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Daycare vs Nanny

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm struggling with the daycare vs. nanny issue. I only need someone to take care of ds for 21-25 hours a week (afternoons and a few hours on Sat). I'm with him the rest of the time. I've been taking him to a daycare three afternoons a week, but I'm not thrilled with the idea. I bring his own food because I don't want him to eat the junk they give out there. Also, he is allergic to eggs, milk, etc. He is 20 mths old and still nurses a lot. We cosleep, too, so I don't worry about him feeling rejected either way. My only real reservation about a nanny is that he won't get as much interaction with other kids. Also, the cost is much greater, of course. I like the idea of his bonding with one person - as long as I'm still his best girl :-). Any thoughts?
post #2 of 23
I struggled with the same issue. I went back to work PT when my dd was 6 mos. We tried a daycare center but it was awful for us. I couldn't find a family daycare that had room so... after 3 weeks I put an ad in the paper for a nanny/babysitter.

We wound up with care providers. She's a college grad student getting her degree in early childhood development.

She and dd love each other. I like being able to walk out the door knowing that dd is in good hands and will have fun.

Up until now she didn't really *need* the interaction with other kids although I'm sure she'd have enjoyed watching them. She's 15mos now and I will switch her to family daycare sometime during the summer.

I liked knowing that she had someone who could give her all their attention and someone who I could give parameters about her care ie. don't leave her to CIO in her crib, carry her as much as she wants, no t.v. etc.

It was more expensive-about 2x as expensive but I felt happy to pay for the security and luckily we were able to afford to do it for the short term.

Good luck with your decision. It is hard to know what's best. I just kept trying things until one felt right. It made for kind of messy decision making but we've got the right setup now.
post #3 of 23
Another option would be to find a SAHM who might like a little extra income. A friend of mine needed to make a little more money so she began taking in kids whose parents only needed part time care for the most part. She watches another friends dd in the mornings, and another boy a couple days a week, and has now picked up another full time little girl.

I would love to find someone in your situation to hook up with. I have no desire to do the home daycare thing full time, but I would love to make a little money doing what I would be doing anyway. Your child would get a little extra child stimulation in a loving household.
post #4 of 23
Having worked repeatedly as both a daycare worker and nanny I have to recommend hiring someone at your house. I've just worked at too many day care centers to ever recommend them to anyone - even the supposedly "best" daycare centers are far from ideal. If I were you I would do others have suggested, either get a college student or else a stay at home mom - (I nannyed with my 2 yr. old along and it worked out great) -you can advertise at your local co-op or health food store, as well as the nearby college.

As for interaction, kids honestly don't need regular interaction with other children until they're closer to 3 yrs. old, or even older. Up until then they don't really play together, side by side if you're lucky, usually they're mostly squabbling! Kids DO need quality interaction with someone though, and they're far more likely to find it at home with a loving care provider. Good luck!
post #5 of 23
I second jbcjmom, I think you should find a SAHM, or maybe a grandmother who takes in a few kids. I have done a bit of work in daycares, and I think it is just too stimulating to have THAT many kids around, and so few adults. Plus the germs..... I worked as a nanny for a short time, and from that experience I would say not to get a nanny. I mean, it sounds like you are a much better parent than these people were, but still. The younger boy, 2.5 years, started calling me mama. The girl, 4.5 years, started asking me all these difficult questions like, "How come when you wash my hair you don't get shampoo in my eyes? My mom does, and so does my dad. I think you are more careful. Why?" or "Why does Spencer call you mama?" I think it is very confusing to have someone else come into your house and kind of take your place for a certain number of hours. Also there is the safety issue. Especially a college student or young girl, I really don't think it is a good idea. How many young girls do you know who would want to give up so much freedom to take adequate care of a child? College can be so stressful, and so can taking care of someone else's kid. If you found someone that takes in one or two other kids, you could find out from their parents what they think of the person. Good Luck!
post #6 of 23
I worked as a teacher for the first year aftter ds was born, from 4 monhts until 14 monhts. We had a grandmother of 14 come into our house adn watch him, and I don't regret it for a moment. There were a few downfalls, like she had her own way of doing things that we wouldn't necessarily do, but overall it was a good experience and I didnt worry about my very high needs colicky baby being left to cry by himself. She was also wonderful as far as paying her- she didn't want a set salary, just wanted to be paid for the hours that she worked, and we were ready to give her paid vacations when I had weeks off from school, and she wouldn't take any money. She said she didn't need the job, she just wanted to make some extra money to take her grandkids on a trip to Florida. (which she did after she was done working for us, thanks t0 all the $ we paid her...)

