The term “Nanny Share” has become more common in recent years. When exploring your child care options this can be a great one to consider. Perhaps you find yourself leaning towards hiring a nanny instead of using a daycare, yet your budget doesn’t have as much wiggle room as you would like. This is one of the many scenarios in which a Nanny Share may be right for you. A Nanny Share can give you many of the benefits of a private nanny for your children while sharing some of the cost. So how does it work? A Nanny Share is when you hire a professional nanny to be shared between you and one other family. In a Nanny Share each family pays 2/3rds of the nanny’s rate. This reduces the cost per family while the nanny is still earning her proper professional rate. In this way each family has the benefit of a professional nanny while staying within a specific budget.
So, what are the pros and cons to a Nanny Share? Benefits include paying less of an hourly rate for the same top-notch professional service. Your children will have built in playmates since they will be spending their time with the children of another family. This can be great for developing social skills and learning to share, as well as building friendships for your little ones. Some of the negatives are less one on one attention for just your children as your nanny will be caring for another family’s child or children as well. Having two separate employers is something that some nannies are comfortable with while others prefer to limit it to just one employer. As parents you will want to consider the parenting style of the family that you will be sharing your nanny with. Ideally it works best when both sets of parents are on the same page so that there is no confusion for the children as far as discipline and such. Consider the age range and interests of the children as the nanny will be working with all of them and taking them out for activities together. If you have specific classes and events that you want your children to go to this can get tricky if both families are not on the same page. Communication is extremely important for everyone involved.
If you have decided that a Nanny Share is the right fit for your family, you will want to make sure that you cover all of the details. Each family will want to have a personal contract with their nanny as well as a group contract between all three parties. You will all need to sit down together to work out the details of the group contract and be in agreement with each other. The following are some things to consider: How will it be handled when one family is away on vacation? What is the protocol for a handling a sick child? How will the nanny’s vacation time be handled? Will the nanny be working consistently at one families house or splitting up her week between both? You will want to be clear on what days she is at which house if split. What vehicle will the nanny be using, and who will be supplying the car seats? Discuss handling petty cash for outings or a credit card for the nanny and who is responsible for it.
When hiring a nanny who will be shared, you will need to keep in mind that the same laws and guidelines apply that apply when hiring a private nanny for just one family. For example, you will need to give her guaranteed hours. If she is working 40 hours per week each family is committing to their share of her pay. (See our blog on Guaranteed Hours) Both families are required to pay minimum wage at the bare minimum and to pay legally.
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a Nanny Share option is communication! It is absolutely imperative for all parties involved to ensure that the arrangement is running smoothly and as agreed upon. Schedule regular times to sit down and discuss activities and ideas, and simply to check in on how the children are doing in their daily routines with one another. If you can work together as a team this can be a great option!
We wish you the best with your Nanny Share!
By: Anne-Marie Ferraro