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What's your experience?

  • Done both--nanny is better

    Votes: 6 28.6%
  • Done both--day care is better

    Votes: 6 28.6%
  • We think daycare is better care

    Votes: 4 19.0%
  • We think a nanny is better care

    Votes: 4 19.0%
  • We think a nanny is better care but use daycare because a nanny is too expensive

    Votes: 1 4.8%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What have been your experiences? Which is better<br><br><br><br>
What are some of the pros and cons of having a nanny versus having daycare?<br><br>
Some that I have come up with.....<br><br>
Nanny pros<br>
customized care<br>
more individual attention<br>
don't have to pick up/drop off child<br>
may have more caregiver continuity<br><br>
Daycare pros<br>
more affordable<br>
if the caregiver is having a bad day, it's not as big a deal because there is more than one caregiver<br>
licensing provides more safety??
 

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First off, I've never had a nanny, so my experience is one sided, but for my child I think daycare is the better situation overall for two reasons:<br><br>
1. Group atmosphere: Dd is VERY social and loves being in a group of other children her age. She likes being part of a group and adores her friends.<br><br>
2. Resources/space. The daycare center is set up MUCH better than my apartment in terms of being able to offer fun, diverse, and enriching activities throughout the day. They do a lot of arts and crafts, have tons of toys and books which we don't have at home (keeps things new and interesting), have water tables, a huge sandbox, tricycles, balls, hula hoops, and a playground with climbing structures, slides, and sprinklers on hot days. None of which we have the money or space to provide at home (we live in an apartment with no yard).<br><br>
We have a great ratio, so there is still a lot of individual attention.<br><br>
The main down side, however, is illness--bugs travel FAST in daycare and it can be frustrating when parents drop off kids who are clearly sick <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I have had both but at very different times of my child's lives. When DS and DD were infants they went to an in-home daycare, though DS also had a PT nanny for the first 6 months after he was born. When they were 3 they started at a preschool/ daycare (full days, so more than just preschool). Now that they are school aged they have an after-school nanny. For us, each of these was probably the best decision at the time/place we were, although I think I would have liked for DD to have more time in individual care before starting a daycare home.<br><br>
I think a lot depends on the age of the child, the child's temperment, the actual amount of care needed, logistics of your situation, and the quality of each option. A good day care will always, IMHO, beat a bad nanny, and vice versa. So I didn't vote because I very, very firmly believe "there is no one true way" -- there are just too many variables. Now, if you want to ask about the specific options you are weighing, then I'd be happy to chime in my 2 cents worth!
 

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We've only done daycare but did look for a nanny at one time and then gave up on it because finding a quality nanny is SO difficult. You have to be so much more thorough in your screening of them, and you have to worry if they are stealing from you, or worse yet, abusing your kids. If you can find a wonderful nanny I think it's probably better than daycare, but it's pretty tough to find IMO.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hparsh</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11562004"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We've only done daycare but did look for a nanny at one time and then gave up on it because finding a quality nanny is SO difficult. You have to be so much more thorough in your screening of them, and you have to worry if they are stealing from you, or worse yet, abusing your kids. If you can find a wonderful nanny I think it's probably better than daycare, but it's pretty tough to find IMO.</div>
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It definitely takes work to find a super nanny. I think that's why we waited until the kids were old enough to realize when something was wrong and tell us about it before we went to primarily nanny care. That said, we are very sorry to see this year's after school nanny move on in September -- she was a wonderful fit for us and we will all miss her.
 

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we have only had au pairs, but we also send our boys to preschool during the school year.<br><br>
Our pros<br>
1. she lives with us - no snow days, no sick days (for kids - she can take sick days), etc.<br><br>
2. we work at home and our kids are at home (most of the time).<br><br>
3. 100% flexible schedule for OUR needs, not someone else's schedule.<br><br>
4. I can enroll the kids in classes, organize playdates, or send 'em to the pool and our au pair takes care of it.<br><br>
we also do preschool for the group activities.<br><br>
Cons<br>
1. she lives with us, so there is an impact on privacy<br>
2. we do more psycho/social care taking than for a nanny, and definitely for a day care<br>
3. costs more (though only now that we don't have an infant - infant care + toddler care is equally expensive).<br>
4. kids at home when working at home can get a bit noisy.<br>
5. when she is sick or on vacation, we scramble for childcare.<br><br>
All in all, we are very happy.
 

