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setting up a nanny share - advice pls from nannies and parents!

(12 Posts)
theory Sun 07-Jun-09 12:15:46

Husband & I are meeting today with another couple to talk about possibly hiring a shared nanny in the autumn - we both have little girls, aged 7 months now, and we live literally three doors down from each other.

Is there anything we should be thinking about/planning for in particular? I know we'll want to suss out whether we share a general "parenting philosophy" (to use a vaunted term), and I've also thought about some of the practicalities, esp the question of whose house will we be in. (Frankly, theirs is much bigger, nicer, and more accessible--fewer stairs-- so I'd rather have the girls there.) Holidays, too - what happens when we go away at different times? (Does one family pay the whole daily date then?)

I'd love to hear from parents and nannies about their experiences with shares- what they think is most important in making it work well, what practical issues came up, any advice for planning. Thanks!

nannynick Sun 07-Jun-09 12:27:28

Some practical issues:
Who will buy the double buggy?
Who will buy the additional highchair?
Will nanny use their own car... or will you be providing one? What about car-seats?

Not sure about Holidays, but I suspect it is easier if you split the annual costs between you and both aim to take holiday at the same time. Your nanny would get 5.6 weeks holiday, so you will need to cover your nannies holiday probably by using your own annual leave.

Consider tax implications... you may find it easier both being joint employers - that means your nanny has one employment but two bosses.

theory Mon 08-Jun-09 13:23:18

Thanks, nannynick. That helps. We messed up tax stuff with our current nanny (by agreeing on a net rather than gross salary), so we're really keen to get it right this time!

Do nannies working in shares usually make the same amount as "regular" nannies or more (question for anyone out there)? For example, to use the hourly rate, if we pay 8 an hour for just our baby, should we expect to pay 4 an hour for our half of the share?

nannynick Mon 08-Jun-09 14:26:19

I think a little more, as they have two sets of parents to keep happy. If you are paying 8 gross per hour now, then with a share I would expect that the share amount may be 9 or 10 gross per hour, but you would only pay a percentage of that.

I would not expect that the share is a 50:50 split on the money side of things, particularly if you are only using one house. The parents whose house in which the share takes place, get a lesser percentage in my view, as compensation for the wear and tear.
So a 60:40 split may be more what you are looking at.

However I have never done a nanny share... so I'm just going on what has been posted on Mumsnet over the years about nanny shares.

bumpyboo Mon 08-Jun-09 16:06:27

Great points from Nannynick re the double buggy, high chair, car and car seats. I also agree that the pay should be a little more than a one family Nanny. The host family will usually pay for food, elec and wear and tear and stuff so it might be good for you to pay for all the activities and other expenses eg swimming, playgroup, travel etc etc if you decide you do want to split the salary 50/50. My top tip for what its worth would be to be quite open to give and take.

FabulousBakerGirl Mon 08-Jun-09 16:11:41

I have done 2 nanny shares with family a and b and then one with family b and c. The b and c didn't last long and then I did another share with family b and d.

No matter how friendly you are with the couple now, you need everything in writing, nothing should be left to be played by ear and you need to make some tough decisions.

If one baby is sick and the other family wants their baby kept away - which parent will stay off work.

What will you do about holidays? Three sets of people to keep happy.

I had some really awful situations with the parents arguing over me so I would think it all through very carefully.

What will you do if another baby is due, will you want to carry on the share with 3 children?

What will happen if the nanny is happy with one family and not the other, or if one family isn't happy with the nanny?

Can you tell I had an eventful time?hmm

Annner Mon 08-Jun-09 16:12:11

It saves money in the long term if you use one of the payroll companies to sort out the share of allowances business. I've used nannypaye for the last three years with no problems.

Every now and again you should sit down semi-formally with your co-employer to see how things are going. It is important that you don't have discussions "through" the nanny.

Nick is right on the split. We have always taken it in turns in houses, depending on who needs to be at home more. When DS was tiny DD and fellow nanny-ee stayed at our place so that he could sleep in his cot. Not that DS is 2.5 and there is a tiny new nanny-ee, they tend to spend more time round there.

Whoever is at home tends to get eaten out of house and home in snacks, too! You will need to be more flexible in your approach than when you are a sole employer. i.e. over food, meal times, etc. I accept that when my children have the advantage of being at home, the other child will probably want to eat their lunch and not his own! That sometimes reverses, though, so some I win, some I lose.

As they get older, consider how you'll handle activities, i.e. whether to do any classes (as they'll need to be same class at same time!) and which drop in toddler groups to go to, etc. Swimming lessons can be an issue (parent and child type); general drop in splashes aren't. Think also about illness: will you take the normal nanny approach (i.e it doesn't matter) or the childminder one (it does, and other children shouldn't be exposed to your bugs, etc.) We have always tended to work more along the nanny line and have spread bugs and chicken pox freely.

