About Nanny Shares

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi, 

    I would love some input from families who have done a nannyshares before as I am trying to better understand best practices around when one family travels or is out of town for an extended period of time. Here is my situation... My daughter is in a nannyshare with one other child. We will be away for 2 months this summer and I understand it is my responsibility to pay my portion of the share while I am away. Though, if I find another child to take my daughter's spot over the summer - does that money go to pay my part of the share OR is it an additional child/income for the nanny? In other words, do I still need to pay to "hold my spot" if we have another child taking her spot over the summer. I know this is about the arrangement one makes with their nanny so I am just trying to understand what is commonplace as this is my first nannyshare and my nanny insists that we pay while we are away even though I found a replacement. I would love to hear how others have handled this situation in the past. Thanks so much!  ​

    Although this is not exactly the same, when we were faced with a 2 - 3 month interruption, we had an honest and open conversation with the share family and nanny that we would try our best to find a new share partner for that time but any gap or interruption or if we are not successful in finding a substitute share family, we would make sure that the nanny is made whole and the share family does not incur additional burden. So, I think it's fair that it's not an additional income for the nanny.

    This is something to discuss directly with your nanny. We never had a break quite that long, but when one family was away for 3+ weeks we sometimes found another child who needed care to pay that family's share, and the nanny agreed to that arrangement. There isn't much benefit to finding a replacement child if you would have to pay anyway--that doesn't make a lot of sense (and effectively turns this into a three-child share, since if you're paying to hold the spot, that means you could at least in theory drop your child back into the share at any point--the other family may not be down for three, and you would need to renegotiate a different three-child rate). Our contract specified rates for the number of children but did not note which children, though, and on occasion with one of our children's shares, we swapped out the other family's older child for the second share baby when our family was away (again, with the nanny's consent). What your contract says (assuming you have one) will be important here. Your other option would be to give notice to leave the share, have your replacement family join, and then--if there is still an open spot when you return--request to rejoin the share. But that is much messier and you risk not having childcare if the other family decides to stay or if the share family and nanny decide to go another route. I would not personally want to/be able to pay for two months of unneeded care, though. You could potentially split the difference and tell your nanny you are unable to pay while you are away and and have found a replacement for that time to cover the second spot, but if they aren't open to that, you will need to leave the share (and then be willing to follow through). But again--check your contract for how much notice you need to give, since it may be too late to benefit much from doing that.

    Hi its been 5 years since i dealt with this but i was the main employer of the nanny and had an amazing sharemate who didnt need the share over two summers. I always found someone, not the family who was leaving since it was a clarified from the beginning this was the situation. We found families both times we needed to to fill the summer months, once a visiting professor, another time just waiting for a preschool to start

    We wrote into our contract that if we found a summer replacement they would be responsible for our share of the nanny's hours and pay while we are on summer vacation and if we could not find a replacement that we would continue paying our share. So, for our arrangement, it is not additional income for the nanny.

    To me it really sounds like you shouldn’t have to pay for that time…will the family joining short term be paying the same as you would? If not it makes sense to me that you would make up the difference but no not that you would pay your full amount while another family is also paying that full amount too. Perhaps try having a discussion with your nanny to find out why she feels that is needed? Maybe it is just worry that she won’t be compensated what she needs to be and if you assure her she will be that will help. 

    I have one nanny share experience. The starting point is that you are responsible to cover your cost and unless the contact talks about the right to put in a replacement, you are stuck.  Appreciate that it can be hard for the nanny to accommodate a new child into a routine.  In my share, I had a friend that needed some coverage while the other family was on vacation and I negotiated a 50/50 split with both vacationing family and the nanny : vacationing family got half their usual rate covered and the nanny got the other 50 percent (i.e., an “extra” 25% on her usual pay). I think it is worth offering the nanny something extra to take on a replacement child. It will still be a better financial outcome for you. 

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  • Advice for onboarding new nanny/sitter?

    (6 replies)

    Hi! I'm a new parent and haven't had any formal childcare arrangements thus far. Starting in a few weeks my 18 month old will be doing a nannyshare in my home for the summer. One of the kiddos has been taken care of by their grandparents for the last 9 months and is pretty used to being out and about and meeting other people. Has traveled a bit during the pandemic, visited friends outdoors and more recently indoors. The other kiddo has been mostly at home with his parents who are working from home and handling childcare. He goes on walks etc. but isn't out and about as much due to the situation.

    We know this will be a transition for us as parents, the kids, and the caregiver, and are looking for advice on what to expect and how to onboard a new caregiver and enter a nannyshare arrangement. As we are all new parents we would love to seek advice from those more experienced with these kinds of childcare transitions.

    For example, in the first day(s), should both parents plan on being here? Should we wait a few days before the nanny takes them to her park on her own? Any communication to establish with the new parents and with the nanny? Should we write down routines? Share snacks? Best practices for making sure the arrangement goes smoothly? Both parents are pretty easygoing and the nanny is experienced so we were going to work it out as we go, but realized some tips wouldn't hurt!

    Thanks for any tips!

    -Two sets of pandemic parents of toddlers

    You are hiring an employee. Of course you want to be kind and compassionate to someone who will be minding your kids, but this is an employee-employer relationship. Have a contract that specifies responsibilities and what is allowed/what isn't. Get on the same page with the other family. There are many examples online. This will help set expectations (for example, can the nanny take the kids to the park and have them nap in the stroller there, or should the kids be back at the house to nap? what about dishes and cleaning up afterwards). Write it down and review it the first day. You don't have to be mean about it, but it can be useful to have as a guide about what is allowed and what isn't. Write down routines and other things that might help too.

