They work out to roughly the same price. How did you make the decision? The stability of daycare is very compelling, but the 2:1 ratio in nanny share sounds great.
And then let the also rans go graciously and keep their info on file in case the first arrangement you make falls through. If you go with nannyshare, keep your spot on daycare wait lists in case the nanny share doesn't work out. Keep the names and numbers of a few nannies handy in case daycare doesn't go well.
I'm not sure what a nanny share is but I'd probably go with the daycare only because the child is exposed to other children early on and builds up their immunity before kindergarten as well as they have social time with other children their own age. Also, I work in people's private homes for a living in my job and I have one customer that has a very nice nanny but she's young and any time I'm there in the home I've noticed the nanny will leave the 18 month old to go to the bathroom or change clothes to take the child outside and she will stay in the bathroom for very long periods of time and leave the baby alone in another room in the house. I'd worry more if a person was alone with my kid like that unless I had a camera on them watching them. I feel like they're safer in a daycare that has the computers set up so you can view online if you want and if the child care giver in a daycare needs a break they have coverage to back them up all day long. You can't get that in the home.
Single (divorced), self-employed working, college student MOM to:
17 yr old
11 yr old
4 yr old
There are definitely trade-off but I think there are ways to plan for them.
First, one thing you get with a nanny share vs daycare (possibly - depends on the kinds of daycare options available to you) is more flexibility & control over childrearing philosophies or approaches. We selected our nanny based on her willingness to go with our AP parenting - she wore the two babies (one at a time!), took time to help our son fall asleep (he wasn't a great sleeper, whereas the other baby was), dealt with cloth diapers, gave my son expressed breast milk & later fed them nutritious snacks & meals, no TV. In our area, we couldn't have gotten that at a daycare.
As you recognize, though, stability is a big selling point for the daycare option. I admit that it was sometimes very stressful when our nanny was sick. In our second year we formulated a pretty solid plan for dealing with this - we pooled our resources & shared care with the other family. So instead of having to miss a full day of work or to pay someone new a full day, we's swap. If the other available parent had an important meeting, someone would cover them & watch both kids, then we'd switch. It wasn't a perfect plan but it worked.
I also disagree with PP about the germs. DS swapped germs with his playmate & at the park etc. He was in no way at an immunological disadvantage when he started preschool. He's in his second year of preschool & has run a fever once in that whole time! I don't think daycare is an advantage on that point.
Also, I disagree about safety. I think there are safeguards available for day area that are positive & above & beyond what is available in a home setting. But in my experience, these things aren't a concern if you find the right nanny for your families. And with a share you have four people, all with parental instincts, giving input on who to hire. Hiring took a long time because we all had veto power & used it but it was worth it in the end because I never once wished I had a nanny cam or any such thing.
There are always risks in the world (in a daycare, with a nanny, with a parent -- my son ended up in the ER once on my watch & never a scratch with the nanny...). You need to make a decision based on what will work & feel right for you & your family.
If we have another, we'll definitely be trying to create another nanny share!
Edited to add: When my son was 3 we hired a part-time babysitter to care for just him. I wished I had a nanny cam because something just didn't feel right. We fired the babysitter - I figured, if I felt that way then something WASN'T right. I'm a big believer in going with your gut in child care decisions - a child's happiness & well being & a parent's peace of mind (connected, as they are) is just so important. So whether it's a daycare or a nanny share - if it doesn't feel right, keep looking!!
Mama to my little busy bee.
My son went to a small in-home childcare until he was 2. She never had >4 kids at a time including her own (who was in elementary school) or >1 pre-crawling baby at a time. It was great! The individual attention from a consistent person was a very good thing. The childcare my son attended later had infants in a room of 18 cribs with 6 caregivers; that's a good ratio, but the caregivers changed shifts midday, plus the place had high turnover, so that was a lot of different people caring for each baby.
As for immunity, my son's has always been fabulous. He had one tummy bug and one cold in his first year, both of which were over in a couple days, and then was not sick again (except for a couple rounds of pinkeye) until he was 7. What I hear from most parents whose kids go to big centers is that they get sick over and over and over again as babies and toddlers, and this does indeed build up their immunity before kindergarten so that they're very hardy later on, but I'd hate to go through all those illnesses with a nonverbal child in diapers.... I did take my son on public transit every day going to and from childcare, so I think he was exposed to a lot of germs there but in small fleeting doses, and I wonder if that had some inoculation effect. Also, *I* got sick a lot the winter he turned 1 year old, and I give the antibodies in my milk a lot of credit for his good health!
Mama to a boy EnviroKid 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby !
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