Nanny or Daycare - Raleigh,NC

Updated on March 02, 2011
K.M. asks from Raleigh, NC
16 answers

I am an expecting mother, who will have to return to work full time after the baby is born and am torn between doing the daycare thing or hiring a nanny. Which is the best route to go you think?

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answers from New York on

We have a babysitter come into the house...I suppose I could call her a nanny, but I just feel weird calling her that! It is wonderful. I don't have to get the kids up, ready, packed and out the door by a certain time. They can kind of make their own wake up schedule, which to me is great!

I think for 1 baby, it may be more expensive to have a nanny. But once you have more than 1, it is MUCH less expensive to have a nanny than to pay for daycare. We have a 2.5, 14 month and one on the way. I would have to quit my job if we sent them to daycare - it would just be too expensive.

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answers from New York on

This is such a personal-preference kind of question. My son goes to a daycare, where he started at 13 weeks. My sister has a nanny for her girls.

We made the choice for daycare for several reasons:
- Socialization opportunities
- Licensed and inspected providers
- Built-in activities and stimulation
- Not totally comfortable having a stranger in my house all day (my aunt and uncle had a nanny that took advantage of their hospitality and all of their utilities went through the roof. Come to find out she was doing all of her laundry including sheets/towels and all of her cooking at the house while they were at work)

- Strong social skills and interest in playing
- Stands up for himself
- Early talker and more advanced language b/c he's around "big kids"
- Provider has become like an aunt to him (family home daycare)
- The aides (college students) have become our date-night sitters

- lots of "colds" during the first year of daycare
- we have to be "on schedule" every day and out the door for drop-off
- she closes for vacation, so we have to take vacation when she does
- if he's a "little sick" one of us stays home. With a nanny, they will likely still come unless your child is running a high fever or has something serious

What I have noticed in my nieces:
- They are sweet, but they don't know how to play with other children b/c they don't have those opportunities
- Less "scheduled" b/c they don't have to be- sleep when they want, eat when they want, etc.
- Can't be left with anyone other than their nanny b/c they haven't figured out that mommy and daddy will come back
- More independent than my son b/c they have learned to "do their thing" in their own home
- B/c there are two of them, it's less expensive than daycare

My sister loves the flexibility of a nanny b/c if the girls are sleeping when she needs to leave, she doesn't have to wake them up to get out the door. She also loves that if she needs to run an errand after work, she can do so without worrying about whether or not she's running "over" her time.

There are a lot of factors to consider. I would strongly encourage you to go look at different day care options- look at home-based daycares and center-based b/c they are very different and people usually feel strongly in one direction or the other. You should research different nanny agencies and see what they have to offer. You'll know which option feels right for your family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We found the best route was to go with an au pair. Our kids were always sick in daycare (to the point that my son ended up in the hospital at 4 mos then on a nebulizer a few times a day for a few months after) -- and this place was CLEAN- they used bleach water 3 times a day to clean everything and cycled toys and didn't allow toy sharing with babies -- it is just the nature of kids in close quarters to one another. Nanny in our area was cost prohibitive -- and to do things legally (paying the social security, taxes, etc. you would have to and hiring an accountant) was even worse. If you do a nanny under the table and with no enforceable contract, you can have issues later one. We went through Cultural Care for our au pairs and have never turned back (we have been with them for 2 years and will select our third to arrive the end of the summer). They are great, the au pairs have been great. We have 2 kiddos (3.5 and 2) and 1 on the way.

