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switching from daycare to nanny?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Has anyone taken a child out of daycare (who was used to full-time daycare for a while) and put them into nanny care?

My DS will be 3 when his little sib needs child care. DS has been in full-time daycare for almost a year and a half. No daycares in my area take kids younger than 2, so the baby will have to have a nanny I guess. It might be most cost-efficient to have a nanny care for the two of them, instead of paying for DS' daycare and the baby's nanny separately. My question: is this a bad idea? Will DS be bored with a nanny all day when he is used to a structured group experience? Has anyone done this? It would only be for 3 days a week, because I'll be working PT then. I'd love to hear about your experiences - thanks!
post #2 of 23
I've had a nanny for 6 years. We no longer have one because our oldest is now in school, and the youngest is in a playschool 4 days/week.

I would say, in your situation - that you need to find a nanny who will be VERY proactive about setting up play dates for your DS, and VERY committed to getting the children out and about - to the library, to the park, playground, state parks, swimming pool, music class, art class, hiking, walking, visiting places like museums, aquariums, etc.

Speaking from my own experience - my kids went out daily with our nanny for an outing in the mornings, and I feel it was very beneficial for them. Even if it was only 2-3 hours, they enjoyed it, and were able to be around other children, etc.

I can also say that once your kids start school, they won't have this opportunity to explore their community in this way - and it's *really cool* for them to have this opportunity now! Schools will do field trips, but there is nothing like being able to go wherever, whenever the kids are ready to go. My kids know so much about our community from all the experiences they had on outings and play dates with our nanny.

Now - when you interview - you will have to really figure out if the nanny candidate is serious about outings or not. She will have to drive, of course, and you will need to make sure she has a car or you can provide one for her to use during the day. She will need to be outgoing and friendly in order to make good connections with other parents of children who might be good playmates for your children.

When interviewing - believe me - there will be nannies who will say, "Oh, yes, I love outings and play dates and I'm very outgoing..." but may not really be so, because they just want your job. You need to do some good reference checking on them - asking previous employers about this subject. And if you get to the point where you have a possible candidate, you may want to set up a "working interview" on a weekend for a couple of hours with some of your Mom-friends and their kids and see how the candidate gets along with everyone. Set up a cookie decorating activity, or a craft get-together, and see how she handles being thrown into a group of people who she does not know. She if she can make conversation with the parents, connect with the other children, encourage your DS to play and talk with other children, etc.

So, there is my two cents...

And about it being "cost-efficient" - you need to realize that money will need to be spent to provide some of these outings for your children. Classes cost money, museums and aquariums and other activities will cost money. And there is the cost of gas for the nanny to be driving. It seems that you will have this 2-year stretch where you will need a nanny for the two children, until the baby is old enough for daycare? So, take a look at the cost of the two years. A good nanny will cost you something - don't expect to get a nanny for what you pay for daycare - it's usually more to have the nanny. And if you pay on the books, then there are payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, etc.
post #3 of 23
My son would miss daycare and be bored out of his mind with just a nanny and a newborn.
post #4 of 23
Totally depends on what kind of nanny you are looking for.

I think loads of kids would be bored in a daycare environment vs nanny care, so many nannies are on the go non-stop, out in the community, doing crafts and games, and interacting one-on-one with your child is ways daycare never could.

I am caring for children full-time as a nanny, and am in a group setting with children every single day of the week for at least 2 hours a day, because the children I care for, thrive in this environment, not all would.

Unless you live in a community without resources geared towards small children, I think a nanny is an excellent choice.

Just my 2 cents, I find it hurtful when people bash nannies and make assumptions that we wouldn't be entertaining enough.
post #5 of 23
How about a nanny with her own child about the same age as your son? Or a nanny share with another family who has a child around your sons age? Or just a great nanny who's willing to visit a play group at least 1 day a week with your kids or make play dates in the area and the other times make some special time for one on attention with your older son for a special craft or something.

