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5 benefits of bringing your own child to a nanny or babysitting job

Bringing your kids with you to your nanny or babysitter job can benefit you both a parent and professional. Here's how.

5 benefits of bringing your own child to a nanny or babysitting job

Professional child caregivers who bring their own children to work with them — many of whom refer to themselves as “nanny moms” or “nanny parents” — often find that doing so is a fulfilling and efficient way to combine work and family life. The arrangement allows them to continue doing work they love while remaining their own child’s primary caregiver. 

The benefits of bringing your child to work can extend to the family you work for, too, and understanding what they are can help you make the case if your employer needs a little convincing. There’s no one right way to approach the arrangement — you could host at your home or go to theirs; you may bring your child all the time or just sometimes. Whatever the arrangement, the nanny parents we spoke with say it can be well worth it. Here are the ways they say they benefit from being able to bring their own child to work.

The benefits of bringing your own child to a nanny or babysitting job

1. Build a flexible career you enjoy

For those who love being professional nannies or sitters, perhaps the best perk of bringing your own kid to your job is that you don’t have to choose between your career and spending time with your own kid.

Courtnee Jones, a mom to a 3-year-old and nanny with twelve years of experience, says that when she tried pivoting away from being a nanny, she didn’t feel as fulfilled. “Being able to stay in this industry and continue raising my child is ideal,” she says. “I can continue to do what I love to do and show other nannies we can do this.”

Carrie Bland, a certified professional nanny and mother of a 2-year-old, finds that being a nanny mom has given her the best of both worlds: “I’ve been able to continue being involved in the nanny industry that I love so much, impacting children and their parents in a positive and helpful way, while being with my child full time.”

Jones has become so passionate about this work arrangement that she offers support services for other nannies. Deeply invested in her career in child care, Bland also offers mentoring services to other nannies, including those who want to combine parenting with professional child care work.

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2. Earn an income while saving on child care costs

Bringing your child to your nanny or babysitting job comes with one huge perk that no other job has: the ability to earn an income while saving money on child care. Given the staggering cost of child care in the United States, which now eats up 20% or more of many families’ incomes, saving any amount on care could free up resources for other areas of your life.

That said, Bland does not believe that bringing your child to work should keep caregivers from charging a competitive rate. “We are nannies who became parents, and so we have the training and experience to support why we charge what we do,” she tells fellow caregivers. 

“We are nannies who became parents, and so we have the training and experience to support why we charge what we do.”

 — Carrie Bland, certified professional nanny

Also, keep in mind that it need not be an all-or-nothing situation if you’d rather only watch your child for some of the time you’re working. Jones initially started bringing her child to work all the time, but ended up scaling that back to only bringing her two or three days out of four. “I needed a little separation,” she says, adding that her current arrangement now works well for everyone.

3. Share meaningful experiences with your child

Jones loves being able to take her daughter and client’s child on fun adventures. As a bonus, her daughter loves joining her at work, too. “If I plan a big outing, my daughter comes along, which makes it even more magical,” she says. “Or if I plan an elegant tea party with finger sandwiches and such, she gets to be there, dress up and be part of the fun.”

She says managing multiple children is one of those things you have to learn and practice, but that over time, with a lot of trial and error, you improve. Her advice for having a great time is just to do “lots and lots of planning.”

“I’ve learned to never start the day playing catch-up,” she says. “If you’re planning on going on an adventure with the kids, start planning the night before when you’re at home to make sure you have the lunches for yourself and the littles.”

4. Build in more socialization for both children

“My child is being raised with these other children in my care, which adds the benefit of socialization, developmental support and encouragement,” says Bland.

Shannon Parola, a child care and nanny coach for families in the Bay Area, points out that if parents want their child to have more socialization but feel hesitant to enroll them in daycare, either being a nanny parent or hiring one can be a good middle ground. “If the kids are close in age, that’s a perfect play partner for your child,” she says. “And if one child is older, they might even take on a helper role.”

I personally hired a nanny who watches her own child along with ours and love seeing the photos of the toddlers playing together. Our nanny gives us updates about how they’re practicing collaborative skills like sharing and passing toys back and forth. 

As an added bonus for caregivers, children often do a great job of entertaining each other, which can make it easier to keep them both occupied and content while you handle another task like prepping food or cleaning up a mess.

5. Relate to your employer in a different way

Bland feels that she can relate to her employer on a closer level because she’s gone through very similar experiences as a parent. As a parent employer, I appreciate that as well. I know that our nanny’s experience as a mother makes her intimately aware of the needs of young children and feel that we are in the same place in life. She understands how hectic our schedules can be, gives us grace with things like running a few minutes late or forgetting diapers and even offers general parenting advice.

“A nanny mom is going to understand the sleepless nights, the fact that things change,” says Parola. “They’re someone who’s been in the trenches and gets it.”

Questions to ask when considering a nanny parent arrangement 

Even with all the benefits, being a nanny parent requires an extra level of energy, planning and awareness of everyone’s boundaries, including your own. Aside from the standard list of questions you’d want to ask any new family, you’ll want to discuss topics that affect both of your families and children, such as:

  • Do you and your employer have similar parenting styles? If there are major differences, can everyone feasibly work together?
  • Will the car you’re using fit all the children you’re caring for?
  • Who will host? Or will you make a weekly schedule using both homes for child care? If you care for the children in your own home, you may qualify as an in-home daycare, but note that this comes with different requirements. Check your state’s in-home daycare regulations to make sure you understand local guidelines.
  • Who will provide the food, diapers and other essentials? 
  • Are the children on the same or different schedule (naps, meals, activities), and how will that be handled? 
  • What are both parent’s comfort levels about outings to public places?
  • What are both families’ vaccination status and level of concern about minimizing risks of COVID and other illnesses? What will be the agreed-upon protocol if one child is showing signs of sickness?

Bland advises putting all agreed-upon details into a nanny contract and continuing to revisit these topics periodically throughout the working relationship to make sure everyone is on the same page.