Childcare for Newbies

Jessica Glorieux of Motherburg lays out all of the childcare options for your little one in this big city.

Childcare for Newbies

For parents expecting their first child or parents who’ve recently had a child, childcare brings up a lot of questions: What are my options? Daycare or nanny? Do my partner and I want to tag team childcare? Most parents I counsel want to know the difference between childcare options and figure out which one is right for them. But many are also concerned about finding the best care for their children without forgoing half of their combined income. Anxieties run high when parents think of leaving their child in the care of another person. Luckily, there are several choices when it comes to childcare in NYC – some more traditional than others.


Here’s a rundown of choices to give expectant parents some peace of mind.

Daycare: For anxious parents looking for direction or those with an easy-going child, daycare can be a great option. If you’re lucky enough to have a reputable daycare in your neighborhood, take a tour and see how you like it. Most facilities have very well-trained staff who love and understand the needs of babies. Daycare can also be soft on the pocketbook; on average, it will cost between $300-$800 less per month than a nanny.

Pluses: No one will be calling in sick and most are open on holidays, should you need to run errands (or have a day to yourself!). Also, kids get plenty of socialization.

Minuses: Getting yourself and your baby out the door on time can be a challenge for some. You’ll need to stay home if baby is sick, and your child will get less personalized attention.

Tips: Take a tour and meet the caretakers at the daycare. Check out how you feel and try to imagine if you could see yourself there.

Nanny: One of the more common routes parents go in the city is to hire a nanny. Nannies are wonderful additions to a family and especially helpful for parents who have odd working hours or jobs that tend to run later than 6 p.m. Also, since this type of childcare is in-home, parents feel safe knowing the child is sleeping in his or her own bed, and getting more individual attention. Often, a nanny can help with dishes or get dinner started if you so desire.

Pluses: Nanny comes to you, and can cover you if you’re working late (or want to slip away for a weekend).

Minuses: The expense of a nanny, and your new role as a HR manager. You are responsible for an employee, and must cover sick days and holidays.

Tips: Make sure you check references thoroughly. They’re just as important as background checks. Contracts or clearly stated job roles are also highly encouraged. Be sure to check out the NYS Domestic Labor Bill of Rights.

Nanny Shares: One creative way parents can shave down the cost of having a nanny is joining a nanny share, where two or more families get together to hire a nanny and share childcare. The amount of time can vary and accommodate any work schedule. Nanny shares work out really well if parents live close to each other, have children of a similar age and desire the same sort of person to care for their children.

Pluses: Lower childcare costs and a built-in playmate for your little one.

Minuses: You may have to purchase a double stroller. Also, it’s necessary to be in synch with your other family -- if they want to take a music class, you’ll need to take it too.

Tips: Spend time with your share family. Also, it’s worth exploring a contract so both families agree on details, and including an escape clause should one party decide to go another direction.

Au Pairs: Assuming you have an extra room at your place, an au pair is a great option. Hiring an au pair has a higher upfront cost but a much lower weekly and, ultimately, hourly cost. Parents benefit from having on-site childcare as well as an extra set of hands to help out around the house or run errands. The child can also benefit from a second language.

Pluses: On-hand childcare when you need it and cultural exchange.

Minuses: Stays last only one year. Also, sometimes dynamics between couples can change after a baby and adding another person to your household can change them even more.

Tips: Use a reputable agency, and make sure you’re clear on the all the details of the contract.

Babysitting Co-op: Another option for parents with flexible or freelance schedules, or parents who plan to stay at home with their child, is to set up a babysitting co-op. This tends to work best with 15 or more families who share their availability. Each family banks points based on the number of hours they watch another child and can use those points when they need them.

Pluses: Free childcare when you need it.

Minuses: It requires lots of organization and someone to manage the co-op.

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In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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