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I think it really depends upon the age, personality, etc. of the child(ren) plus the quality of both the daycare and nanny available to you. In theory, I think that a nanny would be optimal for an infant, and then from then on, some socialization could be a plus, though you don't necessarily need a daycare/preschool for that.<br><br>
But, I say in theory, because we had a PT nanny and it did NOT work out despite strong recommendations in her favor from the agency we worked with. (trying to bring baby along to do her errands and meet up with her friends, excessive web surfing on the job, television watching, etc., in addition to taking all of the allotted vacation/sick time then quitting -- however, this did save me the trouble of firing her and possibly paying unemployment wages.) However, I do think a nanny would be great if you can find a good one, and esp for an infant.<br><br>
Due to our concerns about being vulnerable to the same kind of thing (or worse), we then had our daughter in a daycare for a while that was okay, but not optimal (nothing too terrible -- food a bit junky, and the environment caring enough but not really adding anything to her life in my opinion. But, I felt she was safe, and they were kind to her. Caregiver turnover was pretty bad though, and the center kept changing how they did things, which left an unstable feeling for me and for my little one. I felt I had to mitigate as best I could by having her there only part-time and only during certain times of the day when things ran more smoothly.<br><br>
On the other hand, when she turned 2, she was able to start at a fabulous preschool that is enriching and somewhere I not only feel comfortable about, but feel that it is really adding something to her life. It is very child-centered and nurturing, with lots of free play and outdoor time. It fits very well with my parenting style too, so it is a great match. (She LOVES it there.) So, I think it depends so much upon the quality of what you have available to you!!! It could also change over time. I would trust your gut on what feels best for your child.
 

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Totally depends on the child's personality and the options available, plus the parents' comfort levels.<br><br>
In general I'm not comfortable with nannies for children who aren't old enough to talk clearly about their day, but I'd be a lot more comfortable with a nanny than with a substandard, thinly-stretched, high-turnover daycare.<br><br>
My ideal is a well-run, small daycare center. Good daycares are often wonderful, warm, well-run places with the price tags to match because they pay their staff well (so little turnover) and give the staff benefits (health, vacation, retirement, etc.) Plus they keep ratios <i>very</i> low, well below the state requirements. I like the sense of community that comes with a well-run daycare.<br><br>
Home daycares are a completely mixed bag. If you find the right place, they're also wonderful environments, but finding the right place can be hard. For me, I have a lot of the same issues with home daycares as I do with nannies, except magnified because the adult/child ratio is worse.<br><br>
I think the key is to think really, really carefully about how you feel about each of the options and keep re-evaluating.
 

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I didn't vote, because I think nanny and daycare can both be great, awful or anywhere in between, depending on sooooo many factors. In my world, the ideal would have been a nanny (or just baby sitter) for several days a week, when the children were newborn. Doesn't really exist here, and without relatives close by, it was hard. Even with a 100% involved DH. Now that DD and DS are 1.5 and 3.5, daycare is really great, for many of the reasons posted earlier. And their daycare facilities are really superb.<br><br>
I say, "No, I didn't want a nanny", but truth be told, I probably am a little jealous of those mommas who have access to a nanny.
 

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I've had both, but for very different situations.<br><br>
From when my son was about 16 months old to just before his second birthday, I was working part time from home. During that time we had a nanny for half the hours I was working (I worked 20 hrs; she came for 10).<br>
Pros: she conformed to my schedule<br>
Individual attention and a one on one bond<br>
She did lots of activities specific to him<br>
He could stay home which was nice for convenience and for things like the dreaded germ exposure<br><br>
Because I was at home I had time to build a trust relationship. It was such a good one that we kept her on one day a week for another 8 months.<br><br>
When I went back to work full-time though we chose a group daycare. It was partly a financial decision, and partly based on how we perceived my son's needs at the time – he's an extrovert and needed some kind of group activity already anyway.<br><br>
But it was also because I believe that for full-time care of a toddler/preschooler it's safer. This is my issue; I am in no way implying that people who have a nanny are being unsafe! It was just a question of my comfort level<br><br>
For me I trust our former nanny greatly – but I know that anyone can get out of sorts caring for a child at a difficult age day after day, and unlike me as a parent, who can "call in" extra resources like grandparents and friends, I think a nanny has a tough job. I liked the idea of my son being in an environment where there were several adults to observe, to mesh with him, to strategize with any issues that came up, and to give each other breaks if things were going downhill.<br><br><br>
However as I said we kept her one day a week because the love was so strong and that was a great 'day off' for my son at the time.<br><br>
ETA: we did find the 'small well run daycare' referenced above. At least we think so! Low turnover, low ratios, and a Montessori approach.
 

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Where is the OTHER button? There should always be an Other, LOL.<br><br><br>
Nanny is better when child is an infant.<br>
Daycare is better when they get a little older.
 

