Is Daycare Better Than Staying at Home?

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    Many parents struggle with whether to stay at home with their children or place them in daycare while they work. 

    There are many on both sides of the fence when it comes to judging which situation is in the children's best interest. 

    Families may believe their children develop better socially and mature well in a daycare environment. In contrast, other families believe a stay-at-home parent is necessary for the proper nurturing of the children.

    Are you enjoying the company of your darling baby with an eye on the clock as your maternity leave ticks away? 

    Do you wish to kiss your career goodbye but are worried about compromising the quality of life you will provide your precious baby? 

    Well, if you can relate to either of the above situations, you are facing a classic modern-day mommy dilemma of whether to be a hands-on mommy or enrol your infant in daycare.

    The final decision to choose to stay at home or go out and work after your baby arrives is entirely yours. 

    You may be feeling guilty as a new mother for choosing to refocus on your career. However, do you think you are burdening your partner by quitting your job and bonding with your baby? 

    Firstly, stop being unfair to yourself. Secondly, avoid deciding based on what others will think, as you will regret it soon. 

    Gauge if you want to be a daycare vs stay at home mom. 

    Give this post a read to know the pros and cons of both the options and make an informed decision along with your partner.


    Finances are often a significant consideration in deciding whether to have a parent stay at home or send a child to daycare. 

    Sometimes, parents cannot afford for one of them to stay at home with a child, while other families find quality daycare too expensive to afford even with both parents working. 

    As of 2013, the cost of daycare has nearly doubled in the last 25 years. Around 7 per cent of family, income is spent on child care. 

    Another concern may be the distance to a good daycare. If it is too far away from home or work, parents may be reluctant to send their child to the centre

    There are emotional considerations to be taken into account, such as the disposition of the child. Some children adjust more readily to daycare situations than others.

    When considering the high cost of daycare, try to factor in external costs because they add up. Consider some of these examples below:


    Depending on where you live, commuting can be costly. If you have a long commute, the high cost of gas plus car maintenance is an expense to consider. 

    Most insurance premiums decrease if you drive a lower number of miles annually. Your bus pass is another expense that a stay-at-home parent wouldn't need. 

    Of course, you'll still need to get places if you're staying home with kids, but it wouldn't typically be a long, expensive daily commute.

    Work Appearance

    Again, depending on where you work, it can be costly to keep up appearances. Work clothes and business suits can get expensive. 

    Many business pieces are also dry clean only, which is another regular cost to consider. 

    If you're staying home with your kids, you can wear the same spit-up covered t-shirt five days in a row, and no one will care. This could be a significant cost saving factor for some.

    Meals And Treats

    Brown-bagging is the healthier and more budget-friendly lunch option, but sometimes it's tough for working parents to plan for lunch all week. 

    Or you may enjoy gabbing with your co-workers at your favourite nearby restaurant for your mid-day break.

    Either way, the cost of your meals may drop if you end up staying home with your little one(s) since you'll likely be preparing more meals at home. 

    It's also essential to include any regular coffee shop or bakery trips that factor into your normal workday routine.

    On the flip side, my daycare provides an extraordinary amount of perks other than just keeping your child safe throughout the day. 

    Many of these things would be pretty costly for me to cover as a stay-at-home parent, or their benefit can't be weighed by numbers alone.

    Educational Opportunities

    One could argue how much education a one-year-old receives at childcare, but some of the activities your child will participate in are things he would likely have never experienced if he stayed home with me.

    Some examples: a space day with an outside teacher complete with a simulated moonwalk experience, baby yoga with a licensed teacher, touch-a-truck with firefighters and more. Pretty cool stuff for the little ones! 

    Plus, he has access to new and different toys and playground equipment compared to those at home. 

    These benefits to the childcare environment become more important for older kids, which brings us to:


    One of our favourite aspects of daycare is socialisation, which, as parents, we all know how important it is for our kids to interact with other children. 

    Overall, socialisation is crucial and very beneficial to all children.

    Career Advancement

    One of the most significant benefits for parents who continue to work is maintaining their career instead of taking leave to stay home for several years.

    One expert stated that a parent could lose as much as $1 million in potential income when staying home with their children.