Many nannies who bring their own little one to work with them do charge a little less and nanny shares are less as well.
post #6 of 23
It depends on the nanny. I watch two little boys now and since I've been watching them, we go out at least 3 times a week, if not more. However, the parents made it easy to do that. We have passes to the zoo, children's museum, and aquarium. We also can go to the park or the jumping bean (jumping playground) or the science museum. There's lots to do around here and it's actually hard work to be bored.

If I were you, I'd expressly state your intentions and part of the contract that they take the kids out to activities. Provide plenty of ideas for outings and it should work out ok.

One other thing I'd suggest is making the first 3 months a trial period. That way, at the end of three months, either of you are free not to continue the contract if it's not a good fit.
post #7 of 23
Trial periods are great for both the nanny and the family. I wish I'd knew about them and insisted on them earlier in my nanny career. Have things in writing as well. If you need help with a contract/agreement let me know and I'll send you a sample.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. You've given me a lot to think about. This is all still nearly a year away for us, and is only a possibility we're considering. There are tons of kids around here and most of them are with nannies, so any nanny who couldn't get into at least one social situation a day (playground, library, playgroup, etc) would be weird. I would expect any experienced nanny in the neighborhood to already have nanny friends. (I also wouldn't expect a nanny to feel comfortable in a group of moms - there's a pretty strong split aorund here.)

It's only 3 days a week, and this would only be for one year, until DS starts pre-K.

A top-tier nanny around here is $15/hr, and at 3 days a week that's about $1800 a month, which is less than $1200 for a bargain nanny plus the $1100 a month that we're currently paying for daycare. But not a ton less.

Hmm. Thanks again.
post #9 of 23
Totally depends on the nanny.

I now work as a nanny 3 days/week, bringing dd (28mos) with me. Most of the time, I just have the 4 year old (she has two older siblings, 6 and 7.5). I worked for this family before I had DD, as well, so, I know the routine.

We almost always do a big outing on Mondays (when the older two don't get home until 5pm). Museums, zoo, etc.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are closer to home outings. Library (I have the schedule of pre-school story times), town rec center, local playgrounds, etc. Mom sometimes schedules her for kindermusik classes, depending on the time of year. There are almost always other kids at those places, especially if the weather isn't miserable (I am a person who believes in lots of outdoor time). And when the weather is crap or whatever, the 4 year old and my daughter play together quite nicely (they're 20 mos apart).

Instead of asking leading questions, I'd ask the nanny something along the lines of "How would you plan a day with my kids". Some parents DON'T want the nanny taking the kids out (I don't get it, but, ), but, you ought to get a more honest answer that way, and be able to weed out the "homebodies". Then, I think you need to do a couple things: find some activities for your child - it doesn't have to be formal, but, ideas along the lines of "Oh, J has been going to this playgroup on Fridays at 1030 am, and I'd like for that to continue, and the library has story time for his age group at 1pm on Tuesdays.". Also, you do need to let the nanny know that she has some autonomy - some days, my kids are wound up and I know a trip to the playground is definitely needed. Or Maddie will specifically ask, "Can we got to X today", and, if there's no reason not to, we do. Other days, they may be more low-key, or it's raining or something, so, I grab the museum pass, and we head for the children's museum or the science museum.

Final note: I nannied for a different family with older and less kids when Katie was 3-12mos old - (the logistics of 4 young kids wouldn't work at the time, due to car seat issues). One thing that helped immensely was that I baby-wore. Please make sure you have a comfortable sling/wrap available for your nanny to carry the baby in - it's so much easier to get out and do things that way, and my DD would take her naps in it while I took the girls to the park or museum or whatever, so we didn't have to worry about being back at X time for naps and what not.

