Nanny Bringing Her Own Child to Work

Parent Q&A

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  • First time parent here starting a new, unique nanny share situation and seeking advice on a unclear point. We found a wonderful, experienced nanny we connect with who has a daughter of her own the same age as our little one. We negotiated a rate based on her share rate since she's essentially acting as the other family in the share. While going over details, the subject came up of how payment would be handled if her daughter had to stay home for some reason. She said, in her experience, the family of the sick child wouldn't pay and the family of the other child would pay the nanny her single-child rate. This was a surprising convention to me, but it makes sense: the sick family is off the hook for paying and the nanny doesn't have her rate cut in half. The burden is shared between the two families.

    How should we handle this case in our situation, where she is _both_ the nanny and the other family? She said she expected to be paid her single-child rate. This means if her daughter stays home, her rate would go up. This makes sense in her role as "family" to alleviate the burden when she'll have to figure out care for her daughter. But in her role as "nanny", it means she goes from watching two children to one, and her overall pay goes up.

    I want to mention that we agreed on a sick time policy that should _actually_ be what governs most of the situations where her daughter gets sick -- they'll just stay home together. Thus I think the situation I'm describing will only come up rarely -- in unforeseen circumstances -- but it seems prudent to hash it out nonetheless. Also, since it should come up rarely, I don't want to nickel & dime her over a small portion of our agreement. Whatever we decide to do, though, I am curious on how others feel this should be approached.

    Please share your thoughts! Thanks.

    Independent of the uniqueness of your situation, this seems like an odd solution--in both of my kids' shares, both families paid as usual whether their kids were sick or not, because we offered guaranteed hours at a two-child rate. That did not change if one child was home sick or on vacation--both families committed to set hours at a set rate. I would expect that to work the same way even if the nanny's child is half of the share. Yes, it's challenging and an added cost to find care for a sick child if you yourself have to go to work--but that is the case for any parent in a daycare situation, whether they are the nanny or working in an unrelated job.

    Sure, but in that case, if your child is sick and cannot attend care, then you don't pay either, right?  This policy she is proposing cannot be one sided.  Either you pay the lower two child rate no matter what, whether she is watching one child or both and whether you need her or not, which is usually how this works.  Or, the policy is that the sick child's family does not pay, in which case when your kid is sick or cannot attend the care, you don't pay either.  I think the policy is a bit unusual but I've seen it happen, though it has to cover both sides equally.  If you frame it that way, maybe she will drop it. 

    Hi Jason, that does sound like an unusual arrangement in my opinon. With our previous nanny (who watched our child and our friend's child, and has a school-age child of her own), if either one of us were sick or on vacation, we were still beholden to the share rate. Our families were close and actually just alternated weeks paying (which is different in your situation), so it all ended up being equal throughout the duration of the share. If there were every any new kids, then we would adjust the rate to three kids, or if we knew we or our friends would be gone and wanted to add another child for a short period (this was also pre-covid), it would offset the cost for the absent family. Even when one child left the share early from our contract, we had such a good relationship with our nanny that she just kept our rate as if we were in a double child situation but we paid for one kid. I haven't heard of a situation like the one your nanny is proposing, but perhaps you could offer that as "sick pay" up to 3 days that you pay a solo rate or something and then anything over would be the share rate in the contract? 

    I had a more traditional nanny share situation. If the other child was sick the nanny was paid a single child rate instead of the rate for both children. However, I would pay the normal rate and the other family would cover the difference. So if the share rate was 30 but the single rate was 20, I would still pay 15 and the other family would pay five when their child was out sick.

    I have been in multiple shares and if one child could not go (vacation, sick etc), that family still paid as if they were there---that is the purpose of guaranteed hours and the other family not having their rate change based on the other's schedule.

    This is a weird way to handle this. Normally both families pay, if they need the nanny or not. And then the nanny gets a number of agreed-upon sick and vacation days where she takes care of neither child but still gets paid. She is no an occasional baby-sitter but a household employee and should be treated as such. If she doesn't need to watch her own child once in a while, that's not your fault.

    In our nanny share, we agreed to pay the normal rate for both families because it’s not the nanny’s fault that a kid got sick and should not have her pay cut. Viewing the employment as a full time and long term arrangement, and considering the nanny pay is a relatively low paying job, we thought that was fair and learned later that it is a common arrangement. 

    Your situation is a bit different because if the nanny’s child gets sick, the nanny should take sick time first. Only when the nanny runs out of sick time, you would pay. If the nanny’s child gets sick so often or for a long period of time, I suppose you may need to start looking for a new arrangement. 

  • Our new nanny is so great and really good with our baby (after going through so many wrong or not so nice ones). We're very happy with the way she loves and cares for our child. However when interviewing she never mentioned she wanted to bring her child along sometimes. Since she started she has been getting her child along, averaging about once a week. It has only been 2.5 weeks that the nanny has started so we don't know if this frequency is going to increase in the future. On one occasion she has asked just before bringing the child, other times she has brought the child and then asked if it's ok (and obviously what can I say in that situation). 

    We think our baby quite enjoys the company. However, I have myself seen (when I've been at home on such a day) that nanny's attention is definitely divided. Our baby is at an age where he needs to be constantly watched or he will hurt himself or will be putting something into his mouth that he isn't supposed to. Nanny's child is a little older but also needs attention to make sure she isn't up to something she shouldn't be. While I've been home one of those days, I've had to point out to the nanny a few times that my child was about to either trip or hurt himself because he wasn't being watched with all her attention. Yet, I haven't quite been able to point to her the reason for these almost about to happen incidents has been her divided attention. 

    What would your suggestion to? Broaching this topic can be sensitive, but it still is making me uneasy. And we're definitely paying more than nanny share rates because no concept of any kind of sharing ever came up during  the interview. 