    This is my preference, but I was very hands off when my son started a nannyshare. He was 5 months at the time and the other boy was quite older-4 years. We were joining their share, so in some ways we let them take the lead, but they also included us in general info like what to do if one of the kids was sick (this was pre-COVID). I trusted my nanny completely and let her do her own thing. That helped me-to just let go. I knew it was my nanny's preference to spend most of the day at the park outside and then b/c of the other boy's schedule, they spent part of the afternoon at his house for naps, etc. The weekend before our nanny started, she came to our house and spent an hour each day with our son so that when Monday came, it was the 3rd day in a row he would have seen her. At that age, this was probably more for me than my son. My husband and I both went to work on Monday, we didn't stay. Once my son started eating solids, I prepped food for his nanny to take but I'm sure the kids shared snacks, which was fine with me.

    My son started daycare at 20 months and the dropoffs were tough since we couldn't go inside per COVID rules. If I were doing a nannyshare at that age (close to 18 months), I might stay for a bit in the morning to get things settled, but I wouldn't stay the whole day. In terms of writing things down, that was more my husband and I understanding our nanny's holidays, sick & vacation time, pay rates, etc. We didn't write anything down with the other family. One thing you may want to talk about is logistics surrounding naps and eating such as does each family have a place for both kids to nap or do you need to get an extra pack n play? Does each family have or need an extra highchair? Then I guess being fine sharing utensils, bowls, etc. Maybe even diapers and wipes. You could also ask your nanny for advice. Our nanny was really helpful since I was a new mom.

    Most babies toddlers children acclimate to transitions more easily than the parents do. 
    For the first day I would not be there, but I would plan for a short day only if needed. Meaning check in with the nanny to see if things are going well and if so continue on as a full day. 

    Ahead of time I would write down their typical routine and snacks. I hope there’s a contract in place as well as an emergency contact list. 

    Again this will be harder on you than it will be on them but if you are there during the transition it will even be harder for the nanny and your toddler to acclimate. 

    to ease the transition I would ask maybe for a photo during the day which helps or to have the nanny contact you. good luck and I’m sure you will do well on your first day! 

    I think you should ask your nanny how she would like it to work. If she's experienced she knows how to get into a routine. I had similar worries and the nanny showed up the first day, scooped up both kids, took them to the park and they were gone ALL DAY. She even taught them to sleep in the wagon in the shade. She's just as eager for you to get some daytime hours back as you are. (And I suspect if a baby's parent is there, the baby takes longer to warm up to someone new.)

    Good luck! Having childcare is GREAT!

    I have a 4 YO who was in a nanny share as a baby, and has had babysitters and been in two preschools. Like your child he has always been exposed to new people and situations. I’d recommend giving the nanny a detailed document (created with the other share family) about your kids schedules, food habits, routines, and your expectations. Take the time to walk though it as a group so you’re all on the same page.

    When you first leave your child with her, stay for a little bit but don’t linger for long. Say goodbye and tell your child you’ll come back. Even if they cry, don’t linger- it will make it harder on everyone. Best of luck!

    So glad you asked and I've been scouring the internet for the same thing for my 14 month old who is starting a nannyshare next month. Hope we get some more input from experienced parents! But I'll share what I've found online and what I've done so far. 

    A really helpful resource is the nanny subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/Nanny/). Here are some specific posts: [how do I prepare](https://www.reddit.com/r/Nanny/comments/nk5my5/our_nanny_starts_next_wee...) and [working with nanny when both parents are at home](https://www.reddit.com/r/Nanny/comments/nafhdc/i_want_to_be_the_very_bes...). 

    If you haven't already, def ask ask your nanny these questions. They're a professional and after talking to some nannies, there's clearly a range of preferences. 

    From what I've read online, communication is key. Write out responsibilities to make sure you, the other family and the caregiver are all on the same page. Decide on how you want to communicate, maybe it's a group text in real time, recording things in an app, face to face at the end of the day, think about what would work best for you.

    For our trial day, I showed how we do things like diapers, nap routine, breakfast, and then my spouse and I went out for coffee to give some 1:1 time with our kid. We tried to stay pretty hands off for play times. During nap time, I tried to get to know her a little bit and discussed preferences/ideas for how to work together. 

    When we start next month, we're starting with our kid only for 2 weeks (not a strategic choice, just how schedules worked out). Then when the other kid starts, their mom is going to work from our house for the first week and I've also told them they're welcome any time.

    We've had another nanny helping us out for the last 2 weeks and it's been a totally different situation than onboarding our long term nanny. We're having some renovation done, so it's too loud for a toddler at the house. This nanny basically immediately picked up our kid, put him in a stroller, and brought him out to parks with us quickly talking her through his routine. I was freaking out over a stranger taking our kid out in public but it's turned out really well. Not perfect, we've given feedback a few times on things to do differently but totally reasonable considering we gave her almost 0 training. Love her and so glad she was available until our long term nanny can start. 

  • When to start searching for nanny share?

    (5 replies)

    Hi all, first time mom here due early January 2021. I'm looking for childcare starting August of 2021 and am interested in a nanny share. How much time in advance do I need to start my search? I know finding an infant spot for daycare can take at least a year but my assumption is nanny share is more last minute. Any advice on how and when to start my search? Thanks! 

    We searched about a month or 2 out and had no problems.  We used BPN to find another family.  

