♥ Daycare vs Nanny

Copyright Andy Dean Photography
Copyright Andy Dean Photography

♥ Okay before I even start typing this. You guys probably all know I've been a Nanny for many years. Decades. 39 years! I've been caring for other people's children since I was 12 years old y'all! So this information may seem to you a little bit biased. However give me a second to explain the reasoning and to list my pros and cons for you. I just want to help out all the mommy's who are trying to make that very, very important decision of whether or not to put their children in daycare versus hiring someone to come into their home to care for their little ones. 

 ♥ Before I even start talking about the Nanny part of it - let me just inform you that my sister runs and manages a day care center, my sister-in-law and a couple of my other family members and friends have all worked in a day care or run the daycare as managers and are the supervisor and are actually in charge of running the whole day care facility. They are very hard workers, they love what they do, they love all the children and kiddos and babies. (...and they are severely under paid if you ask me!) Just sayin'. They work so, so very, very hard! They put themselves out there in high risk situations - on the front line. Exposing themselves every single day to all kinds of little babies and kiddos and their germs and illnesses and their runny noses and fevers and diarrhea and skin rashes and diseases. Now mind you of course, most day care facilities have a policy that if your kid has a temperature over a certain degrees or if they have a runny nose or are vomiting - you are not allowed to bring them into the facility that day. But let's be honest here folks: It happens all the time. Everyday. I can't even imagine how many fevers and puddles of puke and diarrhea diapers and runny noses my sisters and sister in law and day care manager friends have had to clean up through the years at their place of work. (((Shuddering at the thought))) 

 ♥ So, if we are going to compare the pros and cons of taking your child to a daycare versus having a Nanny work for you in your home... these are just the facts ma'am. 

 ♥ Day care facilities are a petri dish of germs and infection and diseases. Sorry. Had to say it. We're talking: babies putting toys in their mouth with their sickie germs or thrush covered tongue or hand foot and mouth disease and then setting that toy on the floor for another baby to come along and pick up and suck on and slobber all over the run their eyes or pick their nose. Not to mention all the surfaces they touch and lick... all the table tops, all the high chairs, all the baby cribs, diaper changing stations, all the door knobs and handles and the baby potties and toilets and sinks. Oh and then all the crayons and chalk, arts & craft supplies and paint brushes and...and.... Everything! Now yes, of course these daycare ladies work diligently to clean the surfaces and they use bleach and disinfectant and antibacterial liquids and industrial strength cleaning products and sprays chemicals and lysol wipes. But there's only so much the ladies can do in BETWEEN one baby to the next baby. You just can't catch them all in time before the baby hands something off to the next kiddo. Who knows how sick the daycare employees might be too. I know my sister is ALWAYS sick. Always!! Like seriously - she's never NOT sick. Ever. (poor thing) Yet she still goes to work Monday thru Friday no matter what! 

 ♥ Don't even get me started on Covid-19 and this scary PANDEMIC!!!

 ♥ Another important aspect of daycare is the caregiver to child ratio. You do not get a 1:1 caregiver to child ratio in a daycare facility - that's just how it is. There are too many babies per each adult. So there's just no way each baby is going to get one to one time or attention with the adult caregivers/staff. I think the range is 6:1 for teeny tiny infants, all the way up to 14:1 depending on the facility. 14 kids to ONE adult? That's quite a handful!

 ♥ So now having said all of that, you might already know now what my personal opinion is. With a Nanny working specifically for you in your home, you have more control over germs, viruses, colds, flus, sicknesses and cross contamination in your home. You also have more control over WHO the person is caring for your precious little one which is not something you have control of in a day care facility, where you just deliver your child there and whoever happens to be working that day is the one who is in charge to taking care of your sweet angel. You just have to trust that the staff on duty for the shift will tend to your baby's needs and not forget about him/her off in a corner playing with a toy somewhere while they chase the other 27 kiddos around. Or hope that they change their diapers frequently enough or put medication on rashes and sores. Or hold your child on their lap because they're crying and need to put a band-aid on a cut/scrape/owie. Pray they aren't understaffed that day or that someone didn't call in sick (or worse - came in to work sick!) Where as a one-on-one any working for you personally in your home is there specifically your child. Specifically there for that reason and that reason only - to make sure that your child is getting 100% supervision and 100% of the attention for 100% of the time, all day ,every day no matter what. So you know that one to one ratio is 100% for sure going to happen. 

