Author Topic: Daycare vs nanny  (Read 19966 times)

scrubbyfish

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #50 on: November 25, 2014, 06:40:47 PM »
How is it that not one person even suggested the stay-at-home-parent option before him? This is a forum on frugality/early retirement and not one person has considered suggesting doing a cost comparison to see if staying at home was an option? Sheesh!

Well, I didn't because when I come to this forum, I absolutely believe I am in community primarily with people who are very bright, intelligent, caring, conscientious and thoughtful. Thus, I feel I can trust their process and their question. So, when this family asks us "daycare or nanny", I understand they have considered their family and concluded that some form of care is their best option at this point in the family's life, and now they just need help narrowing down which form is best.

It totally works, of course, to kindly and respectfully pitch a "third option", if we believe they haven't thought of that yet. But some of us feel we can answer the question itself, and don't feel the need to direct the lifestyle. i.e., Some people choose additional care (the more the merrier! extended family, a paid neighbour, whatever) when their kids are infants, some from when their kids are 5 (school), some never (homeschool). Different things work for different families.

Also, I can see how it would get confusing if you view this as a forum on ER and frugality. There are some forums on those specifically, but this one isn't actually strictly about either of those. This one merely incorporates ER and frugality as two of many options in whatever best supports the family's truest values and long term vision.

Dicey

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #51 on: November 25, 2014, 08:36:45 PM »
Dear Scrubbyfish,
That's the nicest rebuttal I've ever seen. I thank you profusely for your courtesy.

It frightens me that so many young people think that these are the only two options. IMHO, it's far more badass to figure out a way to stay home with your offspring, and badassity is what it's all about. How many times on these forums does someone offer a different option that changes the OP's thinking? We both know it happens often. That's kind of the point of asking for opinions on a public forum.

I'd also like to emphasize that I completely understand it's simply not an option for single parents, but that's not the OP's situation.

I respect your opinions and writing, so I guess we'll just have to respectfully and profoundly disagree on this one. Fortunately, there are a lot of other threads that we can and do agree on, hooray!
Kindest regards,
Diane

urbanista

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #52 on: November 25, 2014, 08:56:57 PM »
Your child deserves to have mommy or daddy at home if humanly possible, and it is possible. C'mon people, your children are only babies for a very short time, think about it, please! Why have them at all if you're going to ship them off to daycare or hire a stand-in mommy?

May I inquire for how long would the child deserve to have mommy or daddy at home? Like, 6 weeks, 3 months, 10 years? Also, I don't know about other people children, but my child absolutely deserves to have both mommy and daddy at home, preferably all the time. Shall we both quit our jobs and stay home with him forever? We can afford not to work a day in our life any more and still not die of starvation.

Thing is, mommy and daddy have needs too. Mommy needs to work a job where she is mentally stimulated. If mommy stays home any longer than 12 months, she is doomed to low-skilled admin jobs for the rest of her life. Daddy is just not willing to be a stay-at-home dad at all.

Really, why did we ever have a baby?

wileyish

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2014, 09:40:37 PM »
Lots of good coverage in the comments already, but I just wanted to add a few points from an ex-nanny perspective (I was a nanny for a fantastic little guy from when he was 8 weeks to 3 years old while I was in college).

The insistence on having a nanny cam is disturbing to me. This person is going to be in charge of your kid for 40-50 hours per week (if you have a full time career plus a commute). She is essentially part of your family now and should be treated as such. Sure, drop by unexpectedly on occasion if you want to check on the daily routine, but trust has to be part of this relationship or else you are going to be spending many unproductive hours glued to the video feed.

Now that you have a kid your circle of friends is going to expand. There will likely be lots of opportunities to co-op the nanny with neighbors if she is willing to care for more than one child. This is especially common in San Francisco.

Invest in a good stroller! My nanny family had heavy mustachian leanings (long before this term existed) and had a cheap used stroller for the first two years. Nannies spend A LOT of time on walks and I think I still have bruises on my shins from that piece of crap.

