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  1. #1
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    Default Babysitter or in-home day care?

    Hi all, I have accepted a part-time teaching position at a local school and now need to finalize care for my DD. I have two options right now: a lady who we previously had as a nanny in the past is willing to work for part time for us. Obviously, we trust her and have no issues with her. The only thing that I would say she lacks, if anything, is that she is not the most energetic person. She is in her early fifties and is very "grandmotherly", which is nice, but she will probably not sit with DD to read her a book, do puzzles, draw pictures, etc. In other words, DD will not be all that intellectually stimulated. Will she be safe, loved and well taken cared off - definitely!

    My other option is a lady that we know and again, trust, who is offering in-home day care. She has about 5-6 kids and an assistant. The advantages that I see with the in-home day care is that DD will be interacting with other children and thus will be more entertained and stimulated.

    Both options are about the same cost wise, with the nanny option being about $40 more per week. I am not sure which way I am going to go. The second option requires us to plan our schedules more carefully and be much more organized in the mornings. Any thoughts? TIA
    Caribbeanmama (formerly Naty)
    DS Feb. 2003
    DS May 2005
    DD Sept. 2007

  2. #2
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    I would NOT pick the person who seems to lack energy no matter what else she is. A person who won't read, do puzzles, etcetera is not a good person to care for little ones, IMHO. Unfortunately, I speak from prior experience that I wouldn't want anyone else to have.
    DD '06
    DD '14

  3. #3
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    It doesn't require much energy to read, do puzzles, etc...what will she do with your dc? Seems to me like those are among the bare minimums of interaction. I would have chosen that option b/c I like one on one care. But, if you really get the impression that she isn't up to doing things with dc then I would chose the other setting.

    Beth

  4. #4
    JustMe is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I agree with the above poster that the things you mention are not things that require a lot of energy. When I first read that she would not do things that require a lot of energy, I thought you were going to say she would not run around with her, chase her, play movement games, etc. I generally really prefer as low ratio care as possible for younger children, but the reason for that is because I like to see them get as much one-on-one interaction from adults as possible. It almost sounds like the opposite in your case. I would not so much worry about the lack of intellectual stimulation, but rather the lack of quality interaction. I read that you say she will still be loved, but I am not sure what kind of interactions she will be having with your dd if she does not have energy to read or do puzzles. If I were you, I would probably be looking for someone else to come to your home first. Or, talk to the nanny, tell her what you would like in terms of care for your dd and see if she is capable/willing. I have to say your in-home scenario seems pretty good as far as those goes...the ratio of 1:3 is very good for a group childcare situation.

    Good luck
    lucky single mommy to almost 16 yr old dd and almost 13 yr old ds through 2 very different adoption routes

  5. #5
    maylips's Avatar
    maylips is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I work from home and have 2 different sitters come to my house each day - one being my MIL, who is about 67, and another lady who is around 50ish. IMO, the differences are pretty drastic. My MIL does do things with DD - she reads to her, takes her to the grocery store, library, the local kids entertainment place, etc. However, it seems like MIL takes care of her by always DOING things with her, not just hanging out and simply playing, if that makes sense. I also think because she has less energy, they have a tendency to watch way more TV than I would like for DD to watch. The other lady is pretty awesome though - she lives on a farm, and they often go to her house. DD will come home talking about feeding chickens, riding on top of a horse, etc - this lady does not have a lot of money, no air conditioning or cable, so a lot of luxuries of just hanging out inside watching TV is just not available there. When they stay around here, they spend a lot of time outdoors, just walking around exploring, looking at leaves, etc. I much prefer the days DD is with the other lady (and I do love my MIL).

    OTOH, a friend of mine takes her DD to an in-house daycare situation. Her daughter seems to interact better with other kids at this stage than my DD does (my DD is 6 months younger than her DD is, if age matters), but my DD potty trained faster and easier - so that "peer pressure" I often hear about didn't seem to matter in her case - and DD seems about as equal development wise as her DD.

