Before you set out on the journey of how to find a nanny or how to choose the optimal daycare solution, parents should think about their individual needs and the needs of each child. Doing this first will narrow down their choices and help them make the decision.
First, think how life will look after returning to work and what the ideal situation would be for the family's needs and wants. Do not skip this step because it's very important for parents to define exactly what they want in child care before being the search process. I've seen way too many clients say they want one thing, only to realize 3 weeks in that they hadn't given it enough thought and actually need something else.
I tell my nanny agency and consulting clients to answer these questions first:
1. How many hours a day will I need childcare and for which days?
2. How much flexibility do I need? Will there be days I need to leave the child longer? Or will I work part-time some weeks and full-time other weeks?
3. What is my budget? What can I afford to pay?
4. Do I want the caregiver to have a childcare education or specialized degree? Or is experience enough?
5. Do you prefer more individualized care for your child or more of a group environment?
6. What size of a group do you prefer for your child to be in?
a. For example, do you mind there being 20 other children in a class or would you rather it was a very small class -- like 5? Maybe you would prefer to child to be with his/her siblings most of the time and then have play times with other children?
7. Do you need some other help around the house, like doing the child's laundry or fixing his/her meals?
8. How will your employer handle it if you need to take a day off if the caregiver is ill?
Once these questions have been answered, determining if a nanny, daycare, or a nannyshare is best is relatively straightforward.