If you're looking for individualised home-based child care, then a nanny is a great option. With live-in, live-out and nanny share arrangements available, nannies add the personal touch, remove the child care commute and strike that magic balance between providing consistent care and working the hours that suit you.
Unlike au pairs, they're usually professionally qualified to look after your child, and whether you have a hectic career, a degree to finish or a brand-new baby, a nanny can help your family solve its child care challenges and find a happy routine.
To give you a real sense of what it's like to have a nanny, CareforKids.com.au spoke with mum of one and business owner, Suzie Price.
Your daughter Chloe is now six and you've had a few nannies since she was born, how did you find them?
Our first nanny was a recommendation from a mum in my mother's group and I found our current nanny, and a previous one, on a nanny and babysitter search engine.
Why did you choose a nanny over other child care options, such as, family day care or a child care centre?
Initially, we hired a nanny because we were on waiting lists for child care centres and Chloe was very young. I was getting my Masters Certificate and needed time to study without Chloe needing constant care.
Once we found child care and Chloe was old enough, we put her in an amazing daycare. Now that she's at school, though, we've gone back to having a nanny because I work full-time and the hours at school are soooooo short.
Speaking of time, what are your nanny's hours and duties?
Our nanny, Bonnie, works two days a week from 2pm to 7pm. She comes by our house, picks up the car and packs a snack for Chloe. Then she collects her from school and does any planned after school activities. After that, Bonnie brings Chloe home, helps with homework and entertains her.
Bonnie preps Chloe's meal for the next day and cooks dinner for the whole family. She also does any random household chores we ask of her, like laundry and light cleaning.
What is the best thing about having a nanny?
It's a huge relief to be able to have a couple of long days at work and also have that extra support around the house.
However, the best thing about having a nanny is that you have someone to fill out your family. Bonnie has invested in Chloe and in our family and she is a big help. Having a nanny allows me to be stress-free, sleep in a couple of days a week, and work late a couple of days a week as needed.
Are there any challenges that come with having a nanny?
The biggest challenge we have is that Chloe would prefer it to be just me, her and her dad, Josh. She's had a few nannies, so I think she isn't as invested in her relationship with Bonnie as she could be. We're working through it, though.
And last but not least, how does Chloe describe Bonnie?
Chloe says, her nanny is, 'Funny, kind and important to her' which is so great to hear!
Would a nanny fit well with your own family?
If you like the sound of life with a nanny, then check our selection of articles relating to nannies in the CareforKids.com.au library.