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Nannies Versus Daycares: The Case for Germs - TENT Blog

Updated: Jan 13

Benefits of a Nanny Agency

Working with a private nanny versus having your child attend a daycare has many pluses and minuses. Your family’s priorities and attitudes about germs may direct you to make the best decision for your household.

There are many benefits to having a nanny. Employing a private caregiver allows you to set the rules, expectations, and standards by which s/he performs. Having a private household worker allows you to legally use a video monitor to assess and record their behavior to help you judge whether to continue their employment or not.

As the employer, you can have The Elite Nanny Team locate a babysitter who can assist with making dinner, folding laundry, maintaining sanitary conditions, or driving your child to appointments and play dates. Additionally, you can determine the developmental activities your child engages in.

Germs Common in Schools and Daycares

Daycares have many advantages as well. It offers a social setting, much like playdates, to facilitate social skill development. Daycares maintain a school-like curriculum that can contribute to your child’s preparation for the strict school setting. Daycares also tend to have many toys for your little one to play with.

With the large display of toys and games comes germs as well. Germs lead to illness, and sickness can spread widely across the family. And while it is easy but timely to sterilize tabletops, toys, doors, handles, chairs, and stuffed animals, these measures are not always effective.

University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has discovered that some bacteria linger despite cleaning. “Some bacteria may remain on surfaces for extended periods of time because they form ‘biofilms’ when infecting human tissue.”

One of these bacteria is S pneumonia, which lingers on stuffed animals and leads to respiratory illness. S pyogenes were frequently found on cribs and were a major source of strep throat. (Infection and Immunity, 2013) This finding contradicts a popular theory that kids who experience daycare at an infant age may ultimately experience fewer illnesses in their school years.

nanny with 5 kids on blue couch

Fewer School Sick Days?

Interestingly, during my research, these same major label articles entitled “Day Care Infections May Mean Fewer Sick Days” in The New York Times would then describe the fewer later illnesses as a shallow conclusion if one digs deeper into the overall big picture conclusion deems that little benefit is exhibited by exposing young children to increasing rates of infection, such as at a daycare.

“By age 6, children in the two groups [preschool and school-age kids} averages similar numbers of total episodes [of illness}.” Furthermore, much more medicine was needed in a study covering infants through school-age kids. “Children who attended daycare in the first year of life had more infections earlier and fewer later...this lead to more doctor visits overall, and more antibiotics.” (Klass, 2016).

The problem with more antibiotics is that they mean more immunity and less effectiveness, which can be a lifelong problem and one that can have terminal consequences when someone’s body stops responding to medicine. Antibiotics don’t stop working, but as more and more antibiotics are administered, your child’s body develops more resistance to them.

According to Scientific American, bacteria become resistant to antibiotics by four methods. The first is a mutation by DNA. Second, some bacteria produce enzymes that destroy antibiotics before they work. Third, altered cell walls of bacteria can prevent antibiotics from penetrating them. Fourth, “Efflux Pumps” are mechanizations that form to eject antibiotics from bacterial cells. Any of these methods can encourage illness to spread when the body becomes immune to antibiotics and as germs alter their makeup.

Daycares continuously improve their cleaning techniques, making them safer; however, the overall benefits of having a private nanny and working with a nanny agency can’t be ignored. Whether you need help preparing lunch or dinner, cleaning baby bottles, sterilizing toys, or organizing a trip to the park, a nanny can offer a safe and controlled environment. If we can help you find your next great nanny or even your first, don't hesitate to contact the TENT Group to learn more about our resources and programs.


Dr. Klass, Perri. (2016). Day Care Infections May Mean Fewer Sick Days Later. Retrieved from

Health Day News. (2014). Daycare Surfaces May Hold Germs Longer Than Thought. Retrieved from

Mazzoli, Tony. How is Antibiotic Immunity Acquired. Retrieved from

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