    I think it is a great idea to post as I am sure you will get a range of different perspectives on this topic.  The variety will hopefully help you triangulate on a path forward that works for you.

    My suggestion would be to start in late May/early June.  There tends to be a fair amount of turn over in nannies in the July and August timeframe as children transition into preschool or other school year based programs.  Starting in late May/June will help give you a little more runway (as a first time Mom) to sort out what you are looking for and what options are available to you.  You can certainly find a nanny in a matter of weeks but it can be a bit of a process to determine for yourself what you want.  Adding the additional consideration of a nanny share means you will also need to bake in time to find a family to partner with.  A good place to start would be to align around your general strategy.  Do you want to find a nanny first and then find a family to share with?  Do you want to find a nanny and then find a family to share with?  Do you want to wait until closer to August and hope to find a family that already has a nanny?  It would not hurt to be open to different pathways but the steps in each process and the lead times will be different.  Happy to share my own personal experiences and answer any questions you have over a call or email.  Best of luck.   

    Congratulations! You sound like a planner just like me! A great suggestion i followed was to first look for a partner family, and then jointly interview/select nannies. We found our partner family 3-4 months before desired start date and the nanny we began looking for about 2 months before and finalized about 1 month before. I think we were ahead of the curve though, and a lot of nannies aren't looking until 1 month or less in advance. BANANAS offers a free great training on How to Hire a Nanny 101 that we found very helpful. Happy to answer any more questions - we are so happy with our nanny-share arrangement!

    Most nannies are searching for employment immediately or starting within a month or two. Focus on finding a family to share with first and then you can begin looking for a nanny togetehr 2-3 months before you need her to start. BPN or one of the parent Facebook groups (like Berkeley Moms, Main Street Mamas: East Bay) are a great place to find another family to partner with, and I've found the parent recommendation forums on BPN to be an excellent source of nanny referrals.

    Hi, we have had a really good nanny share experience. No complaints. I would say it takes two months before the start date. I tried earlier to be prepared but it was pointless they can’t commit to you when they work gig jobs and take jobs as they come. 

    First I found a family who wanted to share and who we knew shared similar expectations. After this, we decided what we could afford. My family was  no way ever going to be able to pay the full price of a nanny at market price. That would be 100% of my take home pay after taxes. We also didn’t want to low ball a nanny and we wanted to pay them well with good benefits. So the only way we could do that was to be on the same page as the other family. After we agreed what we could pay and what our schedules could be we began to look for a nanny. It took about 2 months to find one that fit. 

    keep in mind a nanny expects to be paid every time you don’t use here if that is her agreed upon schedule. So, if I call out sick I still pay her. If I go on vacation I still pay her. She told us up front she would not match her vacation time to our vacation time (some will). We always pay our nanny the two child rate (we agreed to one higher rate) vs the norm of the one child and two child rate. because in some way my family and the other family financially are relying each other in this way and split her wage in half. 

    the best part is the nanny is happy, cares for our babies, we trust her, and she is paid well. I can’t imagine having to be a nanny and always negotiating with two families who think differently. 

    One perk for her is that both families is that this year both families will go on vacation the same week so she will get a week of free paid  time off (plus her regular vacation). I mean regardless of whether my family did or didn’t go on vacation we had to pay her. We figured with the other family if we coordinated our vacation it would be a great break for our nanny. 

    Many nanny shares have problems, it ends up being a 3 party negotiation. Ours has less because so far the two families act like one party. If you don’t have a budget then You have less to worry about. 

    Congrats btw!

  • Nanny share set up for infants

    (3 replies)

    I am a first time parent and I am looking for childcare.  As we consider nanny shares I would like to be able to understand the set up for infants.  Specifically I want to know what is expected of the host family in regards to the home setup.  Does the host family have to have two cribs and/or sleeping areas for two infants? Does the host family pay more for having the convenience of having the nanny at their home and not having to drop off the child elsewhere? Is there any specifics to hosting that we should know before offering our home in a nanny share? TIA

    In our experience: 

    - Host family let us set up a travel crib in the parent's bedroom, so that each baby had their own room for napping. 

    - Both families paid the same. Yes, it's much more convenient to have the nanny come to you. But the tradeoff is having to deal with all of the extra clutter in your home (and the distraction, if parents are currently working from home). 

    Other things to think about:

    - Making room in your fridge/freezer/pantry for the other child's milk and/or food.

    - Making room for the other family to bring over a high chair for their child for lunch.

    - You'll need a double stroller. Maybe it's something you can split the cost of with the other family, but presumably one family will keep it in the end. So if you are planning on having another child in the future, maybe you just eat the cost of this. 

    - Toys. If you're the host, I think it's beneficial for the kids + the nanny to make sure you have plenty of toys or other entertainment for the kids (if you don't want to buy them for your own use, let the other family bring some of theirs over). 

    - Childproofing. Obvious, but still worth mentioning that you should probably go above and beyond in this department. Every child has their own ideas about what sort of trouble to get into around the house, and they may be different from your child's.

    Every share is different but I have never heard of having the host family pay more! Yes, you have the convenience factor, but you also have a mini-daycare in your home, so there are tradeoffs.  As for what is required, I also think that’s up to you, your share partner, and your nanny. We have had a successful share in a small apartment with one baby napping in the living room and another in the main bedroom ( with me working in the kitchen) and now that they are toddlers, they both sleep and play in a rumpus room in a house. As for supplies, we split the cost of a double stroller and my share partner brought over a pack and play for her daughter. Each parent provides their own diapers, wipes, and food. Best of luck! 

