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       Many today's families sooner or later are faced with the dilemma of finding the best child care possible. No doubt this is a very important and hard decision for parents to make. It's also a personal and of course... a financial one. A Nanny as a childcare option, is more expensive then a Day Care, so very often, parents will ask: What would be the better arrangement, having a Nanny or sending the child to a Day Care?
Is Nanny really worth the cost?

...NANNY - A CHILDCARE BY DESIGN

1. If you decide to hire a Nanny, you are the one, choosing the person who will take care of your child. You know your child the best and you know what caregiver's personality you'd want for your child. You decide what personal qualities, professional qualifications, or childcare experience Nanny needs to have to consider her as a candidate for your family childcare needs...
In a Day Care, you are simply presented with the teacher, who is assigned to an age group, and if you are not very happy with that person, (sometimes it's just a feeling...) your chances to be able to change the arrangements are very limited or simply impossible.

2. A Nanny, will provide individual attention to your child and attend to his needs when needed (not when scheduled) in the comfort of the child's familiar, home surroundings. This one-on-one care is so valuable especially during the infancy. Either it's the holding and comforting a fussy baby or the naps (when or for how long), meals, play time or quiet time or a favorite book before nap time or a hug, a Nanny can provide all of those (and more) totally customized to the needs of your child.
A good nanny will provide developmentally appropriate activities that are very often build on child's specific interest at that time (we all know the dinosaur or princess phases...) to create fun, learning activities that are especially engaging to the child.
A teacher in a Day Care has to take care of group of children and the teacher-student ratio can be high. In Illinois the ratio for infants is 1:4 and (imagine caring for quadruplets...), for busy, always on the go - 2 year olds 1:8. If you only have any experience caring for children, you know that such arrangements leave very little time for one on one attention, plus your child has to follow a schedule that is set up for a whole group. Quite often, a day care will also try to tell you, when your child should be off bottle, pacifier or naps...

3. A Nanny will take your child to play outside, go for walks (yes, those naps in a stroller), to parks, playgrounds and they can spend as much time outside as they want. We all know the benefits of outside activities.
In a Day Care, children are outside for a limited time due to schedule and the fact that is hard to watch a whole group (or groups) of children playing outside.

4. What about the peer interaction?...From the developmental point of view, in infant and toddler years the most important thing is the opportunity to develop a secure attachment, a close emotional connection between an infant and adult caregiver. Such attachments influences child's social competence and play in later years. Social peer play usually does not appear until second year and requires careful adult guidance. It's not until the preschool years that a child really advances in social development through play and interaction with peers.
(More about development of play and social interaction coming soon...)
A Nanny will arrange play-dates with friends, take the child to classes, activities or places that offer safe play time with other children. (A help from parents may be needed initially with the arrangements). And if a child has a day when he needs more of a quiet time, a Nanny will easily accommodate that.
You simply don't have the option in a busy Day Care.

5. If you have more children than one, the Nanny will simply care for them all and they play and spend time together. In a Day Care, siblings are often separated to different groups due to age differences and may not even see each other for a whole day.

6. A good Nanny is not only providing custom care, she is like “extension“ of a family, following family values and rules on every day bases thus providing children with important consistency.
A Nanny will often become a very special person in children life and can enrich child's life in so many ways...

THE CONVENIENCE OF CUSTOM ARRANGEMENTS

7. It is so hard for busy parents to balance work, home, childcare... A Nanny will come to your house which means that you don't have to pack up your child every morning, (bottles, diapers, extra clothes etc.) or wake him up, to get ready for day care while at the same time you are trying to get yourself ready for work. You don't have to hurry to be there on time, at the same time trying not to be late for work. (Then, after work, the rush begins again...)
And if you need to drop your child very early at the day care, he has to wait for the primary teacher to came in for the day.

8. If your child happens to be sick with common cold or ear infection, you don't have to take a day off from work to stay at home. You have your Nanny who will take care of your child and you can communicate with her as often as you wish to check on your child.
What if your Nanny is sick? In a Day Care you'll have other teachers who will substitute. That's true, but usually a Nanny is sick much less often then a child who is in a Day Care catching all those colds, ear infections or pink eye...

9. A Nanny can be flexible with the schedule, so if you are running late from work (or need to leave the house earlier) she can accommodate to that. Not to mentioned the occasional evening out. What a convenience!
Day Care usually has a strict policy as far as drop off /pick up hours that doesn't provide parents with any flexibility...

10. Having a Nanny is a totally custom arrangement and most Nannies are absolutely willing to do also light housekeeping, child's laundry, run errands, light cooking or do something “extra“ if needed, and it is really up to agreement between family and Nanny what those additional tasks will be.

THE EXPENSES

A Nanny can be the most expensive form of childcare, but not so, if you have more than one child. Seeing all the benefits, some parents are open to not so conventional arrangements that allow them to hire Nanny and lower the cost. A Nanny Share, when two families employ the Nanny, maybe one option or a family may consider hiring a Nanny with her own child. The rates will be lower then.

OK, so the question now is: How do I find “MY“ Perfect Nanny?
Well..., we think this topic deserves a whole another article...
(coming soon...)


by Grace Rutkowska
Monday Mornings, inc.
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Monday Mornings Domestic Agency is licensed and bonded in a state of Illinois.