What to choose- A Maid or a Day Care Centre?
Created by Parentune Support Updated on Jun 22, 2020
Being parents is the most wonderful feeling, a beautiful bond and obviously a sweet responsibility. But this does not end here: with more and more parents opting to choose to continue work, balancing children, home, and lives is becoming a bit confusing. Both of you have jobs to do, friends to meet and other endless lists of to-dos! And not to forget your maternity leave just got over. Oops! Okay so now you go around asking for the best maids in town, or which is the best day care centre?
If you choose to go down the maid path, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Maid at home
Asking around and getting references is always a good thing. But being double sure is even better. Here’s what you need to look out for before hiring a maid.
• An identification proof is very necessary before taking her in. Ask for a voter’s card or a ration card. Ensure that she is 18 years old and not below that.
• Get a police verification done. Never hire a household help without verification. This could be unsafe for you and your child.
• Ensure that the maid is hygienic and medically fit. It is always advisable to ask your doctor to make sure of her health especially if you notice a recurrent cough, symptoms of allergy, or any sort of skin ailement. Also check if she has any addictions. It could be beedi, paan masala or tobacco. The easiest way would be to check her teeth and fingernails. When interviewing her ask how does she sterilise bottles or change nappies, to give you a fair idea of her training and personal hygiene as well.
• It is always better to talk to her previous employers so that you can find about her behaviour. Most mothers complain of late coming, remaining absent for long periods or talking on the mobile phone continuously. (You could choose to confiscate her mobile during working hours and give her access when she has her rest period in the day).
• Before deciding her pay, always check the market price. Trying to over pay her does not mean you can depend on her completely. It’s okay to reward her only if you are convinced about her work.
• With children at home, you need to ensure a pleasant disposition too—someone with patience is ideal, though these are things you will only discover after having her around for a few days. But as a ground rule, avoid ones who look grumpy, or talk back to you, or are rude in their body language or otherwise. Also, if you are saddled with someone who has the habit of lying, stealing, consider what values will your child learn in her company. After all, do you want your child to learn, “Mummy ko mat batana?” Think and follow your gut.
• Besides work, a baby maid, should ideally know a bit of cooking, or atleast know how to handle a microwave or use a gas stove to heat food and water. Having a young girl at home, who may hurt herself or the baby doing simple jobs such as warming water for the formula milk, is an absolute no-no.
It is always best to… These days most mothers install cameras to get a better understanding of how a maid is treating their child. You could do the same, if leaving the child alone at home with the maid. And it is always best to be cautious.
Day Care Centers
If you choose a day care centre for your child always look out for-
• Good reputation. Find out the good day care centres in your locality. Always stop by during the afternoon or evening time (usually a pick up time) to talk to other parents who’s kids are in the day care so they can give you a fair idea of how the day care centre operates. Most have facebook pages too where you can reach out and talk to fellow parents for a feedback.
• Check out how flexible they are. For eg: are they okay with you dropping and picking up your child if the need occurs? At the same point of time how disciplined are they. Are they following their own set of rules and regulations?
• Ask questions on how particular are they about food. Do they restrict junk food? Do they encourage you to send nutritious food?
• Another important aspect to consider is what is the child to teacher ratio? Most day care will have two teachers to take care, besides the ayahs staff. If possible you can try to meet them too, interact with them and see if you think your child will be comfortable there.
• Most centres tell the parents not to send their ward in diapers. This is usually because they would like to teach them proper toilet habits. But in this case always check your child – if they have cleaned him properly, have they changed him?
• What sort of activities do they have? Do they have schedules for plenty of physical activity, story telling and group activities.
• What security norms do they have? Go on a regular day and see to what extent can you walk into the building without being stopped. Also will they had the child over to someone on ad-hoc basis, for eg: a grandparent, without prior notice? These things will tell you about how strict they are with their rules.
Again, in this case too, depend on your gut about the feel of a place. It all depends on how comfortable you feel, how right you feel as soon as you step into the centre. Listen to other parents but the decision should be completely yours.
Maids or Day cares?
At last, here’s a quick comparison between both.
• Security of the child: Ideally, if the day care has a sound security system, it is a better place to put your child in. After all, there are enough people to ensure the child doesn’t run off somewhere alone. Also, most day cares are designed in a child-proof manner and have closed balconies, doors on staircases etc to eliminate accidents, which your house may or may not have.