Best wishes and congrats! If you want to know more about the au pair program, feel free to Private Message Me :)

MORE INFO: Someone criticized nannies because of lack of socialization and scheduling. We keep our kids (and our au pair does as well), on a strict schedule and she has playdates with other au pairs in the area (Cultural Care has a huge network and in major metro areas LOTS of au pairs) who have similarly aged kids, takes them to classes like ballet, tot gymnastics, etc., to the park to play with other kids, and to the YMCA where we have a huge maze to play in. We don't have those problems...but it is all in how you run your household and what you want your nanny or au pair to do with your children!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Check out the costs, usually a nanny is going to cost more, especially since you only have 1 child, daycare costs often will go down once the baby is toddler, and the nanny cost will likely stay the same or even higher if you give her a raise. You can have a schedule you and/or the baby like, rather than daycare. Cons, although the baby will likely have less illnesses now, it will likely have lots more later, especially once in school if you always have a nanny. My suggestion is a home daycare, the schedule is usually more flexible and a home like environment with 1 caregiver, rather than several that you would have in a center.



answers from Seattle on

Either is fine, but it may depend more upon whether you can find an open daycare spot for a newborn. In Seattle, it's tough. We ended up using a nanny in a nanny-share situation for both kids. (We still have a nanny for the little one.) The older one started preschool at 2.5yo. We'll put the younger into daycare when we can find a spot.

Because there were two girls and one nanny, there was some socialization. We moved ours to preschool when we wanted her to expand her social skills a bit more.

They are both fine options, so don't worry too much. The little one will probably get sick more often in any kind of daycare but will build immunity faster and be sick less often when older.


answers from St. Louis on

We LOVE our nanny. When it is cold, windy or just nasty outside our little one gets to stay home. There is no waking him up to go to day care and he can stay in his pj's until after breakfast like it should be. Also he hasn't been sick at all this winter because he isn't exposed to the day care germs. He does get the germs the other kids bring home from school, but since our house gets cleaned on a regular basis being sick hasn't been an issue. He also gets to nap in his own crib and play with his own toys. I never have to worry about packing a diaper bag either or running out of items at the day care. I would totally go 100% with a Nanny. It was also cheaper for us too!



answers from Cumberland on

Get a nanny-someone who can focus solely on your child-the needs of a newborn are many-and they deserve to have all of them met!



answers from Los Angeles on

They are both good options, if you have good caregiving environments. When I worked full time my son was in a family daycare home during the day and we loved it. It was wonderful. It was a home-like environment which i wanted. Where we lived at the time, it was a very reasonable cost too, which made it even better. It was a small family daycare, which was great.

Now my child goes to a daycare facility and I've found that to be a better option for him now that he's older. It is a preschool environment which is great for his age.

The nanny option is a good one if you want one person caring for your child and you want them in your home. It can be a costly choice and you have to make sure that you've done a thorough background check on this person. If you go through a nanny agency, they will check the person's background, but this can be a costly option.

There is also the au pair option. Have you considered that? It can be a bit strange to have someone in your home, but some families really like it. It is very inexpensive and it's like having a live-in nanny.

Either way, you will make the best decision for your family. As long as it's a safe, caring environment your baby will be just fine.



answers from Youngstown on

I stayed home until my daughter was almost 2.5, at which point I went back to work. I didn't want to do daycare, but I was having trouble finding a good "nanny". I found a daycare that seemed nice, and was about to enroll my DD when a fabulous sitter fell in my lap. (sitter or nanny depending on how you define the terms). She is fabulous and I am so happy I didn't do daycare. My child is home in her comfortable envoirnment every day. She can nap in her own bed, play with her own toys. My sitter has a little boy the same age as my DD and she brings him every day too. So my child is getting socialization, and my sitter teaches them and plays, she does crafts and bakes with them. It has been fantastic! And my sitter costs the same as daycare would have (and she comes to me, so I don't have to drag my child out of the house in the morning). I love my sitter and would be lost without her.

If you can find a good nanny, I say forget daycare. Maybe when your child is older daycare/preschool would be a good idea. But I just hate the thought of a newborn in daycare. Good luck!


answers from Minneapolis on

If you can afford it (and do it right the taxes, give your nanny a liveable pay and good bene's), do the nanny thing! I have been both. I was a live out, full time nanny for a great family for over 8 years. It was a great situation for all of us and I wish I could have recreated it with another family. I had great benefits (time off, extra pay for doing extra things, mileage of course, etc) and in return, I did many many extras for them. I was a part of raising their children and I loved them very very much. I was proud of every accomplishment and cried over every skinned knee.

