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Baby Basics

Q&A: Differences Between A Nanny And Daycare?

I'm trying to make childcare plans for my baby once my maternity leave is over. How do I decide whether daycare or a nanny is right for me?

Both strategies have their pros and cons. Daycare is less expensive than hiring a full-time nanny, and baby will be surrounded by other children in a stimulating environment. However, no daycare center will be able to provide the level of personal attention that a nanny can.  Also, if you and your spouse leave for work early or stay late often,  it might be difficult to find a center to accommodate your hours. A nanny is more likely to be flexible — provided you pay her for the extra time. Finding the “perfect” nanny is tricky, though. (Um, there isn’t one... but you can come pretty close.) The only way to decide what’s right for you is to visit a number of daycare centers and interview a number of nannies. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few options that work with your schedule and budget, go with your gut for the final decision.

By Paula Kashtan