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Nanny-share - what's your experience?(6 Posts)
I am due to return to work soon and thinking about nannyshare as an option for my 8mnth old dd. Our flat is quite tiny so it would have to be at the other person's place.
First of all, does anyone know what the going rate is for nannyshare (3 days a week) in West London (W12/W6/W4 area)? And how does it work with tax/NI? Do you share this cost with the other family?
And what are the pros and cons? What are the potential stumbling blocks ... what should I watch out for? Is it best to link up with another family who already have a nanny or link up first and then find a nanny? I'd be interested to hear other mumsnetters' experiences of nannyshare.
my experience of a nanny share was not great to be honest but my circumstances were different to yours. I wanted full time care and found a nanny who worked in the next road to us 3 days a week so the arrangement sounded good - Mon to Weds we took our baby to the other house where she was looked after with a 2 year old and Thurs and Fri it would be sole care in our house.
Whilst this seemed ideal, in practice it didn't really work and I think this was due to a number of things. Firstly, she had been the nanny for the 2 year old since birth and her first loyalties were clearly to the other family (even though I was paying more). This meant that she would switch days to suit them (which actually happened quite a lot) and as a result my baby never got any regular groups/activities etc. I'm sure this was more of an issue for me than the baby but it still upset me.
The nanny also found it harder work than she had expected I think and I got the impression that she didn't like my baby very much. Again, I'm sure this was my problem and that her care of my baby was fine.
As far as cost goes - both families employed the nanny separately so paid tax/NI separately sharing her tax allowance between us.
The situation resolved itself when the nanny decided to go to America as an au pair and we found our own full time nanny.
I don't want to put you off the idea of a nanny share as I'm sure they can work well but I do think you need to be clear upfront as to how it will work and be prepared to put your foot down if the arrangements aren't kept. This is where I went wrong I think.
However, the other thing to bear in mind is that if it doesn't work it's not the end of the world - changing childcare is a hassle but if you aren't happy you should change as quickly as possible as it's much less stressful in the long run. I say this not only from personal experience but also having read a number of other people's experiences on these threads
I've done two nannyshares, both of which worked out reasonably well up to a point. Our first one was with a live-in nanny who was based at the other employer's house. They had two school-age children and ds was just over a year at the time, so I thought it sounded ideal. The nanny herself was great with ds, which I felt was the most important thing, however the arrangement did mean that A. there was no flexibility with dropping off time ds had to be there in time for the school run, which involved him being bundled into a car straight away for a 40-minute round trip to two different schools, which he wasn't always thrilled about B. he had to go on a second 40-minute school run at 3.20 and would then be toted around various after-school activities with the older girls. often when he was tired and grouchy.
Even though the nanny (theoretically, at least) just had him on his own during school hours, I felt his needs were often put second, as the nanny's first loyalty lay with the family where she lived. On one occasion, I was told that he had only had a 20-minute sleep during the day because the nanny had had to take the family hamster to the vet at the time he usually napped. I know this often happens with younger siblings, anyway, but when you only have one and are paying nanny prices, it can rankle a bit. Oh, and they got to choose all the holiday dates.
The second nanny share was with a live-out nanny, based at our house. We had her 3 days and she worked for another family for 2 days. That worked fine from our point of view we had to negotiate a bit about holidays; the nanny chose two weeks and we plus the other family decided on the other two. We used a nanny payroll company to sort out the tax and NI.
I would certainly consider doing one again it certainly makes the whole thing more affordable.
We had a nanny share for ds1 with a boy of the same age - met at antenatal classes, and I thought it worked really well.
We went to agencies to look for the nanny together, though some agencies will match you up. Based at our house as I was fulltime and the other boy came to us when his mum was at work. Used a payroll agency to sort out tax and NI which I would recommend, and split the nanny's wages and other costs 5/8 amd 3/8. My nannyshare partner was great at taking my boy if the nanny was off sick, which saved my bacon at work more than once. We had v similar views on rearing children, which was a great help (no tv, home cooked food that sort of thing). The share ended when we all got pregnant (including the nanny) at more or less the same time.
If a nannyshare is at your house it does get trashed, basically, just more wear and tear, so you might need to offer to pay a bit more to make up for that if the other family is bother by that sort of thing.
The only thing I would say is that nannyshares don't seem to last very long - someone is bound to get pregnant or move - so if you are hoping for long term continuity of care it might not be the thing.
SimplyChildcare is a good place to advertise for / find a nanny share.
You will need to pay the nanny a bit extra - and I would echo what sfg says about wear and tear - particularly once they are toddling, and the home where the share is based will need heating on all day in winter etc. Also, the nanny's phonecalls - they make a lot organising activities and meet-ups with othyer nannies!
But it worked out brilliantly for us (though the other child was in fact the nanny's own), and it was excellent for DS to have a really close friend. As they got older, I think it was easier to look after two, as they entertained each otehr, too.
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