I think you are going to love the in-home aspect of this arrangement. Many days when I arrived the mom was still in her pajamas or when something urgent came up at work she could stay late, no problem. Plus the nanny can get the house in order before you get home, do the baby's laundry, etc.

What is your stance on television? Since I was being paid to help raise a person I felt like using the TV would be stealing, so we had zero screen time. Might be something to discuss with your nanny if you havenít already.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2014, 10:01:51 PM »
The insistence on having a nanny cam is disturbing to me.

I appreciate your sharing this perspective, wileyish (I'm one of the people that said nanny cam). I've been a caregiver for infants through to elderly and, for what it's worth, I still support the use of these. Personally, I'd rather not be watched 24/7, because that feels creepy, lol, but I would totally support the use of a cam until trust has been earned/established. Ideally, we get to hire someone we already know and trust, but too often we don't get to. In that case, I can see a nanny cam having a place for the first while. Normally we wouldn't watch it all day long, but checking in now and then could give us a good sense of the tone, language, activities, etc, happening while we're away.

I absolutely dig all your other points, too, especially the one about the quality stroller for the caregiver's use! I had a great one with an adjustable handlebar. Made all the difference when a 5'3 sibling would transfer stroller-duty to my 6'2 friend. Any one of us could navigate that stroller for hours with no problem. Those little umbrella ones? Killer on too many backs.

Dicey

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2014, 10:11:00 PM »
[1] Shall we both quit our jobs and stay home with him forever? We can afford not to work a day in our life any more and still not die of starvation...

[2] Thing is, mommy and daddy have needs too. Really, why did we ever have a baby?
#1. Uhmmm, sorta sounds exactly like what the MMM's did, so it must be doable. And you can afford not to work? Doubly so.

#2. Uhmmm, methinks the baby's needs always come before the parent's needs, particularly in the early years. They didn't ask to be born. Deciding to become parents automatically means sacrifice. I think your question is asked by every single person who has a baby at one time or another. There are no easy answers, especially when the baby is crying inconsolably in the wee hours of the night.

Something that I've been thinking all along with this thread is that it's probably easier if people try to figure these things out before they decide to have children. Waiting until the baby is six weeks old is simply not great planning.

urbanista

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2014, 10:30:02 PM »
Ever heard of depression? Some people must regularly spend time apart from their children and their spouses, otherwise they will go nuts.


historienne

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #57 on: November 26, 2014, 08:56:09 AM »
I respect your opinions and writing, so I guess we'll just have to respectfully and profoundly disagree on this one. Fortunately, there are a lot of other threads that we can and do agree on, hooray!
Kindest regards,
Diane

Diane,

I would love to be part of this "respectful disagreement."  However, respectful disagreement does not include telling people that working outside the home is bad for their kids (there is a mountain of research evidence showing this not to be true, but that's beside the point here).  There is a profound difference between pointing out (as another poster did) that staying at home is also an option and strongly implying that a poster shouldn't have had kids if she doesn't want to stay at home. If you are sincerely interested in respectful conversation, you might try starting from the assumption that all parents are trying to do best by their kids.  For many of us, that means working outside the home. 

In general, I find it sad how hard it is to discuss choices related to parenting on the internet without sparking another outbreak of the mommy wars.  I usually find this forum to be an exception, and I would respectfully ask your help in keeping it that way.

Rage

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #58 on: November 26, 2014, 01:01:28 PM »
I have an infant (8 months old) and we hired a nanny (as I mentioned upthread).  I actually think she's better with our son than we are.  She knows how to get him to take naps, she teaches him all sorts of things I wouldn't think of (how to get down from standing without hitting his head), she does these week long lesson plans where they go outside and play with snow or with leaves or with sand, or with the nearby stream.  They do finger paints, they do tactile games where they play with fuzzy things and hard things and what have you.  It's amazing, I would never think of this stuff.  She takes him to the playground, he's too young to do anything much there but he loves to watch the other kids.  When I do this stuff I'm like an amateur.  The time I spend with him - which is plenty despite having a nanny - is a different sort of time, we rough house and I read him books, feed him, diapers, whatever, but I don't feel like he or I need even a minute more of it.

