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Nanny share dilemma(6 Posts)
Ds is 1. We have found a lovely nanny for a nanny share who can look after him 3 days a week, and can be flexible about the days (which suits our working lives perfectly). She has been working for a local family for 7 years, and they have 3 school age kids, so the nanny is free during school hours. The nanny share would be based at this other family's house and would include after school time when ds is with the other kids.
Obviously it's a good sign that the namny has been with the family for 7 yrs. But do you think this means ds will always be 2nd best - an afterthought? They have all had this kind of arrangement in the past but it has been with family friends, whereas we are strangers.
Not second best but he will need to tag along with whatever the older children are doing after school, so find out what they do.
Get to know the family. Not sure how a share will work when you don't know the family at all. Your share agreement is with the parents, so get to know them socially.
Consider what happens if you want to take holiday during school term time. The nanny may be restricted in when they can take holiday, such as to only be during school holidays, so would there be times when you need care but the other family does not, how would that work?
You say the nanny is free during school holidays, so establish exactly when that is and if they are really available the entire time, or if that is when they take time off. Consider where care would be provided during school holidays, your home? Care would be 1:1 during school holidays, so would that cost you more?
Some nannies have marked preferences for children of certain ages. I appreciate this would be hard to find out in advance! But it might work the other way - your child would be the baby and general pet. DC would also get a good lot of one on one time while the others were at school.
I have school aged DC. This arrangement would help me keep my nanny for longer, so I'd be motivated to make it work for the younger child. But check how much time after 3.15 will be spent schlepping around from football to Brownies to playdates to drama club, mainly so you are going into it with your eyes open. With my two DC there is one at an after school club every single day, which effectively means two pickups from school - one at normal time and one when the club finishes.
We had a nanny share a long time ago with two pre-school children. The one thing you really need to think through is holidays. The other family will presumably be taking holiday in school holidays and you will be making the most of not having to do that. When nanny is on holiday, you either need to be on holiday yourself or have other childcare arrangements. Most people deal with this by being off at the same time as nanny but with a nanny share this needs a lot of planning. For our share, we agreed that everyone wanted Christmas week off, then we, nanny and the other family each nominated a week a year. This worked for us.
If the share will be entirely based at another families house you need to think this through quite carefully, go in with your eyes open and talk them through with another family especially since you are all strangers.
a) you will benefit from your own home not needing to be heated during the day.
b) you will get none of the benefit of traditional nanny duties done in your own home - freezer stocked, child's laundry, toys sorted etc
c) what happens if you have another child esp with point b) when all those things become more of an overhead when you are working FT
d) how will discipline be managed especially if older children are rough with your child ?
e) will the other house be childproofed in any way. Are you ok with that?
f) illnesses. After school clubs/pick ups when your child has flu/chickenpox etc
g) food - you are 6 months into weaning your child. Are both families on the same page with quality of food/variation in diet/approach to table manners and discipline etc? This was a big issue for us.
h) older children will watch a lot more TV. Are you ok with this or still in the PFB phase in this respect ?
i) where will your child take a nap? Will you provide a travel cot? Will the nanny dismantle it every Friday
j) If the nanny is carrying out school runs in the morning, then nanny duties for three children, will there be time to take your child to groups and other activities.
k) Holidays. This has been covered above. It may be as simple as you don't pay for two weeks of term time care (ie the other family pay 100%) if you take holidays then, and have to find alternative care while the other family are on holiday.
Potentially it could be a really good arrangement but both families need to recognise that in exchange for the monetary saving (which is the primary motivator) that there are concessions to be made on both sides.
This is quite a good list of questions that parents need to ask before taking on a nanny share. Websites for finding nanny shares, such as, childcare.co.uk and Angel Nanny Share also have good information pages on nanny shares.
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