There are many benefits to a nanny share. For most, the greatest is higher compensation for the quality childcare provider while cutting childcare costs for families. In addition, it provides children social interaction in the home setting. Many parents take comfort in the more intimate setting of shares, which allows for more one-on-one attention compared to other settings, such as daycare. Shares are a bit more complex, but this article will break it all down for you.
First off, understand that nanny shares are not for everyone. Nanny shares take additional communication, understanding, and flexibility. If you are unable to give your attention to these components, it may be best to consider hiring your own nanny or a different childcare option. For more on this, read: Daycare, Nannies, Sitters, Oh My!
To set up a nanny share you could first find your nanny, first find your share family, or do both simultaneously. You also might join into a share with a family who already has a nanny. Read more at Hiring a Nanny, and be sure you understand your responsibilities as an employer at Domestic Employer Rights and Wrongs.
This article outlines considerations you should take when considering a nanny for a share or searching for a nanny-share family.
1. Is your family a good fit for a nanny share?
Nanny shares are often really great options for families with young children.
- Although not impossible, it will require more organization if your child is older and/or requires the nanny to take the child to a variety of activities. This could be hard on the nanny or interfere with the other children of the share and their routines.
- A share may not be a good fit if your child has special needs or requires one-on-one care.
- If you have more than two children, consider other options. In most states, laws require an in-home daycare license for care of more than three unrelated children. Be sure to adhere to the law to avoid opening yourself up to liability.
2. Consider the type of share you need.
There are different types of nanny shares: same-day care shares, opposite-day care shares, and back-up and summer care shares. If you would like a better understanding of these, read more at Nanny Sharing: An Innovative Option.
3. Consider the nanny.
Some nannies are thrilled to be a part of a nanny share. Some do not wish to partake. A highly organized nanny who is good at communication will be the best fit for a nanny share.
- If you already have a nanny, does your nanny want to be part of a nanny share?
- If hiring a nanny, be up front about this in the interview process. Do not assume—be sure the nanny knows what a nanny share is. For more on hiring a nanny, check out the International Nanny Association’s– Nanny Employer Guide.
- Be clear on whether you will be doing a same-day nanny share or an opposite-day nanny share. To understand the difference, read more at Nanny Sharing: An Innovative Option.
- Be sure the nanny you choose for your share is qualified to care for multiple children. An inexperienced caregiver may not be able to safely manage multiple children.
4. Location, location, location.
Nanny shares are most convenient when the two families live near one another. But often compromise is made for a good family match.
- Maybe one family lives along the commute into work for the other family. They can then drop off and pick up on the way to and from work.
- If location is not ideal for parents to drop off, some nannies may be willing to help commute the child. All parties involved should be okay with this. The nanny should be compensated for transporting children.
5. Schedule matchup.
Consider yourself lucky if you find a perfect nanny share family and their childcare schedule needs match up perfectly with yours.
But if you do not find the optimal match, you can still nanny share!
- Each family works out a rate they will pay to the nanny when he or she cares for their children only, as well as a nanny-share rate that applies during share hours. *Typically share rates are two thirds of the single-family rate. For example, if the single-family rate is $15/hour, then the share rate is $10/hour.
- Rates can vary between families. Maybe one family pays the nanny a higher rate than the other because, when one-on-one with the child, they have additional expectations that increase the rate.
- A family that has two children may agree on a higher rate for their family than the share family with only one child. During share hours, each family typically pays approximately two thirds of their agreed-upon single-family rate.
6. Deal breakers!
Nanny shares call for some flexibility, but certainly there are some deal breakers that just rule out some families as a good match for one another. Deal breakers are specific to each family.
- Assess and respectfully express your deal breakers as you come across potential families.
- Some common possibilities could be pets, smoking, strict allergy restrictions, discipline styles, and firearms and/or firearm safety protocols of a family.
7. Share host location.
Hosting refers to where the nanny share will take place. Does the nanny share need to take place exclusively at your home or the other family’s home? Are you flexible as to where the nanny share will take place?
- Some parents work from home, making it ideal for the share to hosted at the other family’s home.
- Other circumstances, such as hours or transportation, may require the share to be exclusively at one share family’s home.
- Flexibility to host location will increase your chances of compatibility.
- The hours that childcare is needed may dictate which host location makes most sense for the share.
8. Meet your matches.
You should meet the other family in person to assess the fit. If there is already a nanny in the share, they can also be included in the initial meeting, or you may choose to include the nanny on a future meet.
- If you will be alternating hosting location, be sure to show your prospective share family around your home, and also see their home environment.
- Discuss home safety topics such as baby proofing, whether their are any weapons in the home, gun safety, and any other concerns.
9. Contracts to seal the deal.
Nanny contracts ensure all your bases are covered. Nanny contracts are important both when hiring a nanny and for nanny shares. Via The Village provides a contract specific for nanny shares.
To some, contracts seem cold, but it is important to understand their purpose. They are vital to safeguarding your relationships. Nanny contracts and nanny share contracts protect are in place to protect families and the nanny. You may come to agreements upon set up and hire, but it just way too much to remember. Putting it all in writing will prevent resentments from growing over “you said this”, “no, I said that”.
10. Last, but not least, ongoing communication and organization.
A nanny share is a dynamic relationship that requires attention and commitment to be sure everyone is comfortable and safe. It can take some effort, especially at first. But anything worthwhile does. When you find your match, a share can be a rewarding experience for the children, the nanny, and the families.
Good luck with your search. Via The Village can help! Start your search today
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