When the nanny knocks on the door in the morning my son is super excited to see her.  I don't think I'm a bad parent, we have lots of fun with him, but our nanny is a trained professional, she's amazing with kids.

So I think this whole stay-at-home-parent is better stuff is silly.  There are bad daycares and bad nannies, sure, but our arrangement works great and I'm sure that's the case for lots of people. 

bogart

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #59 on: November 26, 2014, 01:30:52 PM »
As a working mother, I am offended by some of the comments.

Me too.  And none of what I'm going to say below is directed at Firefly, quite the contrary.  But I think it's important to say it.

Any working mother knows too well how hard it to "ship them off to daycare or hire a stand-in mommy".

This working mother doesn't.  This working mother has very happily used paid childcare since her kid was two months old, and now that he's in elementary school, looking back a key thing I clearly could have done better would have been to use more of it (and I do, now).  We have great options available where I live, we can afford them, DS loves them, and using them would have given him more opportunities to interact with other kids and pursue fun activities he enjoys while marginally reducing the juggling we do in our family/household/work lives.  And my DH has been RE'd for the past 4 years, but we still make use of good, paid child-care and -activity programming, and happily so (for all of us). 

I love my kid, and I love spending time with him.  But I really don't need (and neither does he) the more than ~60 hours/week (~8 hours per day) that are available to me to spend with him during the typical workweek, after he gets his 9 hours of sleep/day and I get my 9 hours of work/workday (allowing for commute) in. 

Good heavens.  There is really no one I want to spend 8 hours/day with.  No one.  If there's one thing parenting has taught me, it's how much of an introvert I am:  how much I need time on my own to recharge.

Is the time I have to spend with DS sometimes too "lumpy?"  Sure; there are days I'd like to have more hours with him, and days I'd like to have fewer.  Are there times I have to drop everything to be with him simply because he needs me there and not because I want to be there?  Of course.  Am I fortunate to have access to and be able to afford great programs (and care) that he loves?  Obviously.  But my working is a positive part of my relationship with my son (and my life), and anyone who imagines that this isn't possible or is always an inferior alternative is only seeing a small slice of a large and interesting world of human needs, wants, and choices.

@Firefly, it sounds like your wants are less closely aligned with the options available to you, and I'm sorry about that -- I certainly think parents should have the option of being home with kids and don't intend to imply otherwise.  But I also think we should (within reason) have the option of making use of paid childcare and that it's important to embrace and advocate for that.

Neustache

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #60 on: November 26, 2014, 05:37:35 PM »
I'm a SAHM who sometimes thinks a nanny would be better than me.  Just throwing that out there.  LOL.  I feel like if I was hired on at someone's house I'd make a better nanny than SAHM.  I don't know why that is.  Getting paid?  Having someone over me with high expectations?  I don't know. 

I'm not super down on myself...I don't think I'm a bad mom or anything, but I'm definitely not excelling at this whole SAHM thing.  I'm an introvert and kids are super draining - I find myself retreating into in my own world more often than not. 

bogart

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #61 on: November 26, 2014, 07:54:34 PM »
I'm a SAHM who sometimes thinks a nanny would be better than me.  Just throwing that out there.  LOL.  I feel like if I was hired on at someone's house I'd make a better nanny than SAHM.  I don't know why that is.  Getting paid?  Having someone over me with high expectations?  I don't know. 

I think (for me at least) it's being able to "punch out" at night or whatever.  I've never been a nanny (exactly, though I did work one job with somewhat similar expectations), but I have e.g. been a camp counselor where I was "on" all day with a bunch of kids.  And then ... I got to (in effect) punch out and have my night to myself (even if just to get enough sleep so that I could get through the next day!).  It was a world of difference from parenthood, and I love each in its own way (and parenthood more).  But I am very grateful that I am able to WOH -- it provides a sort of an equivalent "punched out" feeling, ironically.

firelight

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #62 on: November 27, 2014, 12:10:24 AM »
I'm starting to appreciate the 8 hour break from parenting that I get on weekdays. I'm happy with the sleepless nights and occasional sick days. I don't need the extra charm of sleepless/restless days with an active infant/toddler.

