What’s the best childcare option in Chicago — nanny, nanny share, or daycare? Well, a lot depends on you and your family’s preferences. Here are the benefits of each Chicago childcare option to aid in your decision making.
Every parent wants the best for their child. When it comes to childcare, this is especially true!
The cost of living continues to rise while wages are not. This means that most households require dual income to stay afloat. With both parents working full-time outside of the home, the child will spend more time being cared for by someone other than a parent.
It is imperative for parents to understand and explore their options to find the best option for their family. Let’s take a look at the options available in Chicago.
The best option for your family is going to depend on what matters most to your family. It is going to depend on the ages of your children, your income, schedule, and overall preferences.
Childcare Options In Chicago
A nanny is a childcare professional that comes to you. They provide childcare in the comfort of your own home.
To be clear: a nanny differs from a babysitter.
A babysitter also comes to your home to provide care. But, generally speaking, a babysitter provides care on an occasional basis only. A babysitter is someone you would hire for date nights. They will have fun with the kids, pop in a frozen pizza, and maybe play a game or watch a movie.
There are exceptions, but typically babysitters are not going to take the lead in matters such as fostering your child in meeting developmental milestones or incorporating a healthy balance of activities that include both fine and gross motor function.
You get my drift.
Is A Nanny Best For You
The best in-home childcare is most likely to come from a nanny.
Families best suited for the nanny childcare option route:
- Those whose schedules do not fit within traditional 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. daycare hours.
- Those who value a calm, easy start to their day. Corralling kiddos out the door each and every morning is no easy feat!
- Families with young children. Studies show that children under 3 years of age do best in a home-based setting. They experience less stress, less illness and fewer behavioral problems.
- Families who are able and willing to manage a domestic employee and the responsibilities that come with hiring a nanny.
- Households who can afford to pay a competitive salary, along with benefits that include paid time, workman’s compensation, etc. According to Payscale, as of May 2019, the average nanny rate in Chicago is $15.43/hour. More experienced care providers will ask for around $20/hour. Be sure to factor in paying your share of employer taxes since nannies are employees, not independent contractors.
Chicago Nanny Share
We wrote all about nanny shares in another blog, Nanny Sharing: An Innovative Option. But the gist is that nanny shares are great for families looking for a more affordable childcare option in the home setting.
The most common type of nanny share is a same day-of care share. With this set-up families can curb significant childcare costs while the nanny benefits from a higher rate.
Is Nanny Share Best For You
Families best suited for the nanny share childcare option route:
- Those whose can be flexible with their schedules or only need part-time care. Finding a part-time professional nanny who only wants part-time work can be a struggle! These families match-up great with a family who has a full time nanny!
- Families that prefer their child be cared for in a home setting, but work from home and don’t necessarily want the care taking place in their own home. Families with a work from home parent often match up well with a nanny share family that is looking to host exclusively.
- Those who want their child to socialize without all the germs of a daycare setting or those looking for a happy medium between a 1:1 child/caregiver ratio you have with a nanny exclusive to your family and the 4:1 to 12:1 child/caregiver ratios found in the daycare setting.
- Families that possess the organization, patience and communication skills required to set-up and partake in a share. No denying, it takes a bit of upfront effort and regular check-ins to keep things running smoothly.
- Families that want to save mega moula on quality childcare! Full-time families can enjoy a savings of well over $10,000 per year while feeling great about paying their childcare provider that much more! Keep in mind, most families in shares are still obligated to pay nanny taxes.
If you end up going the nanny or nanny share route, let us save you the effort of shopping around for assist with your nanny taxes. If you go straight to our affiliate partner HomeWork Solutions and let them know Via The Village sent you, they will waive your $100 enrollment fee!
They are hands-down the industry experts. Schedule a free consultation to ask them anything tax related and you will see!
Some families just aren’t comfortable welcoming a caregiver into their home. They may not want to figure out the logistics of being a domestic employer.
If this sounds like you, the daycare route is likely the way to go!
Is Daycare Best For You
Families best suited for the daycare childcare option route:
- Those who have set schedules that fit within daycare hours. Typical hours are 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., but you can certainly find those that are open earlier and later. Some daycares are even open 24 hours a day! However, those are far a few between.
- You’re a morning person with an “up at ‘em” attitude ready to embrace the day-to-day structure required to get yourself and little people out the door. Be prepared to add time to your commute for daycare drop off and pick-up.
- You appreciate structure. Structured activity is great for most children but be sure you are okay with conforming to the routines of the masses. Just because your little one does best with their morning nap at 10a doesn’t mean that is when they will lay down. Daycares try to work with families but they have to accommodate too many to tend to the needs of one.
- Germs don’t phase you and you have backup childcare options. If you subscribe to the philosophy that early exposure builds the immune system, you are golden. Kids in daycare will be sick more often than kids cared for in the home setting. Daycares try to prevent the spread of illness by refusing care of sick kids, but often times kiddos are contagious long before displaying symptoms.
- You’re ready to do a bit of shopping around. Each daycare will have a different vibe and you’ll need to visit and interview each one. Get a jump start as many of the quality daycares in Chicago have waitlist months to yes, even years long! The cost will also vary. Some more expensive than a nanny, some much more affordable. If you are cost conscious, go the in-home daycare route rather than brick and mortar facilities.
The aforementioned childcare options are the most commonly used in Chicago. As for the best, that is really is up to you. It comes down to what is best for you and your family.
Admittedly, this is not an easy decision. Gather as much information as you can and trust your gut. Via The Village wishes you the best in your childcare search!