I feel the extra money was worth the peace of mind.
post #7 of 23
I like the idea of a SAHM. That way, DS will have interaction w/ other kids (but not too many...) as well as continuity of care. However, be sure that whomever you choose is serious and committed. I hired a woman to care for DS when I went back to work after 5 mos. and she told me on a Friday that she would no longer do it as of Monday! I frantically arranged other care (for more money) and eventually had my neighbor do it, but after 2 mos. back at the job, I decided I was the only qualified applicant, LOL. (By the time I met all my expenses, I was left with virtually nothing, so it was an easy decision to make.)

Anyway, good luck! Your son is lucky to have such a dedicated and committed mama!
post #8 of 23
I just have to say, in response to Katrina, that I worked as a nanny from age 19 to 25, before I had my first child, as well as after (at age 22) - and I don't think its true at all that most college women do not make good nannys!! Lots of college age women make great caregivers, and do it because they love kids, and they are often more open minded to the way you want things done than an older person might be. When I was taking classes myself I had two different college women (2 different semesters) come to our house to watch my son and they were both wonderful! One had a young child herself that she brought along, too.

As far as kids getting attached to someone else - thats a good thing! And its going to happen anywhere that they have someone loving and caring for them, regardless of whether its a daycare center, at your home, or at someone elses.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick response! I feel pretty certain that I would like to hire a nanny, but dh isn't so sure. We found a nanny through a service and she's taken care of ds once. He didn't even cry when we left! He always cries when we leave him at daycare, although he stops within 5 minutes. Anyone out there who's dh thinks daycare is best? What did you do?
post #10 of 23

Just my opinion....

I agree with everyone else about not using daycare. I know not all daycares are bad...but I think your babe would do well with one on one at that age. I just pulled my 3yo out of daycare for many reasons (tell these to your DH, maybe it will help)

Too many kids/not enough providers
Terrible food and drinks being served...and I can't afford to bring all my own stuff
My kid ended up in the ER after being sick for a month (starting with two days after her first day) and it had escalated into pneumonia (sooo many germs there!)
Basically my kid was miserable. I was a SAHM for the first two and a half years of her life, and she seems to relate well to adults and was really bothered by the other 13 yelling, screaming, hitting kids in her class. So now I am having family and friends and her dad look after her....

Good luck, I know it's not an easy choice, and above all, go with your gut feeling about any provider, and your child's reactions as well.

post #11 of 23
my situation is somewhat similar: for the first year of my daughter's life i brought her to work with me (i own my own business) this was very challenging, for both of us, but it was my decision and i don't regret it one bit. by 12 months, though, she really needed other stimulation, and it wasn't in the form of just one person. a nanny was out of our budget, but i didn't think we would have opted for it anyway.

when i checked out some of the home / family daycares, i knew that's where she belonged. she fit right in and loved being around all the other kids.
she is now 21 months, and LOVES going there. there are about 10 other kids ranging in age from 6 months to 4 years. i don't believe it's true in my case that they are too young at this age to play alongside other kids. i see her playing with other kids all the time, and i think it has been invaluable for her. she is with me 3 days a week, and there 4 days a week. there are good people out there, if you have the time to look. some of the home care places we went to did not match our style at all, but with a little patience, we found one that has worked out beautifully. i prepare her meals, which is no different budgetwise than if she was eating with me at home. personally, i think her being with other kids has been just great. the kids i've seen that have been with a nanny most of the time, in my opinion, don't get the full benefit of socializing.
but i guess it always comes down to the child and the parents that know the child. here are great nannys and there are great home daycres. just try to find one that is a family daycare, where it's a little more intimate than a center. good luck
post #12 of 23
Hi Grantsmommy,

I have another option that you might want to consider. You may want to look into sharing a nanny or au pair with someone else. I almost did this, but the daycare option worked better for me.

I saw a posting on the bulletin board where I did pregnancy and recovery yoga. A family with an au pair was looking to share her with another family for 10-20 hours a week. The idea was that the au pair wanted experience with more than one child, the kids would get to play with each other, the kids would also get the benefit of the biligual au pair. It seemed like a great idea.
post #13 of 23
i can say i'm a part time nanny for 2 different families (and ttc) i'm only 21, but i decided to be a nanny for the experience. i've got a 3 year old 3 days a week and twin 8 month olds 2 days. one problem with nannies part time only (where daycare is usually better) is that if someone works part time with you, they probably work parttime someplace else, so it's harder finding someone great who will have the time when you need them.

