Should I Switch from Day Care to Nanny?

Updated on April 01, 2010
H.L. asks from Alexandria, VA
10 answers

Has anyone ever switched from day care to nanny? I have an almost 3 year old and a 9 month old. They are both very active, happy kids and have done extremely well with daycare. I like day care but recognize that a nanny would be much easier. I worry that my children - especially the 3 year old - would be incredibly bored. Our day care is very structured and has activities all day long. I know that I could schedule play dates and other activities but there is no way I could schedule my kids for their age appropriate activities all day long like they currently have. My concern is that if I give up our spot at daycare and if the nanny doesn't work out, I can't get back into day care. Any simliar expierences to share?

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I retired after 25 years as a day care provider, a decision prompted by my moving to a different community. Once I got settled, I set out to find a new job. I was offered the position of Director of Marketing for College Nannies & Tutors.

It's been a couple of months now, and I am more impressed with this company than ever. They hire college students (and recent grads) who are studying in child-related fields. Instead of placing "babysitters," they custom match the nanny, manny or tutor to the child and his or her family.

Families get a comprehensive Whole Family Interview, where the needs and desires of everyone involved are understood. If a child wants to become a pilot, they try to find a nanny with interest or experience in aeronautics. If the parents need a nanny who will pick the child up from school, or drive him or her to classes, they place a nanny who will do that.

The nannies at College Nannies & Tutors enjoy taking children on fun excursions, and our franchise specializes in this. You can see some of the available excursions on the blog at http://danvillelamorindacollegenannies.com.

One thing that makes this company different than the rest, is that they find, interview, hire and train the nannies, mannies and tutors. Parents never have to do the paperwork, taxes, or hiring or firing of their child care provider. And College Nannies & Tutors does background checks on each hire before they place them with a family.

They offer full-time placements, but what most people use are the part-time and on-call services. With part-time you get the same nanny each time. With on-call, you aren't guaranteed the same nanny, but they can get a nanny to your house asap. Parents have been using this service for date nights and spa days. And some families hire nannies to be available at their houseparties and weddings.

As a long-time child advocate, I do not hesitate to recommend College Nannies & Tutors to busy parents who are looking for quality child care. In our crazy society, children need good role models more than ever. This is something College Nannies & Tutors offers, unlike any other placement service.

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R.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My kids (6, 4, and 2) have never been in a daycare. I stayed home until my 4 year old was 13 months, and then my sister has been watching them for the past three years. I love having her around, but because she is younger she doesn't always do a lot with them as far as arts/crafts or getting outside. She has a newborn so I know right now is a bit harder, but I think my kids also thrive from the one-on-one attention they have grown up with. They get their choice of stories, the games they want to play, the hugs and cuddles they want. My older two have both been through pre-k, and get their interaction and structured learning from there. I think they are both great options, just depends on what you are looking for :).

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B.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I switched from day care to nanny when my twins were 4 months. It was so hard to coordinate drop off/pick up and they kept getting sick. I had a nanny that paid attention to each one instead of leaving them in a swing to cry. She gave them individual attention and could tell me all about what they did all day. Now I work for an au pair agency and see the same advantages with that type of childcare.

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G.R.

answers from Atlanta on

Have you considered an au pair? Cultural Care takes great pride in selecting skilled individuals from 40 countries who live in your home and work up to 10 hours daily to help with your children, meals and cleaning. At $7.50 per hour, the cost is very affordable compared to day care or even a nanny. That is for the family not per child. Please contact me to learn more about hosting an au pair.

[email protected]____.com
www.groberts.aupairnews.com

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi H., I haven't switched but my kids are in a daycare and I was severely opposed to it in the beginning thinking we were going to get a nanny but went the daycare route instead. I couldn't be happier with the daycare! Regarding your situation, maybe you could do trials with a nanny, have the kids stay home with her a couple days or what not, to see how they all do. I have heard many nightmare stories about getting the right nanny. At the daycare, they are always monitored by their peers so everyone should be doing the right thing. If not, there is constant supervision, can't imagine many people get away with much vs. at home, it's easier for the nanny to do her own thing and have the children play by themselves< etc.. Regarding the sicknesses, I was so upset when my daughter would catch something but everyone I know (including my pediatrician) has told me how happy I will be once they go to kindergarten and in turn end up not missing as much! Just as a sidebar, my neighbors children stay home with their mom and they seem to catch everything just as much as my daughter if not more. Hope this helps, good luck!

