For Parents, Nannying 101, Uncategorized

What is a Nanny-Share?

So you’ve heard this term nanny-share thrown around a lot lately, but aren’t quite sure what it means. As someone who has experienced several nanny-share positions, I can confidently say it is one of the greatest innovations of the twenty-first century nanny industry. So, what exactly is it and why is it gaining so much popularity?

What is a nanny-share?

Simply, a nanny-share is an agreement between two families to share one nanny at the same time. Rather than a single nanny working for multiple families at different times through out the week, she works with two families’ kids concurrently. In most situations, the families are already acquainted and have decided to hire a nanny together.

Why are they gaining popularity?

Nanny-shares have recently become more popular due to the fact that more families rely on both parents to work than ever before. With lengthy daycare waiting lists and rising childcare costs, families are eager to find affordable care for their little ones. With the innovation of nanny-share positions, families can now hire an individual at a much more affordable cost. The individualized attention, ability for children to spend time in a familiar home, and the possibility of getting to go out and about are what make nanny-shares an incredible value.

Why are nanny-shares more affordable than employing your own nanny?

I often hear people say that only the wealthy can afford a nanny. That may have been true in the past, but nanny-shares have made it possible for families to have quality childcare without breaking the bank.

If, for example, a nanny typically charges one family $20 per hour, she may charge each family within a nanny-share $15 per hour. This allows each family to significantly reduce their childcare budget by $5 per hour. The nanny also benefits by making an extra $10 per hour than she would working for one individual family.

Side Note:

One thing I’ve noticed get confused about nanny-shares is the idea that each family will pay the nanny half of what she would normally make. Using the example above, the two employing families make the assumption that since the nanny charges $20 per hour, that would mean each family would pay $10 per hour. Initially it seems fair, but working with two families is extra work on a nanny even though she cares for both families’ children at one time. Why should it be any different than taking care of two siblings? It is! The nanny is going from working for one employer with certain philosophies and expectations to two employers, each with their own beliefs and ways of doing something. It’s added pressure, not to mention all of the other things that go along with having two employers for one job.

Things to Consider as an Employer

While a nanny-share is a brilliant alternative to a typical nanny or daycare, there are quite a few logistics that must get worked out between families in order to make the agreement successful.

Whose house will be home-base? How will the nanny be paid? Will you provide benefits? What if one family goes on vacation? What ground rules will be set for both the kids and the nanny? If the nanny will drive, whose car will she use? How will you manage expenses, like museum memberships, craft supplies, gas?

These are only a few of the questions to consider when hiring a nanny along with another family. Most things will be easy, but it’s important for both families to discuss their ideas and expectations of the nanny and the care of their children. A written contract will help streamline the conversation surrounding such topics.

Things to Consider as a Nanny

Nanny-shares can have great benefits for a nanny, but there are also quite a few things to think about before accepting a nanny-share position.

How do the families know each other? What is their dynamic (will they work well together)? Do their values, parenting approaches, and needs align? Am I prepared to advocate for myself if both families share the same opinion about my wage, a difficult situation, etc.? Do I have the necessary skills to work within two family dynamics and manage their schedules?

It can seem daunting to nanny for two families, but it can also be very rewarding. If you feel up for the challenge, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Nanny-shares are not without their faults and don’t fit every family’s situation, but the benefits are clear. A nanny-share could be a great option for families in need of childcare who can’t afford their own nanny or wait for a daycare to have an opening. It can also be a great solution for a nanny looking for a higher wage. Both parties win!

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