Many families either have two parents who choose to work, or both parents must work to support the family financially. In these cases, childcare must be arranged. Two of the most commonly used options are traditional out-of-home daycare, or a nanny that watches the children in your house.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and what a specific family chooses will depend on a number of factors including personal preference, the needs of the children, and cost. Childcare is expensive, particularly for parents of premature multiples who require special attention and sometimes have special needs. A nanny will come with an even higher price tag; but for many families the extra cost is worth it for a variety of reasons.
Hiring a nanny to care for children at home costs more than using daycare. However, the financial issue is more complicated when one considers illnesses that children may experience. In many cases, though not all, children in daycare become ill more often because of daily exposure to other children and their germs. Children who are sick cannot attend daycare, which means that one parent needs to take time off of work to care for the sick child. Missing work too often can mean losing pay and potentially risking one’s position.
Parents of premature infants need to be especially cautious when it comes to illness. Premature infants are especially susceptible to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). For most children, RSV is not serious and simply results in cold-like symptoms; but for children born prematurely it can be a very serious illness. Parents of premature multiples will often find that hiring a nanny is worth it to avoid exposing their children to a large number of other kids who might be carrying colds and other viruses.
When it comes to one-on-one attention, there is a clear difference between daycare and a nanny. Children in daycare often benefit from structured activities and interaction with other children; but don’t often receive the kind of personal attention and interaction children with nannies typically do.
Nannies are able to focus their attention on just a couple of children, rather than a dozen or more, giving each more personal attention than is often found in the daycare setting. Nannies can also take children on outings to places like a local zoo or museum more easily to expose children to fun and educational real-world experiences.
Premature babies often require special attention. Babies who are born early sometimes have health issues and usually need to be closely monitored for overall health and proper weight gain. It is important for premature babies to receive a lot of attention and for the caregiver to be sure the baby is eating enough and thriving. A nanny will be able to keep a much closer watch on premature multiples without the distraction of many other children and babies around.
Any parent knows what a task it is to prepare even one baby or young child to leave the house by a certain time. For parents of multiples, getting two or three babies or young children ready and out the door on time each morning to get to daycare could prove to be a very difficult and stressful task.
Hiring a nanny to provide care in the home will mean a lot less stress in the morning and help parents avoid being late to work or arriving at work in the morning in a stressed and distracted state. Children can sleep as late as needed and there will be no rush to complete tasks like getting dressed or eating breakfast. A more relaxed and stress free atmosphere might be worth the cost of a nanny.
Every family must carefully consider all options when choosing childcare. Parents of premature multiples also have some special considerations to take into account. Parents of these type of babies and children specifically might find that hiring a nanny is well worth the cost.
Mary Blanchard is the mother of three children, works as a freelance writer and a financial advisor. She has provided advice on some of the best deal sites in the UK to help families save money. She recommends the Coupon Croc, check them out to see why.