    This could be considered a selfish perk, but try considering the long-term benefits of your career for your children. 

    Your child will see you as a role model in your career, you can save more for their college and higher education, and you can afford luxuries such as regular vacations and extra activities.

    Plus, many parents enjoy the fulfilment of an engaging career. A happy parent is a good parent!

    Of course, you want the best for your child, no matter the cost—so many factors into a childcare situation other than just the financial aspect.

    We hope that if you're making the callous decision to continue working or stay home, these points will help you with your decision.

    Benefits Of Daycare


    The benefits of daycare are numerous, as are the benefits of stay-at-home parenting. 

    Daycare can often provide an excellent environment for valuable enrichment activities in art, nature and games, increasing social skills, intellect and cognitive skills. 

    Children who attend high-quality daycare tend to score higher on measures of cognitive and academic achievement. 

    Daycare attendance also fosters independence in children, who learn to do many things for themselves early. 

    Stay-at-home parenting allows for great parent-child bonding, making the child secure, happy and confident in his environment. 

    The one on one (or slightly increased ratio if there is more than one child) attention can be necessary for making the child feel unique and well-loved.

    Drawbacks Of Daycare

    Even though there are many benefits of both childcare situations, there are drawbacks as well. 

    Children who attend daycare often catch many colds and other illnesses due to being exposed to germs than stay-at-home children. 

    Daycare children may also have to spend many hours away from home, tiring and frustrating. 

    A study of early child care by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development showed that the more time children spend in daycare, the less positive interaction between mother and child. 

    There are disadvantages to stay-at-home parenting as well. For example, children may not learn the social skills their daycare peers achieve at an early age. 

    These children may not mature as fast either and may suffer from separation anxiety later when starting school. 

    Parents who stay at home all the time can also find it difficult at times. 

    Parents who spend 24 hours caring for children often become fatigued and feel socially isolated from other adults.

    Advantages Of Being A Stay-at-home Parent

    As a stay-at-home parent, you'll know that your child is being cared for by someone who's going to be around for a long time, not a caregiver who might take another job next month. 

    And you'll be directly supervising your child's care, making sure it's in a relaxed, nurturing environment.

    And you'll be there to see all those "firsts," which can be incredibly satisfying. Staying home will allow you to focus on him and be in touch with his emotional and physical milestones. 

    You'd be glad it is you and not a teacher who saw him sit up or laugh for the first time.

    Staying home could fulfil you more than anything else could. It's the most rewarding 'career' you could ever have. 

    You're irreplaceable to your child, and you're making an ongoing personal investment that will outlive you.

    For some families, it's less expensive for one parent to stay home than it would be to pay for childcare. 

    And if you can afford it, you may find that staying home reduces your stress level. Many parents decide to stay home after trying unsatisfactorily to balance work and family. 

    The long hours and the feeling of cutting too many corners leave them feeling burned out. 

    Staying home will give you more time to spend with your children, maintain your home, and help keep your family life running smoothly.

    Disadvantages Of Being A Stay-at-home Parent


    For some people, loneliness tops the list. However, if you're accustomed to the camaraderie and stimulation of being surrounded by other adults at work, the change of pace can lead to feelings of depression.

    Stay-at-home dads may feel doubly isolated because there are so few of them. There aren't any other stay-at-home dads just around the block.

    Moms and dads who weren't happy about leaving the workplace behind can feel even more alienated. 

    If your career has been an essential part of how you see yourself, you may feel a loss of identity. In addition, your self-esteem may suffer without the appreciation of a boss and colleagues. After all, you don't get a lot of positive feedback from a needy newborn or tantrum-throwing toddler.

    Changing diapers and tackling endless loads of laundry can be tedious and frustrating. You may have to look hard for a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction. 

    Plus, finding time for yourself when you're home with an attention-seeking baby or toddler can be impossible, even if a crowded, busy office offers more privacy.

    You may also find yourself worrying about when and how you'll resume your career and whether you'll be penalised for taking time off.

    And while you won't be shelling out thousands of dollars each year for childcare, choosing to stay home is a complicated economic decision. 

    Many families with stay-at-home parents find they have to budget carefully and devote more time to bargain hunting than before. 

