The decision of who should watch your child can be a stressful and emotional decision, especially if it’s your first time parting with him/her for an extended period of time. Other than leaving your kid with a relative or having a stay at home parent, the two most popular childcare options are hiring a nanny or enrolling your child in a daycare center. These two choices both have their pro’s and con’s, so it is important to be informed of the good and bad before ultimately making a decision.
Daycare is a childcare option in which parents can drop off their child each day to learn, grow, play, and be supervised. Usually, daycare centers watch children who are infants to pre-schoolers. Some daycare centers provide services for before-school and after-school supervision as well. Most daycares are national or regional chains, along with being privately owned.
Daycare can be a positive option for many families, especially when the parents have flexible schedules. Daycare can be great for developing kids’ social skills since they are constantly around other children who all play, learn, and grow with one another. Daycare can be a great introduction into socialization for young kids. Daycare can also be very cost efficient and safe, since they use vetted and experienced teachers.
While there are positives with daycare, there are also many negatives. In daycare centers, there are many other kids around yours for the entirety of the day, meaning that germs and illness can spread like wildfire. When a child is young, they are more susceptible to illness and disease, which is one of the biggest cons of the daycare system. Daycare is also very inflexible when it comes to timing. Typical daycare hours are 6-7am to 6-7 pm on weekdays. If you cannot pick up or drop off your child at these times, it becomes a problem. Also, daycare is less personalized. Since there are so many other kids at the daycare center, your child misses out on the personalized care, love, and attention that nannies supply.
On the other hand, nannies supply families with options that daycares don’t have. While nanny’s do have some problems, such as conflicts with parenting style, cost, vacation time, and lack of educational structure, there are many positives for choosing to put your children in the hands of nannies over daycare centers.
With a nanny in your home you have more control over what your child does each day. You, as the parent, get to control what they eat, where they go, what they play, and any other activities. Your child also gets more individual attention from the nanny, rather than facing competition with other kids. This attention gives your child the ability to grow and develop on your terms. If you have an inconsistent work schedule or aren’t certain what time you’re going to be home, you don’t have to worry because your nanny will be waiting.
When choosing whether to use a daycare center or a nanny, it can be a complicated decision. Hopefully these pros and cons can help you determine which route is best for you and your child.