• Development and Growth: This is again an aspect where the daycare wins hands down. Good day cares have a systematic learning program and activities designed to keep children involved and intellectually stimulated, versus a maid who may have a tendency to switch on the TV for a bored child. Also, a child spends time with many children and learns to associate, collaborate and be independant.
• Warmth and care: A pointer for the maid. A good maid, may be able to understand the nature of your child and address his needs better than a day care where there are many children around to pay attention to one. The maid may become foster parent for the child too.
• Health and hygiene: Again, if your maid has been trained properly in hygiene and is a healthy person herself, she might prove a better choice for a child with delicate constitution as compared to a day care. In a day care, being constantly with other children, can expose, the child to contagious infections such as cold, cough, flu or even skin infections.
• Food: This becomes a criterion for day cares where food is supplied by them. While some daycares follow the simple daal-roti regimen, some go a bit fancy with spaghetti and soups. You need to consider what food habits you want your child to follow; check the hygiene of the place from where the food is coming; check the system for cooking and reheating food before deciding. If not convinced, a maid at home who can cook fresh for the child is a better choice.
At last, the choice is yours. Depending on your circumstances, choose wisely because a lot hangs in this choice, for your child.
| Feb 06, 2015
Excellent comparison. I personally had experienced both,But eventually got a conclusion that Day cares are always better them maids... so finally i am happy that my 4yr old son is going to daycare and finishing his homework their itself... and sleeping on time before 9PM.. :)
| Feb 11, 2015
Great blog & surely helpful for new moms, I have 6 yr old son & I have tried both options & in my opinion & experience day care are the best as they help your kid grow socially, emotionally. Kids learn to share with each other, they learn to eat everything. My son was with the Maid & he use to watch only TV & when he became 3. 5 he started ruling that maid & he would not listen, he started becoming very aggressive. Day care worked wonders for me.
| Feb 13, 2015
@Sravanthi though day care is a good option, your kid is bit too young to enroll in a day care. is the daycare very close by to the place you stay? Or I would say wait for a month or so if its possible for you coz lot of parents put their kids when they turn one in day care. on the other hand I do agree with Varshitha that she can put her Lil one as the day care is in front of her house in the same apartment, and she can go pick her kid up whenever such a situation arises. at the end of the day I would say you are the best judge to choose what you think is right. Weigh out both the options and then go for what you think is correct.
| Feb 21, 2015
Hello everyone I m running 2 daycare centres. And we r specialised in infant and toddler care. Its a fact that children get infected frequently but at the time of enrolment parents should ask about the sick child policy of the daycare. The daycare must have a strict sick child policy. As far as food is concerned there should be a meal planner planned by a dietitian which needs to be provided by the daycare centre every month. this is also a fact that daycare centres are more secure and kids enjoy the company of other kids in daycares. like house maids , the daycare nannies should also be medically fit. U need not to visit twice a day if they provide you a cctv live streaming facility. Although different people have different experiences of daycares and house maids. Thanks.
| Feb 23, 2015
Hi sumalatha You may refer to this blog- https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/8-ways-to-boost-your-childs-immunity/382
| Mar 27, 2015
Hi.... I was always sure tht I want to send my son to d day care as I felt d overall development would b far better. I send my son to intellitots..... N recently hve observed a lot of activities like singing dancing story time etc..... Lubana it's more difficult for a mother than d child when u leave him to d daycare..... Kids love it.... My son is completely loving it..... So he'll b fine.... Dnt worry
| Jun 22, 2015
My son is now 10 years old and I've experienced both options .. maid and daycare. Daycare is definitely better. Some of the advantages are food, security and the fact that children will have play mates at the day care. Trust me, your child is going to love his stay there.
| Aug 28, 2015
I have 6 years old and 18 months old sons. I was lucky to find a very good didi for my elder son and with the support of my parents and in-laws , I avoided daycare. But, now to take care of my younger son I have left my job. My big question and concern is - "in this competitive market, daycares are racing and blooming, how much stress they are loading on toddlers and small kids to show they are the best and kids are very happy & learning there".
| Aug 28, 2015
My kid is 1. 3yrs old. I left her in day care around 9 months. I would say day careis best and they treat my daughter like their daughter and she is enjoying to go their. She is having lot of play area and physical activity toys which made her to enjoy..... I prefer day care to maid