    I host a nanny share and we share the nanny with one other family. We use our bedroom as the second room for napping (in addition to our son's room) with a pack and play in it. We pay $1/hr more than the other family. There is definitely a tradeoff in having less privacy during the day (especially as more people are working from home) and more kiddo stuff around, but i love hosting. There are lots of different permutations of how to make it work and i think the key is to just have good communication with the other family to reach agreement. Other equipment to consider is a highchair if/when they are doing solids and a double stroller. We shared the cost of the double stroller, but we just already had a pack and play and wanted to order a second more portable high chair so we just bought those items ourself.

  • Nanny share possible with twins?

    (4 replies)

    Hello! We are first time parents expecting twins. I am doing some research on childcare for when I return to work. Is it possible to nanny share our twins + 1 or 2 from another family? Will nannies look after 3 children? Thanks for the insights!

    We did a nanny-share with our first, but then had twins and didn't share... mostly because we were a little too overwhelmed ourselves to find/work it out with another family. I think an experienced caregiver could probably handle twins + another kid, but it might be hard, particularly for the first few months. Of course, it also depends strongly on the individual kids - our twins are monozygotic, and I think fraternal twins may be more challenging, on average, since they are less likely to be in sync as far as eating/sleeping habits.

    My wife and I are also interested in this. I assume a nanny + plus two sets of twins would be a bit much, but we are looking probably at the end of september.

    Hi, if the purpose of sharing is to save money, that's not really going to work as nannies charge per child. With twins you are already your own share. And with very young infants/toddlers two is plenty for one nanny to handle. I spend every Friday at the parks and libraries with our twins, and it's rare to see a nanny with more than 2, unless they're older kids. I would be wary of nannies offering to take care of 3 or more babies. Also the cost of a nanny for twins is comparable to daycare, if you could find two spots. Getting a nanny for your twins is pretty much the only way to go.

    It depends on the ages involved,but I doubt it.  Twins as babies are hard, really hard, and unless the other child is older I doubt a nanny can handle two young babies and a toddler and I would imagine many parents would hesitate to partner with you for a nanny share with a concern that your twin babies will take the bulk of the nanny's time and will leave little time to their older child.  You could consider nanny sharing your twins with another set of twins or other two kids and getting two nannies, as 2 nannies for 4 kids is better than 1 nanny for 2 kids even though the average is the same, but one nanny for 3 kids likely won't result in quality care for your baby twins.  

  • Nanny Share Rates

    (10 replies)


    We live in the Oakland Hills and are starting a nanny share.  Our nanny has about 18 years of experience, is a great communicator and our 4-month-old son loves her. 

    She quoted a rate of $35-$40/hour for a share and is pushing for the $40 end of that range.  This seems very high relative to what I have seen on BPN but I wanted to collect more data from our wonderful community.  If you have experience with a nanny share in the area can you quickly reply back with your rate per hour?  It would be so deeply appreciated as we navigate this difficult and stressful conversation.  Her rate is much higher than we had budgeted or anticipated and are now scrambling to find a way to properly value her skills with a fair rate and yet also come up with something we can actually afford.

    Thank you so much for your help!

    Moderator Note:  See results from BPN's nanny survey last year with 167 responses to this question: https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/recommend/advice/nanny-shares/nanny-pay

    We have been paying 13 and are probably ready to discuss the raise-- I feel like 15 would be appropriate and what I would consider going forward.

    That seems higher than city rates. Not that it isn't expensive to live here butt that would be high for me too.

    Our nanny share ended a month ago as my daughter started preschool. Our nanny is asking $15/child now. We were paying $13/child in the share that just ended. 

    That seems extremely high! How many kids is she watching?
    We've been involved in 2 different nanny shares, with a nanny watching 2 babies for $13 each per hour, total of $26/hr. If they only watch 1 its either $20 or $22/hr. Those were cash payment. Even on the books, i cant imagine paying more than a few dollars higher.
    But people charge what they charge, so maybe look for a nanny with a lower rate.
    Good luck!

    14/hr each parent for two kids (28/hr total).  We pay her vacation and holidays and when we're on vacation.

    Sounds extremely high relative to the market (which to my estimation is admittedly high for the payer and low for the payee for the considerable skills required to care well for children). Going rate as I'm aware (currently participating in a nanny share in Berkeley) is 20/h for a single child, 24/h for two children.

    Just interviewed a huge number of nannies for Oakland hills for a share. $30/hr was high end of spectrum, range was pretty much $26-$30 for two babies. That being said, it’s been extremely challenging finding someone so I would recommend doing the best you can to keep someone you think is great! Good luck!

    I think this is on the high end for sure. Two years ago we paid our nanny (who had 10+ years experience) 28/hour for two kids and that was considered on the high end (this was after two raises -- keep in mind they will expect an annual raise). We now have a nanny share for our second baby and she makes 29/hour. I recently interviewed a number of nannies for a share and 36/hour was the highest I've ever seen (this was for a nanny with a decade or more of experience, fluent English speaker, household organizational skills, etc...)

    We interviewed a number of solo-care nannies as well and the going rate seemed be between 18-20/hour (so you might not be saving that much with a share that's 40/hour). A handful were as high as 25+/hour for one child but that seemed to be the top end. 

    That all being said, it's hard to feel like you're "overpaying" someone for amazing childcare, if you are able to fit it into your budget. :) And if you aren't, there are plenty of great nannies out there who you might be happy with that would fit into your budget. 

