Could a Nanny Share Be a Good Fit for Your Family?

This childcare option may be just what you and your family need.

By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: G. Mazzarini

G. Mazzarini

Finding the right childcare for your family can be exhausting and overwhelming. For families that are weighing the pros and cons of a nanny vs. daycare but neither seems like the right fit, a nanny share may be an option that works for you and your child. Not sure what exactly a nanny share is and how it works? Read on to get the ins and outs of this childcare option.

What is a nanny share?
A nanny share is a childcare arrangement where one nanny takes care of children from two different families. Typically the nanny will alternate between the two homes and the families will divide the nanny's salary, but sometimes one family is the permanent host. Together the families make decisions about the schedule and the nanny’s responsibilities.

A nanny share can also work for two families who only need a nanny part-time. In this case, each family only has the nanny at their home for the number of hours needed, and on other days of the week, the nanny works with the other family.

Who is a nanny share a great option for?

  • Families who want their child cared for in their home but also want the benefits of socialization with other kids.
  • Families looking to cut childcare costs could benefit from a nanny share.
  • Families that want childcare at home but don’t need or want full-time care.
  • If you have a nanny that your family loves but the nanny needs more hours, a nanny share could be a good fit.
  • If you are good at managing schedules and logistics, a nanny share may work for your family.

What are the benefits of a nanny share?

  • Childcare costs are cut significantly since you are splitting the nanny’s salary with another family.
  • With a nanny, your family will have more flexibility than having to plan your schedule around a daycare.
  • Most nannies will take on some cleaning and cooking tasks. If your child is napping, the nanny can tidy up, prep meals, and help with laundry.
  • Kids will benefit from spending time with the children in the other family as they build social skills playing together.

What are the downsides of a nanny share?

  • Initially, it may be difficult to find a family and a nanny whose styles work well with you and your family.
  • On some days, you’ll need to coordinate drop off and pick up from the other family’s home.
  • Because the nanny is splitting her time between houses, she will also split her time doing household tasks.
  • If the other family’s childcare needs or schedule changes, it can throw a wrench into your plans.

Here’s what you need to talk about with the nanny and the other family:

House rules: What is expected in your home may be different than the other family’s rules. From snacks, screentime, and routines, all of these things will need to be consistent and agreed upon before the sharing begins.

What is the contingency plan for sick days, travel, and holidays? All of these situations will need to be managed and discussed before an issue arises.

If childcare needs change or a family has another child, how will that work?

Remember that you are committing to a nanny and another family. So make sure it’s a good fit for everyone.

How do I set up a nanny share?
A great place to start is by posting to local parent boards online as well as neighborhood listservs. Also ask friends and neighbors for connections or recommendations. Finally, a local nanny agency can also pair you with a nanny and another family.

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