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Understanding the Key

Differences between Us and

the home-based Nanny

Lets face it, people are constantly comparing nanny rates to daycare. But this is unfair and never okay to compare these professions. A nanny is generally the most expensive form of childcare. A nanny is a luxury and just like any luxry item, it’s not a necessity and not something everyone can afford--even if you can--it does not mean it’s the best choice. This is the reality. So let’s break it down. First you have an extensive interview process. You decide if a live-in Nanny is desired. A nanny comes to your home on a regular basis. She focuses directly on your child. You hope that the nanny will be an extension of you. She fills in and raises the child when you can’t be there. Some nanny’s still perform some domestic work for the family, but this happens less these days, and especially so with the more experienced nanny who only performs tasks directly associated with the child. People always say they want a good nanny, but paying for one is not cheap. Minimum wage does not work for good people. Nannies are by law classified as “non-exempt hourly employees,” so you can’t pay them a flat rate. Nannies must be paid for every hour worked, with applicable overtime over 40 hours, and since nannies typically work an average of 50+ hours per week it will be costly. Lastly, lets talk about experience. A typical good nanny can spend an average of 5 years working for a single family caring for 1 or 2 children at most during these years. Under these conditions, it can take a nanny a large number of years to gain real world experience acquiring the knowledge needed to be considered highly skilled and expert on childcare rearing, which also contributes to the higher costs associated with really good nannies. Questions parents need to consider and answer regarding serious drawbacks of having nannies include the following: who cares for the child when your nanny is ill? I am having a second or third child and my nanny is not interested in caring for multiple children? Or she wants a big increase in compensation. Now what? I want to reduce my nanny’s hours to part-time and she will quit if I do not provide full- time hours and compensation. Now what? who cares for your child when your nanny is off on vacation? what are you, a parent going to do if your nanny needs to leave you to address a medical emergency or that of a close relative? what is your plan if it just does not work out between your nanny and your child? Infants enrolled at Colorful Sunburst are not assigned an exclusive care giver, but instead assigned to a group of care givers, all of whom share responsibility for caring for your child. The benefit of this is your child is able to bond with more than one person, so the child feels cared for by someone he or she knows, regardless of work schedules, vacations or illness of a given staff member or any of the short comings discussed above about a single caregiver. To maintain consistent activites and know what actions have taken place in a given day, staff maintain a log, similar to a patient log typically seen in hospital when under care. Feedings, diaper chages, tummy time and other such events are documented so no questions need to be asked between staff. Regarding experience and general knowledge, our staff are led by at least one senior caregiver that can share knowledge and experience gained over years of performance with younger less experienced staff so the general level of knowledge is transferred and the overall level of competence is kept at a high level. Because we maintain several staff on duty, we are able to support two infants per staff member, effectively distributing our costs over two children/families in a 2:1 ratio, which allows us the opportunity to provide a high quality service at rates significantly lower than having the dedicated 1:1 ratio of nanny and child. Young infants spend a considerable amount of their day sleeping or on tummy time or feeding and it is just a fact that we can have 3 staff members working more efficiently caring for 6 infants in a single location than 6 nannies can care for 6 infants in 6 locations can or 1 nanny can do for 1 child. For example, food needs to be prepared, well your nanny must leave the infant in their room unsupervised or take the child to the kitchen. For us, 1 caregiver can prepare the food in the kitchen and the other 2 caregivers remain with the infants. The same is repeated with any possible task event. Children are never alone. No mechanical baby monitors needed as we have real people available. Because it is our business to provide childcare, we are constantly updating our facility with the latest technologies, equipment, toys, etc… as multiple children will be able to take advantage of the resources. Regarding education of the infants, we have access to professional early childhood educators from our preschool. Once old enough, our infants receive their “circle time” and other lessons from the same instructional staff in our preschool via teacher site visits. The advantage the infants have is great. Once enrolled and moved into the preschool 1  (after the 2nd birthday) the youngsters have already received a significant amount of instruction leading to an accelerated pace of knowledge acquisition and socialization experiences among other infants and not with just adult interaction.  go to top