    This is way too expensive.  Most nannies I know get paid about $20ish per hour for one kid and about $25 for two kids in one family, I know that nanny share is more but not THAT much more.  $15/hour/child is common, and maybe the lower end of her range is ok but the upper range is way too high.  At $20/hour/child you can get a nanny just for your kid and don't need to go the share route as the purpose of that is usually to get a cheaper option and here you are definitely overpaying from my experience.  

    We just started a new nanny share. We were interviewing nannies for a while and the rates in the market seem to be 26-30/hr for 2 kids. However, as everyone says, it depends on what you are looking for and how much you can afford. We talked to a couple of nannies who were asking for 32/hr, based on years of experience + formal training in child development + fluent bilingual, CPR, background check completed, etc. 

    Good luck, it is not easy to find a good match! 

    We are in a nanny share in Mill Valley.  We have two kids (5 and 7 yrs old), and we pay $18 an hour (when sharing).  The other family has one child (3 yrs old) and pays $12 an hour.

  • Nanny share with 3 kids/ 2 families?

    (1 reply)

    We currently have a nanny share with 2 toddlers and I am expecting a baby. We would like the baby to join the nanny share when he is 3 months old. 

    Our question is, how much should we expect to pay the nanny and how is this usually divided across the families? I can come up with a variety of ways to do this and would really appreciate hearing from nannies and families that are doing or have done this. 

    Our current nanny share rate is 13/h/family. 


    [moderator note:] results of the most recent nanny survey: https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/advice/2018

    We have only known people with same-aged kids who've done three-way shares, but in those cases, the three-child rate was negotiated with the nanny and then it was divided evenly by three. If you don't all use the same hours, it gets more complicated because you will need to figure out one- and two-child rates, and overtime starts whenever the nanny hits 8 hours on the clock in a given day, regardless of which kids are there when, so you'd want to take all of that into consideration in figuring out the split. In your case you may also need to pay a bit more than 2/3 of the cost since a newborn is a very different workload than toddlers (and presumably this arrangement is a greater benefit to you than to the share family). But I'd talk with your nanny first and figure out what the rate will be, and then have an open conversation with the other family to figure out if you will split it evenly or if your family will pay a bit more.

  • Nanny pay for shares

    (1 reply)

     What is the pay rate for experienced  nannies in the bay area that are a share. Most of the postings are from last year and I know it’s gone up. 

    Thank you

    BPN has just published the results of the nanny survey we did in November.  The average pay for a nanny caring for two children is $25.38 an hour -- $12.69 an hour for each child.  Shares with 3 or more children are not common, but the per-family rate would be lower.  For the full survey results, see https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/advice/2018

  • Dear parents,

    Has anyone ever tried having 2 concurrent nanny shares in their home, one for 2 babies and one for two toddlers? This means 2 nannies working together the whole time, but one is responsible of the 2 babies and one of the 2 toddlers. The cost for each family is the same as if they had hired a single nanny for their 2 kids, but it allows for each kid to have a playmate of their own age and also to be close to their baby sibling as they grow. 

    Is this a crazy idea? Has anyone heard of anyone doing it? As a parent, would you have considered something like this if you had a toddler and a baby and worked all day?

    And has any nanny ever been in this situation?


    it sounds freaking amazing. I think this is how celebrities do it. If you have the money, this sounds great! 

    Hi, there. While this may be an unorthodox model, I think it could really work! It's very, very challenging for a nanny to be alone with two infants OR two toddlers for an entire day. Several times a day, the poor thing needs to use the bathroom - you need to leave the kids unattended for a few minutes to do that. And then there's no actual break all day long, unless the children sleep. 

    Starting when our daughter was 8 months and going until she was three, we had a childcare cooperative. Four days a week, one parent and one paid caregiver cared for 4 babies, and up to 5 toddlers when they got older. The grownups were able to spell each other while one prepared food or used the bathroom, talk to each other, share ideas on how to care for the children.... It was a model I highly recommend.

    Honestly, this sounds crazymaking. The majority of families with this age split send the 2.5-year-old to preschool and have a new share for the baby. A few have a nanny for the preschooler and baby. But I can't imagine two nannies with two shares in the same house (and then you have two employees vs. one, which is also more complicated on the insurance and tax end of things). If you don't want to send your older child to preschool, I'd get a nanny for your two kids and then reach out to other families with same-aged kids to try to find some who might like to do regular meetups. Even a three-child share where two are preschoolers and one is a newborn would be a hard sell for me as the parent of the second preschooler. It would take a really perfect fit for either to work.

    If the nannies get along and work well together, this seems brilliant. Two adults and four kids is so much more practical and efficient, and better for everyone, than one adult and two kids. Better for the older kids, to have the interaction. Better for the nannies, to have some adult interaction AND be able to play zone defense when needed 'You keep an eye on the napping babies AND the tots, while I wash the dishes or use the bathroom". 

  • Cost of Nanny Share

    (9 replies)

    Hi friends, 

    Ive just joined a new nanny share. Its my daughter and one other 1 year old. We'll be in my house and then in the other family's house. Nanny wants to charge $14 each. Does this seem reasonable or a bit high in my experience? How much are you all "sharing" for? 


    That's on the high end of average. The going rate seems to be $12-$14 these days, with a few outliers above and below that. If it's a more experienced nanny, that's probably appropriate. If the nanny is just starting out, I'd be more inclined to keep looking. (It's not clear whether the share is already established--in which case they should have shared the rate at the front end--or if you have found a share family but are looking for a nanny, in which case there's room for negotiation or to continue the search.)

