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Choosing the right childcare option is one of the most important decisions parents will make for their little ones. Two of the most popular choices to consider are an in-home nanny and daycare. Here are some guiding points to help you make an informed decision.


Nannies can come directly to your home, eliminating the need to arrange drop-off and pick-up schedules. This also ensures your child is in a safe environment, receiving proper nutrition and one-on-one care tailored to their needs.

Many parents are drawn to the personalized, consistent care provided with this option; often, the same caregiver will stay with the child for months or even years, forming a close bond. Plus, nannies work around your schedule and are often flexible if you’re running a bit late.

The pay will depend on factors such as the candidate’s experience and how many days or hours per week you use their services. You’ll also have to act as the employer with this route, but the tasks of finding and vetting a candidate can be fulfilled by an agency to save time and give you peace of mind.


Parents who choose daycare like the structured schedule and social interaction provided in a school setting. The centers also must meet state regulations and accreditations. Nonetheless, more students mean less oversight.

In California, for instance, the maximum teacher/toddler ratio is 1:6, or 1:12 if a teacher’s aide is present. Greater exposure to peers can also lead to increased rates of sicknesses, such as ear infections, colds, and viruses. There also tends to be limited flexibility with daycare centers; pick-up times are generally firm, and if you find yourself running late, you may face a fee.