Daycare Vs. Nannying

Updated on January 18, 2012
N.S. asks from Omaha, NE
12 answers

I apologize ahead of time for the lenth of this post.

So I've been taking my oldest daughter to daycare since she was 6 months old. She is now almost 5. Last April the daycare was bought out by another owner and they have turned it around and made it so much better! They really do take great care of the kids. Last February I had another baby girl and she has been going to this daycare since she was 3 months old. Since then we really bonded with the teacher in my infant daughter's room and we've had her babysit for us a few times. My oldest daughter loves her as well. We kept joking with the teacher that we were going to hire her to nanny. Well, this turned into serious talks and we decided to do it. I can't help but feel bad for the daycare because they were upset that they lost such a great teacher and then I question if we made the right decision. My daughters are going to no longer see their friends (although my oldeset seems to be ok with) and I'm losing the cameras they had up so I always check up on them (even though the nanny did say we could put up some nanny cams). And in general I'm going to miss the people, we built great relationships while we were there and they said my girls could come and visit their friends any time and if something happens we are always welcome back!

So I guess I'm just trying to make myself feel better and I wish I could see in the future and know that we made the right decision.

The pros of a nanny vs. daycare is:
- I can get to work earlier and get home earlier
- If the girls are still sleeping I can let them be and not have to wake them up and drag them out in the cold
- They will get more one on one attention, the nanny has already said that she was going to work on the reading with my oldest.
- We will be saving some money
- This fall when my oldest is in Kindergarten I won't have two places to run my kids to and instead I'll just have one or the nanny could drop her off once in awhile.

Cons -
- Really the cons are that they won't be around other kids as much so I worry they are missing out on the social interaction, although we have neighbor kids that they play with all the time.
- The social interaction I get with the teachers and adults. :)

Has anyone else had to make a tough decision like this? Or how can I go about to make myself feel better about my decision? My husband has no worries and believes that we made the right decision.

Update - we have given the daycare two weeks for our girls and the teacher has also turned in her two weeks. Once they heard her decision they didn't tell her to come back because they couldn't make it seem like it was ok to the other teachers to quit, become a nanny and take two of their customers away. We all understand this business decision.

**Update #2 – She will be getting more than what she made at the daycare; this is still cheaper than what the daycare charges us for two kids. She will actually get more time off if she needs it - at the daycare she only was allowed 5 vacation days, so far she's requested 7 with us and that's not a problem. And I have the ability to work from home if she were to get sick. That's not an issue either. It really wouldn't be different if my kids got sick; if they were in daycare I'd have to stay home with them until they got better.

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answers from St. Louis on

I am trying to figure out how it could be cheaper, you will still be paying her the same wage when your daughter starts kindergarten in the fall.

Anyway, big con you missed, if she gets sick you miss work. There will be no back up anymore. I can't remember which mom it is but she has had a crazy amount of expense and stress because she is having to find another sitter and still pay her nanny (or maybe it is a small day care) because of a death in the family and an unexpected illness.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Not sure how a nanny is cheaper than never should be. Paying for a nanny is a "premium" item. Plus there is a bit of taxes and things to do on the "up and up" to do it correctly. Paying overtime, a working wage, the employer taxes, etc. A nanny needs to make a living wage, and if thats less than what you were paying for daycare, you are doing a great dis-service to the role of nannies. Just the other day, I found my orig nanny contract from 1989 (I stayed with them over 8 years). I see advertisements for nanny jobs making the same as I started at way back then. Rediculous.

Sorry, but as a former nanny, it burns my muffins to see how "nannies" are treated, for the most part, in this day and age in these regards. This will not be the popular reply, but someone had to say it. Sorry.

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answers from Sacramento on

You didn't mention a con as being the tax complications of becoming an employer. If you haven't already investigated the legal way of working with a nanny, definitely contact a CPA. You don't want to get zinged by the IRS for managing this incorrectly or illegally.

There are pros and cons to both options. If you've found a great caregiver, that is such a huge plus. It will also make for an easier transition for your kids.

Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm jumping on the "nanny is a good idea" bandwagon. My son had a nanny until he was two and a half (I then became a SAHM). She took him to the park and scheduled playdates with other kids in the neighborhood (with our permission). He had plenty of interaction with other people. Your younger daughter may have more separation anxiety once you put her in preschool or kindergarten, but I think that's a pretty small con against the larger benefits you already outlined. BTW - if you want help with taxes, try Breedlove and Associates: The whole firm is dedicated to domestic worker tax issues, and they make it incredibly easy to stay compliant.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Get the nanny-and invite friends over occassionally-but work that out with the nanny-or do it on your time when you will be home. Your children will be sick a lot less, too, most likely!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Keep in mind that your nanny made the choice herself to leave her job and become your nanny. So let go of the guilt for that. Your responsibility is to do what is best for your family. Your oldest will get plenty of socializing in kindergarten and if this is a great nanny, she will likely be taking the kids out on occasion, to parks for example. I'm not an expert, but from my own experience as a mom, the security and connection that will come from being home with a nanny and a little more time with you is more valuable than having daily playmates. The only con I can think of that you didn't list is that if your nanny gets too sick to care for the kids or goes on vacation, you will need a backup plan. Good luck!



answers from Sioux City on

It sounds like you made a great decision! And; yes; a nanny can really be cheaper than daycare when there are 2 or more children involved. There are many benefits to a nanny including not only helping with childcare, but also with light housekeeping, starting the evening meal and even transporting kids to activities, etc. If you kids are sick; you can still go to work as the nanny can care for the children. In regards to taxes; many families use a nanny tax/payroll service. You can find more information out about that here...

Best of luck with your new nanny : )



answers from Chicago on

We just changed to a sitter instead of a daycare. We make play dates with my oldest friends. The sitter has other kids so My daughter (6 month) will have friends to play with as she grows. My son 3 yr goes to school now for half days and he loves it.. so now his friends will be close by, as before our daycare was near my husbands work- because the infant care in the area is way to pricey. My son gets to be a handful, but we are working with the sitter. I think your decision is fine. Check with you school when your daughter gets a little older , she might be able to go to school and get the interactiuons there. Keep in mind 30 years ago us kids were home with our moms and never had the daycare or the socializing to go with it.. we turned out just fine.



answers from Des Moines on

Well, you guys made the decision for a lot of good reasons. Having a nanny can be a huge benefit. Your older daughter will be in school soon and will do plenty of interacting. You can also put your daughter into a part time preschool program if you are worried about the same thing. You can also express this worry with the nanny and have her take the girls to library reading groups, play dates, etc. I wouldn't be worried about it at all. They have had a long time to experience group child care and have been working on social skills. Plenty of kids stay home in their early years and end up fine. They will not be completely isolated and your benefits are going to clearly outweigh this concern.



answers from Los Angeles on

Addressing the cons:
1. your five yr old will get plenty of social interaction in kindergarten. your nanny can take both kids to the park and library. there's all kinds of reading programs and various learning activities sponsored by the library geared towards children 6 mos and up. Check out their schedule.
2. don't you get social interactions with adults at work? you'll also get plenty of that once your child goes to kindergarten. moms that bring their kids to school usually stay until the bell rings. we chat with each other.



answers from Provo on

Sounds like you are just questioning the decision. I have a sitter at my home. I love it -- but I also work from home so that means the sitter can deal with all the problems and I still get to hear about the good things in my kids' day. If you are concerned about socialization with other kids then make sure you set up play dates. Other than that, I think your pros are good ones and I would have made the same choice.



answers from Rochester on

i have 3 kids and we did a nanny for a while (because it was cheeper then having 3 kids in daycare!) I loved it! I did not have to get the kids up and out of bed in the AM, if something happened at work and I was running late, out nanny never minded. Out nanny was going to school while being out nanny. It worked great for her as she would put the little ones down and then do "homework" with her and my oldest. She also took my oldest to school and picked him up so that was nice for us. I really miss those days when we had a nanny! For the friend’s part, get the phone #'s of the moms whose kids your kids like to hang around and have them over for play dates! My hubby and I were so busy in those days we forgot about friends for ourselves! We now do play dates a lot, for out kids and for us! Enjoy the nanny, you made a great choice!!

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