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What is nanny sharing and how does it work?

Nanny sharing is a situation where two families engage the services of a single nanny to care for their children. The families literally share the nanny. "Nanny Share" is feasible in the following circumstances:

  • You and a neighbor have children approximately the same age.
  • Both parties are in agreement that having a nanny is the best option for childcare.
  • Work hours are compatible and child rearing philosophies are similar (pay attention to discipline methods and dietary habits).

Nanny sharing can provide the family with the finest In-Home child care at minimum cost. For slightly more dollars than a Daycare, a "Nanny Share" will free up precious family time and offer you the flexibility and affordability you deserve.

Benefits include:

  • Children are with friends/neighbors NOT strangers
  • Much more affordable
  • Minimum sickness
  • No late fees when running a few minutes behind
  • Bottles made/dinner table set
  • Light housekeeping/laundry
  • Professional, prompt, courteous service
  • Professionally screened (Criminal, Credit, Driving)

The downsides include:

  • Vacation scheduling for the nanny becomes complicated by the differing schedules of two families
  • Disagreements one family has with the nanny could overflow to the other family
  • Over time, families may develop differing philosophies about things such as appropriate TV viewing, homework, housekeeping, playmates and playgroups
  • Liability - homeowners insurance will not likely cover an accidental injury the other child suffers. The host family should consider this carefully and a discussion with a licensed insurance agent is recommended.
  • One family leaves the share - this can leave the remaining family in a financial bind as the nanny will expect her full income. This should be planned in advance when the relationship starts - share families should have a minimun notice (4 weeks is suggested) of intent to leave the share, or pay the nanny in lieu of the notice.

Other items for the families to consider include evaluating the safety of the host home (is it childproofed, is there a pool), who pays for food and supplies used in the home, and establishing a 'point of contact' person for general questions or communication (so nanny doesn't have to contact two sets of parents every time she takes the kids to the park for example). Also, be aware that in some jurisdictions, when an unrelated child is being cared for in a private home there may be licensing and regulatory issues to be dealt with.

nanny share Free Tip Sheet: Setting Up a Nanny Share Agreements sharing a nanny

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