Au Pairs

Au Pairs are young adult students temporarily working in the USA as child care givers sponsered by families working with Au Pair agencies. Sponsors can have an Au pair in their home for one year with a possible extension of a second year. Facts to understand about Au pairs: Cannot work more than 45 hours per week and no more than 10 hours per day Sponsor must provide a private room and board for their Au Pair Au Pair must receive a regular stipend and monies toward their educational expenses Parent must pay several fees to the Au Pair agency providing the Au Pair Au Pair must have a reguarly schedule time off each week Limitations of Au Pairs: Some Au Pair may have difficulty with english resulting in difficulties Au Pairs are not professional child care providers, they are only required to have minmal childcare experience to participate in Au Pair programs Au Pair are limited to host families for a maximum of two years. Au Pair and familty don’t form a bond and must part ways and as a result “a rematch” is required Families wishing to use Au Pairs for 5 years or more to care for a child or more, will need to have at least 3 or more Au Pairs over this time frame requiring your child or children to bond with multiple people, all with their own views and experiences Au Pairs are an affordable option for parents, but with affordability come drawbacks in experience, flexibility, ability to make true educational advancements and so on. Gratitude and humilty go a long way. Both families and Au Pair must work together to make the expeirence enjoyable for all.  go to top

Understanding the Key

Differences between Us and

Other Daycare

In a nutshell, Colorful Sunburst has created multiple programs that specialize in optimizing the experience for children enrolled in our programs. How did we do this, well by having separate  and dedicated spaces and staff, that are dedicated to each cohort. This allows children of each age group to benefit in a focused manner. Secondly, for socialization, we bring together all children from toddlers to preschoolers when not formally learning so they learn the important social skills on “getting along” and group play.  Even infants are periodically introduced in a controlled fashion to the older children so they learn the importance of carefull play and activity and the differences between themselves and babies. Often, the infants are younger siblings of the preschoolers. Programs provided by Colorful Sunburst: Colorful Sunburst Infants - A premium program providing full-time primary care for infants 3 months of age up to 2 years of age. Infants aging out of the program are moved to the Daycare & Preschool group for continued care and education. Colorful Sunburst PreSchool & Daycare o Toddlers - 2 years of age up to 3 years of age o Preschool - 3 years of age up to 5 years of age Colorful Sunburst Daycare & PreSchool is the keystone of our programs. A full-time program for children experiencing a variety of activities developed to entertain and educate our children. Visit the CS Daycare & PreSchool web site for additional information.  go to top

Understanding the Key

differences between Us and

Nursery School

Nursery Schools are not suitable solutions for childcare when both parents are working because they are not full-day programs. Nursery schools typically provide two sessions of care per day limited to 2.5 to 3 hours each. In addition, children must be of pre-school age to attend resulting in no infant or toddler care. Nursery schools are best used by a stay at home parent or Nanny or Au Pair in combination with the Nursery school. Taken together, Nursery school is quite an expensive option for the limited time offered combined with Au Pair or Nanny.  go to top

What About Sharing a

Nanny with another Family

Sharing a Nanny between two families has been done. But to do this successfully requires great coordination, effort, and flexibility on the part of all parties. The logistics to accomplish it, creating agreements on splitting schedules, sharing costs, all require great care and can still end up with difficult situations. If someone uses more care, how does this impact costs for the other family? If one family has difficulties with the nanny and the other does not, what happens? One family pays regularly and the other can be often be late. The nanny is not happy. Do you really want to be in this situation?  go to top
ColorfulSunburst Infants Premium Infantcare Services

“A Nanny is a luxury and just like any luxury item, it’s not a

necessity and not something everyone can afford--even if you

can--it does not mean it’s the best choice”

Because we maintain several staff on duty, we are able 

to support two infants per staff member, effectively

distributing our costs over two children/families in a 2:1

ratio, which allows us the opportunity to provide a high

quality service at rates significantly lower than having

the dedicated 1:1 ratio of nanny and child.”

1  Infants enrolled in our Infant program receive first priority of enrollment into our preschool once reaching the minimum age of 2 years. Other children and families are enrolled into the preschool on an as availble basis or waiting list.