Daycare vs. Babysitters: What’s Best For Your Child’s Development?

Daycare vs Babysitters

For many new parents, going back to work is one of the toughest decisions they have to make after the birth of their child. The transition can be challenging, especially for mothers due to their powerful bonds with their children. But it’s inevitable for most families, and it’s something that both the child and their parents have to deal with.

And the emotional toll of detachment isn’t the only difficulty in this situation. The parents have to decide who takes care of the child when they are away. In some families, this responsibility ultimately falls onto grandparents or other relatives. But, parents who don’t have that option have to make a choice: Do they leave their child at a daycare facility or hire a babysitter/nanny to look over their child in their own home?

Both choices have their pros and cons, and can significantly impact a child’s development. Understanding the differences between both options can help parents make an informed decision. It’s also important to understand that the pros and cons may vary, depending on the child’s age.

nanny or babysitter vs daycare woman holding baby


Despite being the costlier of two options, many parents go for a nanny because they feel it’s best if a child is being taken care of in their own home. Parents feel that the child will be more comfortable in the surroundings that they are familiar with and that has all the things they need.

Parents also have more control when a nanny is taking care of the child since the nanny can give them constant updates and send pictures to them. This way, they will know what their child is up to.

In their own home, the parents have total control of what their child eats, wears, and plays. Also, if parents don’t change nannies often, the child can form a strong emotional attachment with the nanny, which can be positive in terms of early development.

Some of the cons of choosing a babysitter/nanny over daycare are cost, competency, and parenting style conflicts. Having a full-time nanny is significantly costlier. Also, a nanny doesn’t require specific qualifications and skills (apart from child-rearing and housekeeping).

So unless you are going with a highly qualified, well-trained and very expensive nanny, your child will get basic care (and love), but nothing more that may add to their development. And lastly, if your perceptions about discipline, care, teaching, playing, and other parenting elements are different from the nanny, it can be detrimental to your child’s development. Two very conflicting parenting styles may confuse the child, and they may subconsciously start favoring one over the other.

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While daycares are not exactly the Wild West for children, one of their primary benefits is exposure. At daycare, your child gets to socialize with other kids it can help them develop better social skills, learn to fend for themselves, and have access to multiple (ideally, trained) caretakers to teach them, as well as care for them.

A daycare center with professional teachers and accredited caretakers that understand how their behavior and tutelage can impact the development of children under their care can help set a solid foundation for your child.

Jeffersonville Country Day School’s child/teacher ratio is 3 to 1. Children get superior daycare services compared to larger corporate daycares.

With so many children, larger daycare facilities usually can’t provide the individual care each child might need. There is less flexibility, and unlike a nanny that can wait around if you are late from work, you will have to pick your kid up from daycare (or arrange for someone else to do so). Relatively fewer daycares can cater to specific diet and care requirements for kids with fragile health, and they might cost as much as a nanny. Jeffersonville Country Day School has the capability of handling certain special needs. Contact us to get more information.


It might be challenging to make the right choice right away, and you may want to try both options to end up with the right one. Whichever option you choose, make sure to do proper due diligence and research.

If you are considering choosing a nanny, interview them thoroughly to ensure their competence and make sure you are on the same page regarding care and parenting. If you are going with daycare, it’s a good idea to talk to as many parents of the kids in daycare as you can. And understand what the daycare can and cannot provide.

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