Is Nanny Share Right for You? How It Works and Pros & Cons

Childcare expenses can be a significant burden, especially when choosing a private nanny over a daycare center. However, there are ways to decrease the cost while still benefiting from having a nanny. In certain cases, sharing a nanny may offer a viable solution.

What is nanny share? A nanny share is where more than one family hires a nanny to look after all the kids from both families. This can look like a nanny watching all the kids at once or splitting time between both families. This ensures both families contribute to the costs and makes it cheaper for them overall.

There’s a lot to know before deciding if a nanny share is right for your family. Consider the pros and cons carefully.

How Do Nanny Shares Work?

When you enter a nanny share, you agree to share one nanny between two families.

The nanny will generally give each family a 33% discount, and they will also end up making 33% more than if they were only working for one family. 

The nanny will split time between the houses of both families and will take care of all the kids from both families no matter which house they are at for the week.

Nanny Share Pros and Cons

When done correctly, a nanny share should benefit the parents, the children, and the nanny. 

What Are the Benefits of a Nanny Share?

A nanny share makes it possible for families who otherwise couldn’t afford a nanny to have one. It also offers built-in socialization for your child since they will be spending time with kids from another family. 

Nanny Share Issues

You may find that your family’s values and perceived quality of care are not the same as those of the other family involved. This could present issues or lead to both parties needing to compromise.

Because there will be multiple children involved, your child or children won’t be getting the same amount of individual care that they would if you had a private nanny.

Depending on the family with whom you are sharing the nanny, your children may pick up unwanted behaviors or attitudes from the other children involved.

Life brings about changes. Births or children starting school will present the need to alter the agreement. Also, the other family might announce an upcoming move or decide to opt-out of the agreement for other reasons.

Nanny Share BenefitsDisadvantages of Nanny Share
You pay less for a nannyYour child gets less individual care
Your child get to socialize with other kidsYour philosophy of care may not line up with the other family’s
Nanny takes care of household tasksBoth parties are responsible for taxes
Nanny shares tend to offer flexible schedulingYou have to hope you get the right family with whom to share the nanny
Nanny care is cheaper than daycare in most casesThe addition of a newborn can change the arrangements
Children receive care in a home, making it more personableOne family can leave the agreement unexpectedly

Nanny Share vs. Daycare

Though daycare is a popular option for working parents, it’s also extremely expensive. Plus, you have to work around the daycare’s schedule and make sure you can drop off your child and pick them up based on their hours of operation.

Daycares also tend to have more children in one class with fewer teachers, so it’s hard for your child to receive individual attention.

A nanny share can be cheaper, especially if you have more than one child. You also have the added benefit of finding a nanny who can work the hours you need.

Your nanny will come to your house or the house of the other family, so it will be easy to navigate drop-offs and pick-ups. In fact, the weeks the nanny is at your house won’t require you to transport your child to and from at all.

Nanny Share vs. Live-in Nanny

A nanny share does not involve the nanny sleeping at a family’s home or living with them. That’s because the children the nanny cares for live with different families, which makes a live-in situation unreasonable.

A live-in nanny works for one family and stays with the family full-time. They are more like a family member than a typical nanny in most situations.

How Much Does Nanny Share Cost?

Each nanny sets their own prices, but you would likely end up saving around a third of your childcare cost if you went with a nanny share instead of hiring a nanny on your own. 

Is a Nanny Share Cheaper?

A nanny share is cheaper than hiring your own nanny. At times, it can also be cheaper than daycare, especially if you have more than one child. 

How Many Kids Can a Nanny Look After?

Realistically, a nanny can probably comfortably look after no more than four kids at a time, and that depends on their ages.

You need to talk to the nanny you want to hire and make sure she is comfortable with the total number of kids she’ll be watching for both families.

Potential Compromises You May Need To Make With a Nanny Share

If you do decide on a nanny share, know that your child will not get the same amount of attention as they would if you had your own nanny.

The nanny will be trying to accommodate two parenting philosophies, and she will be working around the schedules of two families.

While your child will get to socialize with kids from the other family, there can also be conflict between the kids. Be prepared for how to deal with that.

What Should a Nanny Share Contract Include?

A nanny share contract should clearly state expectations, so you need to include specific information that both families and the nanny agree on. The contract should include:

  • What each family will pay.
  • Where care will take place.
  • How time off works.
  • Sick policies for both families.

Nanny Share: How To Split Costs

Each family will pay half of the agreed-upon total, but that total will be higher than if the nanny was only working for one family. Here’s a quick example:

If a nanny only worked for your family, she might charge $3,000 a month. If the nanny works in a nanny share, she might charge $4,000 a month in total. Each family will pay $2,000 a month for a nanny.

The extra money the nanny makes acknowledges the challenges of caring for kids from more than one family.

The fact that each family pays less acknowledges that their child is not getting as much personalized care as they would if it wasn’t a sharing situation.

Nanny Share: Taxes

Each family is responsible for taxes in a nanny-share situation as both families are considered employers.

Is a Nanny Share Right for You? Key Factors To Consider

If you want a nanny for your child but can’t imagine being able to afford it, a nanny share may be the right choice.

However, any time you enter into an agreement that involves another family, there can be complications. You need to be comfortable setting out your expectations in a contract and be prepared to work through issues if they arise.

How To Find a Nanny Share

Finding a nanny share is a lot like finding a nanny. There are places that specialize in helping you find the right nanny and the right family to share with, and many of them are online.

You can also create your own nanny share with a family you choose. You just need to ensure all parties agree to the terms and that you hire a nanny both families like.

To Summarize

A nanny share can be a financially realistic way to offer your child a nanny and other kids with whom to socialize at the same time.