Care From a Relative
You may be lucky enough to have a father, mother-in-law, or sibling who offers to care for your child. Before accepting, think it through.
* The care may be free, or less than you'd pay a stranger.
* You can be far more confident that your child is with someone who loves and cares for her.
* The emotional bonds your child forms build upon an existing family relationship, and will last a lifetime.
* The care may be free of cost, but not without strings. Your mother may feel comfortable ignoring your feeding, sleep or other care preferences. After all, her rules worked fine for your childhood.
* It may be harder for you to maintain appropriate boundaries when your employee is also a relative.
* If the arrangement doesn't work out, lingering resentment may haunt your relationship with the relative.
Care in Your Home
Whether you call her a nanny or babysitter, the role is the same: someone you hire to care for your child in your home.
* You don't have the hassle of packing up your child in the morning.
* If your child sleeps late, you won't have to wake him. You can leave once the nanny arrives.
* Your child will have a higher adult-to-child ratio than in a center.
* You'll have more flexibility to set your own rules for discipline, feeding, and schedule.
* Your child won't be exposed to the germs of a group child care setting. (You may see this as a con, because some early illnesses strengthen the immune system.)
* There's nobody supervising your nanny while you're at work.
* Your child will have limited opportunities to socialize with other children or learn group manners.
* You're wholly dependent on your babysitter's availability. If she gets sick or quits suddenly, you’ll be left in a lurch.
* You'll shoulder the burden of background checks, verifying employment eligibility, and employment-related insurance and taxes, including Social Security and...