MrsPete

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #63 on: November 27, 2014, 12:43:27 PM »
As a working mother, I am offended by some of the comments. Any working mother knows too well how hard it to "ship them off to daycare or hire a stand-in mommy". Leaving them to go to work is not the easiest decision - every morning you feel like your heart is being ripped apart - but in a lot of cases it's the most responsible decision. I am a perfect example - I worked for the same company for almost 14 years, while my husband has lost his job several time during this time. In addition to job security, I have better health insurance family coverage. But he earns more. We financially support my mom. So which one of us stays home? I am also lucky - after the arrival of my youngest one, my company allowed me to step down to a lower position to work on the projects that require less interaction with internal customers, thus allowing me to work from home a lot and to have a flexible schedule to be with my baby. As a result, I go into the office 2-3 days a week for 5-6 hours, come home to pick up kids from school, and work additional 3-6 hours after they go to sleep. I work my ass off so I can spend as much time as possible with my kids. And shame on anyone who thinks that working moms "ship off" their babies just for fun.
I'm never offended -- I just figure anyone who's going to make negative comments about other people's choices in this regard is just too stupid to realize that this isn't a one-choice-fits-all question.  Saying that a kid "deserves" a stay-at-home parent is an emotionally-laden word choice intended to start controversy. 

My own experience with giving my kids less than they "deserve": 

After relatively long maternity leaves, my kids were in day care.  I was often tired in those first years, but they were never shortchanged.  The real test, of course, is how they turn out.  At 17 and 20, my kids are both extremely kind, considerate kids with great moral compasses.  They're both good students; my oldest was the second-highest scholarship winner in her graduating class -- we'll see how my youngest does in a few more months.  They have a great work ethic, both in their classes and their part-time jobs.  Somehow we bypassed both sibling rivalry and teenaged angst.  I think a whole lot of that is because from a young age, we interacted with them at their level:  We've camped a great deal, we've sat on the floor playing board games, and so forth -- we've limited electronics.  And because I've worked, they've traveled more, we've had no problem paying for expensive teen items -- braces, cars and insurance, and now college. 

If I could do it all again, I can name a dozen or so things I'd do differently, but I'd still take the same path regarding working. 

scrubbyfish

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #64 on: November 27, 2014, 01:44:34 PM »
Totally loving these happy posts about positive nanny experiences! Beautiful. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments in those, and in those wishing they could have one for their family :)   I find the humbleness of recognizing what a third individual brings to a child absolutely gorgeous.

I guess I'm a huge believer that it "takes a village", and that isolating, getting too nuclear, "doing it all solo", etc, can be seriously dangerous.

I'm wildly grateful for all the people who've shown up in my kid's life. He adores his respite worker, his speech therapist, his counsellor, his teachers, his group leaders, his super-involved auntie, his grandmother, his close friend that just turned 67... All of these awesome human beings have made it possible for me to parent him well -giving me breaks, and letting me see him through their energized eyes- and have infused his life with different perspectives, ideas, activities, as well as with genuine affection and respect for him, and joy in him. He so benefits from all of that, as do I.

Go Villages!

Firefly

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #65 on: November 28, 2014, 08:39:22 PM »
@bogart - point well taken :). I guess I was making an assumption based on my own feelings and on the fact that most of us here would rather not work, but retire early (kids or no kids). I struggled a lot with the decision to go back to work with my first child, but since my second was born, I was able to negotiate a perfect situation where I can spend as much time with my children as possible, while still making good money. Honestly, from my son's perspective I could be a stay at home mom - I drop him off at school and pick him up with all the stay at home moms. I just go to the office in between and work after he goes to sleep :).
@MrsPete - I wish I had your cool:). But honestly, I am just so sick and tired of mommy wars. And I am done feeling guilty. My kids DO have a full-time mom and a full-time dad. I do hope that we put to rest all the comments about how people who go to work don't raise their own kids or how being a SAHM is the hardest job in the world (no offense to any SAHMs - I would be one if we could afford it). We don't stop being parents when we go to work.We still go shopping, clean, do laundry, make their lunches, help them with their homework, get up at night when they need us, play with them, take them to parks, listen to their storied, read them books.Being a parent the most difficult job in the world, regardless of whether you work or not. Let's move on and support each other.

