Nanny vs Daycare: Why you should choose a daycare over a babysitter


A Day caregiver interacting with children in a center

A day caregiver interacting with children in a centre. Image credit:

Nanny vs Daycare: Why you should choose a daycare over a home babysitter – Key Factors for Good Decision-making | Key Parental Guide Points for choosing a daycare center or home babysitting nanny

  • Nanny vs Daycare Dilemma

  • Why you should choose a day care centre over home babysitting – Key Factors for Good Decision-making

  • Key parenting guide points on choosing a daycare or babysitting nanny

 Nanny vs Daycare Dilemma

Most working women don’t take up to 11 weeks on the average before heading back to work no matter the parental leave strides which imply they need to secure childcare for a baby who is three months old.

Enrolling your child in a daycare centre and hiring a nanny to watch over your child in your home are two most popular child care services in early childhood caregiving and education but many working parents, who are ready to go back to work after child-bearing, are indecisive of enrolling their kids in daycare centers or having a nanny or babysitter.

A nanny is a childcare provider who comes to a home to take care of baby on an agreed-upon schedule while a babysitter is someone who cares for children on behalf of the children’s parents. The babysitter usually cares for children of all ages – babies, infants, toddlers and preschool kids.

Why you should choose a daycare centre over home babysitting

Key factors for good decision-making

Perhaps you are one of those parents who need conviction on why you should choose a daycare instead of a babysitting nanny.

Though there are a good number of pros and cons for whichever caregiving choice, there are key factors that will help you make that good decision.

Daycare enhances early childhood education

Childcare centres operate as pre-preschool offering early child education with organized curriculum package that introduces English alphabets and Numbers and other skills to an infant.

They also offer educational services to babies, infants and toddlers of varying age range using a wide variety of educational resources such as books, games, toys, interactive audio-visuals and other child play equipment.

Child care centres provide opportunities for creative child’s play with art materials, educational games, dress-up outfits, and building blocks. Some childcare centers also bring in trainers for extra activities, such as yoga, music and dance which your babies start learning at infant stage.

A nanny is very unlikely to provide your toddler formal education services in a structured environment.

Childcare provides consistency, social interaction, skills & development

Day care helps build life skills and social skills that will help the child relate well with other children and teachers, educators, workers and providers in school while learning. Through daily stimulated interactions through play and experiential learning, kids develop social skills in daycare centres.

Social interaction is quite limited with just a babysitter or a nanny babysitting the baby.

Childcare offers structured setting and standard operating procedure

Space and time, in childcare services, are structured to suit parents’ convenience. Organization and operation of educational resources and services follow a stipulated standard operating procedure. Your babysitter or babysitting nanny does have any structured setting neither is there any stipulated standard operating procedure guiding her babysitting job. She lacks oversight and can quit at any time. .

Child care services supports oversight and eliminates uncertainty

When it is just your baby and the babysitter, there is no real way to know exactly what your baby’s day looks like even though you have babysitter-cam installed and your nanny can provide help around the house, do house chores, run errands, make meals and help a mum to feel cared for.

Daycare providers, educators, minders and workers are better trained

Child care centre have numerical advantage in terms of staffing and they are fully trained in child support and development whether they are offering in-home care or group care services. They can gain interpersonal-related experience and collaboration skills working in a child care center.

Nanny may not be trained in child care services or acquire extra education on child support and development or specific certifications though some of them are experienced and may offer something key to maternal mental health that day care can’t.

Children who are supervised by a group of teachers form relationships with more than one person thereby enhancing their social interaction, skills & development.

Government regulations and accreditations

Day care is a formal setting and institutionalized in an education system. They are vetted, state licensed and accredited caregivers to run child care services but not a babysitting nanny despite the regulatory body of nannies – International Nanny Association. Day care centres must follow state regulations around safety, staffing, sanitation, and space issues. Accredited daycare centres enjoy support and protection from both the government and labour unions.

Daycare services is cheaper than babysitting at home

Babysitting price for hiring a full-time babysitter tends to be more expensive than training your infants in a day care facility. This is because it is a corporate education service centre whereby the cost of rendering the services is shared among enrolled kids.

Some early child educators have added weight to having customized services with a babysitter – one is to one child-to-caregiver ratio but that is offered by in-home child care services too and even in a more professional fashion.

An in-home daycare is often the least expensive child care alternative, when compared to group care and having a babysitting nanny, and reflects the home environment as babysitting while still offering some of the benefits of a larger centre.

A babysitter or nanny will cost significantly more than a day care centre because the baby, infant or toddler is her main focus part of which comes from legal paperwork.

Babysitting at home can be unstable

Absence; Lateness and undeserving parenting style are some of the factors make the nanny’s babysitting at home unstable.

Parents whose babies are cared for by babysitter or nanny would have to stay home or find a backup plan if the nanny is absent from work for traveling out of the town, taking an unprecedented leave or becoming sick.

A babysitter who is a perpetual latecomer will destabilise your scheduled programme. The employer parent may be more worried about the quality of childcare than any stringent disciplinary measure applied to correct the nanny’s inefficiencies. If she finds measures unfavourable and feels dissatisfied, based on her personality traits, the nanny may quit the job leaving the parent in a precarious condition.

Key parenting guide points on choosing a day care centre or home babysitting nanny

The 3 key factors that usually determine parents’ choice of childcare are family situation, time and money. The discussion below bothers on the three factors.

  1. When choosing a childcare situation, carefully make a list of what is most important to your family – what is best for both the child and parents, especially mum. The wellness of parents is hugely influential on a child’s IQ, well-being and ability to form relationships. Be honest with yourself about your family’s needs and wants and consider things that may upset you.
  2. Consider what your family budget is like for childcare services.
  3. Think about when you will go back to work if you are a working mum, nature and schedule of work – working on part time, full time, job sharing.
  4. If you can use a family member as a babysitter, you may spend little or no money and feel confident in your choice, but you may also feel less able to impose your own parenting style on that person
  5. When hiring a nanny, you should plan and discussed details on scheduled work with your nanny – sick time and vacation days and create an agreement or a nanny-contract. Also, as the employer parent, you should give your nanny feedback and have open conversations about her work.
  6. Remember that no decision is permanent and you can always change your situation based on your needs or your child’s needs.


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