    We just interviewed a lot of nannies for a share with 2 babies and most were asking 12.50 or 13 so yes, this seems high. We ended up settling on a nanny that only asked 12 per child.

    That sounds about right. When we interviewed nannies a year ago, most were asking $13 per hour per family for a nanny share. One asked for $15 and one asked for $12, the rest were in between. 

    A couple years ago we each paid $10/hr for nanny share, and $15/hr if only one child. Cost of living is so insane here though....

    I think it varies a lot, so look around. We almost joined a nanny share last year that charged $15/hour per child. But I also have a friend who pays ~$25/hour for a nanny for their two children.

    Hi there! We have been in two nanny shares. Our first was $12/pp for share rates and our current is $13/pp share and $18 when we have single care. Our current nanny has a couple decades of experience and is fantastic! $14 sounds rather high from what I have seen and experienced. I hope this helps!

    The going rate for a share seems to be $25 or $26 which is then divided in half. So, yes $14 each does seem high.

    Yes, this is about right. It may be a bit on the high end, but you most likely won't find an experienced Nanny for any less than $12/hr (per child) in a share care situation. If $14/hr is too high for you, I would continue looking, but this is not an unreasonable fee to charge. I was a Nanny for many years, ending in 2006, and in 2006 I provided share care for $12/hr (12 years ago).

    It is a little high but we are paying similar with our 1 year old in Walnut Creek...

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Taking off for maternity leave in nanny share

May 2005


We share a great nanny with several others for our 2 year old girl and are about to have another baby. Two questions - How do people handle unpaid leaves and nannies? We'd like to cut back care of our 2 year old so we can afford to take 3 months off on unpaid leave for the second and then bring her and the 2nd baby back into the share situation at the end of leave. So that's the first question - How have people handled leaves, particularly unpaid leaves, and maintaining relationship with nanny? Second question - we would be adding the baby to the care scene (and yes we'll need another adult)...How much do people pay for 3 year old part time (she'll be starting preschool) and baby full time - 40 hours? We're concerned we won't be able to afford the nanny anymore once two kids are in the picture. Would appreciate any and all comments. Working mother

It's unreasonable to expect to remove your employee's income but her to hold your space for when you have more money. In the meantime, she still has to pay rent, buy food, pay bills etc., so she will try to replace her income lost pronto.

This also puts a stress on the other share families, who may feel obligated to pay your share in the meantime while they are looking for another family to fill the spot (for risk of losing her to a single family who will pay her entire wage). I think you will end up with a bunch of resentful people if you try to go this route.

Oh, and a non-shared nanny for two children runs about $15/hour, even if your older child is in school some of the time (who would be on call for your older child for sick days or holidays, etc?).

I think the best thing to do is to say you will be leaving the share, and looking for another 3 months down the road. If it so happens they still have that space, they might let you rejoin, but you'd be smart to expect a new situation. Good luck.


Liability in nanny share situation

Feb 2002


I've had a babysitter to take care of my 2 kids in my house, However, since my eldest daughter started preschool, I am considering sharing the babysitter with another family. They would drop their child at my house for a few hours per week and my babysitter would take care of both her and my second child. I have some concerns/questions about our liability given that the care will take place in our house. I wonder if anyone who has been in a sharing situation could provide advice/recommendations in terms of liability issues and the need to sign a contract/agreement with the other family. Thank you.

(no replies received)

September 2002

How do people deal with issues of liability when sharing a nanny and either having someone else's child in your house or having your child in someone else's house? There may be an obvious answer since so many people seem to do it... but I don't know what it is! Has anyone ever had a problem, such as be sued because someone else's child got injured at your house? Or have your child get injured because of a dangerous situation in the host house? Do people go and check out the safety of the house their child will be taken care of in? First time mother, nervous and new to all of this, would like to hear others' experiences... Thanks

I would definitely recommend visiting any potential share partners' homes, thoroughly inspecting the homes and discussing any safety issues or concerns with the other parents and the caregivers. If the parents or caregivers don't share your level of concern about safety, they are probably not for you. Things to keep in mind are pets and pools. I found out that almost everyone I interviewed seemed to have a dog or a cat, which was a concern for me because I wanted to keep my child away from allergens. Pools are very dangerous for young children once they become mobile, so if anyone has a pool, I would make sure that they have adopted appropriate safety measures and that no one uses the pool unless a parent is home. As far as liability goes, your homeowners or renters insurance policy should cover anything that happens at your home, but you should check with your carrier. Shared before

We had our home childproofed by a professional before our baby was born (boy, was that a good thing, as it was so hard to make decisions later !). When my son was 6 months, we began a nanny share and both sets of parents ''inspected'' the other family's home (I recommend doing this, of course, before entering into an agreement -- you want to feel comfortable about the whole feel and ambience as well as safety and specifics about the house you'll leave your child at -- and so will the other family want to feel comfortable about your home). When my son was 7 months old (their baby was 2 months younger) and starting to be more mobile, the family we shared with asked about and hired our babyproofing contractor for their home. In any case, I would not hesitate to visit the other family's home, inspect their crib and playpens, check for recalls on any of their equipment, etc, and talk with them about what sort of baby/child-proofing might be necessary (e.g., deck guardrails, etc.). KB

