Wondering if a nanny share is right for you? Here are the pros and cons to consider before signing on
Childcare is expensive! But nanny shares are changing the childcare game, providing families with the flexibility of personalized scheduling, the reassurance of attentive, individualized childcare and the sweet smell of savings.
This arrangement is typically made up of one nanny and two or more families. They’re all about compromise. It’s not only important for kids to play nice, but parents need to get along, too! Ensuring both families agree on everything from discipline to dietary choices is key for a shared care arrangement to work. Wondering if a nanny share is right for you? Read the pros and cons before signing on.
Affordability is often families’ No. 1 reason for opting for a nanny share. Parents split the overall cost while still enjoying the benefits of personalized care. From a financial perspective, it’s a win-win. Families get to enjoy a sweet discount and nannies still earn their regular rates (plus tips from both sets of parents).
One-on-one attention is another bonus for families. Parents will have peace of mind knowing their kids are not getting lost in the hectic daycare shuffle. With a nanny, children enjoy the benefits of a personalized bond and receive that one-on-one attention they crave. Plus, adding another family to the mix means kids still get to enjoy the social aspects of a daycare environment (without as many germs!).
Depending on your nanny share set-up, children may even have the opportunity to socialize with “big kids.” Little ones will go ga-ga over their cool big-kid friends, and older kids will enjoy the opportunity to star as role models. More kids mean more fun and extra help! Nanny shares allow for social skill building (like sharing!), along with plenty of opportunities for independent play. While kids play together, nannies can get that much-needed extra time to clean up crumbs and crayons, prepare bottles or make meals.
Nanny shares also offer the flexibility every family needs. Having another family on board will also come in handy if parents get in a pinch. For days when you have to stay late at work or need help arranging a pick-up or drop-off, you can lean on the nanny share.
If philosophies on everything from kids’ TV time to household chore expectations don’t align, the arrangement is not going to work out. Although it may seem formal, a written agreement can help avoid tiffs as the nanny-share relationship develops. But this doesn’t mean in-person discussions should not take place! Communication is key to making sure all parties are happy.
Although some level of compromise is important, that doesn’t mean parents and nannies should sacrifice non-negotiables. Parents, know your deal-breakers upfront. Strong opinions about organic food, homework time or punishments should be discussed in advance. It may make it more difficult to find a share family, but it will save you from disagreements down the line. Nannies, it’s important for you to make your methods clear, too. If you believe time-consuming household chores don’t fall under your job description, say so. Every family has different expectations and experiences with nannies, so letting them know how you roll will minimize surprises.
While kids who are close in age can make for easy playmates, choosing a nanny share based on age is not always the best idea. For nannies, caring for multiple children of the same age can be tough, not to mention hectic. It’s important for families to ask themselves if they are comfortable with their kids playing with older or younger children. Nannies, know your opinion on age range, too. It all goes back to knowing what you want upfront before you lock into an arrangement.
With clear communication in place, a family who shares your childcare expectations and your resident expert, the nanny, on board, you’ll be on your way to a successful nanny share!