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By Lindsay Pinchuk, Founder of Bump Club and Beyond
For the first (almost) two years of my daughter’s life my family has been in a very successful nanny share situation. Here are my top tips for making this situation work:
Nanny Share situations are not one size fits all. Not all nanny shares are the same. Keep in mind that it’s up to you and the other family to figure out what works for your families. A few popular ways to share a nanny:
Try to find another family first, and then find the nanny together. If you know you want a nanny share, this is a great way to do it (unless you find someone who has a great nanny and want to join in.) But this way, you can find and interview a nanny together to make sure that you are on the same page with the type of nanny you want.
Interview families the way you would interview a nanny. It’s important that the other family parents in a similar way to you and that you agree on things. Make sure to discuss nap-time, the presence of television, will you enroll your children in activities for the nanny to take the kids to, It’s important to have a very open conversation about all of these things (and more!) up front.
Gear/Supplies. If you are switching houses it is necessary to make sure that you have a place for both babies to sleep in both houses. It is recommended to keep supplies at the other house so that you do not have to bring everything each week (other than food, etc.) If the babies are the same age/size, you can make the decision to each supply diapers, wipes, cream etc. so that you don’t have to take them back and forth. In regards to a stroller, if one of you has a convertible (that adds a seat) that would be fine, while it is a bit annoying to take a stroller back and forth each week it can be done. If you both have convertible strollers (ie. B-Ready, City Select, UPPAbaby VISTA) it is recommended to each buy the second seat.
Communicate. This is key in making this situation a success. If you make a decision for your own family that affects the other family, it is imperative that you talk about it. Be open and honest. This situation is will be much more enjoyable if you talk to each other.
Be Flexible. This can be a great situation, but you have to remember that it is a trade-off which requires flexibility. In exchange for a more economical childcare situation, you have to remember that there are three parties involved—your family, the other family and the nanny, It is a give and take and everyone has to be flexible to make it work.
Have a contract. Since there are three parties involved, it is a good idea to have a contract in place. Make sure that your rates, overtime policy, information for both families, hours, vacation policy, sick policy, and any special instructions are listed. This will make it much easier if anything is ever a question. You can simply consult your contract!
Have fun! Having a nanny share is not only great for the socialization for your baby, but great for the parents as well. This situation gives your family a built in set of friends in the same life stage!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific nanny share questions. I am more than happy to help and post any answers based on my experiences that are applicable to anyone.