As a parent, you work hard to ensure that every decision you make is what’s best for your child. From the meals you make to the books you read together, everything you do is meant to benefit your little one.
One of the single most important (and difficult!) decisions any parent has to make is the best type of childcare to guide a child as they learn and grow. Even before they head off to preschool, they still need care and attention that you may need help providing if you work during the day.
Luckily, you have options! Two of the most common forms of childcare are attending daycare and hiring a nanny. Still, how can you choose, and how can you be certain that your choice is truly what’s best for your child? Let’s dive into the details.
The Pros of Daycare
Along with educational stimulation, one of the most important pieces in a child’s development is socialization. Daycare is a great place for a child to learn how to interact with others their age.
Learning to share and simply learning to play nicely are skills that a child will quickly pick up in daycare. They may even become more comfortable in their speech and behavior by picking up cues from their peers.
Daycare is not only a great place for a young one to form some early friendships, but it’s also a place where you might meet other parents. You could make some friends along the way!
Daycare is not just a place to drop off your child while you are busy—it’s a place where your child learns and grows, and who they socialize with makes a big difference in their development.
When taking your child to an accredited daycare facility, you can count on faculty that is well-trained and equipped to care for your child. According to the writers at LadyBug Daycare, caregivers often boast years of experience and education in childcare, so you can feel confident that the people caring for your child have the right tools to do so.
You can also rest assured that the daycare has obtained all the necessary licensing to be a school! Of course, if and when you visit any potential daycare options, you will want to ask that they have all the correct licenses and don’t have any violations in the past.
Who your child spends the day with matters, and at an established daycare, you can count on reliable, quality care.
Structured Daily Activities
It may be hard to leave your little one with someone else for the day, but you can feel comfortable knowing they will spend their time at daycare learning and playing through fun, structured activities.
If being a little more hands-off and letting the professionals do the work interests you, daycare is probably a better option than a nanny. Your child’s caregivers will lead activities every day to keep them busy and help them learn, so you don’t have to make any plans.
Arts and crafts, playing, and story time are just a few of the activities that many daycares offer to make sure your child has a day of fun and learning!
The Cons of Daycare
Exposure to Illness
While daycare is an excellent option for working parents who want their child to meet new friends, there is always an increased risk of picking up germs and illnesses when spending the day with so many other children.
It’s essential to have a plan in place for if your child gets sick at daycare since it will likely be you, the parent, picking them up for the day. You will have to be flexible since getting sick is common in younger children.
Getting sick is nothing to fear, but it can be inconvenient if you have to rearrange your workday to care for your ill child.
One of the most significant drawbacks of daycare is the set hours of care they offer. If your job is anything other than the usual nine to five, it can be a challenge when daycare closes for the day before your workday ends.
In that case, you may have to arrange for someone else to drop off or pick up your child to fit the daycare’s inflexible schedule.
The Pros of Hiring a Nanny
More Control Over Activities
If you love being a hands-on parent, hiring a nanny could be a better option for you. With a nanny coming to your home every day, you can more closely monitor the activities they do and make suggestions for the day.
It is only your child that the nanny is caring for, so you can decide what you want the caregiver to do! Both playing at home and enjoying activities around town are options, making your child’s world a little bigger.
Helpful for In-House Assistance
For busy parents, it can be helpful to have an extra hand around the house. A nanny will also clean up and do minor housework while you are out, giving you more time with your child at the end of the day.
With a nanny, you can be sure your child is getting all the attention throughout the day. Without any other children around, the nanny can focus on the needs of your little one without distraction.
Children can still learn necessary social skills from their nanny, especially if they take trips to parks or other fun locations that will introduce your child to others. And, you will have the feeling of relief that your child is having their needs met throughout the day.
The Cons of Hiring a Nanny
Nannies can be a big help to working parents, but they come at a high cost. Often, the cost of hiring a nanny is much higher than that of a daycare.
For some, the high price tag isn’t feasible. For others, though, it makes sense for the level of care and flexibility they need.
How Do You Know They’re Qualified?
Sure, a nanny can tell you they have the experience and the education to provide your child with well-rounded care, but how can you be sure? While daycare staff goes through background checks and vetting, nannies don’t have any such process.
It can be tough to know whether a nanny has the experience you would want. You just have to go with your gut feeling if you trust the person to care for your child all day.
So What Do I Do?
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your needs as a parent whether you opt for daycare or hiring a nanny.
Daycares offer a more structured learning experience, while nannies give you more control over the activities your child does.
You have to trust that you know what’s best for your child and make a decision that gives them the freedom to learn and grow!