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What Is a Part-Time Nanny? And Do You Need One?

Jessica Retrum
June 19, 2018

Decide if a part-time sitter is right for your family.

Whether she has to be fluent in Spanish or cook like an Iron Chef, every family has a list of "must-haves" for their new babysitter or nanny. What many families don't realize, however, is that they're often posting for the wrong type of child care provider all together!

You know there's a difference between a babysitter and a nanny, but what if you need something in the middle? You may need to hire a part-time nanny.

If your family is searching for an experienced caregiver to help raise your children, but you only need someone a few days a week or a few hours each day, a part-time nanny may be exactly what you need. Learn how changing your job posting from "weekday sitter" to "part-time nanny" may help you find the qualified candidates you've always dreamed about.

What Is a Part-Time Nanny?
A part-time nanny "should have the same qualifications that full-time nannies possess," says Becky Kavanagh of the International Nanny Association. She's someone who watches the children before and/or after school or a few days a week. Maybe the family only needs help while a parent works part-time or the kids are home from school. As long as the nanny works under 35 hours a week, she's considered part-time.

Why Do You Need a Part-Time Nanny?
Many families find part-time nannies convenient because they can help out in the window of time when they are at work, but their children are out of school. This is also the time of day when stay-at-home moms tend to need a little extra help. A mom with several kids may hire a part-time nanny so that she can shuffle older kids to their after-school activities, while the nanny can stay around the house playing games with the younger children.

Part-time nannies can be an extra set of hands that can help mom through the tough after-school hours or even through dinner, the bath and getting ready for bed when their partner isn't home yet. The part-time nanny title typically entails a more qualified caregiver than an after-school sitter.

The part-time nanny is a caregiver that won't just be there while the child does homework, but one who will actually help to teach effective and lifelong skills.

While an after-school sitter could be great for driving kids to and from activities, a part-time nanny may teach the children Spanish, set up play dates and exciting excursions and do the family's laundry. She is the caregiver that can go above and beyond and truly shape your child's upbringing.

What Qualities Should You Look for in a Part-Time Nanny?
You should approach the hiring process the same way you would for a full-time nanny. This caregiver will be spending a lot of quality time with your children, so it is important that he or she has substantial child care experience and skills like CPR and First-Aid training

It's also critical that families find someone that they feel comfortable "co-parenting" with. "You want to find someone who you feel could be a third parent in your relationship," says Bugbee. "Someone who will not only care for your children as her own, but also will help teach the unique goals that you set for your children."

What Do You Pay a Part-Time Nanny?
A part-time nanny's compensation depends on the area of the country you live in, the typical rate in that area, and the number of children you have. Check out our nanny calculator to figure out the going rate in your area. Keep in mind that part-time nannies may expect more than regular babysitters, but typically come with greater experience and involvement in your child's life.

Do You Need to Pay Taxes for a Part-Time Nanny?
Many families may also wonder if they need to pay nanny taxes for someone who isn't full-time. No matter how many hours a week your nanny works, as soon as she earns $2,100 or more throughout the calendar year, you're required to withhold employment taxes.

A part-time nanny will likely become a part of your family, and it's important to pay her legally so that she can receive Medicare and Social Security benefits later in life. If you need help making sense of taxes or setting up a payroll account, Care.com HomePay can offer more information.

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