Guest post contributed by Olivia Jones
From the moment a child is born, parents have nothing but their well-being on mind. But, for most parents, being 24/7 on top of that is impossible. That can come off as a result of financial insecurity, career pursuit or any other situation. Fortunately, parents have two solid choices when it comes to child care when they are not around: daycare and a nanny. However, this decision is stressful for most parents, since it is really difficult to know did you make the right choice. It doesn’t have to be that way. All you need to do is weigh the pros and cons of both option, and we’re here to help you with that.
Daycare pro: a chance for socialization
Social interaction is very important for kids and it is connected with many other parts of their overall development. Sending your child to daycare will enable them to interact with their peers and eventually, reach various developmental milestones alongside them. Also, in a daycare center, kids can learn the importance of sharing, solving problems and understanding boundaries.
Daycare con: lack of individual attention
Precisely because daycares include several kids and one or two caregivers, it is very difficult for your child to get the individual attention they need. Perhaps they will have special skills that need to be developed or some issues that have to be addressed, and the caregivers can’t devote one kid more attention than other.
Nanny pro: individual attention
Hiring a nanny is a good decision if you want someone that will focus solely on your kid. This gives many parents a peace of mind they can’t get with a daycare center. If your nanny has a lot of experience and expertise she can also help your kid develop various skills, including language and creativity.
Nanny con: no oversight
Unless you install cameras all over your house, there’s no real way of telling how well your nanny is performing her duties. This is not the case with daycare centers which have expert supervision, evaluations, etc.
Daycare pro: structured schedule
Daycares offer structured space, dates and hours meant to meet the needs of working parents, which include early mornings and late evenings, in case of an extended day.
Daycare con: structured schedule
No, this is not a mistake. The structured hours can also be a drawback, especially if you are running late and you have to make it to leave your kid at the center and then all the way to your office, or when you need to run some important errands during the weekend.
Nanny pro: a familiar environment
The nanny will take care of your child where they feel the safest – at home. There is no need for the kid to get used to a new environment and for you to pack up all the baby gear to carry to the daycare. The comforting pram blankets your little one loves so much are already there in their room, as are their favorite toys.
Nanny con: overwhelming for your budget
Hiring a nanny who is focused only on your child can prove to be very expensive. And the payroll is not the only thing you are responsible for, you will also have to pay for taxes, including federal income taxes, state income taxes and a part of social and medical care.
And the winner is…
Surprise, surprise, we won’t tell you the winner. It is up to you to decide which one of these qualities are the most important for you and your child. Do you want a full-time individual care for your little one or would you be more satisfied with vetted, licensed caregivers watching over your kid while also learning the valuable lessons of social interaction?