Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Daycare, Nanny or Nanny Share

Figuring out child care is just part of the territory when it comes to being a working mom. Hubs and I went round and round about what we were going to do. It's pretty stressful finding someone to take care of you Love Bean. At one point I was so stressed out that half my lip/chin was covered in cold sores. (yes, I get cold sores when I'm stressed). I know of a few people who are thinking about and/or are looking for childcare, so I thought I would share a few things I learned while we were deciding what was best for us.
  • Daycares aren't necessarily cheaper than hiring a nanny or becoming part of a nanny share
  • Daycares have long waiting lists, like 15 months long (at least here in Chicago) 
  • That being said, if you want to open your own daycare, Chicago seems like the place to do it.
  • Interviewing nannies is nerve wracking
  • Finding a family to share your nanny with is even more nerve wracking
  • I can't explain how I knew our nanny was the right one, it just clicked. I guess it's a lot like love, when you know, you know ;)
  • I felt more comfortable with perspective nannies who were in their 20's
  • Middle aged perspective nannies gave me the, "I've already raised kids, so I know best" vibe
  • Daycares have pretty strict drop off and pick up times, and charge for every minute you're late
  • Nanny shares have the potential to be awesome for everyone involved—easier on the pocket book for the parents, social interaction for the beans, more money for the nanny, personal relationships with everyone involved
  • If trying to put together a nanny share, finding parents who have the same parenting style as you is a MUST
  • Having a nanny allows the bean to be in environment where they are comfortable
  • If you want to get your bean into a daycare in Chicago, you should probably get on a waiting list as soon as you start trying to get pregnant, or at the very least the day you find out you're expecting (I'm not joking)
  • I feel strange when interviewing people, and must have all my questions listed out
  • Nanny share websites and Craigslists are great resources when looking for a nanny or nanny share
  • It's a pain in the butt to pay your nanny legally
  • I am way, way, way more laid back than I ever thought I would be
  • You can make bank if you're an experienced nanny (hourly rates here in Chicago range from $10-$20 per hour)
Ultimately, we decided to go with the nanny share option. Though we haven't started it just yet. For the past month and half we've had her all to ourselves. Because of our work schedules coupled with the fact we could hire a nanny for roughly the same amount as we would pay the shady daycare down the street, we were sorta, kinda, forced into the nanny/nanny share direction. It actually has been wonderful, and we're really excited to start the share in a couple of weeks. It will lower our childcare costs, our nanny will actually start making more money, and Love Bean will have a playmate!

Have any of you had experience finding daycare or a nanny, and have tips you'd like to share? Likewise, if you have any questions about our experience, I'd be happy to answer them!


  1. I work at a daycare and live the experience it gives the kids and the lessons we plan for even the infants and toddlers.

    With that said, I would prefer to have my infant or toddler stay home with a nanny. Once they start walking and talking more I would be more willing to put them in a center for the social interaction and learning opportunities that they can offer.

    Finding a good center or nanny is hard all around but totally worth the battle once you find the right one!

  2. It's like you read my mind! My girls are currently in daycare M-F (right at my work), but soon we're transitioning to part-time daycare, part-time nanny. It's so stressful finding one! Now that I'm looking into Part-time nanny, I'm wondering if we'd just want to go fulltime. Not sure that we could afford that though. So stressful. Good post :)

  3. I am just starting my child care search here in Chicago and I am wondering how much time you gave yourself to find a nanny for a nanny share? I'm not going back to work until April and it's July now. Thanks!

    1. Annie, so sorry it's taken me so long to reply. I didn't realize how time consuming the process would be and how long it would take, and only gave myself a month or so. But I remember when I was looking, other family's time frames varied a lot. I would recommend giving yourself at least 2 months.


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