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Day Care or Nanny? 5 Points to Consider

It’s never too early to start thinking about child care. Some parents even tour daycares before their baby is born! It may seem a bit premature, but figuring out your preferred child care will make the transition back to work much easier. You may be feeling torn up about the idea of having to leave your little one in unknown hands, and a private nanny who works in the safety of your own home might seem like a much more comforting option.

But is a nanny or daycare better for a baby? What about a toddler? When you’re making after-school care arrangements, the situation may differ. To help you decide on what’s best for your family, here are five points to consider when deciding between a nanny and daycare.

Flexibility

A nanny offers you greater flexibility than a daycare; since he or she works on your own schedule, you call the shots and don’t have to worry about unexpected closings or other events that can impact a daycare’s regular schedule. Of course, a nanny could suddenly fall sick or experience a serious life event that makes them unable to care for your child. Consider backup options and always have a plan B in the event your nanny cancels last minute.

Convenience

Since a nanny from a company like Abracadabra Brighton Domestic Agencies Pty Ltd works from your home, there’s a lot less to do every morning. You won’t have to worry about forgetting your child’s lunch or favorite stuffed animal for naptime, and at the end of the work day, you can head straight home from the office rather than having to go to a daycare for pickup. A daycare, however, does introduce you to a lot of parents in the community and a slew of potential babysitters. There’s an opportunity to form new friendships and connections for you and your child.

Communication

You can’t call up a daycare every five minutes and ask for a live update on your child, but you can text or call a nanny anytime to see how things are going. But it’s important to note that many daycares now have live streams for parents to access during the work day, which means you can pop online and watch your little one’s day unfold in real time and ease any jittery nerves.

When visiting daycares, it’s important to evaluate your initial impressions with the staff. Are they friendly, engaging, and eager to fill you in, or do they seem rather detached? While they should never distract themselves from taking care of the children to talk to a visitor, the right daycare will have a noticeably upbeat and affable staff that are easy to talk to.

When you’re meeting with nanny applicants, trust your first impression. Do they seem honest and reliable? Be sure to ask direct questions that require them to relay past experiences. Also make sure that your future nanny is insured; while most private nannies won’t carry private liability coverage, nannies who are hired through a nanny agency are usually covered.

Qualifications

While a nanny should be CPR-certified and have some childcare credentials, there’s no official school or training required to be a nanny. This makes the interview process all the more critical. Daycares, on the other hand, have to meet state and government requirements in order to practice.

You can look up certified daycares online, read plenty of reviews and ask other parents you know for suggestions on a daycare. Nannies are a bit more difficult to thoroughly fact check, so it takes a lot of diligence on your end. Make sure that all candidates are judged not just on their initial impressions but also their childcare background.

Price

One of the biggest factors to consider is price. Daycares are expensive, but they’re still significantly cheaper than a personal nanny. When you take on a nanny, you’re basically agreeing to pay someone an entire salary. The average daycare price for a baby is $972 a month while a nanny typically runs between $2,000–3,000 a month.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

If you’re on the fence between a nanny and daycare, it’s best to explore both options. Look for nannies online, ask around, and don’t worry if you’re unable to make an immediate decision.

The ultimate priority is your child’s safety and wellbeing; keeping this at the forefront of all judgement will help you make the right choice when you go back to work.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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