Ask Lulu: Do nannies and day care affect a child’s development?


Lulu, our parenting expert, is here to answer your child-related questions.This week: Is there a difference between children cared for by nannies and those cared for my their mothers?


Dear Lulu,

I’ve got two children and am considering going back to work. In your experience can you tell the difference between children who have nannies and those who are with their mothers (or fathers!) full time?

And is there a difference between children who are at day care and those who have nannies?

I’m panicking slightly as you can see!



Dear Hannah,

Well that all depends on the nannies, day care centre and the parents as they are the ones who make the difference!

It also depends on the age of your children.

To grow up happy, strong and resilient children need routine, simplicity and parents who have time to be parents and who are content with the choices they have made (no guilt attached).

Children are in many ways mirrors of their parents, if the parents are overworked, stressed and constantly trying to juggle too many balls the children could become anxious, demanding and unhappy.

It’s good and healthy for children to have an outside reliable, stimulating influence in their lives, one they can trust and learn from in different ways from the lessons they learn from their parents. Outside influences carry different expectations, ones that are enriching and valuable to your child’s understanding of the world.

Perhaps the best way would be to weigh up the facts: age of your children, financial demands, day care choices in your area and then when you’ve done that listen to your gut instinct. What’s going to work best for you and the whole family?

And don’t worry about feeling panicked It’s only natural that you are feeling worried, it a big decision to make so take your time.

Good luck!

Lulu x

– Have you got a parenting concern you’d like Lulu to help with? You can write to her at

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