Submitted by Teresa Blecher
While many parents think that nanny care is the most expensive childcare option available, this isn’t always the case. For families with several children in need of care or parents who work odd hours, nanny care may actually be cheaper than daycare. If you’re looking for quality childcare, don’t rule out the possibility of hiring a nanny, because it may be more affordable than you think. Here are five reasons why:
1. With a nanny you pay per family, not per child. According to the International Nanny Association 2012 Salary and Benefits Survey, nannies earn $700 gross per week on average. While nannies are often given a 5% increase if a child is born during their employment with a family, the gross weekly salary doesn’t vary much based on family size. With daycare, you are paying per slot. If daycare costs you $1500 per month, per child, hiring a nanny could end up being cheaper.
2. When you have a nanny, you set the hours. Daycares tend to have standard hours that start and end somewhere between 6am and 6pm. Securing daycare outside of these hours typically involves an added expense. In fact, some daycares charge parents per minute for every minute that they are late for a scheduled pickup. As a nanny employer, you can set the nanny’s hours to coordinate with your work schedule. If you require childcare for long or odd hours, having a nanny may be cheaper than sending the kids to daycare when you factor in the added expenses for early or late care.
3. When the kids are mildly ill, you still have coverage. Most daycares have strict rules when it comes to sending kids to daycare with any type of illness. When you have a nanny, caring for mildly ill children is part of the job. If you have to secure a backup babysitter for when the kids can’t go to daycare then it’s an added expense over and above what you are already spending. With a nanny, it’s an expense you won’t have to incur.
4. During school vacations and breaks, your nanny is still there. Many daycares follow public school schedules. If there is a break or holiday, the daycare may close. When this happens, you’ll incur additional expenses to secure childcare. While nannies typically get the major holidays off as well, you can negotiate what holidays she will get off when she is hired.
5. You’re the boss, you set the pay scale. Unlike with the price of daycare, a nanny’s salary can be negotiable. As a nanny employer, it’s up to you what to offer to pay your nanny. You set the rules, you outline the duties and responsibilities, and you establish the salary you are willing to offer. Nannies salaries differ greatly depending on geographical area, experience, education, and the duties and responsibilities of the job.
When you consider the overall cost of childcare, you may be surprised to find out that hiring a nanny is within your reach. Looking at the big picture and depending on your care needs, you may find that daycare could end up costing you more than having a nanny in the long run.