Going back to work after maternity leave is hard enough without the added guilt of deciding what type of care is best for your baby. The options generally come down to two – nanny or crèche.
Leaving your small baby with anyone is a terrifying thought, so making the decision is seldom an easy one.
My son went to crèche when he was four months old, and although I couldn’t be happier with my decision, there are absolute pros and cons to both options.
If you are battling to make the choice, then hopefully the below will be of help to you.
- Your child will be in an environment specifically catered to his or her needs.
- The carers are trained in childcare and have all the skills needed to put your mind at ease.
- The carers are not distracted by household chores such as cleaning and laundry.
- There is no room for error and security precautions are of utmost importance.
- Many crèches supply food and formula, which is a lifesaver for an already overworked parent.
- Your baby will be exposed to more germs and will potentially get sicker quicker.
- Operating hours are strictly enforced which means little room for error when it comes to traffic and late meetings.
- They can be very pricey.
- Some parents may worry about the carer/child ratio.
- If your child falls ill and can’t go to crèche, you will need to have a backup plan in place.
- Your baby will be looked after in your home, which means no uprooting or change of scenery.
- A nanny can double up as a helper and can often assist with cleaning and cooking.
- A live-in nanny means an on-call babysitter and allows you to have late meetings without worry (be prepared to pay extra for additional services that don’t fall within your nanny’s role).
- A nanny provides a one-on-one experience and the bond between her and your baby can be extremely special.
- A nanny might not have all the necessary skills to stimulate your baby, and may be distracted by household chores.
- Your baby may not be as socialised as other crèche-going babies his or her age.
- When your nanny goes on leave, you will need to have a backup plan in place.
- If you require a live-in nanny, you will need to keep additional costs such in mind, including water, electricity and groceries.
At the end of the day, the decision you make will ultimately be the best one for your baby, and for you. Do your research, ask around and always trust your gut.
By Kate Kearney