We have loved it. At its best, it is like giving your child another sibling or close cousin. They'll be friends, but will also fight like siblings... Good luck!

frAKKINPannikin Tue 09-Jun-09 13:31:55

IME one family hosts and the other deals with pay-roll and kitty. It works out around equal(ish).

I've done several temp nannyshares and although not on PAYE for those the same thing seemed to apply - one hosted, one did kitty.

Definitely agree a gross salary. I'm investigating a nanny-share right now and would be looking at charging time and a half but it doesn't seem a very stable share and I could just about survive on 2/3 of my current FT salary if it did break apart. Also I want extra money for the sheer complexity of this potential job!

callaird Tue 09-Jun-09 20:17:31

I had a nanny share position a few years ago now, they lived a street away from each other, there was 5 weeks between the babies, 3 and 4 months. I did one week at one family home and the following week at the other families home, I didn't do any nursery duties but that was just the way they wanted it, if you swap houses each week you could get the nanny to do nursery duties for you.

They brought a car between them, it wasn't top of the range but it was a safe car and we transfered car seats at the beginning of the week and back on Friday night. They brought a travel high-chair between them and a travel cot and they were brought over on Monday morning with the baby.

Holidays - In a "normal" nanny job, the nanny chooses 2 weeks and the employer chooses 2 weeks, in my nanny share, I had a week at Christmas and then we each choose a week. It worked well, if the families wanted 2 weeks holiday we all sat down and tried to find two weeks we could all do or they just took extra holiday (tbh most of my employers have had much more than 4 weeks holiday entitlement a year!)

If a child was sick we generally carried on as normal, the children spent 10 hours a day with each other so if one got a bug the other one will get it! They usually are contagious a few days before the symptoms show anyway. Or they pick it up from other children we spent time with. I even looked after them both when they had chicken pox (stayed in for almost 3 weeks!!)

The only problem we had was when both families expanded within 4 months of each other, one family (who found one child hard work) thought that it would be too difficult for me to look after 4 under 23 months! They found a new nanny without telling any of us until the friday before the new nanny started, I threatened to take them to court to get my 4 weeks notice money, then they found out that the nanny they took on had a back problem (not perfect for someone who had to look after a 22 month old and 7 month old!) So they got rid of her and came crawling back, we hadn't found another family to share with so we went back to original arrangement but there was too much resentment and worry they would do the same thing again so it ended after 6 weeks, I was gutted cos I had so much fun with all 4, the older 2 were so close and it ended badly so they didn't see each other for 7 years.

The third family we did the share with did not like the fact that the then 2 year old had a very active social life, we were out every morning at different activities and most afternoons with friends, she wanted me to spend more "one to one" time with their 4 month old baby, which is quite difficult when you have a 2 year old and a 6 month old!!! We had to sit down and say that they have come into a share where the children already have a daily routine and if they didn't like it, they would have to find someone else, but they didn't want to pay for a nanny just for them so they stayed!!

Pay - One of my bosses was an accountant, so she did my pay, the families paid the same amount and she did the tax and NI for all of us, when extra children were added, I got £30 a week pay rise from the childs parents. I did get a slightly higher rate being in a nanny-share position than I would have had I worked for a single family and it was split down the middle. I had a kitty from both families of £20 a week and I kept that with me (I did account for it!) and if we didn't use it all up during the week I would carry it over to the following week and then when we had enough, we would spend it on a day trip to the zoo or something.

theory Wed 10-Jun-09 12:27:21

Thank you, everyone!- lots of issues here we hadn't thought of that I'll be sure to bring up with the other mum. We're meeting soon to continue planning. It sounds like it would be a better arrangement if we alternated houses, but I'm not sure how a nanny would cope with our flat --on 3rd and 4th floors--plus two little ones...

bumpyboo Wed 10-Jun-09 15:54:08

Just to be awkward I would say don't share houses if possible, pick one house where they will be all the time. Sharing houses means that there has to be facilities for all the kids at each house eg high chairs, toys, nappies, potties . It might sound like small stuff but in my opinion its much better for all concerned to have everything in just the one place. I also think its confusing for kids to keep swapping but again just my opinion.

MammyT Thu 11-Jun-09 21:34:58

When it works, it is brilliant. I think it works best if the parents are friends to start with and the children are the same age.

I'd use NannyTax for the payroll aspects - we found them excellent for our nanny share.

Like a previous poster we took the attitude that unless the child had a very serious illness, the nanny would mind both even if it was likely the second child would pick it up too.

Don't forget to discuss the kitty, especially if you don't alternate the location, and remember to factor in wear-and-tear.

It worked brilliantly for us so good luck.

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