You just need to make sure that the person you are sharing with has the same level of concern that you do. You will find parents who are very very tuned in to total childproofing and spend a lot of time on it, and others who are a lot more casual and put a higher premium on other aspects. The trick is to find another parent who sees it the way you do, so that you feel comfortable having your child there. Definitely you want to visit the house where the share takes place at least once, especially when the nanny is there. And as much as you can, get to know the other parents in the share. I'm in a nanny share with 2 others, but we knew each other before we started the share. So our approach to security is that we have a high level of trust in each other and in the nanny. We assume that each of us has the ''correct'' level of security concern and that the tots will not be wandering around the house unattended. In general I would say that we take care of the just-in-case basics (gating the stairs) but trust that the nanny is watching the tots at all times for rest. And I think that we probably each recognize that no matter how careful and attentive we are, accidents will sometimes happen, nanny or no. So we don't expect that the nanny or the other parents will be able to assure 100% accident-free environment any more than we could on our own. This approach might not work for you, so we might not be good share partners. So my advice is: yes, visit the house where the care will take place, and spend some time with the nanny and the other families. Ask yourself am I comfortable leaving my child here? or will I be worrying about her the whole time I'm at work? Note it's usually hardest the very first time you leave your child, so take that into account. But no matter how hard you plan and make mental lists and review options, in the end you just have to use your instinct. If you really don't feel comfortable with the share in your heart, then let your heart tell your brain what to do! A Mom

January 2003

We are thinking about the possibility of sharing our nanny in our home a few days a week and I am wondering if we should have some sort of legal document or contract that would not let us be liable for anything should something happen to the other baby. Are there any such contract ''templates'' out there or can I just use some sort of language pertaining to to liability? Should I contact a lawyer to draw up such a contract? Thanks.

(no replies received)

Logistics of a Share


I am just beginning a nanny share and was wondering if anyone has any advice about some of the logistics. I am a first time mom and recently moved to the area so am really not sure about one thing in particular: how does one normally deal with the nanny's vacation? Two weeks being the norm for most people we have offered her this but are finding it difficult to coordinate when this should be taken. Complicating factors are that three of the four parents involved have started new jobs this year and so are not getting vaction time soon. Also it would be nearly impossible for both couples to be free at the same time of year. Finally the nanny says she normally does not take vacation. What is definitely forseeable is that soon enough one couple's child will need care while the other family is away. Would it be standard to keep paying regular wages to the nanny (i.e. full payment for both children) even if only one child is being cared for? Or does it mean the vacationing family pays their normal weekly wages while the family whose child is being cared for pays wages for single child care (which is higher)? Should we insist the nanny take vacation or simply pay her an extra two weeks salary? I would just like it to be a fair situation for everyone while not making childcare needlessly expensive. Thanks for the input!

Of course there are many ways to make arrangements, depending on what is agreeable to all parties. It's been a long time since we had a share, but... In our case, we gave our sitter 2 weeks/year that she could use for sick leave or vacation. If she wanted to take a longer vacation, she did so without pay. Our agreement was that for vacation time (as opposed to sick days), she would try to coordinate her vacation with ours. We never had a problem with her not using all of the days. One thing you could do would be to set one or two vacation weeks, when the sitter would be paid but would not come, for example Christmas week. Those in your share who needed time during the vacation week could then pay the sitter extra for that time (if she wanted to work then). In our arrangement, we each paid a regular weekly amount, whether or not we used the time. I also at times had more informal shares, where I was the primary employer and a second child came on a less regular basis. In that case, the second family paid as needed, and I covered the single child cost and vacation pay at all other times. Cynthia

By far, the easiest (and in my opinion, fairest) arrangement is to decide what each person the share will pay the nanny each week, and each person should pay this amount regardless of whether a) a parent is on vacation b) the nanny is on vacation c) a child is sick, etc. If you think about it, you still get paid even if your boss takes vacation, so this is really the fair way to do it. Scheduling nanny vacation with four parents in the share could get really hairy, so if your nanny says she doesn't want to take any vacation, I wouldn't object if I were you!! I would expect she would want an occasional day off or long weekend, though, and you should simply try to get her to give you as much notice as possible when she does. Fran

it has been my experience with nanny/daycare with the following: whatever your hourly/weekly compensation to your nanny is, is paid continuously throughout the year (whether she vacations or you vacation). if you or the other family do not use her because of illness or vacation, she is still paid the guaranteed weekly amount. she should also be paid vacation time. most nannys do not seem to take vacation, so do not push it on her if she does not. you should not have to pay a higher amount if the other family is on vacation, because they will still be paying her the agreed upon salary. i hope this is helpful. i have used a shared nanny as well as now have my son in a professional daycare. in the daycare, she takes all the school holidays and 2 weeks vacation, in which we still pay her the monthly fee. nicola

Trouble Finding Someone to Share With


Hi! I'm having an unbelievably difficult time trying to find someone to share the nanny who cares for my son. She is very generous with her love, extremely good at keeping him challenged and learning in very fun ways and quite conscientious about all aspects of his well-being. She has taken all the safety classes and has excellent references. In addition she is VERY affordable when I compare what she charges to the $ i have seen posted over the past few weeks and yet we've had little or no response from this venue or bananas. Please comment with alternatives other that the high priced agencies (I'm a single parent and the prices most agencies charge for networking are out of my league). thanks in advance Michelle

