All across the nation, working parents wish they could do it all. Unfortunately, there don’t see to be enough hours in the day to devote to both taking care of a child full-time and working a full-time job (though it’s not for lack of trying). That’s why working moms and dads often rely on childcare arrangements.
But if you’re trying to decide between hiring a nanny and enrolling your child in a local daycare center, you may be unsure as to which will provide the most benefits for your child. Ultimately, your choice should depend on your particular priorities and circumstances, but there are several reasons to consider a great day care over hiring a nanny for home-based care.
Daycare for young children can facilitate educational development
While it’s certainly not the same as preschool, a great daycare program can set your child up for educational success later on. This is particularly true if your daycare center also has a preschool program. A well-organized preschool program can help develop your child’s mind and may focus more on learning than a hired childcare provider or relative.
Group daycare emphasizes socialization
While home playdates can help develop a child’s social skills, there’s really no comparison with the experience they’ll have in daycare. Since around 4.8 million children attend organized daycare centers and preschools, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, your child will have plenty of opportunities to interact with those from all different backgrounds and learn a variety of life skills, like sharing, cooperation and group behavioral skills. These are the critical skills necessary for success in those early grammar school years. When you hire a private childcare provider, your child’s social interactions will generally be more limited.
Even great daycare centers may come with lower costs
When you compare the costs of a home childcare provider and those of a daycare center, you are likely to find daycare ends up being the more financially feasible choice. There are bound to be affordable daycare options in your area. You may also discover that you actually end up getting more for your money with daycare than you do with a home provider.
Daycare centers can accommodate your schedule
Unless you have a live-in nanny, you may be hard-pressed to find an individual child care provider who can regularly extend their work hours to accommodate your needs. But a lot of daycare centers stay open for 10 or 12 hours a day to ensure parents can take full advantage of their services. Of course, you’ll need to prioritize this during your search if you feel it’s a main concern for your family.
Daycare staff members are trained and licensed
A nanny may come with glowing recommendations, but that doesn’t always provide the full story. If they’re relatively inexperienced or have lied on their resume, you could be putting your family at risk. A great daycare center, on the other hand, will have fully trained and licensed staff members. This can provide valuable peace of mind for many parents. In most states, every child care employee must be fingerprinted and a state and federal background check submitted before final employment clearance.
With daycare, you’ll always have a backup plan
If you rely on a nanny during the work week, you’ll likely have to scramble if and when they fall ill or have a family emergency to deal with. While these things happen, you shouldn’t have to stress or miss your own obligations because of it. With a daycare center, you’ll already have a built-in backup plan. Staff members and teachers get sick, but at daycare, there’s always a reliable team who can step in. No matter what, your family will be covered.
For some families, hiring a nanny happens to make sense. But that’s definitely not always the case. Daycare centers can often provide more stability, lower costs, and better childhood development.