Daycare vs. Nanny Advice and Stories

posted 4 months ago in Parenting
Post # 16
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

sarathemermaid :   temeculabride :  Small world! I live in this area too. My son is starting daycare next week actually at 12 weeks old. 😭

We chose an in-home daycare provider. It was cheaper than Kindercare & obviously a nanny. Look into WeeCare in your area. They have similar features with an app (pictures/videos, payment, communication, etc.), all teachers are licensed/background checked, & backed by the franchise.

Best of luck & congratulations!!

Post # 17
2720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

stephanie091512 :  Wow what a small world. That sounds like a good middle ground 🙂 

Post # 18
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

We live in Southern California and have a nanny. We pay her $18/hr, 40 hrs/week. We also pay her on the books so we have to pay some taxes and we pay a payroll company. She has over 20 years of experience and is truly wonderful with our daughter. It is ridiculously expensive and I cringe everytime I think about how much we spend. It’s super convenient for us, DS has only been sick once in 20 months, and the nanny has really worked with us to get her on a great nap routine. But honestly when I get together with friends you can’t pick out the kids with stay at home moms, the kids with nannies and the kids in daycare. 

The majority of my friends send their kids to in home daycares. They have found really lovely caregivers and environments at in home daycares, so I wouldn’t write that off as an option. Ask co-workers and friends for recs. there are also usually local mom groups on Facebook you can join to ask for recs. Make sure you find caregivers you trust, listen to your mom gut, and know your baby is going to be just fine. She’ll have an awesome, hardworking Mama as her roll model!


Post # 19
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We used a nanny one day per week when I went back to work very part-time. She was ok, but it seemed like she was fitting it into her life, and didn’t put my child first, which was a big part of the reason for wanting individual care. I never cared for KinderCare, we did visit one but it was expensive and the complete opposite of individualized care. The best option ultimately was a daycare inside a church, the classrooms were a bit smaller and the price and location were reasonable. Is there anything like that around where you are?

Post # 20
9632 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Dd is 4 and has gone to the same center since she was 10 weeks old. Overall I’ve been extremely happy with daycare.

They only close on major holidays (christmas, thanksgiving, etc) and if we need to alter our schedules slightly they are fine with that too. I also prefer that there are multiple people around to keep the employees accountable. Once a girl took out her phone to show me a picture of her dog, and the other teacher was like “PHONES AWAY!” haha. They take that shit seriously!

Dd gets a ton of socialization there and loves her friends. Now that she’s in pre-k they have that on site too which is amazingly convenient. If we have another kid I would have no qualms sending them to daycare again.

Post # 21
5836 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

Our son (now 3) has been in center-based daycare since he was 4 months old. I prefer that to in home daycares because in our state I feel like the regulations are too lax on in home daycares. I have many friends with nannies but we’re talking $400k+ annual income. When my son was small a nanny would have been 3x the cost of daycare so it just wasn’t on the table for us. It is nice that you don’t have to worry about taking off work when your baby is sick (and they also get less illnesses in general) but now that he’s a toddler I love that he gets socialized regularly and has an organized curriculum. You can get that with a nanny but you pay a premium for a nanny with their own car who is willing to drive to playdates/activities. Aside from being expensive nannies aren’t always an amazing experience. My friends nanny would regularly call out sick and when they let her go with 1 months notice she took them to small claims court.

Post # 22
8463 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

temeculabride :  my daughter has been in a center since she was 6 months old and we all love it! Ours isn’t a big corporation like kindercare, it’s a small local business with just a couple locations, but the center aspect is the same. I never have to worry about my childcare canceling on me for illness and my daughter gets lots of socializing. That said some kids end up constantly sick the first few months of daycare. It’s not the center it’s just your kid’s luck. My friend’s daughter was in the exact same classroom as my daughter and she was always sick whole my daughter barely ever got a cold lol.

Go out and visit each location thouhh. You need to feel comfortable. We have one daycare in town that is the most expensive and very hard to get into because it is so popular. My husband and I went to visit it and after I got in the car and sobbed “I will quit my job before leaving my baby there” and even though I’m the primary breadwinner my husband wholeheartedly agreed. It was a dump. If I had trusted other parent’s reviews I wouldn’t have hesitated to use them though which is why you need to go yourself. 

Post # 23
6887 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

temeculabride :  I personally love the daycare center option.  Obviously, leaving my 12 week old at daycare was less than ideal, but I needed to go back to work, and a $45k salary would pay for two kids in daycare.

I love daycare because: 

1. It’s structured, and my daughter has thrived off of the routine.

2. She’s very timid to new people, so having multiple adults taking care of her a day has helped open her up a bit.  She definitely has her favorite teachers.

3. Interaction with peers.  When my husband drops her off, she literally just walks away from him now (18 months) because she’s so excited to go play.

4. A spike in her development – she thrives off of learning new things with their curriculum AND learning off of other kids. She surprises us so often with what she knows!

5. Regular outside time (twice a day when it’s nice out!).


I’m surprised these daycare centers have openings!  I had to register my daughter when I was 8 weeks pregnant… and I was so worried about miscarriage.

Post # 24
2094 posts
Buzzing bee

SLOBee :  this is exactly what we do, I WFH and my 11mo goes to a church based daycare 2x a week, Mother-In-Law watches him another 1, sometimes 2 days a week and I work around his schedule the days/weeks where it is just the two of us.

Post # 25
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Grid :  You are leaving the Bay Area? So jealous!

OP, I am surprised the daycare has openings! I called for my daughter in Jan 2019 and no one had openings until Jan 2020! I go back to work in Nov after 6 months and LO will go to a Nanny share with a friend until Feb. Then my neighbor who has an in home daycare will have an opening. She charges $55/day. Hard to beat especially since I can walk the 4 houses down for pick up/drop off! The Nanny is crazy expensive so sharing her with my friend makes it a bit more affordable.

Post # 27
9333 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

SoundOnTape :  lol I wouldn’t be jealous, we’re leaving for NYC so that won’t help our daycare costs any!

Post # 28
81 posts
Worker bee

temeculabride :  congrats on your pregnancy! I see you already made a decision but just wanted to throw a few things out there.

First, I would highly recommend joining a local mom’s group. Check FB and Meet up to find one. Local moms can give you the best advice on your daycare options. Even though you are going with a chain, each location will obviously be a little different and some are better than others. In my area, the fact that there is an infant opening in January would be a red flag. But it may be totally normal in your area. I’d try to talk to other moms to figure that out.

Also as a mom to fall babies, once kids are exposed to daycare situations, they will get sick. A LOT! Our plan with our first was to have family stay with our oldest until spring or summer when illnesses were not as bad and baby was a bit older. If you could swing paying for a nanny or nanny share for just a few months, I would highly recommend it! My youngest is a fall baby too and although I stayed home, siblings were in school and brought everything home. RSV is no joke when a young baby has it. 

Anyway, I am Glad you have a plan and sure everything will work out but just wanted to offer those two suggestions. 


Eta: also the flu. Babies can’t get the flu shot until 6 months.

Post # 29
2521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

 azaleapetunia :  yep, my baby boy started daycare last January at 3.5 months old, went to two half-days, and came down with RSV.  We spent a week in the hospital.  UGH it sucked.  RSV is the devil!!!  He was sick a ton last winter, and now cold season has started up at daycare and he’s sick again.

But, so be it.  It’s actually really good for kids’ immune systems to get some cold bugs before they turn 1.  (We get the flu shot and we could DEFINITELY do without RSV though! UGH).  And if they don’t go through the process of getting sick now, they’ll just do it when they start preschool or kindergarten.  

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