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Should You Keep Your Nanny When Your Kids Are at School?

Gillian Kruse
Oct. 5, 2017

How you and your nanny can work around your child's school schedule.

You and your kids love your nanny. She's been with you since your kids were little and you couldn't imagine your family without her.

But once your children are of preschool or school age, schedules change. Now a full-time nanny isn't as practical. However, you still need her help when your children are home and you can't be with them.

How can you decide what is best for you, your family and your nanny? Here are five scenarios that may help:

  1. Keep Your Nanny on Full Time
    If you have the financial capability to keep your nanny around full time, this is likely the easiest solution to your problem. She comes in the morning to feed your kids and get them to school, then picks them up a few hours later.

    Having your nanny stay at the house while you're at work and the kids are at school is the best way for you to ensure your children are always covered in case of emergencies or sickness.

    Child care expert Lora Bradley of NannyBizReviews notes that, "When you pay your nanny while your child's in school, you're paying for her availability. You're guaranteeing she won't make other plans that can't be broken at a moment's notice, that she won't take another job, that she won't enroll in a class with mandated attendance. If your child gets sick, if the weather turns bad and school closes early or if there's any other kind of emergency, your nanny can be at school in just a few minutes. If you don't have relatives or friends that can fill in on short or no notice, or if your work responsibilities make it hard or impossible for you to leave work for an emergency, this can be an essential guarantee."

    You still have to pay her for the entire time because you're asking her to be on-call in case something happens. Negotiate with your nanny to figure out a payment that makes sense for everyone. Learn about other ways you can be a Fair Care Employer.

    Take the Fair Care Pledge now!

  2. Ask Her to Perform Additional Duties
    Do you also have a housekeeper, maid or laundry service that helps you out with other tasks around the house? Perhaps you could consolidate these jobs into one while the kids are at school. As long as your nanny is on board with the arrangement, asking her do additional work around the house when she's not working with the children can streamline your household and ensure she can stay around full time.

    Parenting expert Adam Caller of Tutors International says of his own family, "We have a nanny, who we deliberately employed on a full-time basis as a nanny-housekeeper. Her role is clearly set out to be responsible for the housework as it pertains to our son...his laundry, bedding, his nursery, cleaning his toys...and for us, our laundry/ironing and keeping basic staples [like milk, bread, eggs, etc.] properly stocked. She is very busy when the little chap is otherwise occupied."

  3. Cut Back to Part Time
    If your family truly cannot afford to pay your nanny for the time your children are at school, then it might be best for you to ask your nanny to shift to a part-time position. Working part-time will give her fewer hours and less incentive to stick around, so be prepared for your nanny to find a new job or find additional part-time work elsewhere for when she's not with your children.

  4. Hire Part-Time Help
    If your nanny wants to stick to full-time work, you may have to part ways. Post a job for a new caregiver who can fit your changing needs. Maybe you take care of the morning routine and hire an after-school sitter to pick up the slack in the afternoon. Or you hire two separate sitters: a morning one and an afternoon one.

    These after-school or before-school only jobs can be perfect for college students, however, who are not looking to be life-long nannies, but rather are using the jobs to help work their way through school. If you live in an area near a university, this might be a great option for your family.

  5. Try a Nanny Share
    If there's another family in the area who is facing child care scheduling issues as well, see if you can work something out with them that will allow both families to have their needs met. Perhaps a stay-at-home mom needs some time during the school day to run errands or do freelance work from home without children interrupting.

    If your nanny and the other family are open to the idea, a nanny share could help both families meet their needs without you having to reduce the hours your nanny is paid.

    Bradley notes that, "Nanny shares are also a great choice for families looking to save money on hiring a nanny. If you have families in your neighborhood that are facing the same child care challenges you are, a nanny share might be the perfect solution."

    Read more about If a Nanny Share Right for You »


Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer in Houston, Texas. Her work can be found here.

Oct. 19, 2013

As a nanny I am really insulted and offended when I come across families that only want to pay $5.00 an hour. I have over 15 yrs of extensive experience. A Degree in Early Childhood Education. CPR/First Aid Certified. A Sheriff's card. Wonderful References. Even if I didn't acquire all those things. You have to ask yourself is $5 an hr acceptable pay for anyone? Absolutley NOT!

Sept. 19, 2013

Over the past 5 years that I have been working as a Nanny,I have found that people can be very different people when it comes to money. I don't get it you hire someone & they are with you forever & take care of your children like they are their own,you sing their praises all Summer long or school breaks,and say how wonderful they are when the child didn't go to school or maybe for only a couple of hours.Just like the above person said we count on our income as much as you do, Think to yourself is maybe $60 worth losing the person who cares so much for my kids & family,there when I need them,has change their own plans to help my family etc? Old expression if it's not broke don't try to fix it. You will have more anxiety & go through the whole process again to get someone that may not even really care. I'm always willing to o extra ie: food shopping,clean out the frig etc. truthfully if you have enough money to have a FT Nanny for the past 5 years you won't kill you. The other pet peeve I have is the fact that care.com even allows people to offer $5.00 an hour for anything. Read some of these postings they want you to practically live there & work a 10 hour day for $5.00. Number 1Ithought it was against the law to offer anything but min.wage. And you people offering $5.00 remember you get what you pay for & you're talking about the person that will be taking care of your most prized pocessions. Are they only worth $5.00?Shame on you! would you work for $5.00 an hour. My daughter for babysitting gets $10 & up.

Sept. 13, 2013

Parents have to realize that we need to count on a steady income for a job to be worthwhile. I doubt they would like a job that only pays minimally for the time you are making yourself available. Parents need to put themselves in our shoes for a moment. We do an important job, and you know that, so pay us our worth please!

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