I often get questions from my friends that have recently had babies looking for help on deciding between a nanny or daycare. Or pregnant moms that are preparing for maternity leave and want the best option when it comes to finding the child care for their baby.
With three kids of my own, I have had my share of days weighing the pros and cons of hiring a nanny or deciding on a daycare. We have had our fair share of nannies and a few daycares in the past. We even did a home day care for a short while.
There are many child care options for new moms and dads with each one offering different pros and cons. When your belly is round and a nursery is in need of preparation, most moms don’t want to think about leaving their baby with someone else. But most of us don’t have a choice. Though it isn’t your first concern when it comes to your bundle of joy, money is also a factor in making the right decision for your family.Ultimately though, you want the very best for your infant.
Many working moms find themselves weighing the different options. “I’ve been through it all myself,” says Lori Bolas, a working mother and a director at SurePayroll, Inc., a leading online payroll provider for families and small businesses. “I know it’s hard. But once you find the solution that is best for you and your baby, it gets easier.”
What are some of the benefits or the pros and cons of child care options for your baby? Read them below!
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Nanny or Choosing DayCare:
1. Daycare Center – Daycare is an economical and reliable option, and your child also is around other children with good supervision. Do some research here-there are many more affordable options through community and faith-based organizations. Some even have sliding pay scales based on need – so don’t be afraid to ask.
PROs: Your baby will eventually have other children to socialize with; the care is reliable and fairly affordable with qualified supervision. Staff is trained, and the center is licensed and regulated.
CONs: There is less flexibility; you have to pick up and drop off your baby at about the same time each day. Caregivers oversee several children, and it may be difficult to find centers that accept infants. Most centers have strict sick policies that could impact your employment. Be sure you understand the costs of taking a sick day.
2. Home Daycare – Home daycare is held in the caregiver’s house, with smaller groups of children in a more casual setting. Many home daycare providers offer sliding pay scales and are less expensive because their own children are at home or they are taking advantage of special tax incentives that allow them to charge less.
PROs: Kids can socialize with others in a nurturing, home-like environment. Less expensive than regular daycare, and pick-up and drop-off times are more flexible.
CONs: No caregiver supervision and less stringent licensing requirements. Caregiver may not have formal nanny or childcare experience or education. As with daycare centers, children also get sick more frequently, and home daycare also is usually closed for holidays and vacations.
3. Full-Time Nanny – A full-time nanny can be a more expensive option. However there are a few options to help save some cash. Here is a couple:
Live-in – Nannies can be paid hourly, or on a weekly basis. If you have the space, live-in nannies can charge less since room and board is included.
Nanny/Housekeeper – Can the nanny double up doing household chores and even yard maintenance while the baby/children are napping? Even meal preparation can save you in the long run – from expensive carry out – a common expense for overtired new mothers.
PROs: Your baby will get more attention from a nanny who pays close attention to his/her every need. Your schedule can be more flexible and convenient (no pick up or drop off) and your baby stays in a familiar home environment. You would be allowed a flexible working schedule, and might even be able to squeeze in some grocery shopping and an occasional date night!
CONs: There also is no nanny supervision, and playtime with other children must be specifically arranged. In addition, you can be stuck if she calls in sick or finds other employment.
4. Nanny Share – A Nanny Share can bring the best of both worlds together. Sharing the cost of a nanny with one or two like-minded Moms can be a great set up, especially if your kids are around the same age.
PROs: You can have a wonderful nanny in a home environment (either yours or another family’s), and your baby gets some socialization with other children. If the nanny gets sick you have others to help pitch in. Your baby receives more attention than daycare and remains in a familiar environment. You also have more flexibility with your schedule. You share the cost of the nanny with others, making this a more affordable option. You also share paying The Nanny Tax.*
CONs: You hope all of the children get along; as well as you and the other family! You might have to do some juggling with schedules.
What is The Nanny Tax? If you pay your nanny more than $1,000 per quarter or $1,900 throughout the year, you are legally required to pay the nanny tax, otherwise known as the “household employment tax.” Failure to do so can set you back with fines and penalties up to $25,000. In addition, being compliant helps your nanny become or stay eligible for social security and Medicare benefits upon retirement. You can make it easy on yourself by using an online payroll service like SurePayroll, Inc. This makes paying the taxes super quick, easy and inexpensive.
Many thanks to SurePayroll, Inc. for sponsoring today’s story. All opinions are my own.
Image credit: Flickr/Dan Igers