What is a nanny share? Is it for you? How does it work? What are the advantages and disadvantages? The Elite Nanny Company has all the information you need to help you decide.
Nanny sharing, or shared care, is simply when a nanny cares for the children of two or more families simultaneously.
The advantages of a nanny share
- Sharing the cost of a nanny with another family can reduce childcare costs
- Only children often seem to benefit from having regular interaction with a similar aged child
- Some parents feel that nanny sharing helps their children adjust to school more easily.
The disadvantages of a nanny share
- Choosing where the nanny cares for the children can be contentious – do you want another child in your home, or your child to spend all day in somebody else’s house? Do you want to divide care between both homes (complicated) and what happens if you, or the other family, have visitors or building work being done at home or just an infectious illness in the house?
- Holiday arrangements can be difficult too – will you all commit to taking the same holidays or will you want different dates? Does nanny get holiday when you go away or do you, or the other family, want her to go along?
- Are you sure the children will get along? No matter how good your experienced nanny is, she can’t create harmony where kids just don’t like spending time together.
- Sharing a nanny means you may have to compromise on your nanny candidate as she has to suit both families. How will you feel if you have to reject your first choice because she didn’t impress the other family?
Nanny share – who does it work best for?
Families that make nanny sharing look easy often have children of approximately the same age. They live reasonably close to each other to permit easy commuting and they have similar lifestyles and beliefs. Extended family nanny shares e.g. where sisters and brothers, cousins etc are sharing a nanny can be very successful as it’s easy to iron out minor difficulties and the children will usually know each other and get along reasonably well.
Choosing your nanny share
When choosing a nanny to share, we suggest you agree a list of core questions with the other parents before interviewing. It’s good to give your nanny candidates a score of 3, 2 or 1 for each answer, with 3 being ‘excellent’, 2 being ‘good’ and 1 being ‘okay’ – this can help you select a nanny who will be acceptable to both families without it getting too personal and emotional. Just add up the scores and – hopefully – you’ll see one candidate who works for you all.
If you’ve enjoyed our guide to sharing a nanny, why not check out the Elite Nanny Company guide to special diets, nanny and play dates?