One more thing: I was new to the area when I started nannying. One thing that was especially helpful was a list of ideas of places to take the kids, and, more importantly, directions from their house to the locations. That was great. There were some places I probably would not have heard of, and navigating through a city would have been challenging without directions (not to say I didn't occassionally get lost anyway, but, it was good to have the directions).
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Where are all you wonderful, articulate nannies? You all seem so well-educated. It's my impression that around here I would be lucky to find a nanny whose English is good enough for basic communication.
post #11 of 23
The only nanny friends I have are on-line. I feel that I'm a very experienced and great nanny,but I just don't have nanny friends in "real life". I don't think it's fair for you to expect a nanny to have lots of nanny friends to hang out with. It would be nice though if she did.
post #12 of 23
I just pulled my second youngest from daycare. I was always a daycare momma until my eldest went to kindie last year, then grade 1 this year (and I was back at work full time). I have four kiddos.

We went from loving going to daycare (thinking the kids would be bored at home without the structure) to a child that would beg, plead or hide until I had left for work so he didn't have to go to school. It was too much fun staying home with his older brother (who is 1/2 day kindie in the afternoon), his baby brother (OK -not so much the baby) but definitely the nanny. Our nanny is so much fun - they love to be home, puttering about or out at playdates/having fun.
post #13 of 23
I like the share idea - your 2 kids plus a child the same age as your oldest, and lots of outings. that should save you enough to make the one nanny plan work.

but, if your boy is very happy at his place and has friends and you love it there, then I'd lean to not uprooting him.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by missmich View Post
The only nanny friends I have are on-line. I feel that I'm a very experienced and great nanny,but I just don't have nanny friends in "real life". I don't think it's fair for you to expect a nanny to have lots of nanny friends to hang out with. It would be nice though if she did.
I'm the same. I don't have any nanny friends around here. Granted I'm new but I didn't where I use to live either. I was part of a nanny group but I wasn't friends with them and we didn't hang out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesperia View Post
Totally depends on what kind of nanny you are looking for.

I think loads of kids would be bored in a daycare environment vs nanny care, so many nannies are on the go non-stop, out in the community, doing crafts and games, and interacting one-on-one with your child is ways daycare never could.

I am caring for children full-time as a nanny, and am in a group setting with children every single day of the week for at least 2 hours a day, because the children I care for, thrive in this environment, not all would.

Unless you live in a community without resources geared towards small children, I think a nanny is an excellent choice.

Just my 2 cents, I find it hurtful when people bash nannies and make assumptions that we wouldn't be entertaining enough.
I agree. Just b/c it's just me and the child doesn't mean he is bored. We go out everyday from 11-2. We go to the children's musuem, the park, story time and things like that. Theres not alot of kid oriented things where I live so it's hard to find a big group setting. I just started a playgroup that met the first time last week. So we have that too. And it's Mom's not nannies and they don't have a problem with me not being a mom. I sure hope I'm entertaining enough. I like to think I am. He laughs and is happy all day, so something must be working.
post #15 of 23
What about preschool? Where I live, every single 3 year old we know is in preschool... it can be for a few hours a day a few days a week, but at least it will give him the structure and interaction he may miss when he leaves daycare. And preschool can be much less expensive than daycare. We were in a similar situation a few years ago. DS was three and was in daycare 3 days a week when I had DD and stopped working. We were paying $1200 a month for the daycare, which we had to stop when I left my job. But preschool was only $2500-$3000 for the whole year. And lots of families had nannies drop off and pick up the child.
My decision to send him to preschool had less to do with him being "bored" with me (or a nanny in your case) and more about continuing the school enviornment with circle time, outside time, eating together, and generally being with a peer group.
OT - I am surprised more haven't suggested the above. Perhaps preschools are more common for 3 year olds here (MA) than other parts of the country.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflower.mama View Post
OT - I am surprised more haven't suggested the above. Perhaps preschools are more common for 3 year olds here (MA) than other parts of the country.
I am thinking about this as well. I am in Toronto and most families (or the ones with spare cash) send their kiddos to nursery school at age 3 (then JK at age 4 and then SK at age5). My kids until recently were at daycare full time - we weren't a nanny family. I always always thought that daycare was way way superior to staying at home with a nanny.

I have recently changed my mind, drastically.

But why do they need nursery school at 3???? I do understand the idea that a SAHM might need a morning off a couple days a week to run errands, or doing something personal - but why does the kid need it?

