Creating a Successful Nanny Share

Press Release from Nannies & Kids United - Employer Sponsored Backup Childcare

Many parents can attest that childcare is one of the most significant family budget expenses.  But what if you didn’t have to rely on daycare centers.  In fact, what if you considered a nanny share.  Where you can have convenient, personalized and affordable care for your child.

What is a Nanny Share?

A nanny share is generally a child care arrangement between two or more families that splits the costs of one nanny.  The nanny is paid a premium over a nanny that looks after just one family.  The salary is divided between the families, and the nanny cares for all the children together.

Parents favor this alternative because it’s convenient and affordable.  It also exposes children to more socialization experiences than if being cared for alone.  While a nanny share sounds attractive, you need to ensure you do proper planning before committing to this arrangement.

Tips on creating a successful nanny share

Make sure you locate the correct family.

Deciding on the right family for a nanny share arrangement is just as crucial as your nanny selection.  While no two families will share the precise parenting style, you will want to find a family that shares similar views on diet, sleep, discipline and screen time.  This is because the nanny will be caring for your children collectively.  Many parents find it works best when the children are the same ages and share similar schedules and activities.

Once you find the right family, you will have to consider where the children will be cared for.  Either family’s home or as an alternating arrangement by day, week or month.  It is best worked out before you go any further.

Get the right nanny who suits both families

It’s preferable to choose a nanny together.  Finding one that works equally well for both, rather than joining an existing nanny relationship.  Although you should be flexible, it is best to have a basic idea of what type of nanny you are both looking for.

Interview prospective nanny candidates to gauge rapport and ensure they meet both families’ needs.  Make Sure that the nanny is well qualified for the job.  Not every nanny is a good fit for looking after more than one family at a time.

Create the Right Contract

As with all contracts, it should be in place before the nanny begins work.  It needs to include the nanny’s:-

  • Pay rate and schedule
  • Hours each family agrees to pay
  • Tax responsibilities (both families are considered to be employers and will need to work out their tax responsibilities)
  • Policies for late pick-ups
  • Holidays
  • Vacation time and sick days
  • Notice and termination.
  • A detailed description of the childcare and household duties
  • Discipline, food, sleep and screen time expectations or guidelines

This way, you have a document to refer back too if there are any issues.

Stay Connected and Coordinated

A successful nanny share involves having consistent, open communication between families and their nanny.  To keep up with changes, there needs to be a commitment to frequent meetings.  These can be done virtually or by phone, but they need to be regularly scheduled, either weekly or bi-weekly.  This is the time to discuss how things are going and adjust logistics or schedules if required.  This is definitely the time to bring up the small irritations before they become full-blown problems.

Contribute Equally to Shared Supplies

Typically, each individual family provides whatever food and equipment their child needs, and contributes to shared items, such as a double stroller, craft supplies and snacks.  You should put this in writing before you hire the nanny.  Decide on how you will replenish shared supplies.  This prevents either party feeling like they have been taken advantage of.  No one likes to be the person consistently pitching in while the other family doesn’t.  You also must consider how you will communicate needs – via text, email or a quick chat at pick-up.

To establish goodwill and fairness, be generous, bringing fruit or treats for the children to share.  Or even replenish extra diapers when you know that your child will inevitably require some of the other family’s supply.

Expect Change

You or the other family will eventually exit the nanny share arrangement.  It is advisable to give a minimum notice of one month or to pay the nanny in place of the notice.  This is only fair and reasonable to the other family and nanny.

A nanny share can be an ideal childcare arrangement for families who desire a personalized and convenient experience.  However, the families need to commit to open communication, flexibility and have mutual respect for each other and the nanny who cares for all the children.

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