Childcare Options in South Africa

Child Care Options in South Africa

Choosing child care for your baby can be daunting and scary, especially for the first time mommy. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. See below the types of child care available and a short description of each:

1 Day Care Centre

A centre that looks after your child. This type of child care offers specialized care, the child minders are trained and they provide stimulation for your child.


  • Licensed facility which has professional, trained staff.
  • Lots of stimulation provided and learning based activities which help your child to become school ready.
  • With so many staff members you are not relying on one person which means if one staff member is ill you can still take your child to the day care facility.
  • Interacting with other children their own age also helps with socialising your child.
  • Children can often stay at the same facility until they are ready for school
  • A Day Care Centre must be licensed with the Department of Social Development (DSD) and is continually monitored, along with the owner of the facility.


  • With so many children your child will be exposed to lots of germs and illnesses so your child will be ill more often.
  • A day care centre has rigid rules and regulations. Your child must be there at a certain time and collected by a certain time. If your child is even slightly unwell you will need to make alternative arrangements.
  • A day care centre can be very costly.

2 Day Mother

This is a child carer that looks after your child, usually in her own home.


  • A homely environment and often offer more one on one care, especially for young babies.
  • Less rigid rules, such as accepting a baby that is slightly unwell.
  • More flexibility in terms of drop off and collection times
  • With a few children the exposure to germs is less so your child will probably be ill less often that at a day care centre
  • Less costly than a day care centre.


  • The environment is not as stimulating as a day care centre.
  • Day mothers usually only look after children until the age of 18 months or 2 years old.
  • Day mothers do not need to be licensed until they have more than 6 children.
  • Day mothers are mostly left unmonitored.
  • You are relying on one person to look after your child, if she becomes ill or cannot look after your child for any other reason you will need to make alternative arrangements.
  • Day mothers are usually not professionally trained in childcare.

3 Au Pair

An au pair is traditionally a young person from abroad that lives with you and looks after your child, almost as part of the family. However there is an increasing amount of local au pairs that live in or come in every day to perform child care duties. An au pair can also do light household duties. Au pairs are usually trained in child care.

4 Nanny

A nanny that comes into your home every day to look after your child as well as do household chores can be a great option for a lot of moms.

5 Family Member

Having your mom, sister, aunt or other close family member to look after your child is a great option if it is possible. Every mom worries that their child might be not be given the love and care they want for their child, having family care for your child can eliminate this fear.

What child care options have you chosen for your baby? Or are you busy choosing and what are your concerns?

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  1. After i returned to work when my daughter was 4 months old, my mother looked after her until she was about 11 months old, we then found a wonderful nanny who comes in every day to look after my little one.

  2. I took my son to creche when he was 2 years old that my friend recommend and he’s been in that creche until today he is 5 now and he will graduating to go to grade 1

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