Nanny Share vs. Daycare

An apple with a pile of colorful books resting upon a wooden desk

Weighing your childcare options can get really overwhelming. Often the decision comes down to the cost of childcare, leaving parents choosing between a daycare center and a nanny share.

Before deciding what option is better, parents should make sure they understand the key differences between a daycare and a nursery school. Something many families don't know is that nursery schools are not typically full-day programs. They are educational-based learning centers for preschool-aged children, but have rigid hours, from 9 am to 12 pm. A nursery school as your main childcare solution typically doesn’t cut it if you have two working parents. This is a great option if you’re a stay-at-home parent, looking to socialize your child for a few hours each day or if you’re involved in a nanny share, and want your child in an educational environment for part of the day.

A daycare, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily work alongside of a nanny share like a nursery school would. It’s really more of a one-or-the-other scenario. Learn more about the differences between a daycare, a nanny, and a nanny share.

To help your process, here are some questions you can consider for your whole family:

Daycare Quality and Convenience Questions to Consider

  • What is the cost per month? Per child?
  • Where is the daycare center located?
  • Who will do drop-off and pickup?
  • Will this location work if you have to travel, is homesick, or change employers?
  • What are the center’s hours? Do these work for your career growth?
  • Does your/your partner’s employer have a flexible work from home policy in case your child is sick at home for a few days and cannot attend daycare?
  • If you had to rate the daycare center on a scale of 1-10, how much do you love it?
  • Are the staff members caring/nurturing?
  • Does it have good reviews from parents who currently have children enrolled?
  • What is the staff turnover rate?
  • Will they work with your nap schedule and food policies?
  • Do the kids seem happy and well taken care of??

Family Planning and Personality Questions to Consider

  • How long do you plan to be in your current location? If you move what would be more disruptive: changing a nanny share or daycare?
  • How long until you hope to have another child? If sooner than later, which solution would be more cost-effective for two kids?
  • Do you typically pay more for convenience or expend more energy/time to save money?
  • Does your current job require (or tend to favor) people who put in more face-time?
  • Could you use a little more help around the house (meal prep, housekeeping)?

Nanny Share Questions to Consider

  • What components of childcare are most important to you?
  • Are you flexible with other parenting styles?
  • Are you comfortable hosting another person’s child in your home?
  • As your child grows, are you financially comfortable paying for outside classes (music, gymnastics) if the other family wants to enroll their child too?
  • Do you have an easy communication style?
  • Do you feel there are great benefits to having a nanny?
  • Do you feel comfortable entrusting another person with your child full-time without micromanaging?
  • Does your family schedule require more flexibility than the rigid hours of a daycare?

General Questions to Consider

  • Are you looking for your child to meet many children?
  • How does your child do in larger group settings?
  • How much more expensive is one choice over the other?
  • Which option works best for your short-term plans?
  • Which option works best for your long-term plans?
  • Which option fits your personality best?
  • Which option fits your child best?

Decided a nanny share is the best fit for you? Sign up on Nanny Lane!

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