    You might have to substitute camping trips for hotel vacations, cook at home instead of eating out regularly and make other lifestyle choices that may not be appealing.

    Also, as your child grows into toddlerhood and becomes more active and social, he'll miss out on the automatic socialisation that happens in daycare and other group care situations. 

    Some stay-at-home parents find that after a certain age, providing enough stimulation is challenging.

    Finally, choosing to stay home could create new tensions between you and your partner if they aren't fully supportive of the idea. 

    So make sure you discuss all the repercussions thoroughly before making this weighty decision.

    Day Care Vs Stay At Home–common Concerns.

    Weigh your decision based on the following factors:

    Financial Compulsions

    Your financial requirements and commitments play a massive role in deciding whether or not you want to go back to work. Consider the following:


    Once you leave your baby in a daycare, you will be able to resume work after your maternity leave is over. 

    Your additional income will boost your family's finances. In addition, an increase in the family income will help you provide better services and facilities for your baby. 

    You can select the best daycare for your baby, one that is near your workplace too. You will also be able to guarantee your child a good education.

    Stay At Home 

    You will become financially dependent on your spouse. As a result, your family income will take a hit, and you may need to cut down on expenditures.

    Some moms start to feel like a burden since they are not contributing financially to the household. 

    Some partners may also start to have resentment towards the woman for not contributing.

    Desire To Witness Those Precious Moments

    A significant concern that you may have about going back to work is that you will miss the joy of watching your baby cross those initial developmental milestones. Consider the following:


    When you choose a daycare, it will mean you will not be present with your baby most of the time. 

    Your baby will achieve most of her developmental milestones in the first few years of life. You will probably miss watching her sit up, crawl, walk, and speak for the first time.

    Stay At Home 

    If you choose to stay at home, you will probably be the first one to witness all your baby's little achievements. 

    You will be motivating your baby when she struggles to crawl towards you the first time and hold her when she takes her first few steps and falls.

    Making Your Child Independent And Social

    Many people believe that a daycare helps a baby become independent and social. Consider the following:


    Your baby will learn how to stay away from you for long hours without any anxiety. Your baby will also learn how to eat and sleep on her own. 

    At the daycare, your baby will be in the company of other babies and kids. She will soon form her circle of friends and learn to play and interact with people other than her parents.

    Stay At Home 

    As a stay at home mom, you will always be by your baby's side. 

    It can strengthen the bond you share with your baby, but your baby may not like the company of strangers and may feel uncomfortable in a social gathering. 

    Also, it might curtail your freedom to go out without the baby. Being around a child at home 24/7 can be very stressful and overwhelming. 

    You can feel disconnected from other "adults" and lose a sense of identity outside of being a parent.

    What The Experts Say

    Some experts in early childhood development believe there's no substitute for the consistency and nurturing of parental care, primarily if the alternative is poorly funded childcare.

    Two groundbreaking studies found that kids who spent all day in daycare had higher stress levels and more aggression than kids cared for at home.

    Follow-up research in 2010 confirmed these results, showing the continued negative impact of low-quality daycare on young children, even after they reached adolescence.

    But other studies contradict these findings, and most experts believe that the quality, not the type of childcare, is most important. 

    A great nanny, babysitter, daycare centre worker, relative, or another caregiver can ensure your child gets the stimulation and affection she needs to grow and thrive.


    Pay proper attention to the pros and cons of both scenarios. Understand your needs and limitations. Speak to other moms who have put their baby in daycare or stay at home. It will give you a first-hand account of both situations.

    Drawbacks of childcare programs:
    • Attending a childcare facility often results in illness. ...
    • There's less individual attention.
    • Waiting lists are common.
    • Childcare programs can be costly.
    • Childcare facilities often face high staff turnover, which can make it difficult for children to form healthy attachments.

    3-5 yearsPreschoolers can gain great benefits from attending daycare centres as they are given plenty of opportunity to practice social skills and interact with others of the same age.

    Children in full-time day care were close to three times more likely to show behavior problems than those cared for by their mothers at home. The research also shows that 83 percent of children who spend 10 to 30 hours in day care did not show higher levels of aggression.

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