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How much does a nanny share cost?

Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
April 20, 2018
Image via Getty Images/Geber86

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.

 

You may have heard that sharing a nanny is a great way to save money on child care. It’s true! A nanny share often costs less than paying for a traditional child care center or for a private nanny, but exactly how much money could a nanny share save you?

First, consider what you’d pay for a nanny to care for one child. Compare that to how much you might spend on a nanny share. According to Care.com member data, the average cost of a nanny is about $28,905 per year, but that can range anywhere from $27,019 to $32,677. The overall cost of sharing a nanny is about two-thirds what you’d typically pay to have your own. Paying two-thirds the average cost of $28,905 per year means you’d save $9,635 per year by choosing a nanny share.

Let’s take a look at how much you could save per week in a nanny share. According to Care.com’s 2017 Cost of Care Survey, a nanny can cost $565 weekly -- and that figure continues to rise. Two-thirds of $565 is $376.67, which would add up to about $188 in savings a week, or about $754 per month, if you chose to share a nanny with another family.


How Do Two Families Share the Cost of a Nanny?

Sharing a nanny usually means the two families involved split their nanny’s hourly fee. Care.com spoke with several families all over the U.S. to learn more about how families share the cost of a nanny. They reported paying between $12 to $26 per hour total -- or $6 to $13 per family -- for their nanny shares. Rates will vary greatly depending on where you live. For example, the average hourly rate for a shared nanny in San Francisco is $24 to $26 -- or $12 to $13 per hour for each family.

Depending on your needs and the needs of your share family, there are many other factors to consider when calculating the overall cost of a nanny share. We’ve outlined a few of the more common ones in the following section.


Factors That Contribute to the Cost of a Nanny Share

While every nanny share is unique, here are a few of the more common factors that could contribute to the cost:

  • How Many Children Will She Watch? In one mom’s nanny share, she paid $15 per hour for one child and $18 per hour (or $9 each) for two. Do either of the children have allergies or special needs? If so, this may mean special dietary arrangements and additional work for the nanny.
     
  • Will You Need to Buy Extra Supplies? Consider whether you and the other family will need to buy extra equipment or supplies, such as double strollers or organic food. If you stick to one hosting location, you’ll only need one of everything, which could save you money. One group of parents in a nanny share decided that if one of them bought an item for the group, they’d add it to a shared expense list and then split it up once per fiscal quarter.
     
  • Are You Offering Your Nanny Benefits? One Bay Area mom says offering two weeks of paid vacation and paid holidays is standard practice there, while a Portland, Oregon, mom pays sick leave but does not pay her nanny for time off.
     
  • Does Your Nanny Have Extra Skills or Certifications? A nanny who has extra skills, experience, or safety certifications on her resume typically will charge a little more for her services. (And it's only fair for her to do so because those are added benefits for your child.) So, if it's really important for you to have a nanny who speaks Mandarin, or who has a water safety certification, then consider paying a little more than you normally would.
     
  • Will You Have Your Nanny Help Around the House? Are you considering having the nanny take on extra tasks outside of her traditional child care job? We're talking about things like laundry, walking the dog, running errands, or cleaning the house. If you're asking her to do more than just take care of the children, it's only fair that you pay her more for that work, too.
     
  • Will the Nanny Drive the Children? Some families choose to have their nanny drive the children to and from school, practices, and rehearsals. Typically, they'll decide to reimburse their nanny for the cost of car travel. Each year, the IRS issues a standard mileage reimbursement figure for business. The 2017 rate is 53.5 cents per mile. Check out some additional ways to reimburse a nanny for gas and mileage.
     
  • Have You Thought About Nanny Taxes? Nanny taxes are a combination of federal and state taxes that families are expected to pay when they pay a nanny -- or any household employee -- $2,000 or more in a calendar year. Make sure to learn the unique payroll and tax rules to follow when you're in a nanny share. You can also check out the nanny tax calculator for an easy way to estimate payroll costs, nanny taxes and possible tax breaks.

Once you’ve considered all the factors involved in the overall cost of a nanny share, you’ll be in a great position to come up with a budget and plan that respects what both families are comfortable spending.

Think a nanny share is right for you?

Care.com Nanny Share makes it easy to start connecting with local families.

Want to find out how nanny shares compare to day cares? Click on the next article in "The Nanny Share Guide" series:

1) Is a Nanny Share Right for You?

2) How Much Does a Nanny Share Cost?

3) Day Care vs. Nanny Share: Which One's Right for You?

4) So, You Want to Do a Nanny Share! Here's How to Get Started

5) Setting Up Your Nanny Share: The 10 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

6) Finding the Other Family in Your Nanny Share: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

7) Your Place or Mine? How to Decide Which Family Will 'Host' Your Nanny Share

8) How to Interview Nannies for a Nanny Share

9) How Should You Handle Time Off in Your Nanny Share?

10) How Do You Manage Expenses in a Nanny Share?

11) How Do You Handle Communication in Your Nanny Share?

12) Learn How to Craft a Great Nanny Share Contract

 

Kristen Paulson-Nguyen enjoys writing about parenting topics and helping high school students write personal essays for college admission. Keep in touch @knpwriter.

 

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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