i also think kids around 2-3 also just get confused my the mama word. my 3 year old calls me that ocasionally, my sister used to call all women mama.

in suport of daycare, there are kids to interact with, new, exciting toys to play with, and different adult role-models

part-time small daycare can be pretty good, a good nanny can also be pretty good.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Update on the daycare situation...I'm pleased to say that ds did wonderfully on Wednesday. He didn't even cry when I dropped him off! I've decided to keep him there until the end of summer when I hope to get him into a Montessori class for three mornings a week. Then I will hire a nanny or SAHM for the afternoons. Thanks to all of you for your input!
post #15 of 23
I'm glad you've chosen to stay put for a while. They change so often that it would be a shame to disrupt his life unneccessarily. My son didn't cry at all when I left when he was under a year then he started crying then he stopped and now at 22mo he is going through a phase where he cries but the babysitter and I have figured out that if we get him interested in something new or newish when he gets there he hardly looks up when I leave. I think he would benefit from being around more kids (he loves to play with other kids even if they only play next to each other) but I'm not going to move him until I'm sure I have found a good place. The disruption is far worse than any small amount of boredom - I hesitate to even call it that. Husband and I are making sure we get him out with other kids on weekends.

By all means do watch carefully and make sure the caregivers are responsive. Study him too and see if there is some way you can make the hand off go smoother.

Good luck!
post #16 of 23

Here's a new question..

for those of you who've used a SAHM to watch your babes how did the cost differ from regular daycare? I'm looking into it for my dd and am curious how it compares. Here in the Boston area daycare is about $6.50/hr and nanny's get about $15/hour. I imagine a SAHM would be somewhere in between?

any ideas?
post #17 of 23
Here in downtown Toronto they tend to charge by the full day only because chances are they can't slot another child into that other half day. Daycare is in the $40-50 range and my homecare situation which is through an agency is $30 a day. Food is included, diapers and wipes are not. I think nannies run $10-15 an hour around here.

I don't know if they have them in other cities but this agency works out really well, I think. They have to comply with the provincial regulations for registered childcare. They screen all the caregivers and their families and check up on them regularly. They offer workshops for the caregivers and encourage them to participate in outside courses as well. They have a collection of toys and books that the caregivers can borrow from and they are encouraged to take the kids to playgroups and the library. If your caregiver goes on vacation or is sick they arrange care at another home. In my case it has always been very close by and just as good as my babysitter. My babysitter lives a few blocks away, she's been with this agency for more than ten years and has raised 4 kids of the her own. The agency gave me the phone numbers of past and current parents so I could get references. I felt good about her but I really liked having the back up of the agency for assurance. When you're choosing a caregiver for the first time it's tough to know what to look for.

Good luck!
post #18 of 23
When I had DS in a SAHM-daycare setting 7 yrs. ago, I paid $3-$4 per hour. This was in Bayonne, NJ. I suppose it has gone up since then. It ran me around $150-200 per week. I ended up leaving my job after 2 mos. because I couldn't take it and my net pay didn't add up to much more than my expenses (sitter, parking, new clothes, dry cleaning, meals, etc.)
post #19 of 23
I am a bit surprised that everybody seems to prefer a sitter over daycare. When I stayed at home with my dd I had the chance to observe many sitters at playgrounds, Barnes & Noble, etc. I am sure there are good nannies out there but most of them were simply bored, chatting with each other while the kids were strapped in their strollers. I agree that daycare is not ideal either but if the group is small and the staff loving and warm I don't see why it should be bad. I provide the food for my children which I would do at home anyway. It's never ideal but for us it works best.
post #20 of 23
I don't think daycares are bad at all. I saw some great daycares with great people but I just don't think it is an ideal situation for babies. In Ontario daycare regulations allow three babies per childcare worker. Even the greatest caregiver can't juggle 3 crying babies and you know it's going to happen sometimes. They have to have a separate sleeping room for the babies but the play area was adjacent to the bigger kids - it was bedlam! I just couldn't imagine my little guy getting any sleep, he'd be so wired. Actually I know someone who's baby was in full-time daycare and she said he fell asleep in the car before she got him home and was down for the night. She barely saw him awake.

With my babysitter my son was with 2 other kids but they were older so the babysitter could give him more attention - she even napped with him! Now that he is coming up to two I am starting to think about moving him to a daycare so that he can get to know more kids (there is only one other child at his babysitter's right now, I wish there were more!). There is a great arts-oriented daycare near here in a converted warehouse. The kids visit the artists in the building, play in the roof garden - hey, I want to go, too!

So there are great daycares around but not for babies, IMHO.
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