What are the advantages of daycare?
Many parents like daycare centers because they offer a formal, structured environment. Many daycare centers are inspected for licensing purposes, in some cases caregivers are supervised (many classrooms have more than one teacher), and a director oversees the entire operation.
“I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of hiring a nanny. I feel like I’d always want to check up,” says Noelle Haland, a copy editor in Minneapolis, Minnesota, whose 13-month-old son Max is in daycare. “I know taking care of a child can be frustrating and a nanny can also find it stressful.” Rather than worry about how a nanny might handle her son during particularly trying moments, Haland decided on daycare.
Another plus: Centers have clearcut rules for parents to follow (such as pickup and drop-off times) so you know exactly what is expected of you. A daycare center is usually more affordable than a nanny. Plus, parents have the opportunity to meet other parents who may be able to lend support and babysitting time.
Also, the arrangement is more stable (compared to, say, nanny or relative care) because the center agrees to watch over your child regardless whether a teacher is sick or tardy or even tired of working for you. Yvonne Matlosz, BabyCenter mom, agrees. “We chose a daycare center so we didn’t have to work around someone else’s sick days and vacation,” she says.