Crèche vs nanny

When you have to go back to work after maternity leave, you have a few child care options. A lot of books recommend keeping your child home until the age of 3. Some parents find, however, that their child needs some social interaction from a younger age.

Questions to help you determine what type of child care will work best for you:

  1. How much do we have to spend on child care?
  2. Does my baby have a poor immune system? Premature babies might have to be kept at home longer.
  3. Is there any play schools in our area with which we are impressed?
  4. Will someone be able to drop our baby off and pick him/her up?
  5. Is there a family member who would like to look after our child?
  6. Where will my child stay when he/she is sick and unable to go to school.
You might want to read this article on home schooling.

The difference between an Au Pair and a Nanny

An Au Pair usually:

  • Is someone that still studies.  
  • Has a driver’s license to drive kids around and take them on outings.
  • Can help your child with homework.
  • Looks after older children.
  • Becomes part of the family to some extent.
  • More expensive than a nanny or play school.

A Nanny usually:

  • Is well suited and trained to look after babies or small children. They would have done specific courses on baby stimulation, routines, feeding and general care.
  • Has infant and toddler CPR and choking training.
  • Also has some domestic responsibilities.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • Social interaction with children from the same age.
  • A routine of play and sleep time is established.
  • Age-appropriate stimulation.
  • When the teacher is sick another teacher can assist with their class.


  • Limited one-on-one interaction.
  • Some schools don’t have a holiday programme.
  • Set hours.
  • Kids get sick more often.
  • Some schools have under qualified staff.


  • One-on-one attention.
  • Opportunity for your child to become fluent in another language if the Nanny’s mother tongue is different from your own.
  • Your child stays in their familiar environment.
  • You don’t have to take your baby or toddler out of the house on cold mornings.
  • They get sick less often.
  • Your nanny can help with domestic chores when your baby/toddler is taking a nap.

  • Your child could miss out on important stimulation if your nanny is under qualified.
  • When your nanny is sick you will have to make a plan with your child.
  • Domestic chores could take priority over your child’s care.
  • No or limited interaction with children from the same age.
Click here to read more about how you can choose the perfect school.