We went and did things most days..story time, errands, zoo, play dates, classes and lessons..the kids were well socialized and we had fun and things got done!

Now I am a home childcare provider for the last 14 years. If you go that route, find someone who melds well with your philosophy (well with a nanny too!) and that has a well written policy book...

In either situation, its important to have everything as spelled out as possible. For a nanny, this is her livelihood and has monthly bills to pay. She needs to know what shes getting paid for, when she can take time off..perhaps run a quick errand for herself (when does she get time to do Dr appts and dentists and run to the DMV...some of that I did with their child in tow...why not? What are her expectations when in your home. Who is paying the car insurance while she drives your child around, etc)..for a daycare...its a little different but equally important to make sure you all are on the same page.

But if you can find a good fit and can afford to do it right...go with a nanny!



answers from Chicago on

Krista P summed up everything that I would have responded. Personally, I was not comfortable with having someone in my home all day, particularly with an infant that sleeps for a decent portion of the day. I'm not the best about putting my mail and other confidential/financial information and papers away, so I would find it very time-consuming and mildly stressful trying to maintain privacy in my own home.

My boys have been in full-time daycare since they were each 4mos old. Dropping off and picking up does add to your commute and make things more hectic, but we're glad that they get out of the house every day. Also, the daycare gets the kids outside as long as the temp is over 20 degrees...but that won't be an issue for you in Raleigh.


answers from Chicago on

We have a nanny, and she is WONDERFUL! I can't say enough about her.

It's all upside for us:
She teaches our kids daily - I can't say enough about what they learn. My 2.5yr old speaks Spanish thanks to her (had our blessing to do it).

She comes when the kids are sick

She comes when I am sick

I never have to worry about leaving work mid-day to pick someone up if they're sick or fighting

I never have to worry about neglect - she's more protective of my kids than I am!

They get tons of interaction with other kids, and she's able to supervise how they play becuase she has that 1:1 attention

They get outside constantly

I just can't say enough. I love that she's at our house. She comes 7-5 everyday. She cleans, does laundry, picks up after the kids and all of that.
If you find someone that you trust, you'll never look at daycare again.

I have a list of interview questions that we used, if you'd like to see it. PM me your email address, and I'm happy to pass it along. It's really, really detailed.



answers from Nashville on

If you can afford a nanny, I would do that. You don't have to get the child packed up and ready each day. The nanny comes to you and can feed the baby, get her dressed, etc It keeps the baby out of the daycare where other kids are sick often, when you get home from work you go straight home and the baby is there and ready for mommy. Do major research though, take references only. Maybe even call someone you know, from church, etc



answers from Kansas City on

If cost is not an object, go with the nanny. I think there are pros and cons to both, honestly, but if I was at work I think I'd rather have my kids getting more of a one-one attention. I will say though that keep in mind ways to get your child out of the house (at some point, obviously not necessary for the first few months) and socializing with other kids. That could also weigh into your decision in terms of money. The nanny could take the baby to mommy and me type classes or play dates and things but maybe some cost money, etc. Like I said, that certainly is not impeding, but it's something to consider!



answers from Asheville on

Being that I've done the daycare thing - my vote is for nanny. A nanny that stays at your home with the child. I had to put my first in care after 9mos and it was a Nanny but she kept her at her home and with 3 other kids... So basically it was a daycare - just not a public one... Then I did the public day care and that was not good.. She got sick a lot and there were always issues. Even when she stayed at private homes (I tried several) where the person had only her children and 2 others it was an issue of preferable treatment and unfair conditions. Doing it again, I would do a private Nanny at my house... Everyone has their own preferences... Best of luck



answers from Las Vegas on

I went with a home daycare and then daycare/preschool at 19 months.

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