Top 5 Reasons A Daycare Is Better Than A Nanny


Written by Marlene Alcon Kepka


| 8 MIN READ |




A few quotes from interviews at our daycare:

“She just quit. Happened in one day and now I have to take work off! It’s been a struggle!!”

“She promised to educate my kids. It’s one of the main reasons we hired her. All we got was TV watching and daily walks.”

“I fear my kid aren’t getting much socially. They hang out all day but a lot of it is my kids playing by themselves. A play date here or there but I can see its not enough. Also I’m worried their English is suffering.”

After interviewing over 700 families and talking to many about nannies. We noticed a theme.

The quotes above are para-phrased but true. Many crying and upset. Let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons a daycare wins over a nanny.

#1 – Daycare is safer, plain and simple

Your worst nightmare came true. Your child is choking at your daycare! They are turning blue and can’t breathe! They have minutes before the worst. 2 people freeze up and panic.

No idea what to do. A third walks in and preforms the Heimlich maneuver for toddlers. The child is fine and goes off to play.

This is a real scenario that happened at a Calgary daycare. There were 2 childcare workers with full child CPR.

They both froze and panicked. It took the third daycare to calm down and attend the child. Everything was fine.

This shows how much more safe and secure a daycare is. There is usually one nanny in a home. And they usually watch many children.

What would have happened in this scenario if the nanny froze? Or if she didn’t have child CPR training?

By having more people around there are more eyes to watch the children. More daycare workers to take action and more child care workers to help in case of emergency.

Add safety procedures, safety drills and a very safe building. And you can see how a daycare is safer then a nanny in your home.

Here are some tips of how to make your home safer for your child.

#2 – Socializing is key to a healthy child

Being social is as important as academics… or even more important than academics. How many of you got jobs by knowing a person? Or a hook up of some sort by a friend? Or a found your partner at a party? I could go on and on.

Don’t believe me? Check this out. Research shows that children that are socially and emotionally well adjusted are happier, more motivated and more positive.

A daycare can give your child all those things and more. I have seen it myself.

Children learning about sharing, the good and the bad. A daycare worker teaching empathy after two children fight.

Five children working together to color a large dinosaur painting. I could go on and on.

With a nanny you get one person. They can take your child out to play groups. Or other smaller activities. But its limited. And seeing the same children daily is important to create bonds.

Plus the peer in the group is the nanny. Usually they play with her and talk to her. Her values will rub off on your kids. Which could be good or bad.

At a daycare you have many daycare workers. Everyone teaching the little ones about being social and self-regulating their emotions.

Teaching a child empathy is important. It’s not an inherent ability. It takes time to cultivate. Great daycares know this and teach it.

#3 – Daycare workers are professionals

Early childhood are well educated. They usually have a 2 year diploma and extra training on top of that. Many have a 4 year diploma. Their schooling makes sure your child is safe and healthy.

Many daycares also have yearly on-going training. Or training when the child care staff start. For Alberta here is what a diploma program looks like.

It’s in-depth and many faceted. Childcare workers have a solid education in teaching your children.

Many nannies have zero or limited early child care education. Some are early childhood educators but very few are. My family is from the Philippines.

We go back every few years. So I have some insight. Not that all nannies are Filipino but many are. Some have CPR and that’s about it.

Most don’t have any education that is relevant to little children. Many don’t even speak English very well and that rubs off on your child.

Speech development is one of the main brain activities at this age.

These aren’t assumptions. We speak to many families that had nannies and switch to daycare because of these issues.

Most people would choose a lawyer for law challenges in their lives. Doctors for health issues. I believe most people would choose an early learning educator for their child.

#4 – You will save money at a daycare… probably


Yeah I know, that #4 title is terrible. Who writes a probably like that? It’s needed because a lot matters on how many of your children are going to daycare. Let’s break this down a bit.

These numbers are close to the average costs of daycare in Calgary.

This article discusses about daycare costs. It seems on the low side for Calgary. Especially at higher quality centers.

Let’s dig in and see why it the cost matters on how many children you have.

Full-time daycare is around $1250 a month. A nanny starts at $2000 at a minimum and goes up to $4000 a month. I’ve seen closer to $5000 for a high-end nanny.

One child in daycare is much less expensive than a nanny. Two children become comparable if you use the lowest possible nanny amount. Once you get to three children then the nanny option is cheaper.

But wait. Is it apples to apples comparison? No, it’s not. As stated before there are many benefits to a daycare.

True curriculum and program. Professional educators. Safety. You get a lot for that amount.

Nannies also have some pros. They can clean your house, do laundry and drive your children around. They can also live in your home, so the convenience is there. Who wouldn’t want all that?

If you’re looking to save money then the daycare makes more sense. It’s not as expensive expensive.

The kicker is that the more children you put into daycare the more expensive it is. And this starts to get as expensive as a nanny.

5# – My life got flip turned upside down

I had a family come in and the mother, Karen, started to cry. Her life was turned upside down in a matter of days.

She wanted her child in a Calgary daycare right away. Karen would do anything to get her child in a daycare.

What happened? Her nanny quit. Literally overnight. Something happened to her family back home and she had to leave.

Karen needed to get back to work asap and had few options. Her nanny quitting really put a wrench in her plans.

I’ve heard this several times. The reasons different, but the outcome is the same. Need daycare ASAP!! Why?

My nanny quit on me out of the blue. Another issue with having one person watch your children. If they are sick or leave, you are usually out of luck.

In a daycare you have a lot of staff. There is always someone to teach your child. A sick daycare staff doesn’t affect your child as there are other staff to take over for the day.

Your little one’s routine is intact and she is happy to come to her childcare center.

Liz had a nanny for about a year. Everything was fine and then slowly things got worse and worse.

Her nanny would be late, had the kids in front of the TV a lot. She wouldn’t follow instructions anymore.

Liz had to let her nanny go because of performance. It took her months to find a great nanny and it would take months again to find another one. During that time her family would be very disrupted.

With a daycare you rarely get that. There are enough teachers and daycares around that you can move to another if you aren’t happy.

And the winner is… daycare

Now don’t get me wrong. Nannies can be a great resource in certain scenarios. If you have 3 children or more a nanny can save you money.

Or if you need help cleaning and cooking at home. Nannies can add value that daycares can’t.

But daycares add much more value in the end. Safety is important to all parents and daycares win hands down over nannies. They are a safer place to have your child.

Social and emotional development grows leaps and bounds at a daycare. More children, trained staff and a focus on emotional and social skills give daycares the hand up on this.

Speaking of training. Daycares have professionals that know what they’re doing. A few online courses and CPR are a far cry from a 4-year diploma.

The cost savings at a daycare also trump what a nanny costs. As long as you have 2 or less children in daycare then the cost savings would add up monthly.

The stability of a daycare is priceless. Knowing your child goes to the same place for years and has a routine that rarely gets interrupted is peace of mind.

There is less stress for you about your job and where your child will be taught then with a nanny.

There are many more reasons that a daycare wins out over a nanny. Academics, better immune system, closer relationships with other families and so many more.

I had to choose a few or else this blog would turn into a book. I picked the top 5 that impact parents the most.

From my experience and talking to many parents I feel a daycare is the best choice for most families. It will give your child the best early years you can give them.

What are your thoughts on daycare centres being better for your child? Or do you think nannies are a better choice?