With more and more parents – both mothers and fathers – choosing to work full-time the money going into the childcare sector is rising continuously. For parents who need to find regular childcare for their children whilst they are at work there are basically two main options: go for a day-care nursery or childminder; or find a nanny – for example through a nanny agency such as RockMyBaby. As with most things in life there are pros and cons to each of these options, some of which are described here:
With a nanny, you can make all the decisions yourself and you are the one in charge. As a parent, this means you can dictate things like who they play with, nap times, what they eat and what they do throughout the day. You can even ask for detailed daily reports you’re your nanny so you can keep an eye on how your child is getting on. This is very important, for example, for those children who respond best to having a very regular routine – something which can’t really be guaranteed in a nursery when the child carers are having to balance the needs of lots of very different children.
If you have a nanny coming to your house then it makes the logistics of childcare a lot easier. You don’t need to worry about getting your child to nursery on time or picking them up: you can simply get yourself ready and leave the house. And as an added bonus, if for example you are waiting for a parcel your nanny can be in to take delivery of it. Many nannies will also help with light housework. With a nanny, another bonus is that your child is getting the kind of one-on-one attention they would not normally get at a nursery. Many children thrive and blossom under this kind of care.
One of the dangers of hiring a nanny is that you become wholly reliant on one person for your child’s care. If they decide to move away or change career paths it can leave quite a hole in your life that needs to be filled quickly. Also, your child will almost certainly have bonded with their nanny so this can take a fair amount of adjustment.
Also, bear in mind that if you hire a nanny that in effect means that you are now an employer and this carries with it a certain amount of responsibilities which some parents can find confusing. It means, for example, that your household will have to pay taxes and account for things like sick pay, holiday pay and of course the weekly salary. It’s best to agree all of this upfront a proper contract of employment so everybody knows what to expect.
Lastly, remember that with a nanny there will not be the kind of regulation or oversight you would get with a registered nursery. Whilst nannies can register voluntarily with OFSTED, in effect you as the employer are the only one who is really obliged to regulate them. This necessitates thorough, and time-consuming screening of each nanny to ensure they are up to scratch.
One of the main reasons many parents like to send their children to nurseries is that they have to abide by strict national regulations regarding safety, hygiene, staffing and so on. Also, unlike nannies, each worker is expected to have acquired a certain level of qualifications as a matter of course. Most centres will also have additional supervision from Directors and teachers so you can feel pretty confident that your child will be safe and well looked-after.
Nurseries are also the ideal place to help foster your child’s social skills in a nurturing environment. They will normally come into contact with many different type of children and be required to get along with them, learn to share and consider others – all the things necessary for successful social interaction in later life.
If you send your child to a nursery you can’t afford much flexibility in your daily routine: for example, if you have a nanny and you are running late on your way home you can simply call them and arrange for them to stay longer. If you pick your child up late from the nursery it will be frowned upon to say the least, as you are restricted by their own timetable.
Lastly, you may find that your child isn’t getting the kind of one-on-one care they need. Some children are naturally shy and retiring and can become more so if they are required to compete for attention with lots of other people their own age.