Nanny sharing

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Many parents love the idea of having a nanny, but don't need one full-time, or think it might cost too much. Nanny sharing lets you share the nanny's time, and the cost of employing the nanny, with another family.

What is nanny sharing?

Nanny sharing is when one nanny works for two families. The nanny may either:

  • Work for each family at different times, e.g. the nanny works part-time at each house, or
  • Care for both sets of children at the same time, e.g. the nanny is shared full-time in one family's house.

Nanny sharing can be arranged to suit different families and needs. Here are some examples of nanny sharing situations:

  • You are working part-time in the mornings and only need a nanny when you are at work.
  • You have children at school and need a nanny in the afternoons after school.
  • You can't afford a full-time nanny just for your child, and decide to share a full-time nanny with another family to split the cost.
  • You want to combine a couple of days a week of a nanny with other existing child care.

How much will nanny sharing cost?

A shared nanny should have the same benefits and conditions as when they’re working for one family. These conditions include regular working hours, superannuation (if applicable), holiday and sick leave and a notice period. Read more about your obligations when employing a nanny.

You should agree in writing how to divide the cost of the shared nanny with the other family. This split may depend on the proportion of time the nanny spends with each family or the number of children per family.

Is nanny sharing right for our family?

Nanny sharing works for families with compatible schedules, children and values. To find the right nanny, both families will need to think about factors such as:

  • The type of nanny you want. The nanny needs to fit in with your family's routines and values. Approaches to discipline, meals, homework and play should be similar between families.
  • What the nanny's duties include. For example, will they do any cooking and housework?
  • When you regularly need a nanny. Don't forget that you will have to make alternative arrangements for holidays and illness.
  • The age of your child/children. Children of a similar age are more likely to get along and become friends.
  • Where you, the other family and the nanny live. If the families are not close together, then there may be issues such as travel time, cost of petrol and traffic delays.
  • Responsibilities for administration and record-keeping. Wages, tax, superannuation, insurance and expenses all need to be correct and up-to-date.

Nanny sharing doesn't suit all families. When considering a nanny share arrangement, weigh up the advantages and disadvantages for your family.

Advantages of nanny sharing:

  • Children are cared for in a home environment with a consistent carer. Children are therefore less likely to become ill.
  • Nannies in nanny sharing arrangements are paid more, and are more likely to stay in the position longer.
  • The cost and administration of a nanny is shared. You are only paying for the time you need.
  • Children may make close friends with one another.
  • There are no late fees if you are running late.
  • There is less travelling to and from child care centres for pick-up and drop-off.

Disadvantages of nanny sharing:

  • If your nanny needs to travel between families, any change to the schedule (e.g. if you are running late) will affect both families.
  • You will need to plan carefully around both families' holidays to coordinate the child care.
  • Disagreements between the nanny and one family may affect the other family.
  • Over time, your needs may become different from the other family's and the nanny may no longer suit both of you.

Finding a nanny share

Once you have decided what sort of nanny share arrangement you want, you can start looking for a matching family. Remember that the more flexible you are, the faster you will find a family to begin nanny sharing with.

To find nanny sharing, you can:

  • Ask friends, neighbours and parents in local playgroups if they are interested in sharing a nanny.
  • Ask other parents at your workplace about nanny sharing. At some workplaces, there may be resources to help you find child care, including nanny sharing.
  • Use our nanny search to find a nanny in your local area or contact an agency who provides nanny sharing services.

Both families should interview the nanny so that they are both comfortable with the chosen person. Read our guide to interviewing nannies.

As with any business arrangement, ensure that any specific requirements for the nanny (e.g. duties, work hours, expenses) are clearly written down. Both families and the nanny should have copies of these conditions once they are agreed.

Finding the right nanny to support you and your child can be difficult. If you aren't organised, then finding the right nanny for two families can be even harder! You need to decide on the type of nanny share you need, but be flexible where you can. A good nanny sharing arrangement can give both families ‘tailor-made' nanny services when and where they need them.

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