Everything You Need to Know About Nanny Shares

September 5th, 2017
by A Nanny Match

Everything You Need to Know About Nanny Shares
The term ‘nanny share’ is becoming more and more popular in the childcare industry, and it’s easy to understand why. What parent wouldn’t be interested in quality child care at a more affordable rate?

It’s a great arrangement for families who want the benefits of having a nanny but would like to keep the costs down and it’s a great opportunity for children to develop their social skills.

What is a Nanny Share?

A Nanny share is a child care arrangement where children from two different families are cared for by one nanny, typically alternating between homes. Families divide the nannies salary and make decisions like location, activities, and schedule together.

It usually works best with two children similar in age who live close by. It can even still work well if you have an older child who needs to be picked up from school but is otherwise self-sufficient.

It is also an arrangement where the time of the nanny is divided but the costs are not. This is what happens when you find the nanny of your dreams, but sadly discover she needs more hours than you can offer. Rather than lose her, you find another family to fulfill those hours.

Is a nanny share right for you?

Deciding whether or not a nanny share is best for you and your family means considering your family’s specific needs, expectations, and lifestyle preferences.

I had a wonderful experience in a nanny share as a nanny in Boulder, CO. As a nanny recruiter in NYC, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many families and nannies involved in both successful as well as short-lived nanny shares. Here’s a list of the most common pros and cons and key factors to consider:

Benefits for families:

  • Nanny care costs cut significantly.
  • Children in the share usually make best buddies!
  • Children develop their sensory motor and fine motor skills in a changing, clean and safe environment.
  • Alternating between homes contributes to children becoming more adaptable to new situations.
  • The arrangement offers better flexibility and individualized care than a daycare at comparable costs.

Drawbacks for families:

  • Compromise on some things in order to fulfill both family’s unique needs.
  • Drop off and pick up on days childcare is not in your home.
  • You will need to find a family that the arrangement will work well with.

nanny share babies Benefits for nannies:

  • Children often stay more engaged and stimulated when paired together.
  • While children are playing in view, other daily tasks like meal preps, laundry, and picking up can be completed.
  • Twice the amount of love and laughs to share!

Drawbacks for nannies:

  • At times, it’s literally twice the work.
  • Nannies will need to effectively communicate with four parents instead of two.
  • Nap time can be difficult: Getting one down with the other in the room, one waking the other up, adjusting their schedules to each other’s, etc.

Key Factors to Discuss and Remember:

  • Parenting styles. Examples: screen time, timeouts, special classes, etc.
  • Costs of shared supplies such as food, diapers, and wipes need to be negotiated.
  • House rules.
  • Additional children. Keep in mind the agreed upon responsibilities may become too much for the nanny to handle safely with a new baby.
  • Contingency plans for sick days, travel, and holidays.
  • Nannies usually charge more for two children, so the cost isn’t quite cut in half, but close!
  • It’s often best to choose a nanny together with another family, one that works equally well for both families needs.
  • Pair with a family whose needs and values best match your own. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s best to hold off.
  • You don’t need to find a family you are friends with, just like-minded with similar child care needs.
  • Honesty and communication are key.

How do I set up a nanny share?

You can post to local parent boards, ask friends and acquaintances you’ve made at your child’s classes or groups, or use a local nanny agency. Local nanny/family matchmaking services like A Nanny Match offer a convenient way to find a compatible nanny for both families in your nanny share.

The Positive Conclusion

Every family is unique and most parents will experience the stress of finding the right child care at some point in their lives. Nanny shares prove that with a little creativity and open mindedness, there’s always a solution!