One of the big financial decisions that you will make as a parent is what type of childcare to use. It is a big thing to consider that has many implications. Not only does it have a big impact on your bank account, but it also involves trusting another person with your precious child. And access to care that is compatible with your family’s needs can often determine our happiness at work, or even our ability to work. A nanny seems like a great option, but is a nanny right for your family?
If you are new to your search for great childcare, it is helpful to look at the basics of what all types involve. There may be a lot more to consider or a lot more than some have to offer than you thought. A nanny, for instance, is great for a lot more than diapers and fun outings. Let’s take a look at what hiring a nanny entails so you can decide if you want to pursue this in-home option.
Is a nanny right for my family? Looking at the pros and cons.
The pros of hiring a nanny
A nanny comes to your house; no packing up or trudging to daycare in snow or rain.
If you live in a big city or use public transportation to get to work you will quickly discover the not-so-joyous experience of adding in a stop each morning if you use a daycare. And the evenings don’t always get off to the most relaxing start when you have to factor in a pick-up at a hectic center. It has the potential to add a lot of stress on some days. Having someone come to you may be well worth it.
They don’t close at a specific time like a daycare center but might charge you extra for being late.
Nannies come with the flexibility that daycares don’t, helping parents to plan socializing, date nights, and even weekend projects. Do keep in mind that some nannies may be willing to work outside normal hours but they might charge extra fees to do so.
You will be able to negotiate things like doing your baby’s laundry, cleaning bottles, meal preparation, and changing the baby's crib sheet into your contract.
Not all nannies are willing to do all household tasks, but most will likely agree to some. For instance, if you have an infant many nannies will be willing to help with things like washing cloth diapers or a bit of cleaning while the baby is sleeping. Some may enjoy prepping the family dinner as well. These specifics can be covered as you interview candidates.
Your baby will receive one-on-one care from someone who will certainly grow to love them.
The relationship that your child will build with their nanny is one of the most valuable things about having one. Most nannies do the work because they are natural with children and enjoy spending time with them. As they get to know each other, a close bond can form. This can go a long way in trusting the person to provide great care and knowing that your little one is enjoying their day.
Helping with the transition back to work
Daycares also offer various ways to ease the back-to-work transition, but having a nanny has some perks. Having someone come to the house for several hours a week and then increase as you start to get into your schedule again and your baby gets used to a new person is a luxury.
Cons to hiring a nanny
When the nanny (or their child if applicable) is sick, you will have to stay home.
When the nanny can’t come in, you can’t go to work. This includes when they may run late, which can happen with the best of them. If you take a day off when they are sick, it will need to be added to the number of days you take off for you or your child being sick. This can add up.
They are the only ones with your child and are not supervised by anyone but you and your partner.
This is a top concern for any parent who considers using a nanny. And it is true: it’s really just them and your child and it is hard to be fully at ease if you don’t know the person well. And even when you do, you will need to accept that you may never know all of the details of what goes on.
Agencies take certain precautions that can help cover your bases as you do your search, but there is still a huge level of trust involved.
Nanny fees can be higher than daycare.
Hiring a nanny is not necessarily the thrifty option. Many nannies do childcare as their primary form of income and charge a premium fee for the personal care they give their families. You may love the service, but if saving money is your top priority it may not be practical for you. Some families work around this by hiring a part-time nanny and alternating in family members and daycares.
You will also have to pay for classes and activities for the nanny to bring your child to
Even the most creative nannies will need to take your little ones out to activities. This may even be seen as a positive aspect of having a nanny, as your children will get to go on regular field trips. If this is something you want, it will have to be added to the weekly budget. Some families provide a certain amount of money for weekly activities.
Do you think that a nanny is right for your family? It’s time to start the search! Head over to my blog post: How to prepare to interview a nanny.