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We've done both and I agree with a few pp....nanny is great (IF you find a good one...) when they are an infant, I prefer daycare when they are older.<br><br>
We had an excellent daycare, (great staff, great programs, great facility), but DS brought home LOTS of germs.... so pros/cons in that sense. He made many good friends and had lots of people to invite to bday parties, lots of parties and playdates to go on, learned TONS more than he would have at home, but the germ thing and the pick up/drop off was for sure a pain in the butt.<br><br>
On the flipside, for DS#2, we had a nanny - well that lasted 5 months, we just let her go last week. Not having to do drop-off and pick-up (and the very clean house) were GREAT, but other than that it was awful. She was live-in, and I hated the lack of privacy, (though she was discreet), and she basically totally neglected my children, she was like 2 different people - one when I was around, (loving, doting on the kids, interacting with them) and another when I wasn't (when she didn't know I was around - ignoring them, being rough and careless with them, neglecting them). She didn't change my 1 year old's diaper all day some days, she talked on the phone ALL day or wore earphones all day and didn't hear me come in and call to her several times, (even after we spoke to her about this). Our last straw was when I came home to find out my 4yo had left the house unnoticed and wandered alone around our very busy neighbourhood, she only knew he'd left b/c he rang the front doorbell to get back in! I could go on and on...but basically, we have chosen daycare over the nanny. My son is almost 1 1/2, had he been younger we probably would have looked for a better nanny, but by this age he is BUSY and needs the stimulation of a center and other kids IMO.<br><br>
I am not sure our daycare is going to be much better (he's going to a different one than the one I described above) but I figure - knock on wood - it can't be much worse, and at least there are more eyes there...<br><br>
Good luck with your decision, it is not easy!
 

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I thought with all the parents POV I would just give the employer POV. I did both. I nannied and worked in a daycare. I HATED working in a daycare. Being confined with that many kids and no breaks. It was hell for me! So long of hours and even when they napped there was always 2 or 3 who didn't and having to get permission to use the restroom.<br><br>
Now when I nannied I LOVED it. I have such a close bond with all the families I worked with. WIth one family I moved away and we still talk and actually I am having the kids come up to stay with me for a few weeks to give the mom a break. (She's getting a divorce).<br><br>
I liked getting to plan the activities we did and what kids we hung out with. I liked the flexibility. If she was sick or something we could stay home. I also can do what the parents want and more able to give it to them. We get out of the house and go to the musuems and parks and really have tons of fun. Anyways sorry for the ramble!
 

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I totally agree with Karina5<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Nanny is better when child is an infant.<br>
Daycare is better when they get a little older.</td>
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Up to about 1 or 2 yrs old, a good nanny is better than a good daycare.<br><br>
After around 1 or 2, a good daycare is better than a good nanny.<br><br>
I'd also add...<br>
A good daycare is always better than a mediocre nanny. I prefer daycares because of the oversight and licensing and multiple care-givers... Plus once toddlers begin really noticing playmates, the friends and activities of a daycare are far more stimulating then a single nanny.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Evan&Anna's_Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11562090"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It definitely takes work to find a super nanny. I think that's why we waited until the kids were old enough to realize when something was wrong and tell us about it before we went to primarily nanny care. That said, we are very sorry to see this year's after school nanny move on in September -- she was a wonderful fit for us and we will all miss her.</div>
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Yes, it is extremely hard to find a good nanny, but if you are lucky enough to find one, I'm sure it's wonderful.<br><br>
I do think a nanny is better when they are an infant because of the one-on-one care, BUT at the same time they are too young to tell you if the nanny is abusing or neglecting them. That scares me to death.<br><br>
My sister has the ideal set-up. She has a nanny take care of her baby boys out of my mother's home, so grandma doesn't really have to do much of the work but can keep an eye on the nanny. I am jealous of her arrangement! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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I have really struggled with this question because we will need infant care ourselves in a few months. The preschool my DS attended, that we loved, does not take infants, they start at about 18 months. After reading a LOT of message boards (not just MDC) and looking at my local craigslist ads, and looking at what is truly in our budget, I came to feel that a nanny would just not work out for us. I love the idea of 1-on-1 care in our home. But there seems to be two different types of nanny -- the young 20-something who is nannying for a while basically because it's unskilled work and she doesn't have the education/experience to do anything else. Around where I live the going rate for this kind of nanny is 10-12/hour and we could just about afford that. But that is not really who I want to leave my infant with 8 hours a day, to be perfectly honest. I am realistic about the fact that it is a HARD job to care for an infant all day long and it takes a certain, not-that-common personality to be INTO it when it is not even your own child. But an experienced, professional nanny would be more like 15+/hour, plus good benefits, and no way can we do that. At that point I might as well not work. Especially after reading a lot of message boards and hearing a lot of stories about the first kind of nanny and all the various ways those situations didn't work out, I came to the conclusion many PPs have stated, which is that a good childcare center beats a mediocre nanny. I also think that while there's a convenience factor in not having to do drop-offs/pick-ups, that would be balanced or even outweighed by having to keep my house "company"-presentable, and adequate snacks/drinks on hand, cooling/heating the house all day long, the expense of incidentals (outings, craft supplies...I don't have to think about all the things a daycare/preschool provides to make my child's day stimulating/fun, but I'm sure it adds up).
 