I think a program once a week - for us it is Sportsball, a playdate and maybe a story time at a local library/book store - and voila you got the same impact as 2-3 hours a day, a few days a week, at nursery school. It takes a ton more time than just the 'dump n'run' nursery school but would be cheaper, and probably more fun. When I was home on mat leave, I appreciated the downtime for a few hours here or there - but not sure my nanny needs it (my young gang - 1 is fulltime school, one is partime and two are stay at home full time) or I would either if laundry, grocery or meal planning wasn't on my radar.

My little rant - I love daycare think it is awesome, I love my nanny (so do my kids) - but firmly believe daycare/nursery isn't critical for most kiddos to thrive in school.
post #17 of 23
katharine,
you have a good point- is the 3 yo in a daycare or is she in a full-time preschool?

I assumed any "daycare" that takes 3 year olds was acutlaly a preschool - note how the OP says there are no daycares in her area for kids until they turn 2. That doesn't make sense for pure childwatching day care, but it is exactly the case in my area for preschools - they only take ages 2-5, and her follow-up post #8 giving her costs over in Queens very much matches what I see in Berkeley for decent preschools.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Re: daycare vs. preschool - it is a good question. I'm not really clear on what the difference is between them, except I know that a lot of places like to call themselves preschools just because it sounds better. The one my DS goes to (and the other ones we considered) have educational programs, circle time, projects, music class, etc. But they don't have a part-time program. That would be ideal, if I could keep him where he is but cut back to a part-time schedule.

Anyway, if I found a part time program for $3000 a year I would be on it like white on rice. The only part-time program I know of costs the same as what I'm currently paying for full-time. But I need to do more research.

As for expecting nannies to have nanny friends - whenever I go to the park, the library, etc. I see groups of nannies hanging out together. I think nannying is very different in an urban setting than in other settings. I can't imagine a nanny wanting to sit in an apartment all day - and if she went out to the park, it would be difficult to avoid talking to other nannies, and she would naturally develop relationships if she did that on a regular basis.
post #19 of 23

lots of advantages of nanny V. daycare

NOt that I'm biased or anything ...cough* cough* holistic nanny here :-)

I chose to become a nanny after my DS was born, and I needed to be able to do 3 things

a.) support us
b.) Do something that spoke to my heart
c.) raise my child MYSELF, (I detest daycares!!!!)


With the right nanny, you will be able to stave off most illness's, provide more individualized attention, keep you dc's in YOUR home, decide what when and where they learn.

your not restricted to daycare times and locations.
A good nanny will be VERY proactive in your childs care happiness and health, and will respect and honor YOUR families values.
You won't have to conform to the rules of a daycare setting.
Depending on the nanny you hire, you might even get a little bit of cooking and housework done.

There are MANY advantages of having in house help, you just have to find the right person.

I can't speak for others, BUT, I charge 15/hr. AND bring my 6.5yr old homeschooling ds with me. I am a FULL service nanny, light housekeeping, driving, cooking ect ect ect.....

for YOUR situation I would absolutely recommend that you consider a nanny with a child, and OR a nanny share, especially if you only need part time work.

blessings, D
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citykid View Post
As for expecting nannies to have nanny friends - whenever I go to the park, the library, etc. I see groups of nannies hanging out together. I think nannying is very different in an urban setting than in other settings. I can't imagine a nanny wanting to sit in an apartment all day - and if she went out to the park, it would be difficult to avoid talking to other nannies, and she would naturally develop relationships if she did that on a regular basis.

Not always true though. When I was a full time nanny I'd go to the park and chat with the other nannies and try and slowly become friends with them. Some were snobs though and didn't want to add another nanny friend. Some will only be friends with another nanny if she's from the same culture. I met an au pair while in Holland (American girl) who's family I interviewed with,they needed 2 au pairs. Though I didn't get the job the mother arranged for me to spend the day with her au pair so we could be friends and this girl was not interested in being friends with me at all. Se said to me :just b/c we are both au pairs doesn't mean we should be friends".
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