All About Finding and Managing a Nanny Share

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Many families want the benefits of having a nanny but can’t afford the price tag that comes along with one. For these families, a nanny share can be their best childcare solution. With a nanny share, two families share a nanny and the cost associated with employing one. Sharing a nanny gives many parents access to high-quality childcare that they may not otherwise be able to afford.

For families seeking a part-time nanny, sharing a nanny gives them access to a larger pool of qualified caregivers. Families who require part-time care often find the best caregivers when they’re willing to share the nanny with another family who requires care during different hours. Since most nannies require full-time employment, when two families share a nanny both the families and nannies needs get met.

The best childcare is high-quality childcare. When children receive consistent care from a qualified caregiver in a safe environment they are familiar with, they will thrive. Unlike in a day care setting where the children need to adapt to the routines, schedules and caregiving style of the center, parents in a nanny share work together to determine the routines, schedule, and caregiving style that will work best for their children. Since the parents are the employers, they can handpick the caregiver who they feel can best adhere to their standards and style of care and meet their caregiving expectations.

When considering a family to share a nanny with, it’s essential to choose a family that yours is compatible with. In addition to living in the same community, families in a nanny share will experience the most success if they share similar parenting styles and philosophies. While compromises will be required in any nanny share arrangement, when it comes to your family’s governing philosophies, compromising won’t come easily.

Once both families can agree on the standards of care they want their children to receive, the philosophy that will govern that care, the duties and expectations they foresee their nanny having, the role the nanny will play in their families, and the logistics of the arrangement, including where care will be provided, the nanny’s schedule and salary and benefits package, the families can begin their nanny search.

Some families, however, may find a family who already has a nanny and they are seeking another family to share care and costs with.  Entering into these relationships can be a bit more challenging because of the existing relationship between the caregiver and family. However, with mutual understanding and respect, these arrangements can work beautifully too.

Regardless of whether both families find the nanny together or one family enters into a preexisting arrangement, with a nanny share, having a written work agreement with both the other family and with the nanny is essential. Both families should outline the terms of their arrangement, including terms for ending the relationship, and present together a single work agreement to the nanny. Written agreements can help to clarify the agreement and expectations and prevent misunderstandings over responsibilities.

Unlike in a daycare arrangement, families don’t pay per child. When families share a nanny, they can expect to add 10 to 20% onto the average nanny hourly rate in their area to come up with a fair hourly wage. The nanny’s education, experience, and skillset and the specific job duties and requirements can impact the nanny’s expected wage rate. If the nanny provides childcare for both families on the same schedule during the same hours, both families typically split the childcare expenses down the middle. If one family uses the nanny more than the other, the split may be worked out as a percentage of the total hours used. Regardless of how the nanny’s wages are divided, sharing a nanny with another family is less expensive than not, making a nanny share an affordable care options for families who could not otherwise afford to share a nanny.

For families who want high-quality childcare at a fraction of the cost, sharing a nanny is the best option. To ensure high-quality care, parents should carefully choose their nanny and rigorously screen her prior to hiring. Prior to hiring a nanny parents should interview her both over the phone and in-person, observe her with the children, check references, verify her identity, confirm previous employment, education and credentials, run a background check and review her motor vehicle record. In a nanny share it’s essential that both families are comfortable with the chosen caregiver and feel that she is trustworthy and qualified to care for the children, so equal involvement by both families in the screening and hiring process is important.

Even though a nanny share can be the best childcare solution, it isn’t going to perfect. Managing a nanny share arrangement requires time and effort from both families. To be successful parents must build and cultivate relationships with both the other family and with the nanny. And since they’ll also be the employer, must take steps to actively manage the nanny to ensure that the children are receiving the quality of care they deserve.

Although all parents should actively engage the nanny, having one parent as the designated boss can make managing the multiple relationships easier. Knowing she has one person to notify if problems and concerns come up and that one person will provide any changes to schedule or routine can make the nanny’s job much easier and prevent any misunderstandings and miscommunication.

With a little planning and effort, finding and managing a nanny share arrangement can be a win-win for everyone. The parents secure high-quality care at an affordable price, the children receive attentive care in a familiar and comfortable home environment and the nanny earns slightly higher wages for entering into a nanny share arrangement.