Your place or mine? How to decide which family will 'host' your nanny share

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.

When you're setting up a nanny share, location is a key detail that you'll want to iron out with your share family sooner rather than later. In other words, where will the nanny watch the kids? Will it be at your house? At the other family's house? Or will you trade off?

Care.com interviewed a group of parents who have either experienced a nanny share or are in the process of finding one. Once the parents we spoke with had chosen a partner family and hired a nanny, they detailed some of the factors that affected their decision on where to host. Chief among those concerns were things like out-of-sync schedules, allergies and pets.

These real-life examples from knowledgeable parents will help you land on the right hosting arrangement for your nanny share.

Consider alternating homes

The majority of nanny share parents say they prefer to switch up host homes although the ways in which they choose to split up the schedule varies.

“Each week, we did two days at their house and two days at ours,” explains one mom from Boston.

A mom from Portland, Oregon, says that her nanny watched the kids for three days at her family’s home and two days at their share family’s home. Each weekend, the parents exchanged texts to plan for the upcoming week, based on their travel and work schedules.

Some families agree to alternate hosting every other week. Other families switch homes on a biweekly or monthly basis.

Consider hosting exclusively in one home

If you have special requirements, like your child is allergic to a particular food or certain type of pet that your nanny share family has, you may opt to host exclusively in your own home. Alternately, be understanding of any concerns the other family might also have.

“People might not want to nanny share with me because I have an 85-pound dog,” explains one Bay Area mom.

A mom from Denver adds , “My son has these food allergies, so we needed somebody who was willing to just come over to our house."

Make schedule needs known early on

Whatever arrangement you, the other family and your nanny work out, decide early in the process, especially if it requires flexibility and coordination.

For example, Ken, a dad from New York, says that he and his wife leave for work earlier than the other couple in their share, so they needed their nanny to come earlier. The other family wanted the nanny to stay later because they arrived home later. This meant the nanny started their shift in one home and finished in the other.

Even if the arrangement isn’t overly complicated, it’s important that everyone agrees in advance where and when the nanny and children will be at any given time.

The bottom line

Ultimately, communication is key when you're determining who will host your nanny share. By sharing your needs and hearing the partner family’s must-haves, you’re sure to land on a game plan that works for everyone.

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Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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