For families looking for ways to cut child care costs, a nanny share is one option. Families can hire a nanny to watch their respective children simultaneously, or a nanny can work part-time for two different families. In either case, the families share the cost and still enjoy the benefits a nanny provides.
The main benefit of a nanny share is affordability – between the cost of hiring a nanny and the cost of daycare, child care is not cheap. But with a nanny share, families pay a more reasonable amount, as each family pays only a portion of the nanny’s hourly rate instead of what you’d pay if you hired her on your own.
Example: if the going rate for a nanny in our area is $600 per week, then nanny share families would each pay a reduced rate of about $400 per week. That means each family is saving $200 per week over what they’d pay if they hired the nanny for just their own family. Over the course of a year, that adds up to a lot of savings.
It’s also great for the nanny, as she’s now making an extra $200 per week, which is very reasonable since caring for two families requires extra coordination and schedules.
NOTE: Household employers who participate in a nanny share must both be set up as employers and take care of the payroll, taxes, benefits, etc. It is illegal to have one family reimburse the other for their share of the nanny’s wages. When sharing a nanny, BOTH families must provide all the necessary payroll and tax paperwork. It would be the same as a person working for both McDonald’s and Burger King; the employee would receive separate paychecks, separate W-2’s, separate insurance coverage, etc.
Tips for Making a Nanny Share Work
- The family with which you enter a nanny share should have a child-rearing style similar to your own, since the nanny will be caring for both family’s children at the same time.
- The children in both your family and your nanny share family should be around the same age, so their progression stays consistent.
- If your children and your nanny share family’s children don’t already know each other, make sure the kids all get along before starting a nanny share. You want to ensure the children are compatible and avoid any potential behavioral problems.
- Make sure both families clearly communicate their expectations with the nanny. All parties should be involved in determining the nanny’s work schedule, when she will be off for holidays, and how much vacation time she receives.