mm1970

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #66 on: November 28, 2014, 09:01:25 PM »
From my personal experience (i have 2 kids, one is 7, another 18 mo) - at this age they need one on one care more than socialization. So I support your decision to try nanny. One more reason I would do with the nanny is when you are hiring a nanny, you are hiring the person you like. In a day care teachers change all the time. You might like the day care center and the current provider, but they might leave right after you enroll and you might not be too crazy about a new one. Besides, one one kid gets sick - they all get sick :). We hired a part-time nanny with my youngest one when she was an infant, but I was working from home so I could nurse her any time and check in on her. Around 14 mo we switched my daughter to a home based day care with only 4 kids (2 of the kids are the caretaker's) - I absolutely love it! She gets socialization in a small caring setting.

"In a daycare teachers change all the time".

That has not been my experience.  It depends on the child care.  In fact, I have a friend who had three nannies in 1.5 years because they kept quitting, while my son had the same caregivers for 3.5 years.

Firefly

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2014, 09:09:13 PM »
@mm1970 - wow, you got lucky! My son's first daycare had the same teachers, some of them worked there for 20+ years, but after we moved to a different state and enrolled him in a different daycare center and he had so many teaches changing. With my daughter we found a home based daycare and it's perfect for us - best of both worlds. Unfortunately, we have to move again and I am dreading starting the search for a perfect daycare all over again :(

mm1970

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2014, 09:10:35 PM »
Wow! I was getting pretty sad until I got to Bob Werner's comment. How is it that not one person even suggested the stay-at-home-parent option before him? This is a forum on frugality/early retirement and not one person has considered suggesting doing a cost comparison to see if staying at home was an option? Sheesh! Your child deserves to have mommy or daddy at home if humanly possible, and it is possible. C'mon people, your children are only babies for a very short time, think about it, please! Why have them at all if you're going to ship them off to daycare or hire a stand-in mommy? Things to think about before you have even one baby, let alone multiples. Get a copy of "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" if you want to learn how it can be done, even on a limited income.
I am assuming, really, that the OP has done the math already.  As the original post said "staying at  home is currently not an option".

If the OP wanted to stay at home, I assume that the question would have been phrased differently, like "or is there any way you think I could swing staying at home?"

I love my kids and I am still raising my kids, as is my husband.  24/7 is not required.  And never actually has been.  My children know who their parents are, and always have. 

What % of othercare is okay?  Date nights?  One day/week of work?  Gym day care?  Or none at all?

Ridiculous.



scrubbyfish

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #69 on: November 28, 2014, 09:17:42 PM »
We don't stop being parents when we go to work.We still go shopping, clean, do laundry, make their lunches, help them with their homework, get up at night when they need us, play with them, take them to parks, listen to their storied, read them books.

Beautifully said.

I homeschooled my kid for 2+ years while I worked, and am an only parent, and had almost zilch child care in that period...and I certainly feel like I'm as much a parent to him now that he's in school 24 hours a week as I was then! Whether we're providing direct contact for 168 hours per week (24/7), or 144 (24/7 minus public school hours) or 128 (24/7 minus a 40 hr work week) ...it's still a LOT of contact/care/support/parenting!

I feel sad when parents are asked to do everything solo, especially when others are so HAPPY to be involved in their growing!

What % of othercare is okay?  Date nights?  One day/week of work?  Gym day care?  Or none at all?

This ^.

