You stumble across a job posting on a Facebook group and as you get to the bottom of the post you read the sentence, "We are not interested in paying more than what we would pay for daycare." Unfortunately this is a sentence or phrase too many nannies are familiar with. Truth be told, a nanny is not a daycare center. It is never okay to bring up the cost of daycare when discussing with a nanny because they are completely different forms of childcare that could be provided for your child(ren). Although both are great options for your family, let's take a more in depth look as to why nannies and daycare centers are completely different forms of childcare.
You may be wondering what exactly is a nanny and what do they offer that is different from a daycare?
A nanny comes directly to your home and accommodates your schedule (whether you need full-time or part-time). You get to interview multiple nannies and determine which one will fit in with your household and who has the same parenting style or discipline views as your family. A nanny will come to your home to focus on your children and the atmosphere that they live in. If your child(ren) are sick, your nanny will be there to care for them so that you do not miss out on work. You will have the piece of mind knowing that there is another parental figure in the household caring for your children the same way you would, while still being able to provide for them. A nanny will plan fun and age appropriate outings for your children, such as library time, visits to the zoo, play dates at the park, and visits to the pool in the Summer. A nanny will also assist with bringing your child to and from fun classes, such as Gymboree, Music Together, or The Little Gym.
Many nannies not only assist with your children, but they assist with running your household. As long as they are being compensated properly a nanny will assist with children's laundry, dishes, ensuring the house is cleaned up after the children, and running any errands if necessary for the children. Do you find yourself struggling to make it to the grocery store during the week or weekends? This is something a nanny may be interested in assisting you with. Nannies become a third partner to raising your children, and once you hire one and realize the impact they have not only on your children's lives but on yours and your household, you will realize why they should be compensated more than a daycare.
Paying a daycare center $350 for a 40 hour work week cannot be compared to paying a nanny $350 for a 40 hour work week.
If you choose the daycare route, you will have to bring your child to the center directly. You will most likely have to pack a snack or lunch for your child, as well as spare clothes throughout the day. Everything will have to be labeled and cleaned at the end of the day by you and then brought back the next day. Daycare centers typically have set hours (Monday-Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM) and unlike hiring a nanny, you do not get to choose the teacher or classroom that your child is assigned to. Most classrooms in a daycare have at least 5 children and can reach up to 10 children at a time in the same age group. A nanny will only be responsible for your child(ren), and the interaction they will receive will be through classes outside the home and with play dates.
Children who attend a daycare will be able to have outdoor and indoor playtime with their new friends, but there will not be spontaneous fun outings during the week. Some daycare centers will provide annual outings that are approved by parents months in advance, such as apple picking or trips to a special playground. Teachers and assistants who work at a daycare work very hard to ensure that your children are safe, happy, and having a great time while they are with them. They typically have structured routines and schedules for the week and they are excellent at teaching children structure when it comes to their day. Most daycare centers have a strict sick policy, so if your child(ren) is sick or has a fever, you will most likely have to take off work in order to stay home and care for them.
With a nanny you not only receive flexibility and one on one care, but you also receive an additional family member who can grow with your family and assist them with meeting their individual milestones. Although both daycare centers and nannies are great options for your children as they offer different structures and activities, they should not be compared in terms of pay as they are very different forms of childcare for your family. As mentioned above, in a daycare center your child will be in a classroom with multiple children. If you hire a nanny, your child(ren) will have one on one care and be able to stay in the comfort of their home. You will also have assistance in household management, which you do not get with a daycare center.
In short, nannies and daycare employees work very hard to ensure that your children are safe and happy. Nannies work up to ten hours per day not only caring for your children, but also managing your household. Nannies have many roles and should be compensated appropriately and should never be compensated to match other professions since being a Nanny is in a category of it's own!