Nanny vs Daycare: Which Option is Right For Your Family?

Nanny vs Daycare: Which One is Right For Your Family

Figuring out the best childcare option for your family can be incredibly stressful, especially for first-time parents. The importance of deciding between hiring a nanny vs daycare has only been amplified by the recent pandemic, with parents now having to reevaluate their childcare options. With so many different options, it can be difficult to choose the one you are comfortable with, that fits within your budget, and meets your child’s needs. While some families are fortunate enough to have family members nearby that will watch the kids, others must consider options such as hiring a nanny or sending their children to daycare.

When contemplating between a nanny vs daycare, it’s clear that both options will give your kids the care they need while you are busy with work or running errands. This being said, there are benefits and drawbacks to each type of care. Here are the basics that can help you choose which type of child care is right for your family.

Hiring a Nanny

Nannies are professional child caregivers who watch your children in your own home. These trained professionals will actively engage your children throughout the day with activities while also feeding them and taking care of other light chores around the house. This comprehensive care is one of the main differences between hiring a nanny and choosing a daycare. 

Benefits of Hiring a Nanny

Opting to hire a nanny comes with many benefits that are especially well-suited for families with children that need or want an extra level of care that comes with hiring someone to watch your children at home. Some of these benefits will be more important than others, depending on your family’s individual needs.  

Individualized Attention

Unlike daycare, where every caregiver has multiple children to look after, hiring a nanny gives your children individualized attention. This extra attention can be especially beneficial to your child’s development, as nannies can spend time helping your child develop essential skills needed for school and life. This can be especially helpful for differently-abled children or children who simply need more focused attention.

Easier Logistics

Rather than rushing around to get everyone out of the door on time every morning, hiring a nanny simplifies daily logistics. Because a nanny works from your home, all you have to worry about is getting yourself out the door. This means you don’t have to fuss with packing pumped milk, fixing lunches, remembering signed permission slips, etc. Your nanny will have access to everything they need, which is one less thing in your mind in the morning. Additionally, your nanny can assist with letting in any utility or repairmen, so you don’t have to take time off work. 


When you hire a nanny, you can arrange a schedule that works best for your family, such as earlier mornings or later evenings. Hiring a nanny is also helpful in those times when you get stuck in traffic, get held up in a meeting, or one of the kids comes down with a bug. Rather than having to pay additional late fees, take time off work, or find emergency care, your nanny is there to watch the kids.

Greater Control Over Care

As a parent, we ultimately want some level of control over the approach taken when it comes to caring for our children. While a daycare has a set method of caring for children, hiring a nanny lets you set a specific framework to be followed. Additionally, most nannies provide a detailed report to keep you in the loop of what your child is up to during the day.  


Choosing to hire a nanny is often a long-term decision. The result is that nannies tend to stay with families for several years. This allows children to have a consistent caregiver they can bond with, which can positively impact a child’s cognitive development. 

Light Housework Included

Another bonus of hiring a nanny is that you can often include lighthouse work as part of their duties. Such housework can include cooking food for your children, the children’s laundry, tidying the toy room, etc. This is one less thing for you to do at home but is only possible if someone works directly in the home with your children.

Drawbacks of Hiring a Nanny

Certainly, there are many benefits to hiring a nanny, but there are also drawbacks that may make you reconsider this child care option. Many of these drawbacks come from the complexity that comes from hiring someone directly instead of using an established facility for child care.


In comparison to a daycare, you are getting individualized care and additional assistance in the home. The actual cost of a nanny will vary depending on your location, the hours, and the exact duties you assign. 

You Become an Employer

When you hire a nanny, you are technically employing an individual in your home. This means that there are additional regulations that you must meet regarding wages, taxes, sick time, overtime, etc. You’ll need to make sure you have a contract in place before the nanny starts that clearly outlines all of this information to avoid issues down the line. 

Parenting Style Conflict

Another issue that crops up when hiring a nanny is a difference in beliefs regarding things like sleep training, discipline, etc. For your child to have the most success, your nanny’s style must reflect your own parenting style since children thrive with consistency. Working with a nanny agency, like A Perfect Fit, can help you avoid such conflicts by specifically matching your family with a nanny based on your parenting style. 

