There is a myriad of childcare options available to modern parents and it can be difficult to decide which option would be the best one for your family. Still confused about what Nanny Share means? Nanny Share can be a great alternative to a childcare centre or Sole Charge nanny. Therefore, it’s important to fully understand exactly how it works to help decide if this could be a desirable choice for your family.
Nanny Share explained simply is where two families share the childcare services and subsequent costs of hiring a Nanny. Within our service, two families can hire and share a Nanny from 1-5 days a week for a minimum of 8 hours a day. Our nannies provide in-home childcare and the arrangement can take place in one family’s home or alternate between the two.
Aside from the obvious cost saving advantages of Nanny Share, there are so many other benefits.
Are you still unsure about how a Nanny Share arrangement works in practice? Perhaps some insight from real families who Nanny Share will help. Louisa MacKay and Sharon Ponniah are currently in a Nanny Share arrangement through Lullaby Nanny Share and we have asked them some questions which help shed light on all things Nanny Share.
How would you explain Nanny Share to someone who didn’t know what it is?
Louisa: You share a nanny with another family. It helps manage the cost as well as being fantastic for the kids as they’ve become best friends. It’s through an agency and they match you with a family and nanny who share similar philosophies and views on what’s important for the children.
Sharon: Nanny share is a flexible day care option for your child/children, where you are able to share a nanny with another family. Being able to split costs with another family means that nanny share is more affordable than a sole-nanny arrangement and it offers increased flexibility in terms of day care hours and a day care program for your child/children.
How long have you been in a Nanny Share arrangement?
Louisa: Since January this year.
Sharon: Approximately one year.
Why did you choose to Nanny Share over other childcare services?
Louisa: Freya was only nine months when I returned to work, and I wanted her to be cared for at home where she was comfortable, receives lots of attention and also has the opportunity to go on outings like the Rhyme Time at the library, music classes, play groups and park visits. The attention and care she receives as well as all these outings have been wonderful for Freya’s development. She sings all day!
Sharon: We chose nanny share for two reasons. The first reason was that we wanted more personalised care for our daughter as she was still young (6 months) when I returned to work and didn’t feel ready to place Asher into a chaotic daycare environment. The second reason was that we needed flexibility with work hours. My husband and I work full time in professional jobs, which means long hours, so we needed to have childcare arrangements that allowed for early starts and/or late finishes.
How does your Nanny Share arrangement work?
Louisa: Before entering the arrangement, I set-up my house with a playroom, outside area, two high chairs and double pram etc. so we could welcome another child into our nanny share home. I also live right near the parks, library and playgroups so everything is convenient for the nanny. Another child comes to our home four days a week (7.30am to 5.30pm) and the nanny looks after the two children at our home. It works brilliantly for both families.
Sharon: We share our nanny, Teresa, with a wonderful family who live close by. The other family hosts the arrangement four days a week as they have a great playroom and easy access (no stairs) to accommodate the girls. Teresa works four long days with both families, starting that day at 7:30 and finishing at 5:30. Teresa looks after Asher from 7:30 to 4:30 and looks after Freya from 8:30 to 5:30. Our family needs an early start and the other family needs a late finish, so this works effectively for our arrangement. We provide all the food, formula, nappies, wipes etc.
What do you think are the best parts of Nanny Share?
Louisa: The care and development support the children receive and the friendships the children make. They become great sharers very early in life and Freya and the other little girl play together and kiss and cuddle all day!
Sharon: The flexibility in the arrangement is ideal, in that, you can make it work for you. It enables families to work closely with the nanny to create a weekly program that aligns to each child’s development needs, allowing for outdoor excursions every day. Our kids have a pretty structured week, with a mixture of book babies at the library, story time, music class, playgroup and they go to the park and playground often. This way, both girls are still exposed to activities and opportunities to socialise with other kids, while receiving one on one care with their nanny. Both girls have a very close bond with Teresa – they adore her – and it’s great for them to form attachments with other adults in this way. Very young children need stability and security and daycares appear to have a very high transition rate with carers. Having a nanny provides a continuity of care and builds trust with the kids and the family. Teresa is part of our family! Most of all, Freya and Asher have the closest relationship and are practically siblings. They love each other and talk about each other all the time – it’s very special and lovely to see.
Would you recommend Nanny Share to other parents?
Louisa: Absolutely. It’s worked brilliantly for us, particularly when Freya and the other little girl were babies. I always knew Freya would have a great day when I was at work and I’ve been delighted with the arrangement.Â We’ve also become friends with the other family through the process which is a bonus.
Sharon: Absolutely. It is a bit more expensive than day care options and you don’t have as much of a rebate, but the flexibility it offers doesn’t compare to day care options. Lullaby nanny share vets all nannies and ensures that they are suitably qualified, have solid references, and their nannies have working visas. Lullaby also handles the majority of the paperwork (insurance, payroll etc.).
What advice would you give to parents who may be considering Nanny Share?
Louisa: It’s great if someone has a house that can accommodate the arrangement and has a dedicated area set-up for the kids so they can play safely and stay engaged. We have lots of musical instruments and toys to keep them entertained all day. Supporting your nanny by joining play groups and classes is also important. And encouraging the nanny to take the kids out really supports their development and makes the days more interesting for everyone.
Sharon: Find a family who fits well with your family. Spend time considering your styles, values and what you want to achieve with nanny share. Discuss routines and comfort levels with foods, how to handle sickness etc. so that both families are very clear on what the non-negotiables are. Discuss what you are looking for in a nanny and interview nannies together (where possible). We have become good friends with our family and we see each other socially and organise play dates for the girls. There has been considerable trust built between the families and Teresa and we are on the same page with the kids. Communication between the families and the nanny is critical to understand how things are going, whether there are any pain points and to establish common ground. Lastly, consider what additional benefits you would like to offer your nanny. As contractors, they aren’t entitled to sick leave or annual leave, so discuss these expectations with your nanny and/or agency and work out what you’re prepared to offer.
If you still have questions about Nanny Share, we are always happy to chat to you. Just give us a call on 02 9398 4269 or complete our enquiry form for more details about Nanny Share.