10 Steps to a Successful Nanny Share
Tips & Advice

10 Steps to a Successful Nanny Share

by Martha Scully

At CanadianNanny.ca, we have seen an increase in families looking to a nanny share as their childcare solution. Using our service, registered families are able to use our Nanny Share section for free. They can post an ad for other families to see; the only place where families can see other families' information.

A nanny share is when two families share one nanny. The nanny may work part time for one family and then on the other days, work for the other family. Or in some situations the nanny works for both families at the same time. Parents either know the family they are going to share with or find them through our service.

It is a good idea to work on the details of the share before you start with any nanny share arrangement. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Do you and the other family have the same or similar philosophies and parenting styles? Both families need to direct the nanny the same way regarding behaviour management, nutrition, over-all organization of the childrens' days, etc.
  • Are the children similar in age, development, and temperament? If the nanny is looking after a fussy 6-month old, your preschooler is going to get less attention than he needs.
  • Both families should interview the nanny together. If you want, you can interview the nanny separately for a second interview. References should be checked and discussed between the two families.
  • Typically, a nanny in this situation would make a little bit more than the average wage. We have heard from families that the “host” family - the family whose home is used for both sets of children - pays a bit more as the nanny is able to do more household duties, and due to the convenience of not having to transport your child to another home.
  • Ensure that you have a back-up plan in place should the nanny be sick and unable to work, or if the other family's children are sick. If your child is sick, the nanny should still be paid.
  • If the children have items they need during the day, such as cribs, highchairs and large toys, the care should be done at that home as it is difficult to transport these items each day.
  • You and the other family are both considered employers of the nanny, therefore you each have to remit taxes.We have heard where one family acts as the employer, and the other family pays that family for the time directly. In any case, we recommend you speak to your accountant to determine what works best in your situation.
  • Vacations can become sticky in a nanny share situation. First, discuss with the other family any upcoming vacation plans, and if they overlap. Discuss this in detail and be sure you know the number of holidays are planned, and when they are. If one family is on vacation or doesn't need nanny services, the nanny still needs to be paid. It usually works best if both families take vacation time at the same time, but this isn't always possible. When the nanny takes time off, ensure you have back-up care lined up to cover this time period.
  • Be sure to document everything about the arrangement, including days and hours, duties, which home is used when, etc. This should be signed by both families and the nanny and kept on file for the duration of the arrangement. Occasional short meetings between all parties is suggested to ensure that the arrangement still works, and update the document with any changes.
  • The amount of notice needed to give the other family and nanny should be agreed upon between the families. The more time the better for this, so that the remaining family can find a new family to share with.

Taking these steps before you enter a nanny share arrangement will ensure that the transition for your family is smooth and successful.

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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.