As new parents reach that time when they have to start thinking of child care and development, the options can seem daunting. Even beyond which specific daycare, nursery or preschool, many parents get stuck on whether to hire a live-in or daily nanny, forgoing daycare altogether. While that is not an option available to all parents, we thought it would be beneficial to navigate the question of Daycare or Nanny?, to help parents gain an insight into the different options they may be faced with.
The proposal for daycare is a relatively simple one: parents share the cost of on-site care with other parents, while receiving professional care and teaching. The children are able to play, eat and learn in a controlled environment and the parents’ minds are at ease as to the safety of their children.
Hiring a nanny to provide in-home care seems to provide many of those benefits, but as one digs a little deeper, it becomes apparent that the cons may outweigh the pros. First, let’s have a look at the benefits of in-home nanny care:
One of the stumbling points for parents regarding their child’s care will always be the amount of attention a caregiver or teacher is able to provide to your child at any given time. With a nanny, this is obviously the number one advantage, as one nanny with one child (or a small family of care-dependent children) clearly enables more attention being paid to your child throughout every day. Every lesson, every play activity and every meal is specially tailored to your child. Given a magic wand, every parent would enjoy this situation, but there are drawbacks that will be discussed below.
Care Time Flexibility
With a daycare, you are generally limited to the hours when the facility is open, roughly corresponding to parents’ normal working hours. With a nanny, that person is there to watch your child, so if you need an extra hour after work, or a weekend getaway (if you have a live-in nanny), your child care is built in, ready for you when it is necessary.
Less Stressful Mornings
Adults never seem to not be rushed in the morning, and having to get a child to a daycare facility only exacerbates this seemingly unbreakable procrastination. Your nanny is there at your home when you need to leave for work, saving you precious sleep or commuting minutes to make your day more manageable.
The pros range from extremely important to merely convenient. None of the above should be discounted, yet it is our opinion that the list of cons for hiring a nanny instead of a daycare outweigh the pros.
Less Social Interaction for Children
Studies repeatedly show that a child benefits immensely from constant social interaction at a very early age. This study suggests that those benefits of early social interaction on their own are distinctly evident up to 11 years of age! Children become more confident in themselves and their surroundings as they interact with more people. A one-on-one relationship with their nanny that provides far less outside interaction will deprive children of the necessary growth in creativity, language skills and social intelligence that multiple teachers and dozens of same-age peer interactions will provide.
Hiring a nanny requires that the parents shoulder the entire weekly salary of the caregiver. While a daycare will have multiple teachers or caregivers, it also has many parents of children who split the cost. For instance a daycare with 7 caregivers and 28 children, means every parent only pays for 1/4 the salary of a single employee, essentially saving 3/4 the employment cost.
Lack of Resources
You most likely have a large number of toys for your children. But if your kids are anything like mine, they always want more! Keeping your child with an in-home nanny means they’re always playing with the same toys, or in the same yard. At a daycare your child will be given the opportunity for fresh experiences with a wider variety of amenities than your home could ever reasonably have.
Lack of Privacy
In terms of privacy, the best case scenario is your nanny comes early in the morning and leaves when you return from work. Even in this scenario, it is still someone in your home 5 days a week, using your fridge, peeking in your rooms and so on. At the extreme end, a live-in nanny is always in your home and her presence is always felt by you, your spouse and your children.
Many nannies may have a background in teaching, but that isn’t necessarily what they sell their services based on. Care experience, first aid certification and willingness or ability to cook healthy meals are usually why nannies get hired. But at a daycare such as Little Stars, our caregivers also teach your children, giving them an invaluable head start as they prepare for real, more serious school.
Daycares Are Government Regulated
Every nanny is well intentioned and will be working to ensure the safety of your child. But essentially, oversight of nannies is up to the parents. While nannies may take a course and become certified, the amount of government oversight is nowhere near what a daycare must undergo in order to be deemed safe and worthy for public use. This oversight serves as a soothing relief to parents who know that the strict standards of Alberta government child care practices are upheld regularly and fastidiously by each certified daycare.
Daycares for the Win!
While nannies are wonderful with hearts of gold, for all but the wealthiest parents, a daycare is a much more enticing option. Lower costs, more social interaction, dedicated caregivers and a larger selection of amenities make government certified daycares the ideal choice for working parents.
Visit Little Stars to discover the daycare where your child will excel!