Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The Sunshine State
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I have been a nanny for several years, although prior to that, I worked in two different daycares. I have several friends who have also worked for daycares. I have become nannies for people who pulled their kids out of daycare because of the same problems. All of us have come to the same conclusion for daycares, big or small, no matter how great they seemed at first: there are almost no daycares out there that can compete with a nanny. When I was a daycare teacher, ALL of the other teachers would scream and yell at the children all of the time (WHEN THE PARENTS WERE GONE). THey would tell me I wasn't firm enough if I tried to get down on their level and talk to them. There was a huge turnover rate at the daycare I worked at, which meant that teachers were constantly changing, being switched around, etc. Teachers would call out, causing a lot of changing around. My assistant teacher would miss at least 2 days a week, leaving me with a different helper every day...CHAOS for 2 year olds! The helper would sit at the table chewing gum while I changed diapers...and watched 2 year olds beat each other up. There was only so much I could do--state ratios allowed my director to put 22 two year olds in the room as long as I had a helper. Every single day I had to fill out 2-3 incident reports for biting, hitting, pushing, etc. The kids learned bad words from each other, as well as bad habits, and every single one always had a runny nose. ALWAYS. Several times, rotavirus went around the daycare and we would be changing diarhea diapers nonstop all day because unless the temps were really high, directors didn't call the parents. There's only so many times in a day you can change a diaper when you have 22 children, and most of the kids would have diaper rashes as well.
As a nanny, I spend one-on-one time with the children I work with. I NEVER yell. They are changed and fed much more regularly. We go out and about, have field trips (museum, library, park, etc), I set up play dates, and I read books to them constantly. A GOOD nanny will do all of these things, as well as come up with fun games, activities, crafts, etc.
If you CAN afford a nanny over daycare, I would do it. Have her sign a work agreement that says that she will give you 30 days notice so that you have time to find childcare. A good nanny will not call out sick often, and she will provide much more physical, intellectual, and emotional stimulation/interaction than any daycare will.
I'd like to add that I am sure not ALL daycares are bad. I may in fact have to put my LO in daycare part time at some point, and I hope and pray that I can find one without horror stories attached to it. If you can find a daycare you LOVE and are 100% comfortable with, that is a good option as well!