Nanny Share Information: Things to Consider

Nanny Share

Nanny Share is where two or more families engage one professional nanny to care for their children together within a home environment.

Nanny Share can be a happy medium between traditional nanny care and childcare centres. Your child will still received the one-on-one attention, but also benefit from the interaction with the other children in care. Since there are not as many children around, your child may not get sick as often as they may at a childcare centre. However, be prepared for some germ-sharing, it’s unavoidable when children get together.

Nanny Share works best when the children are of similar ages, as they will often enjoy the same activities and have similar needs. Another consideration will be family’s schedule, the closer the family schedules are to each other, the happier everyone will be. So it is probably best to limit your nanny share to three or less families, preferably who live relatively close by, to keep the logistics manageable. It is also a great idea to set up regular scheduled meet ups with all the parents and the nanny, to discuss any problems and to catch up on what has been happening.

Melbourne’s Leading Nanny Agency suggests that families considering a shared care arrangement create an agreement between one another to ensure the arrangements are solid and that both parties have a good understanding of how things will work.  Below listed are items that should be discussed and agreed upon:  In our experience failure to reach agreement prior to commencing the interview process can put candidates off and may result in an unsuccessful union.

Whose home will the care take place in?
It is usual for the care to take place in one home rather than rotating between the two.  The home where the care takes place can either be a benefit or a burden.  Why?  If the children have similar sleep times then nanny can spend some time tidying the home and doing some light housekeeping duties, however if the children’s sleep schedule clashes it would not leave nanny much time to do much around the home.  There can be additional wear and tear on the home where the care takes place and elevated electricity, gas, water rates etc.

Who will be the boss family?
That is, who will be responsible for full payment to the nanny?  It is usual for the family whose home the care takes place in, to be responsible for full payment.  The boss family would be responsible for collecting payment from the second family, not the nanny.  The boss family will also be the primary contact for the nanny regarding cancellation of shifts or time changes.  In the event that the second family no longer require the shared care arrangement, the nanny will still be paid the same amount and the boss family will be responsible for finding another family to share the care with.

What % of the hourly rate will each family be responsible for?
It is usual for this to be determined by the families after all details have been discussed and agreed upon.

How long will the share arrangement last?
Different families may have different expectations of the arrangement; some may see this is a stopgap while they await an opening in a childcare centre, while others are looking for a home-based, non-institutional care for their children before they begin pre-school. It is essential for families to have a discussion of their plans and expectations. Nannies need to be aware of the expectations, and given both notice and a reference for when the share comes to an end.

Do you require an additional porta cot?
This should be a spare one so as not to have to transport it back and forth everyday.

Do you require an additional high chair?
This should be a spare one so as not to have to transport it back and forth everyday

Will the families invest in a double pram?
This is essential to have a double pram for safety and also ensures the children attend more outdoor activities e.g. walk to the park.

Do you require the nanny to transport the children?
If so whose car?  Boss family, second family or nannies car?  Do you have a second car seat?  This should be a spare one so as not to have to transport it back and forth every day.  What remuneration would the nanny receive for the use of her own vehicle?

What happens on sick days?
Families need to agree beforehand what needs to have happened to deem it appropriate to cancel the share for the day. Most families agree that fever, vomiting or diarrhoea are illnesses that should cancel the share for the day. But what about the nanny? Will she care for sick children? How about the healthy child? What happens if the healthy child doesn’t live in the home where the care is provided? Families should plane for these situations before they arise, and determine how they should be handled.

What dietary requirements can both families agree upon?
Will the children eat the same thing?  What times will feeding take place?  Will the second family bring food for their children each day?  Will the second family pay a larger % of the care if the boss family provides the food?

What disciplinary techniques do both families agree upon?
Will time out be used, it is essential that both families have a similar view as it would be difficult for nanny to carry out two different methods. This should be included in the job description

What sleeping or nap schedule will the families use?
Again a similar view on this makes nannies life easier.

What stimulative play activities would both families like their children to be involved in?
This should be included in the job description

What will happen if one family thinks that the nanny is fine and the other doesn’t quite agree?

What conflicts do you think would arise between the families?

What will happen if there is a conflict between the families?

How would you intend to resolve any conflicts?
It is essential to have a conflict resolution plan as nanny does not need to bare the burden of the families having difficulties with one another.  It is important that each family avoid involving nanny in any disputes that may arise between them and make every effort to avoid undermining the other family to the nanny.

What would happen if the boss family no longer require the nanny?
Would the second family be prepared to keep nanny on and find another family to share the nanny with?

Will the families use a communications diary?
This can avoid the nanny having to give a daily run down of events to both families each day.  It could list things like, who ate what, what activities they were involved in, how long did they sleep, any developmental milestones that were achieved, fun information about what the children did together.

Will the families provide a petty cash jar?
How much will each family contribute, what types of activities will it be used for??

For some family situations a nanny share role can be more financially viable when compared to Childcare Centres or employing a traditional nanny. Here are some reasons why nanny share may be the right choice for you:

  1. Quality Care at an Affordable Price
    You get the benefits of utilising a professional nanny, and the costs involved are shared among the families involved. Therefore, instead of paying for a nanny at full price, each family only need to pay a fraction of the total cost. Save on cost but never compromising the quality of care.
  2. Attention
    Even though the nanny will be taking care of multiple children, the chidlren involved in nanny share roles still get more one-on-one attention than compared to what they may receive at a childcare centre.
  3. Flexibility
    Unlike Childcare Centres which have strict policies for hours, holidays and sick days, with nanny share you and the share family make your own rules. You decide together the hours, the location, the activities for the day, food request and so much more.
  4. Socialisation
    Children who experience a nanny share environment create close bonds with the other children in their share. The children grow up together in the same environment and hit key milestones together.