We had a tough time setting up a share care, too. We had a babysitter and a kid-friendly home, but moved to Albany when our son was nearly two. When looking for an age-appropriate child to join our son and sitter, it almost seemed like trying to get a date to the prom in May -- everybody was already hooked up! We got lots of call from folks with newborns, but not much for the toddler set. We persevered with ads in this distribution list as well as Bananas. After we pretty much gave up, a family called from our Bananas ad. I would encourage you to keep posting your ads. It just may take some weeks, if you have the time to spare, that is. Once you do find someone, I would encourage you to give it a trial run. With did this with the first, very nice family we met and discovered that even though the children and adults did well together, the other family found our sitter's style too domineering. As a result, that situation ended very amicably before it began. Also, if you can pass this hurdle, try a trial period of a month to make sure it is compatible. And talk out the tough stuff beforehand, such as whether kids stay home when they are sick or go to the share-care house, holiday payment of sitter, and so on. It is much harder to talk about that stuff when you are in the middle of the share care. Share care is working great for us and I wish you the very, very best. Lynn


You might want to try Neighborhood Moms and local papers (Express and whatever neighborhood paper you get, if any). Inbal



re sharing nanny: I found my shared nanny thru an ad in the Montclarion placed by the mom who had hired the nanny initially. Bananas newsletter also lists similar situations, and you can go to Bananas and look thru their files. Linda






When the Share isn't Working


We seem to be having a problem with our childcare share arrangements, and I was hoping some of you veteran sharers could offer some input. Our son, now one year old, has had a part-time nanny from five months old. Recently, our needs for full-time necessitated sharing our nanny, since she is expensive (i.e. part-time is not a problem, but full-time is). We have developed a great relationship with our nanny, so we decided to keep her and introduce another baby to the arrangement. So far, it has been 4 weeks and we're not confident the share is working out. The conflict seems to be with the other parent (a single mom). My husband and I are not sure our personalities are meshing well. In addition, our nanny does not seem to be getting on with the other parent. We are concerned that our relationship with our nanny will deteriorate, because we know she is not happy either. The children do not seem to be doing so well: the younger son is not sleeping well and seems more agitated, according to the mother; and our son is not eating well, nor sleeping well. Since our son knows the nanny, we think he's more discombobulated by the change in schedule and scenery (the share takes place at the other parent's home) than anything else. Maybe we were all spoiled by having the nanny come to our house and just focus on looking after our son, and that we need a little more time to get to know each other. But another part of me feels that we need to start looking for another share. At this point, the only plus to this arrangement is financial. We think we made some mistakes going into this arrangement: the other mom's apartment is not very conducive to childcare, especially with a mobile destructo-child like ours; the second-floor location makes it difficult for the nanny to put the kids in/out of the stroller, especially when one or the other is sleeping (when our son is sleeping in the stroller she just leaves him in, since he's a light sleeper, but she can't do that with this new arrangement); it's very far from any parks, etc. In sum, we're not happy with the share, and I suppose we're trying to find things we don't like about our arrangement so that we can leave guilt-free. How long did it take you veterans to feel comfortable with your share arrangements? Did any of you quit and just decide to go solo? What are your experiences?

I've been in three shares with my daughter. One worked out beautifully. We became friends with the parents, our daughter became best friends with the other girl, and our slightly different different requirements meshed well (They needed full-time, we needed part-time and a flexible schedule). The second one we jumped into quickly because it was an emergency, and we always felt we were subject to a lot of rules we weren't comfortable with. What really made me angry was a double standard on illness: if our daughter was sick we weren't allowed to bring her to the share, but if their son was sick and they needed to have him cared for, it was okay for him to be there! After that happened, we pulled out and looked for another share. We found a third situation that seemed great, but right from the beginning it was clear it was just too complicated. There was a total of three children in the share, three parents, all with different schedules, and after a week or two of constantly shifting, last-minute schedule changes, we regretfully pulled out. I think 3 families in a share is probably just too much, unless the nanny runs it like a daycare.

For all of our shares, within a week or two we knew whether it was going to work or not, and the good one just got better and the bad one got worse. If it hasn't worked for you in 4 weeks, it's time to move on. Give the other mother a couple weeks to find other care, and look for another person to share with. Good luck! We ended up going solo even though we're paying our sitter a little more than we can afford, just for the reduction in stress. I still keep hoping for a share like that great first one we had, though!

We had a similar circumstance where we weren't happy and neither was our babysitter. I called the other family and told them that our sitter wasn't handling the 2 children well and wanted to go back to a single child situation. I felt bad about not addressing the complete story but it sort of let everyone off easy without having to discuss negative aspects of the situation.

To the parents with the share that isn't working out. I felt comfortable with each of my shares right away. Compatibility with the other family was a must--both among kids and among parents. Also comfort with the home. Given what you describe, I think you are fully justified in ending it now. Or, if you think it's the setting, suggest moving the share back to your home, if the other parent wants to try for longer. With caregiver situations, I found that if it didn't feel comfortable at first, I was unlikely to feel fully comfortable with it later on, although I might be able to live with it for awhile. In fact, as I got more experienced I set up a strategy of a 1-week trial period on both sides, so that I could back out if necessary without the guilt (this was after paying a substantial sum to one babysitter when I decided after 1 day that it clearly wasn't going to work). (Incidentally, I also became resigned after a while to greater expense as a tradeoff for better care and more flexibility for my kids; one sitter stayed on for years at close to full time when we no longer needed as many hours, using the extra hours to run errands, do laundry, and clean house. We didn't have much surplus income while we were doing this, but I could get to work reliably, and had someone at home when the kids were sick). Good luck.