Day care vs. a nanny – which is best for you?

Posted on August 23rd, 2017

As a working mom, you’ll be faced with the decision to either enrol your child at day care or hire a nanny. This can be a daunting task, so here are some guidelines to help you make an informed decision. By Thobeka Phanyeko

Day care versus a nanny

Educational psychologist Jenny Da Silva encourages you to consider these factors to ensure that your little one gets the best care while you’re away.

Survival guide for single moms raising toddlers

Day care pros

  • Children who attend day care early on usually adjust to strangers more easily and become more independent as they learn how to do things for themselves relatively early.
  • Your child will be exposed to children of different backgrounds, so she will learn how to socialise with others and adapt to different people and situations.
  • A good day care will provide activities aimed at increasing your child’s interpersonal, intrapersonal, perceptual, coordination and cognitive skills.
  • The staff at day care usually have some sort of first-aid and early childhood development training.
  • The staff is reliable and consistent.
  • Your little one will be exposed to the routine of a “school environment” fairly early and will usually have no problem adjusting to nursery or primary school later on.

Day care cons

  • When starting day care, children are usually exposed to all sorts of germs, so your child could get sick quite easily in the beginning.
  • You won’t have as much control over your child’s environment.
  • Your child will usually be tired when she gets home.
  • Schedules are usually quite strict in terms of a pick-up and drop-off times and the school may be closed during the holidays.
  • Your child may not get one-on-one attention.

ALSO SEE: 7 common day care dilemmas and how to handle them

Nanny pros

  • Your little one is in her own environment.
  • One-on-one attention is guaranteed.
  • You’ll have more control over your child’s environment, how much TV she can watch, what she eats, etc.

Nanny cons

  • Your child may not learn the social skills their peers may achieve at an early age.
  • Your child may not mature as fast as her peers.
  • She may suffer from separation anxiety when she goes to nursery or primary school later
  • A nanny may call in sick last minute leaving you with limited childcare options.
  • Children, especially only children, may have difficulty sharing and adapting to having other children sharing their space and socialising when they are older.

ALSO SEE: 5 tips to find the perfect nanny

Thobeka Phanyeko

About Thobeka Phanyeko

Thobeka Phanyeko is mom to Oratile, 4. She is a journalist with a BA in Media studies from the University of Cape Town and has extensive experience as a journalist and content producer which she gained from Reuters, eNCA and Caxton Magazines. She is also a life coach and NLP Practitioner and is passionate about motherhood and women empowerment.