Emergency Child Care Required

While a nanny is helpful when your kids are sick and have to stay at home, it’s important to also prepare for the days your nanny needs to call in sick. In such times you will need to arrange for and pay for additional childcare such as a drop-in session at a daycare, hiring an emergency babysitter, or take a day off from work yourself. This can be stressful if you hire a nanny on your own. However, when you hire a nanny with A Perfect Fit emergency child care is included at no extra cost, easing the worry that inevitably comes when your nanny calls in sick.  

Sending Your Kids to Daycare

Daycare is a certified facility where you drop your children off during the day for a team of caregivers to watch over them. These facilities can be privately owned or a franchise of a chain of daycare centers. Just as when you hire a nanny, choosing daycare as your child care option has both benefits and drawbacks. 

Benefits of Daycare

One of the important things to remember when you choose daycare is that each caregiver has multiple children to look after. This can make daycare a good option for families with a limited budget for childcare or families concerned with their child’s social interaction. 

Lower Costs

Daycares often hire multiple caregivers to watch over the children. This means that daycare is often substantially more affordable than hiring a nanny since you are splitting the cost of childcare with several families. Additionally, the cost of daycare will vary depending on several factors such as location, whether it is a chain, and the available resources. 

More Resources

From colorful play equipment to cabinets of dress-up materials to shelves of books and art supplies, daycares take pride in developing a space that fosters learning and creativity. Additionally, many daycares focus on incorporating additional activities into a child’s day, such as trips to the park, field trips, bringing in special instructors, etc. 

Multiple Caregivers

Children don’t necessarily bond with every caregiver, which makes daycare a unique option given that there are multiple caregivers available. Often these caregivers have been in the industry for several years. In turn, they have developed a special way of connecting with children of all ages. This helps improve the chances of your child finding a caregiver they gel with. It also gives them the chance to bond with more than one caregiver.

Social Interaction

Many parents are concerned about their children having the proper social skills. Choosing daycare gives your child the chance to socialize with other children of similar ages. Additionally, many daycares use activities to encourage and teach the social skills your child needs. 

Drawbacks of Daycare

Even though it costs less to send your child to daycare, some drawbacks may cause you to reconsider this childcare option. While some of these drawbacks may not be a big deal to some families, they may be a major concern for others. 

Less Flexible

Daycares operate on a fixed schedule. This means your child must be picked up by a specific time, leaving little wiggle room for any sudden meetings or being stuck in traffic. In fact, many daycare centers charge an additional fee for picking a child up late. Likewise, you’ll need to make sure the daycare’s drop-off time works with your commute schedule. 

Increased Chance of Accidents

Even though it can be helpful that caregivers are watching multiple children, it also means there’s a greater chance that something could happen. While it’s unlikely that any major accidents will happen, be prepared for more bumps and bruises than if they stayed home. Some of the most common accidents at daycares are falls and bites from other children. 

More Germs and No Sick Coverage

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is just how easily germs are spread. When you put several kids into a space where toys, books, and supplies are shared, there’s bound to be germs transferred between the kids. This could result in more sniffles, colds, and doctor’s visits. It’s also important to note that daycares don’t accept sick children. This means so additional childcare will need to be arranged when your little one comes down with a bug. 

Making the Nanny vs Daycare Decision That’s Right For Your Family

The question of nanny vs daycare is one that many families face. When it comes down to it, there are benefits and drawbacks for each type of childcare. Deciding between the two ultimately comes down to what your family needs and what you can afford. The best way to do this is to come up with a list of the most important aspects of care for your family (such as scheduling, the type of care, and so forth). Based on this list, you can then make the right choice for your family.

If you feel hiring a nanny is right for you, you’ll want to work with a team that can help you hire the right caregiver for your child. A Perfect Fit takes the time to know exactly what your family is looking for to help you find the best match. Contact us today to start the process of finding the perfect fit for your family. 

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