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my ds has been with his "sitter" since he was 3 months old. She is a co-worker's mother's roommate. OK, that sounds confusing. Anyway, she retired and needed some extra income. She lives in the same town and is only minutes away. Then her roommate retired so she is there too. Its good news and bad news.<br><br>
She has only called in sick once in over 2 years. She has never taken a scheduled vacation, when we take vacation, she takes vacation. I get 16 holidays a year, so does she. The bad news. She no longer has many age appropriate toys for my son to play with inside her home, yet she does have a large yard with a swing, slide, bikes, a pool etc. so thank goodness its summer! Because there are two of them now, if she wants to run an errand or has to watch her sick granddaughter, she leaves my ds with her roommate. I'm guessing that is because they feel like a team, much like my DH and I. However, the one doesn't really get on the ground or play much with my DS. She is just there letting him watch TV and what not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: She doesn't do art activities with him. He doesn't get socialization with other kids (with the exception of the 1 day a week he is in a group activity for 2 hours).<br><br>
I guess I would consider her like a nanny but different because she isn't in my home and well, she isn't paid as well as a nanny.<br><br>
I think the ultimate would be to have a fantastic nanny who would take my DS to activities, the park, be highly involved with creative play and to have a house set up like a daycare with stimulating things and a nice yard. This set up would fulfill my desires of one on one care, socialization and would be easier for me. I wouldn't have to pack him lunches and get him up and ready to go out the door. Plus I could spend those last extra minutes with him before leaving for work rather then driving him to daycare.<br><br>
Reality is that we live in an apartment and don't have the money or space to fulfill that wish list.<br><br>
Did I answer the OP question? Probably not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cak1207</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11572105"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I thought with all the parents POV I would just give the employer POV. I did both. I nannied and worked in a daycare. I HATED working in a daycare. Being confined with that many kids and no breaks. It was hell for me! So long of hours and even when they napped there was always 2 or 3 who didn't and having to get permission to use the restroom.<br><br>
Now when I nannied I LOVED it. I have such a close bond with all the families I worked with. WIth one family I moved away and we still talk and actually I am having the kids come up to stay with me for a few weeks to give the mom a break. (She's getting a divorce).<br><br>
I liked getting to plan the activities we did and what kids we hung out with. I liked the flexibility. If she was sick or something we could stay home. I also can do what the parents want and more able to give it to them. We get out of the house and go to the musuems and parks and really have tons of fun. Anyways sorry for the ramble!</div>
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you sound like an amazing nanny! How do I find somebody like you to hire?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wednesday</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11574369"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have really struggled with this question because we will need infant care ourselves in a few months. The preschool my DS attended, that we loved, does not take infants, they start at about 18 months. After reading a LOT of message boards (not just MDC) and looking at my local craigslist ads, and looking at what is truly in our budget, I came to feel that a nanny would just not work out for us. I love the idea of 1-on-1 care in our home. But there seems to be two different types of nanny -- the young 20-something who is nannying for a while basically because it's unskilled work and she doesn't have the education/experience to do anything else. Around where I live the going rate for this kind of nanny is 10-12/hour and we could just about afford that. But that is not really who I want to leave my infant with 8 hours a day, to be perfectly honest. I am realistic about the fact that it is a HARD job to care for an infant all day long and it takes a certain, not-that-common personality to be INTO it when it is not even your own child. But an experienced, professional nanny would be more like 15+/hour, plus good benefits, and no way can we do that. At that point I might as well not work. Especially after reading a lot of message boards and hearing a lot of stories about the first kind of nanny and all the various ways those situations didn't work out, I came to the conclusion many PPs have stated, which is that a good childcare center beats a mediocre nanny. I also think that while there's a convenience factor in not having to do drop-offs/pick-ups, that would be balanced or even outweighed by having to keep my house "company"-presentable, and adequate snacks/drinks on hand, cooling/heating the house all day long, the expense of incidentals (outings, craft supplies...I don't have to think about all the things a daycare/preschool provides to make my child's day stimulating/fun, but I'm sure it adds up).</div>
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<br>
It sounds like we're in very similar circumstances. I'm looking for more information and am beside myself about what to do...quit my career? nanny? daycare?<br>
Can you please tell me which message boards and websites you've done research on?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tree-hugger</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11576320"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">you sound like an amazing nanny! How do I find somebody like you to hire?</div>
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Aww! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> Thank you! I actually just moved to CO and there are no people looking that I can find. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 
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