MicroRN

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2014, 04:27:14 PM »
Nannies, if paid legally, are definitely the more expensive option.  You need to pay federal and state taxes, some states require worker's comp, and if they're going to drive your child you need to do something about car insurance.  It's a lot of paperwork, with hefty fines for not doing it correctly.  However, you get the benefit of care in your own home.  No scrambling to get the kids out the door in the am, no worries if you're running late.  Most nannies will watch sick kids and will work flexible hours.  My sister's daycare will call social services if you are more than 15 minutes late without notifying them, and charge an enormous late pickup fee.  Vomiting more than once within 24 hours, fever within 24 hours, or current "excessive" drippy noses mean you have to keep them home.  My sister has missed a lot of work for various reasons.  Meanwhile, our kids both had pinkeye and fevers, but our nanny came in anyway.  Our last nanny worked for us for a year and a half and never took a day off.  She was amazing, and if anything our new nanny is shaping up to be even better.  Nannies also have more freedom to do trips.  Our kids went all over the place, to the library, parks, indoor gym, hiking, playgroups, and so on.

Daycare is MUCH cheaper here, and I think especially for older kids the socialization and structure is good, IF the center and teachers are good.  We're hoping to be able to move to doing daycare instead of a nanny soon, but right now our schedules are too unpredictable.  We need early mornings, late evenings, and often have to work weekends and holidays.

You can also look for an in-home daycare situation.  I took my older child to a lovely lady in CT.  She was not licensed, but she had extensive experience with multiple daycare ages - she had just decided to stay home when her 2nd child was born.  She only watched 2 additional kids at any given time, and stuck to kids around the same age as her older child.  She had a nicely set up kids room, fed them healthy home cooked meals, and was flexible with her hours.  I know quite a few SAHPs who watch an additional child.  If you find someone you like and trust, it can be a fabulous experience, and is usually very reasonably priced.  I paid a whopping $5/hour.                   

Whatever you decide, remember that full-time care of any kind is a temporary situation.  It's expensive, but that's one thing that will decrease the older they get.  I also think that excellent childcare is a worthwhile expense.  You're talking about people who help shape who your child is.

firelight

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #71 on: November 29, 2014, 07:24:47 PM »
OP here, daycare is definitely cheaper than legally paid nanny ( which we ended up choosing based on our baby's age) by $1000 or more. However, at this point, one-one care trumps cost for us. Further there are nanny payroll services that make the payment process and w2 generation easy. PM me if someone is interested in it.

SAHP taking care of an extra kid is a good option we'll consider once our baby becomes a toddler.

justajane

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #72 on: November 30, 2014, 06:43:35 AM »
From my personal experience (i have 2 kids, one is 7, another 18 mo) - at this age they need one on one care more than socialization. So I support your decision to try nanny. One more reason I would do with the nanny is when you are hiring a nanny, you are hiring the person you like. In a day care teachers change all the time. You might like the day care center and the current provider, but they might leave right after you enroll and you might not be too crazy about a new one. Besides, one one kid gets sick - they all get sick :). We hired a part-time nanny with my youngest one when she was an infant, but I was working from home so I could nurse her any time and check in on her. Around 14 mo we switched my daughter to a home based day care with only 4 kids (2 of the kids are the caretaker's) - I absolutely love it! She gets socialization in a small caring setting.

"In a daycare teachers change all the time".

That has not been my experience.  It depends on the child care.  In fact, I have a friend who had three nannies in 1.5 years because they kept quitting, while my son had the same caregivers for 3.5 years.

Not in mine either, but I recognize that I may be lucky. All three of my kids were cared for by the same two women when they were infants, but this is a Parent's Day Out facility geared towards SAHPs who want a break during the week. These ladies are older - one is in her sixties. I imagine actual full-time facilities might be staffed more with younger care givers? I'm on the board of this part-time facility, and every time we hire a younger care giver, they usually only stay a year or so and then move on to something else.

Firefly

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Re: Daycare vs nanny
« Reply #73 on: November 30, 2014, 09:11:07 AM »
Another thing I would recommend (regardless whether you go with a nanny or a daycare) - build a network of baby-sitters you can trust and can call in a pinch (nanny is sick, child is feeling fine today, but had a fever yesterday and cannot go to a daycare). We have a college student and a neighbor who are willing to babysit on a short notice and inexpensive.

On the daycare providers changing - I wonder if it has anything to do with where you live. When we were in a small town - the caretakers at school were the ones who worked there for years. But after moving to Boston area, it was a revolving door with them. Maybe because there are more job options for the teachers? Or maybe just luck.