This is no longer the 1950s where one parent works while the other assumes the role of homemaker. Yes, there are still a number of families that run their household this way though with the number of two-income households on the rise, more parents are beginning to turn to child-rearing services. Before their paternity leave period comes to an end, parents will need to make a very important decision: nanny or daycare?
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Nanny Vs. Daycare: Is One Really Better than the Other?
First of all, there is no right or wrong answer as each parent will need to make the decision that will be best for their individual circumstances. Factors that will need to be discussed include budget and convenience as well as what would be better for the child.
The Prospects of Hiring a Nanny
The iconic image of Mary Poppins has really evoked the idea of what the ideal nanny would be like. A live-in nanny is typically far more convenient because she stays with the family and essentially becomes an extended member of the family. This means that parents don’t have to leave the home half an hour early to drop their child off at a daycare center or be chained to the facility’s fixed business hours, which can be problematic for those that work outside the
typical nine-to-five schedule.
If the parents are going to be out of the home for most of the day, then it is important that the child has another adult that they can establish a trusting relationship with. Since the nanny will usually be with the child even when the parents are home and even join them at the dinner table, she will, in a sense, be a second mother.
Since the nanny will be assuming the role of homemaker, most will also take over common household duties, such as preparing meals, doing laundry and performing light spring cleaning. It’s almost like having free maid service thrown in.
When Daycare may be a More Suitable Option
Daycare is usually the more affordable option for families looking for the most cost-effective solution. Keep in mind that with daycare, there is an adjustment period where your child will need to integrate into an unfamiliar and often scary environment.
However, it can be an excellent early start for your child to learn about the real world and interact with their peers. This will also make your children feel less like a fish out of water when they
begin their first year of school.
It is important, however, to realize that every child is different and responds in their own way when thrust in an environment alien to them. Some kids thrive instantly in a daycare setting and immediately form friendships; others, though, will become stressful and go through intense bouts of separation anxiety.
Making an Informed Decision
While both nanny and daycare have their distinct advantages, parents who have used daycare for one child and a nanny for another often favor the latter. They often cite the inseparable bond that develops between nanny and child. Most also feel more comfortable entrusting their child in the care of someone who is deemed reliable and even considered a part of the nuclear family unit.
In a lot of cases, the nanny continues to be in the child’s life in one capacity or another even long
after the business aspect of the relationship ends.
Whatever decision you go with, remember that the type of care your child receives will happen during a developmental phase when he or she is most impressionable.