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M.T.

answers from Chicago on

I dont know if you have made a decision yet but there are definately things to consider when you are using a daycare: "What do you do when your kids get sick since they can't go to daycare?" How much time do you spend getting the kids ready to get out of the house on time so you can drop them off at daycare? How often are you late for a drop off or a pick up from Day Care of to work? Do you get charge a late fee? I can imagine this poses a concern at work. When you want a date night, what do you do for childcare?
I provide information to families interested in an aupair. Au Pairs can help your children learn a new language, work on weekends so you can have a date night, can go on vacations with you so you can have time alone, and have health insurance. These are some things to think of when deciding on which childcare route you want to go with. If you have any questions about aupairs please let me know.

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I don't have an answer to the nanny question since I have never had one. I have done 1) day care, 2) my mom as caregiver, and 3) SAHM for two kids (5 and 18 months).

I think you are looking at this wrong. You are thinking that if you take your children out of day care, you are denying them something. Instead, you are giving them one-on-one attention, time to be quiet, time to pick and choose their activities, time to play the games they like for as long as they like, opportunities to pick what playmates they spend time with, time to be in their own home and play independtly, opportunities to be creative and not be told what to do. My daughter has been playing princess fashion show for two solid days. We have an elaborate "store" and she has made paper dolls and clothes and uses her cash register to sell outfits. She even made paper money and is doing math on the receipts. I guarantee that kind of play doesn't happen at day care.

I hated sending my daughter off to day care, she came home exhausted. We dealt with a biter in the toddler classroom. When she had a cold, there were some days she still went to day care instead of crawling under the covers and reading with me. Not too mention that she was sick all the time compared ot being at home.

I think the "structure" and busy-ness of day care centers is going to create a generation of stressed out kids who can't think for themselves. Now I CHOSE daycare OVER nanny because I wanted the redundancy of having several caregivers. I personnally don't think I could have trusted a single person alone wiht my child. And I didn't want someone in my house. But having done day care (and now not doing day care), I see a lot wrong with day care. If you have a chance to have your kids be in the peace and quiet of their own home, DO IT! You can alsways put your older child ina preschool program. Lots of kids are home with their Moms and I guarantee you they aren't scheduled all day long.

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K.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I've been a nanny for years and I can tell you that if you have a good nanny your children will still get structure, educational experiences and social interaction.

I follow the kids' nap and eating schedules. Do fun arts/crafts and encourage learning. I take the kids to story time at the library, playgrounds and schedule playdates so they can still get interaction with other kids.

In my opinion, if you can afford a nanny its a great choice. It costs more than daycare, but has a lot of benefits and conveniences that daycare can't offer.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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V.I.

answers from Norfolk on

Have you thought of an at home caregiver? I do at home care and I have 3 of my own. I never take in more than 3 kids and I get siblings quite a lot. My hours are more flexible then a daycare center, I'm able to give more one on one attention and they still get interaction with others their same age. My kids parents seem to think it's the best of both worlds as they get all the stimulation without the rigid structure. We do a lot of in the garden time and nature walks but if your child is under the weather he can snuggle under a blanky with a sippy cup and watch a movie too. I urge new parents to come in and look around, meet my own children and call my references so they are very comfortable. I hope that helps. Good Luck!

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M.T.

answers from Chicago on

I have 2 children. One started daycare at 4 months old, the other at 5 months old. My first did great at daycare. My second did horrible (same daycare, different teachers). Let me say again, it was HORRIBLE! I got an au pair 3 months after he began(8 months old). There was good and bad in the au pair situation but hands down better than what he was getting. When I hired the au pair, I did not want my almost 3 year old removed from social and structure so I reduced him to 2 days a week. It was the best of both worlds. I just recently at almost 2 1/2 started my younger child in 3 days a week half day preschool and I still the au pair. SO... I don't recommend pulling your 3 year old but I think the little one will do better. If you can do a partial day or few day week schedule for your older one then I would try that. Good Luck.

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