 ♥ When you drop your little one off at a daycare you just have to trust that the ladies that work there have been trained, have enough experience and hopefully they might be somewhat educated and pray they will be very attentive to your child needs for the entire shift that they are in the facility. Whereas a Nanny - you can interview several people to pick and choose and meet with multiple potential Nanny candidates to see what their education level is, if they went to college, have a degree in child development, to ask what their experience is, to find out if they've ever cared for a newborn before or if they know anything about umbilical care or circumcision care and cleaning. Those are the kinds of things you can get very specific with during an interview when you're trying to hire somebody to work in your home. A Nanny.

 ♥ Another benefit of having child care given in your home is that you can have Nanny cams in certain rooms of your house to keep an eye on your sweetie-pie throughout the day! Watch your baby with the Nanny and the interaction they have with one another. Watch what time your baby goes to bed, or takes a nap, how long they slept, what story books they were read, or how many bottles they were fed or how many poopy diapers they had that day. Now yes of course your Nanny can tell you these things verbally at the end of the day - you don't have to rely on a Nanny cam to get this information. And hopefully there may be some daycares that have cameras that you can try to see if you can find your child somewhere in the sea of other little heads running and bopping around. A day care "should" have a little report card sheet that they give you at the of the day that has all this information on it for you. (hopefully) But sometimes the paperwork can get lost in the shuffle by the end of a long day with dozens and dozens of other babies and kids to write up a little sheet for and you end up with check marked boxes to decipher and generic smiley face drawings to decode. The one on one direct communication with your Nanny at the end of a shift might be worth more to you than all the other stuff! It truly is invaluable to most Mommies.

 ♥ For me personally - I think the BEST pro/positive reasons to have a Nanny is that a Nanny can take your child along on errands to get your groceries to stock your fridge, pick up and drop of your dry cleaning, drop off and pick ups to and from school, outings to the library, the zoo playgrounds, museums...all those fun places providing opportunities for your child to learn and grow. A Nanny is happy to take your sweetie to play dates, group classes, music lessons,  and birthday parties - thus ruling out any potential argument that day care places offer better social development and exposure to other children and peers) A Nanny can take your kiddo to doctor appointments, swim lessons, maybe even GIVE swim lessons to your child! A Nanny can put your child down for a nap in the comfort of his or her own comfy cozy bed as opposed to one of those folding hard flat pine-sol smelling plastic floor mats lined up in rows on the hard floor at a day care, shared and re-used day after day by all the different children. A Nanny will also commonly make meals at home for your children and sometimes even cook for the Mommy & Daddy so you don't have to cook when you get home from a long, exhausting day at work. A Nanny typically will do some light housekeeping, (you get to pick the cleaning products, brands, scents and sprays she'll be using) keep an inventory to re-stock the fridge and pantry, clean your child's toys and the baby's nursery and play areas, clean the kitchen after meal times, maybe unload and re-load the dishwasher... even do a load or two of baby laundry! Ahhh and give the baby a bath! (OOOH... and even put your sweet little one into bed for the night after reading a bed time story.) Then let the dog out, finish up the dishes, light a candle and turn on some soothing music for you to come home to.

 ♥ I of course understand the cost difference between Daycare vs Nanny. Not everyone can afford to pay the rate of a Nanny. Especially an experienced, loyal, educated Nanny! There is no fair comparison here, this is not "Apples to apples" and I realize that. Ya get what you pay for... and all that. Keeping in mind that a day care employee will be paid health care benefits/medical benefits and unemployment benefits and vacation time off, sick days, holiday bonuses etc. Something to take into consideration when hiring a Nanny. It might be something you could offer to your Nanny to keep her content with her job and loyal to your family. And therefore un-tempted by any new, potential job offers and other clients that come along to woo her, trying to steal your Nanny away from you. (it happens)
 ♥ Good luck Mommies. I know you'll make the best decision for you and your family. I know it might be a budget thing for you and your family. Maybe sit down with your hubby/spouse/significant other and draw up a plan, get a calculator out and see where you can maybe cut a few corners to make this work somehow for you and your precious little one. You might be surprised how easy it is to go without your expensive shampoo or fancy schmancy wine club membership (...or your daily trips to Starbees!) Jus' sayin'... It'll be worth it in the long run to put that savings toward the future growth and development of your offspring! Not to mention their safety, their comfort and their happiness

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