Making Your Nanny Share Successful
Nanny shares are a wonderful concept! They are beneficial for families by making childcare more affordable, the nanny benefits from earning a higher wage, and the children benefit from socialization. However, poor planning, miscommunication, and little compromise can cause them to fail. In my experience working for several nanny shares, having my daughter in one, and now as an agency owner, I understand all sides of the equation. Here are my recommendations for starting your nanny share off on the right foot.
THE RIGHT PARTNERSHIP// Finding the right family to partner with is key to a successful nanny share. When thinking about potential matches, consider parenting styles, ages of children, location, pets/allergies, days/hours needed, and level of experience desired in a nanny. When doing a nanny share with infants, it is best to have them as close in age as possible. This allows for syncing naptime and playtime schedules which benefits everyone. Prior to meeting nannies, make sure both families agree on the rate being offered, paid time off, and any additional benefits. Families who are on the same page help set the nanny up for success.
CONTRACT// I cannot recommend a great contract enough. A solid contract thoroughly thought out and communicated through is imperative before your nanny begins. Include everything a typical parent/nanny contract addresses, plus any special circumstances. These may include a sick policy, hosting responsibilities, paid time off, etc. Each family should have a separate contract with the nanny.
SICK POLICY// It is critical to outline what happens when one child is sick. I recommend a general policy common in school and childcare settings as follows: A child with 100.4 fever, and/or diarrhea, and/or vomiting cannot rejoin the nanny share until 24 hours symptom-free. Coughs and runny noses are up to the family's discretion. The nanny must be paid guaranteed hours by both sets of parents. This means the nanny must still be paid if your child stays home due to illness.
HOSTING AND GEAR// Who will be hosting the share and when? The most common arrangement is families switching off hosting every other week. However, the easiest for the children and nanny is if hosting is kept consistent at one home. After reaching an agreement on this, give consideration to sleeping and storage space (diapers, creams, clothes, etc.) for child number two. Many families utilize a guest bedroom for a pack-and-play, sound machine, and basket of belongings. Keep in mind that the nanny may request a double stroller for outings, a second highchair, baby carrier, etc.
OPEN COMMUNICATION// Ongoing open communication throughout the nanny share between all parties is imperative. I recommend a group text thread for updates, questions, photos, etc. Frequent check-ins are a great way to ensure a successful nanny share where everyone is happy with the arrangement.
When searching for a second family to nanny share with, consider networking with co-workers and reaching out to family and friends to see if they know of a family who may be looking. You can also search your local Facebook parenting groups. Once you have found a second family, I highly recommend utilizing a nanny agency when beginning the hiring process. An agency can help with thinking through all of the nitty-gritty details and help ensure you find the right nanny for both families. My agency excels in this regard.
Please contact my team and me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Nanny Consultant