What's Best for My Child: Daycare or Babysitting?

If you start researching, you'll find voices in favor and against daycare and babysitting. That's why it's a personal choice for parents, depending on each family's particular situation, preferences and needs.
What's Best for My Child: Daycare or Babysitting?

Last update: 04 March, 2019

In this article, we’ll analyze the advantages and disadvantages of choosing between daycare or babysitting.

When choosing a type of childcare for their little ones, parents must consider every detail. Of course, your preferences and your family’s current situation will have a lot to do with it.

Leaving your baby at home to return to work is very difficult for parents, especially for moms. Once the maternity leave is over and the breastfeeding period is well underway, it’s time to resume professional activities.

At that time, both parents will want to feel safe and calm with the person in charge of their little one. The choice between daycare or babysitting usually leads to several questions. You must evaluate many issues, such as the quality of care, schedule, service, and also the cost.

What’s best for my child: daycare or babysitting?

To offer small yet valuable help to mothers who face the decision between daycare or babysitting, we drew up a list of benefits and negative aspects of both options.

Daycare: pros and cons

Daycare centers are institutions exclusively dedicated to the professional care of children. The main benefits they offer to parents are the following:


  • It’s a cheaper alternative to hiring a nanny to stay at home.
  • Those who work there tend to be trained professionals with the right vocation, and are chosen specifically to do this type of work.
  • Safety and hygiene requirements are regulated. Although, it’s good for you to take a look every once in a while to verify it for yourself.
  • Constant control: there are establishments that have a closed circuit of cameras. Thus, with a username and personal password, you can see what your baby does from a computer.
  • You can share opinions and experiences with other parents.
What's Best for My Child: Daycare or Babysitting?


  • You’ll have to take your children out of the house daily and expose them to adverse weather conditions.
  • They can catch colds or other sicknesses more easily.
  • The children won’t have as much personalized attention.
  • A new environment and so many unknown people can be intimidating for children.

Babysitter: pros and cons

Hiring a babysitter can be beneficial in many situations. These are some of the main advantages that this service offers:


  • The child stays at home, which gives greater comfort and security.
  • It prevents the spread of infections and exposure to the sun, rain, and cold.
  • A bond with the person in charge will be created much faster. In fact, the union between babies and their babysitters is usually very strong if the treatment is appropriate.
  • You can agree to uncommon schedules for special occasions.

“When deciding between daycare or babysitting, you must evaluate many issues, such as the quality of care, schedule, service, and, of course, the cost.”


However, this will also have its disadvantages. For example:

  • It usually takes a long time to find a nanny who, in addition to being responsible and doing her job well, manages to connect with the child.
  • Generally, this personalized service is more expensive than daycare.
  • Beyond the trust that could exist, it may be difficult to have a person you don’t know in your home every day.
What's Best for My Child: Daycare or Babysitting?

What if we left the baby with a family member?

This can be a good temporary option if for some reason you can’t find a daycare center or a babysitter, although it’s not advisable to do it permanently. Undeniably, it has advantages: your children may be delighted – at first – and you’ll be very calm.

However, the reason why this doesn’t work is simple: no matter how much a grandmother, aunt, or any other relative offers, being in charge of a baby requires complete dedication.

At first, they may not realize the responsibility that this entails or they underestimate it. Either way, with the passage of time, they’ll see their daily routine change and that’s when the problems arise. Moreover, the economic issue will be very uncomfortable to discuss for both parties.

Lastly, it’s worth emphasizing the fact that each family has its own preferences and experiences. Hence, the same solution may not apply to several of them.

Ultimately, the parents will make the choice between daycare or babysitting. And they’ll also have to evaluate the situation periodically to make the necessary changes.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.