Daycare vs Nanny- Did You Go from Daycare to a Nanny?

Updated on October 29, 2011
M.H. asks from La Grange, IL
14 answers

We have a 3 year old that needs to go to our town school and a 4 month old.. we have looked into daycare in our area and we just simply can not afford it.. so we are looking at possibly getting a nanny.

Did you make the switch.. do you lke it better? What did you not like.. what should I look out for?


Let me explain one thing.. I can afford to have my kids in the daycare they are currently in. What I can not afford is the daycare in my district for my infant.. They are as much for my youngest as I will be paying for both.$360 for both, up to $700 a week for both in my district or they do not take infants.We need to find a caregiver here in town so that my son can go to the school, as the transportation will not go as far as the current daycare we have. We are re looking at our finances and see what we can do to get our kids cared for.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone.. We are researching nanny's we need to put my son in the school here, so we will have to do what it takes to do that.

Life is one big puzzle and fitting the pieces in the way they will fit is the challenge.

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answers from Norfolk on

We went from daycare to pre-school to school.
Where we lived (Northern Virginia), a nanny would have been way more expensive than daycare.
At the time (this was 13 years ago), infant daycare was $165 a week at a commercial daycare center for one child.
There were discounts if you had more than one child attending.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Albuquerque on

We loved having a nanny. It was so much more convenient than dragging two children out the door every morning. She did everything - their laundry, making their food, cleaning up after the kids, and of course - taking wonderful care of them. Plus, they weren't exposed to as many germs as they would have been in daycare.

That said... I've never heard of a nanny being cheaper than daycare. You'll pay a nanny at least $10/hour and probably more (we paid $14/hour). If you're looking to save money, a nanny is probably not the way to go. How about looking at in-home daycares near you? Those are usually less expensive than center based programs.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Not to be a naysayer... really (ok, maybe)...but in most areas if you can not afford daycare for 2 kids, you certainly can not afford a Nanny. A nanny needs a salary to be paid that she can pay her bills on and live off of. As the employer, you need to pay payroll taxes and overtime if they work over 40 hours. Its the law. This in itself might cost you more in tax accounting fees for the year.

Sorry, but I get downright irritated when people who choose to have children, and must work, say they can not afford childcare. For us, that was part of the planning. Many people make sacrifices to afford childcare, or alter their life so childcare is not needed. But to attempt to hire a nanny who will not be able to live off of the salary you are likely proposing just gets me upset. Childcare providers of all kinds need to be able to live off of what they make as well. Its a career for many of us and needs to provide a living wage. Many of us are educated, trained and experienced in more ways than you can imagine. Your question disrespects my fellow childcare providers (of all kinds), even if that was not your intent.

I was a nanny for 8 years for a family of Physicians and have been a home childcare provider for almost 15 years. And you caught me on a very crabby day.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My brother and SIL did this. Things they like - not having to pack up the kids in the morning, not having to get them out of the house (kids can sleep in if they are tired), the nanny has a close relationship with the kids and they love her like family. Things they miss about daycare - kids miss their friends and social activities, the nanny has to be prompted to do learning kinds of things with the kids and she often doesn't follow through (the kids used to be in a true learning center with a curriculum, daily crafts, etc), and, the biggest downside is if the nanny gets sick they have to take off of work whereas in daycare, they have substitute teachers.

Although, I'm surprised you are doing this for cost. In my area, a nanny is more expensive than even the most expensive daycare.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We've always had a nanny, so I can't speak for daycare. But I have to tell you, having my kids get that (now, 2:1) attention is WONDERFUL. And my kids love my nanny as much as they love us!

With that special attention, the've learned so much. They also have plenty of playdates and interaction with other kids. My 3yr is the king of the playground!

I can't say enough. If you find someone you like, it's completely worth it. Plus, you don't have to worry about picking them up with they're sick, or misbehaving!

I'd be happy to share the interview questions we used to hire our nanny, as well as the contract we have with her. Just PM me.