    All of this to say, you've got to decide what's best for you. I know my friend complains about the other kids at DD's daycare - the bad influences of their behavior rubs off as much as the good influences do - and, for me, it's worth it to pay extra for the one-on-one time DD gets. But having the RIGHT person is definitely important. It's one thing to keep your kid safe from harm and that's fine for occasional babysitting, but for a consistent daycare-type situation, your child needs to be stimulated and learn a few things, and not just be placed in front of a TV most of the day. I definitely learned that having 2 different caregivers.
    Mom to my little girl 3/12/07
    ....and boy 8/04/09

  6. #6
    Melaine is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    I can't imagine a babysitter who is unwilling to read books or play games/puzzles. I feel that those kind of activities should be considered the bare minimum of childcare (particularly when you are talking about one on one care). If she truly doesn't have the energy to read a book I would definitely question her suitability as a caregiver.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks ladies for your replies. I guess in a way, I mischaracterized the nanny. Thinking again, it's not really that she lacks energy (this is a lady who sometimes does our laundry - family of 5, and has even helped us with some landscaping work). She is not going to do a game of hopscotch in the backyard like I do sometimes - but then again, my own mom wouldn't do that either. As far as reading, I actually don't know how much Carmen (that's her name) reads in Spanish. She doesn't speak that much English and definitely does not read in English. But that is okay because I would want her to read to DD in Spanish anyway. Carmen is from Bolivia and speaks her native Quechua and Spanish. I believe her formal education is very limited.

    I do have simple board books in Spanish which I am pretty sure she can read to DD. I think that if I explain to Carmen that DD is in a very fascinating stage right now, she will do more with her. And, Carmen will only be with DD about four hours a day.

    Okay, so the in-home day care also appeals to me for the reasons I mentioned before. I do worry about the "bad" influences that come with the interaction with other kids. I took all of my three kids to the in-home day care provider last week to test things out. The kids really enjoyed themselves. However, my oldest child said there was a "bad" kid there. Also, DD came home with several mosquito bites from being outside - yikes. All in all, I would be willing to go this route since it would only be DD there for three hours a day.

    Any more thoughts, suggestions? TIA
    Caribbeanmama (formerly Naty)
    DS Feb. 2003
    DS May 2005
    DD Sept. 2007

  8. #8
    maylips's Avatar
    maylips is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Just realized you were talking about three kids, not just one. In that case, if you like the nanny, I'd go with her - they will get interaction with their siblings, no bad influences with other kids (and their parents' opinions), and you would know more of what your kids were doing by having someone in your house, around what they (and you) are comfortable with, etc.

    As someone who goes this route, I'll tell you the worst things about it are 1) someone outside your family is in your home every day (I often feel like she thinks my place is a mess, there's a lack of privacy in some ways even though they respect our rooms, etc) and 2) you have the have groceries on hand since all meals will come from your place. However, the upside is, you can control that environment better too (like I know what snack foods are being eaten because I buy them), and your sitter could possibly take them on special trips at times that an in-home day care can't do.

    Anyway, just my opinion. Good luck, and I hope you're excited about your new job!
    Mom to my little girl 3/12/07
    ....and boy 8/04/09

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by maylips View Post
    Just realized you were talking about three kids, not just one. In that case, if you like the nanny, I'd go with her - they will get interaction with their siblings, no bad influences with other kids (and their parents' opinions), and you would know more of what your kids were doing by having someone in your house, around what they (and you) are comfortable with, etc.

    As someone who goes this route, I'll tell you the worst things about it are 1) someone outside your family is in your home every day (I often feel like she thinks my place is a mess, there's a lack of privacy in some ways even though they respect our rooms, etc) and 2) you have the have groceries on hand since all meals will come from your place. However, the upside is, you can control that environment better too (like I know what snack foods are being eaten because I buy them), and your sitter could possibly take them on special trips at times that an in-home day care can't do.

    Anyway, just my opinion. Good luck, and I hope you're excited about your new job!
    Sorry, I think I confused everyone. In actuality it will be just my DD needing care. My two older sons will be in school (1st grade and preschool) the times when I will be teaching. The reason I took all three kids to the caregiver is because I was in pre-planning sessions all last week.

    Everything that you mention above is SO true though.
    Caribbeanmama (formerly Naty)
    DS Feb. 2003
    DS May 2005
    DD Sept. 2007

  10. #10
    ErinMC is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    We have use both an in-home babysitter in the past, and currently have DS2 in a home daycare part-time, and we are MUCH happier with the home daycare. While the babysitter was convenient in that she came to our house and she loved DS, we also had to scramble when she (or her child) was sick at the last minute and she couldn't work, etc. DS also didn't get the social and intellectual interactions he does now with 5 other kids and an energetic daycare provider.

    Just my experience. Other friends swear by their nannies, so go with your gut instinct. Either way, good luck!
    ******
    Erin

    DS1 2/04
    DS2 5/06
    DD 10/09

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