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Hiring A Nanny vs. Daycare For Your Family - A Comparison Of Childcare Services.

When it comes to making what we feel are the best choices for our children, as a parent or carer it can be easy to fall into a trap of overthinking decisions like hiring a nanny or enrolling your child in daycare. Although we are huge fans of having a nanny work with your family (obvs 😜) we ultimately want to help you make the best decision for your family. Here we’ll share insights to help you make an informed choice when it comes to choosing between hiring a nanny or a long day care option.

Why childcare is an essential service.

There’s the obvious function of childcare when it comes to parents returning to work.

In years past, the role of a mum was to stay at home and be responsible for childminding as well as the upkeep of the household. This conversely meant their partner would work full time to earn an income and support the family.

In the present time, there’s more women embracing the opportunity of choice when it comes to returning to work post-kids. Many women have established careers and look forward to continuing in their field alongside having children. We’re also seeing more gender role reversal, where many dads are taking on the fulltime caring role while their partner returns to work.

However; there’s also the rising cost of living. This means many households require dual income in order to meet their overheads. Some parents don’t have the option of staying home.

With small children in the picture, this means childcare is essential in allowing parents to continue working.

With this in mind, childcare isn’t just a service to help working parents. It’s also an opportunity for kids to socialise, learn new skills and give their carers a much needed day ‘off’.

Parenting is relentless and incredibly challenging at times. Having a break from childminding helps to prevent burnout and allows us to be more present with our children in the time we have together. The concept of ‘mum guilt’ often prevents mums from accessing childcare, even when it would seriously benefit their wellbeing.

The benefits of daycare


Long daycare is subsidised by the government here in Australia, depending on your income bracket. This can make childcare more accessible especially to lower income earners and single parents.

Developmental skills

Socialisation is hugely beneficial to a child’s development. They learn communication skills, build confidence and independence, make friends and develop empathy for their peers. Being in the daycare environment helps them to interact with other children of similar age and work on these important developmental milestones.


Being part of a community is so beneficial to parents and caregivers. You may have heard the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and daycare is a place where you can connect with and find support from the other parents as well as staff. Often Daycares will host annual parties or other community building events to help strengthen connection, have fun and give back to the caregivers.

The disadvantages of daycare

Long waitlists

Some daycare centres have a waitlist of 6 months - 1 year before you are offered a position for your child. When you have a deadline for returning to work, this can be a huge issue. The result is often enrolling your child in a less desirable daycare, leading to increased travel time and stress through the return to work period.


If you’ve had a child in daycare before, you’ll be familiar with how often they get sick. In the first year of daycare, especially through the winter months, many children pick up some sort of illness almost every week.

Naturally, having a lot of small children together is going to mean a lot of germs are exchanged. Unfortunately, kids aren’t great with hygiene and it’s just one of those things that’s unavoidable with the larger daycare environment despite best hygiene practices undertaken by the facilities.

The kicker is you often continue to pay a fee when your child is sick and unable to attend daycare. It can also mean a parent needs to take leave to care for them. And when those ‘typical’ daycare bugs like Hand, Foot and Mouth disease rear their ugly head, this can mean multiple days off for everyone - not fun.

Set opening hours

There are a few exceptional daycares that offer after hours care but generally most daycares operate within fixed opening hours. This can be tricky if you are shiftworker or require help outside ‘office hours’.

Staff turnover

With childcare workers being amongst the lowest paid in the country, it’s unsurprising that it’s hard to find consistent staff. Attachment and building a rapport with their carers helps children to feel safe and settle into daycare. Understandably, when staff leave, this can be hugely unsettling for little ones and add more stress to the daycare experience.

Higher child to carer ratio

Thankfully, there are government standards for childcare ratios, with the minimum being 1 carer per 4 children (for babies under 24 months), up to 1 carer per 11 children for older kids.

The benefits of hiring a nanny

In home support

As a working parent, even though it’s helpful to have your children in care, sometimes the hardest part is the morning rush to get them ready and out the door - especially if you have school aged kids.

A nanny can come to your home to help with the morning or afternoon rush and can often help with school or daycare drop-offs, pickups, homework, breakfast and dinner prep.

Many nannies can also offer support with day-to-day life as a mum. This is often referred to as a mothers helper. You may not feel confident to leave your child in the care of someone else full time, so they can work with you to help around the home with you and your child(ren).

Tailored help

Sometimes daycare hours are impractical because you may do shift work or require help outside the set opening times of a larger daycare.

Nannies are fabulous for working with the unique needs of your family. Their help can mean reduced travel times (aka more sleep and less early starts) and improve stress levels around the logistics of drop-offs and pickups around your work or lifestyle.

Security and attachment for kids

Seeing your child grow to know and love their caregiver is such a wonderful thing. Having a person to look after them that they know and trust helps to establish a secure base for their learning and development . This rapport is an integral part of the concept known as the circle of security for children.

Reduced parental leave

Often, even when your child is sick, they are still able to be cared for by their nanny. This means parents and caregivers don’t have to chew through their personal leave or sick days and helps with continuity of work and income. It’s also reassuring that if your child is unwell, they are still being cared for in the comfort of their home.

The disadvantages of hiring a nanny


Hiring a nanny is generally going to be more expensive than daycare options. When it comes to cost you are looking at $30 - $40 per hour for a nanny, depending on their level of experience and qualifications. Daycare on average is anywhere from $140 - $180 per day, before subsidy and your subsidy rate will depend on your income bracket.

It’s worth considering that often the hourly cost of a nanny remains the same for multiple children in their care, which can actually work out more cost effective than daycare if you have more than one child. You may also only require a nanny for a few hours per week and the convenience that a nanny service offers itself can be priceless.

We see many families choose to use a nanny simply because they don’t have carers/sick leave and the cost of missing a day of work far outweighs the cost of a nanny.

In special circumstances where traditional daycare isn’t an option (if both parents for example, are shiftworkers) then there are actually subsidies available for registered nanny services through organisations such as Wanslea.

Finding the right nanny

This is undeniably the trickiest part of hiring a nanny. If you’re considering hiring a nanny for your family, check out our top tips for finding the perfect nanny for your family. We recommend a thorough interview process, background and qualification checks.

We totally understand the work involved in hiring the right person. If you are looking for someone to make the hiring process as easy as possible, we’d love to help!

Precious Poppets was founded to make sourcing a nanny, a stress-free experience for parents. Our service includes advertising, interviews, background checks and arranging trials - so you can focus on the important things in life.

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