Which is better, daycare or nanny?
When searching for someone you trust to watch your child, it’s essential to consider all your options. From family members to a full-time nanny, the number of possibilities can be a bit overwhelming.
To get started in your childcare search, first look at your budget and time requirements to understand what is feasible for your needs.
How to Choose between a Daycare or Nanny
First, you’ll want to generate a wishlist and see what options are best for you. If you’re considering a daycare or nanny, keep reading to see your options.
How to evaluate a daycare
Some home daycares tend to have small-sized groups of children with only a few staff members. Other options are large scale childcare facilities with great staff and several class options.
Consider if your child needs more individualized attention or if socialization in a broader organized environment is more important to you. Ask about sizes and if children are separated by age group.
One of the significant benefits of daycare over a nanny is that they are less expensive. Get a realistic breakdown to help you make your decision. If the costs of a daycare seem too high, a nanny may be a better option.
There are government standards that all daycares must follow in terms of safety, sanitation, and size per number of children represented. Asking about their certification is common and something you’ll want to know.
Ask for a general overview of staff experience. Ideally, the staff has a background in early childhood development or education, or at least many years of experience.
daycare or nanny
Programs and philosophy:
Obviously, daycare is not school, but many daycares still have organized playtime and things like field trips. Ask about these kinds of programs to get an idea of what the day-to-day activities will look like.
While you may not be able to get an in-depth look at safety measures, a quick look around will give you a good idea of their commitment to safety. Don’t be afraid to ask about individual policies too.
What to ask a prospective Nanny
daycare or nanny
Flexibility in scheduling:
The main reason to go with a nanny over a daycare is the ability to be a little more flexible in your scheduling. Ask your nanny about their schedule and make sure it’s not too rigid for your needs.
Unlike with a daycare center, you may not be able to rely on reviews for your nanny choice. You are likely interviewing them based on one or two recommendations from other families.
With that in mind, a good resume is crucial. Again, the best-case scenario is someone with childhood development on their CV. Ask them for their resume and about their child care experience.
One way to assess a nanny is if they have committed to getting infant CPR training. While this detail isn’t a guarantee that the person will be a great nanny for you, it does demonstrate a level of commitment and consideration of safety. Doing this is a reasonable thing to ask about your childcare provider.
A proper connection:
A nanny will be your employee and taking care of the most precious thing in your life. It’s crucial that you have a positive relationship based on trust and that you get along well. That way, any issues can be settled efficiently and amicably.
You can treat this like any job interview and ask similar questions like: “Can you tell me about a time you were frustrated with a parent and how you overcame or worked through that?”
Quick Tip in Conclusion
Schedule two interviews, one just with you, and the second one with you and your child. After all, the nanny has to get along with both of you.
Again this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to research regarding nannies and daycare options. During your search, bring along a handy checklist for things to look for in nannies and daycares. Ultimately, the decision is yours based on your circumstances, but it’s essential to make an informed one.