Nannies Versus Daycares: The Case for Germs - TENT Blog
Updated: May 24
Benefits of a Nanny Agency
There are many pluses and minuses to both working with a private nanny versus having your child attend a daycare. Your family’s personal priorities and attitudes about germs may direct you to make the decision which works best for your household.
There are many benefits to having a nanny. Employing a private caregiver allows you to set the rules, the expectations, and the standards in 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 drive your child to appointments and playdates. Additionally, you can determine the developmental activities your child engages in.
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 a large assortment of toys for your little one to independently play with.
With the large display of toys and games comes germs as well. Germs lead to illness and sickness can spread wide 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 lingers 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 is contrary to a popular theory that kids who experience daycare at an infant age may ultimately experience fewer illnesses in their school years.
Fewer School Sick Days?
Interestingly, during my research, these same major label articles entitled names such as “Day Care Infections May Mean Fewer Sick Days” in The New York Times would then describe the fewer later illnesses were a shallow conclusion if one digs deeper 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, in a study covering infants thru school-age kids much more medicine was needed. “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 means more immunity and less effectiveness of antibiotics 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 the more resistance your child’s body develops to them. According to Scientific American bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics by four methods. The first is a mutation by DNA. The second is that some bacteria produce enzymes that destroy antibiotics before they work. Third, altered cell walls of bacteria can prevent antibiotics from penetrating it. And fourth, “Efflux Pumps” are mechanization which forms 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 are continuously improving their cleaning techniques which make 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, please 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 https://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2016/05/31/day-care-infections-may-mean-fewer-sick-days-later/?referer=
Health Day News. (2014). Daycare Surfaces May Hold Germs Longer Than Thought. Retrieved from https://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/hygiene-health-news-396/daycare-surfaces-may-hold-germs-longer-than-thought-683416.html
Mazzoli, Tony. How is Antibiotic Immunity Acquired. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-is-antibiotic-immunit/#