Nanny shares, where a nanny takes care of children from two or more families at the same time, are growing in popularity. They provide a more affordable child care option for families who still want the individualized, high-quality care of a nanny, and can offer some enticing benefits for you as a child care provider. If this sounds interesting to you, first consider the pros and cons of working in a nanny share:
The benefits of working in a nanny share
Higher pay rate: You can charge a higher rate, based on the number of kids in your care.
Steady employment: Since at least two families are committing to joint care, this usually means a more regular work schedule for you.
More of what you love: More kids can mean more fun and more variety in your day.
The challenges of working in a nanny share
More complex communication: You must collaborate and work cohesively with parents from different families.
Multiple parenting styles: You’ll need to know how to juggle different personalities and parenting rules.
More coordination required: More kids and multiple families can mean dealing with more day-to-day scheduling needs.
If the benefits of a nanny share outweigh the challenges for you, the next step is to find two families you can work for — and whom can work together, as well. There are a number of ways to find these connections: from social media and nanny-finding websites to a job posting from two families who are looking to share one nanny.
Once you’ve found prospective families, it’s important to know what to ask and talk about at a nanny share interview. You’ll want to cover the basics of any child care job, but given the complexity of nanny shares, you’ll also want to make sure you nail down details surrounding logistics, parenting styles and communication. It’s not uncommon to have multiple interviews to ensure the right fit, including separate interviews with each family and a “working interview” to see how the kids — and parents — all interact with each other.
Make sure to ask about:
Make sure to demonstrate:
Once you and the families agree that you would all work well together in a nanny share, it’s especially important to get the job terms and agreements in writing, since there are multiple parties involved. Take this time to work with the families through all details of the role to prevent issues arising later. Your nanny share contract should include:
A nanny share can offer awesome benefits for both you and the share families, but all the details may feel nerve-wracking at first. With some preparation and planning you can start your nanny share off right.
Here are four keys to nanny share success that can help make it work for you — and everyone involved.
Talk through every detail with both families before you agree to a share, including:
Children’s needs: Schedules, discipline, house rules, transportation, etc.
Your needs: Pay (guaranteed pay vs. fluctuating hourly wage), taxes, time off, expenses, etc.
Arrange a trial playdate for the kids (and parents):
Establish a communication plan and use it openly and often:
Decide together how each family prefers to communicate for everyday situations, as well as for individual updates or issues
You may use a group chat or text or dedicate one parent as point person for daily communication. But for individual discussions, you may prefer to schedule regular and separate check-ins
Have a plan in place for dealing with conflicts or issues:
Decide up front how conflicts will be handled
Make it clear if you want parents to deal with conflicts first
Be clear about when you want to be notified of any issues
Considering sharing a caregiver? Be sure to do your homework: Nanny shares and shared care arrangements may be subject to various licensing requirements or prohibited in certain states and jurisdictions. Research local laws and regulations.