Tips for a Putting Together a Successful Nanny Share
You’re a good fit for a nanny share if:
- You have a limited budget for childcare but want to pay a fair wage.
- You want your child to benefit from socializing daily with another child.
- You’re willing to be flexible and compromise on some of the details of the care arrangement such as nap schedules, etc.
- Find a nanny share family first. It is a best practice to find a nanny share family first so you can ensure you have common expectations and can interview prospective childcare providers together.
- Where to find a nanny share family. Common ways parents and caregivers connect with other nanny share families are through work, a faith community, local childcare resource organizations or even the gym or yoga studio. You can also seek families online via NextDoor and other neighborhood listservs, Facebook groups for new parents and other online communities.
Find the Right Family
- Align your values as employers. As co-employers, you will need to create one contract for the nanny. It is important that you discuss your expectations and legal obligations as employers including the wage rate, hours, vacation and sick pay, etc. to be sure you are on the same page.
- Make sure the chemistry feels right. You will be seeing each other often, parenting and employing someone together. Make sure you find a family that you are able to work through conflict with, as some amount of conflict is always inevitable.
- Establish a parenting philosophy. Finding a family with a similar approach to parenting is very important, including schedules, food, naps, potty training, vaccines, screen time, etc.
- Dig into the logistics. Families that live close to each other and have similar schedules are often better matches for a nanny share.
- Make a written agreement. Create one written agreement that the childcare provider and both families sign.
- Double–up on equipment. Make sure you have all the baby equipment you need, including strollers, high chairs, and a place to sleep.
- Establish a process for conflict resolution. Discuss in advance with each other and the childcare provider how to handle conflict either between the childcare provider and employers, or between the families in the nanny share.
- Make a safety plan. Discuss childproofing and make a plan to stay as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic or other health emergency to ensure that the children, childcare provider and families all stay safe. See Nanny Employer Checklist During COVID and Nanny Employer FAQ’s During COVID.
- Make a sick child protocol. The children will get sick. It is important to establish when children need to stay home and what to do if the child whose house the nanny share is scheduled for is sick.
- Schedule regular check-ins all together to maintain clear expectations on all sides (see HIH’s tips on clear communications tips).
Above all else, know your own priorities and also be prepared to compromise on things that are not as important to you. Flexibility, empathy, and humor will be key to making this relationship amazing!