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 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 guys 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 make the right hosting decision for your nanny share.
Consider Alternating Host Homes
The majority of parents we spoke to said that they prefer to switch up host homes.
“Each week, we did two days at their house and two days at ours,” explained one mom from Boston.
We spoke to one mom from Portland, Oregon, who said that she also chose to split hosting duties weekly. Her nanny had the kids for three days at their home and two days at their partner family’s home. Each weekend, the parents exchanged texts to plan for the upcoming week, based on their travel and work schedules.
She also said that she agreed to use only silicone chew toys in her home because her share family didn’t want their daughter to accidentally put something in her mouth that wasn’t BPA-free.
Some families agree to alternate the weeks they host. Alternating weeks means the nanny first cares for all the children together at one family’s home and then travels to the other family’s home to do the same the following week. Other families switch homes on a biweekly or monthly basis.
Whatever arrangement you choose, ensure you budget time for dropoffs and pickups.
Consider Hosting Exclusively If You Have Special Requirements
If a family has pets and you don’t want your child exposed to them, you may opt to host exclusively. 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, even though she's completely childproof,” explained one Bay Area mom.
If your child has a peanut allergy, for example, you may decide to host full time to ensure a peanut-free environment.
A mom from Denver added that “because my son has these food allergies, we needed somebody who was willing to just come over to our house."
Whatever the Arrangement, Decide Early in the Process
We interviewed Ken, a dad from New York, who said that he and his wife leave for work earlier than the other couple in their share, so they needed their nanny to come in earlier. The other family wanted the nanny to stay later because they arrived home later. He said that he wanted to be sure he created a flexible arrangement as soon as possible.
“When one family came home, the nanny had to take the baby to the other family's house,” he explained.
By including your hosting preferences in a nanny share advertisement, visiting the other home, and thinking about your needs and discussing them with your share family early in the process, you’re sure to create a hosting plan that works for everyone.
Think a nanny share is right for you?
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Ready to take the next step in setting up a nanny share? Click on the next article in our "The Nanny Share Guide" series:
7) Your Place or Mine? How to Decide Which Family Will 'Host' Your Nanny Share
Kristen Paulson-Nguyen is an award-winning copywriter. She wishes she had done a nanny share when her 7-year-old was a baby.
The information contained in this article is provided only as a general guide and is not intended to be nor should it be construed to contain legal, medical or financial advice. The selection of a caregiver and terms of any caregiving arrangement are solely the responsibility of the individuals involved and not Care.com
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