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answers from Chicago on

In our experience when we did our research initially, we found that having a nanny it's more expensive than day care.

We lucked out and found friends that found a nanny but were looking to do a nanny share. That is cheaper, because you are splitting the cost of nanny in half (but still paying nanny a bit more for two kids). So that is what we went with as it was the cheapest and preferred situation for us. Our son still gets social interaction and personal care, without being overwhelmed by a large group with limited personal attention.

It has worked very well for us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We made the switch for the same reasons, and that my husband works 2 hours away and couldn't help with the transportation. We HATED it. The new nanny PUSHED my 4 year old when she got mad at him. She was fired on the spot. We love our day care lady and found a new person to get our older two on the bus in the morning, and she drop our 4 year old at his old daycare. This means I go in to work at 615 and take my lunch time to take my 4 year old back home to get on the bus for his afternoon pre-k. It's a huge hassle, but our kids are safe. Do what works for you. If you find a great nanny, that's awesome. We found both the horrible nanny and the good one that we have in the mornings off of Note - the bad one has been kicked off of there :).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Why does a 3 yr old HAVE to go to school? Is this for special needs reasons? If not, just don't go to school yet. My dd will never have gone to school before kindergarten as it was logically or financially feasible. I'm sure that she will still do fine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Consider having an "au pair". There are about a dozen agencies that bring child care qualified English speaking students to the US for one or two years. The agencies conduct the background checks, and provide profiles. Your family can select a nationality, review the profiles of young students age 19 to 27, interview those you've selected, and the agency arranges the visa and transportation. The cost is about $7500 up front to the agency (tax deductable), and $195.75 (as required by the US law) per week for the au pair. It doesn't matter how many children are in the household, and although the au pair is limited to 45 hours per week, she/he is at you house in the morning when you leave, and your children are still asleep. The only downside, is the au pair must have her/his private bedroom, and if you don't have a spare room, it won't work. Right now, our baby sleeps with us, and our three year old son sleeps with grandma, so our au pair has her own room. Check out "au pair" on the internet.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

Funny how different areas the cost is different. Diane C. (Pittsburgh) said a nanny is more expensive than daycare centers. Here it is the opposite. If you have more than one kid a nanny is probably the way to go!

Good luck with the nanny search!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Have you looked at in home daycare. It is both cheaper than a daycare center and a nanny. Just look for someone in your school district.
I only charge $35/day for infants and $15-$20/day for before and afterschool, depending on how long the school day your max would be $280/ way you can get a nanny for that unless you share a nanny and split the cost with another family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I suggest home daycare. It is the best of both worlds! Cheaper than regular daycare and nannies but it is one consistent care provider who loves your children and becomes part of the family. They are certified by the state so there is quality control. The other positive is they watch more than one child so your kids get socialized and many offer preschool programming. I can't say enough good things about it!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi there, I went from full time daycare with my 3 year old (11 hours a day) to having my mother in law watch him and my second who was 3 months old at the time. What i did was enroll him in preschool 3 days a week. I think it's a nice balance. She takes him and picks him up since he starts later (compared to when I leave for work) and his day at school ends before I get home. I think it helps to continue that social interaction with other kids. He's 4 1/2 now and we just bumped him up to 4 days a week - he is loving school more than ever. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Have you look into State assist programs available in your area for daycare? I can not imagine daycare costing 2800 a month. I mean that is a private school tuition payment in most states. You may want to look for in-home daycare versus a daycare center. If you are using private religious affiliated daycares you will continue to pay out of the nose. You should check out more public venues like Kinder Care. If you can not afford $700 a week you can not afford a nanny. We pay a little over $600 a month for two 5 year olds at a private religious affiliated daycare because that is what works best for our boys, but if money ever got tight I know that I would use a more pubic form of day care. The Kinder Care near me would have been half the cost of what I am paying now. Hang in there. School age comes faster then you think.

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