mean she was dumb and needed low expectations. (See, it isn't always true that the one-on-one makes for a better bond or understanding.) After about 20 months (when the girls were 2.5-3), I put the girls in an academic preschool/daycare, which keeps the kids in small classes (max 8 in their "young threes" class). This is much better for what my girls need now. They have consistent, age-appropriate expectations and social experiences. And if one of my daughters isn't relating well with a particular teacher, at least she's not the only one they interact with all the time, and adjustments can be made without a lot of drama.

    The convenience of a nanny can be overblown. Yes, you don't have to dress your kids in the morning and get them out the door. But on the other hand, you never have the house to yourself, ever. (I work at home, so I could never really detach myself from whatever my kids were doing and would sometimes feel a need to intervene.) Yes, the nanny comes to you, but she's only 1 person, so you need to adjust your life to fit her work and life schedule. My daycare is open 12 hours a day. My nanny would be flexible for me up to a point, but I always felt like I was begging and apologizing. In fact, that was a lot of what bugged me. The whole "personal relationship" thing. I don't necessarily want to become friends with my kids' caregivers. I don't want to have to kiss their toes every time they do something (for pay) that is less than pleasant. I don't want them to refer to my kids as "their babies" and try to act like their mother. And when the time comes to end the relationship, I don't want a weighty guilt trip as if I were betraying someone who was individually counting on me. Daycare has its own cons, but for us right now, it's definitely the right choice. The girls are doing great.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SKL on 20th December 2009

  • Childcare continues to be the single hardest decision I've ever had to deal with. And no, its not a one-time decision. I think I wrestle with it more than I every imagined. I think its always easy to find issues with either. We had a nanny for a couple of months but found that we couldn't trust her after catching her in several little lies. We go to a preschool style daycare called The Gardner school. Goddard has a similar structure and is nation wide. Many Montesoris also offer more of a teaching environment.

    With a daycare, there is some level of confidence that your child's day and care providers are being structured and monitored. Either way, you HAVE to make the effort to establish a relationship with the primary caregiver(s). I don't agree with some here who say your child won't have a relationship with a daycare teacher. My son has very close relationships with his teachers and he gets a great deal of socialization with his friends at school.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BrendaG on 18th December 2009

  • We just wrestled with this same question, and decided to go with a nanny effective Jan. While we absolutely love our son's daycare (a Primerose School), we now have a 5 week old who could not get into the infant room until I was 3 months back-to-work. We also love the idea of the baby getting more "love" time than she would at the day care. We were very blessed to be referred to a friend who had just quit her job and was looking to nanny. We were able to offer her the same amount we would be paying at the day care, but had to offer some consessions--ie, 7 weeks off during the year (I work in a school). While we plan to put the kids back at Primerose in a year, we are excited about the benefits our nanny will offer: not having to get the two kids out the door in the morning, more loving for the baby, opportunity for our 3-year old to play with other kids in neighborhood whose moms are at-home, opportunity to have our values reinforced by our nanny (both Christian), control over what food the kiddos eat, and she will be able to help with light errands and cleaning. Again..this is how we made the decision: she won't start until Jan, so we'll have to write back on how we like it....One other thing: it took a lot of prayer; pro/con lists, and communication between my husband and I balancing three key things: what we wanted for our kids, our work demands, and our budget. Best wishes on your journey!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Rebekah on 18th December 2009

  • We couldn't afford a nanny, nor did I have time to find one. We chose a large daycare center. It has lots of activities, no tv, and has been very good for her. I have worried about the changes in teachers so often, especially once the separation anxiety sunk in. I have been thinking of looking into an in home daycare. These are smaller, generally less expensive and there is usually just one person whom she could bond with. The down side is that you do have to really look to find someone good that you trust and that if they are sick or on vacation you need a back up plan.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Stacey S on 17th December 2009

  • I have a slightly different suggestion but am not sure if its available in your state. Where I live, there are some preschools that accept children as young as 3 months old. It is similar to daycare but a lot more structured and regulated. They also have all of the kids seperated in rooms by age - even smaller groups for the youngest ones. I started mine when he was 3 months old and there was one teacher for 4 kids in one room, all kids 3-9 months. The next room had one teacher, 4 kids all aged 9-15 months and so on. I visited a lot of daycares and preschools and there was a big difference as the daycares still had similar adult/child ratios but all kids and adults were in one big room and there was very little, if any structure. So, this option might be somewhere in between either of those two if its available to you.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by oceans mom on 16th December 2009

  • I have had both too, and in some ways the day care is less work, although the down side is that the baby doesn't get to really bond with one person they way they can with a nanny. You have to put energy into your relationship with your nanny - you are an employer, and need to make sure that you are being a good one. You also need to keep the house in decent shape, which is probably easier for others than it is for me. But with a good nanny you also have a more relaxed day for the baby with more attention to their individual needs. WIth a day care you have less of a personal connection to the teachers, and you have to get up and out in the morning which can be a long process. But kids have a lot of fun with other kids, even just watching the older ones play, and you know that the day care will be open even if someone is sick. And in some ways I think it is easier for a small group to take care of a bunch of kids than to stay "on your game" with just one. As kids get older I think they really like being in a day care with their friends.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by lalala on 14th December 2009

  • I have had both and the daycare was a better option for us. For convenience, I would have preferred the nanny, but it didn't work out.

    Fortunately we had a nanny-cam and caught our nanny allowing my toddler to watch TV all day - essentially neglecting him. Because the nanny was so convenient - no waking up baby, no getting him up and out in bad weather, no time-sensitive drop offs and pick ups, we tried a highly recommended nanny. She left after 2 weeks because she wanted more money. She tried to do the bait and switch.

    We found a good daycare center that fit our schedule and had good management and teachers. It was also less money and my son had other children to play with daily. Hope that helps you make a decision.

    All the best!

    CLJMom - Mompreneur with a fabulous little boy.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Cyndi on 11th December 2009