    I'm sorry you're dealing with this--so tough! I think you first need to describe what outcome you want here. That can be 1) keep nanny, nanny does not bring own child; 2) keep nanny, nanny brings own child; or 3) new nanny. Personally I would not go with #1 because I'd be concerned about lingering resentment, and also about absences if there have already been so many days when whatever alternate care your nanny has set up has not worked out. So I'd decide between #2 and #3, and have the conversation accordingly. If you are okay with the other child, then you simply say "we love having X along, but we need to discuss what your rate will be on those shared care days" (and then negotiate a shared rate based on whatever your single child rate is). If #3, then you simply say "this is not working out--unfortunately we are really looking for one-on-one care for our child." Shared care is a different type of child care than what you contracted for, and that can be a pro or a con--but it would concern me deeply that your nanny did not bring this up and did not ask about bringing her child before arriving with her. For me, this would sadly mean the end of the care situation, since I need to be able to trust care providers to share this type of information upfront (especially given that this is a new situation with no established ties yet). But you may feel differently, and should go based on your own assessment of the situation. Good luck!

    I think your nanny made a contract with you and she has changed those terms without your permission. You need to make it clear to her now that you don't want her to bring her child with her.  The longer you let this go - the harder it will be. You might want to offer her the opportunity to bring her child with her once the children are older but tell her now that you don't want  her to divide her attention. Good luck - a delicate matter but you are within your rights. Good luck. 

    If your baby is getting divided attention and not one on one care, you should be paying share rates.  If this is a once in a while occurrence I would let it go, but a once a week is too often.  You should mention to her that you would like her to focus solely on your child and if she would like to bring her child in once a week you would like to discuss a share rate.  You could also mention that you are considering a share with another kid to reduce cost and see what she says, she might offer a share with her child instead.  If your kid really likes the company I personally would rather do a share with another family and get the reduced nanny cost then have the reduced attention while paying full nanny rate. Good luck. 

  • Our nanny might want to start taking care of her infant granddaughter together with our 15 month son. She is currently just watching our son and we initially spoke about a possible nanny share but had no luck finding a good fit. It has now been about 8 months and she stopped insisting on a nanny share. We think its because her daughter just had a baby and her maternity leave will be up in Sept. We would be hosting since we are not willing travel and her daughter's work is very close to our home. This seems to me like a nanny care situation. Would it be fair to start paying her at a split nanny share rate? instead of the single child rate that we pay her now?  This is sort of complicated since she will be making the arrangement with her daughter and she might not want to charge her to care for her own grandchild. I don't think its fair to pay her a single child rate if her attention will now be split between two children. I am new to working with a nanny and I want to make sure its a fair situation given we will be hosting and she will be taking care of two children now. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    [moderator note] previous advice: "Nanny Bringing Her Own Child to Work"

    Our nanny hasn't brought her grandchild with her regularly (just on the rare occasion that she watched our daughter on a day when she doesn't typically work or our share family wasn't with us), but we treat it like a share situation and only pay her the share rate (which she was fine with and actually suggested herself).

    It sounds like you're describing a share situation to me, and thus you would reasonably be expected to pay the rate for one child. The fact that your nanny might not charge her daughter isn't theoretically your responsibility to compensate for. That said, I imagine it might be worth it to you to pay a bit more than you would in a share where one child isn't a grandchild, if you really love your nanny. 

    This is definitely a nanny share situation. I had a nanny that took care of her own son and my son and I paid her nanny share rates. This was the situation from the begining, so we had an understanding from the get-go. It was $14/hour, a bit high as compared to what some pay, but worth it for the convenience since she lived a block away from me when we were in SF. I'd say that you're certainly within your right to discuss this with your nanny. There was a recent nanny survey done on BPN that has the average rates that people pay for nanny shares, and I'm sure you can find something reasonable that you can both agree on. 

    We had a nanny who brought her 2.5 year old son while watching our 6 month old. She charged nanny share rates. I'd be surprised if your nanny would be able to find a family that would pay her a single kid rate while she brings her family along. It would be a bummer for her to lose the income, but that is a decision she'll have to make. Now, if you love, love, love your nanny and don't want to lose her, then that is something to consider when offering her a lower rate. But if she's been a nanny for a while, she should be aware she wouldn't be getting the same rate if she adds her daughter's child. 

  • Situation: I have a 2 year old daughter on several preschool waiting lists. My mother currently cares for my daughter but has told me she is done caring for children as of January 2019. 

    I've researched nanny's and nanny shares and I have been unlucky in finding someone or family that fits my work schedule. And I feel at 2 years of age that my daughter could benefit a preschool environment. I work Mon-Thur 10 hour days and live in Walnut Creek near downtown. 

    A friend of a friend has offered to care for my daughter while we wait to get into a preschool/daycare. She has a son close to my daughters age and lives in Lafayette, the direction of my commute. We had a play date and it seems like a good fit but we did not discuss money. I feel like we both were too shy to talk about money since we are very close to our mutual friend. 

    Question: How much do I pay her per hour? Would it be a nanny share rate since she has her own son she is looking after? She doesn't have nanny experience but is a mom. 

    On a side note she is currently pregnant with #2 and is due in April 2019. I'm nervous but she told me that she would let me know if she couldn't manage with taking care of my daughter. 

    I did a nanny share with someone who was caring for her own child. We considered it a "share", and I paid $13/hour. She had previous experiencing caring for other children.

  • What is the norm  when a nanny brings her own child to work on occasional days?  We are trying to hire a nanny for our 6 month old at a rate of $20 per hour.  The nanny we are talking to says she would charge $28 per hour when one of my other kids is home (occasionally) which would be a stretch for us, but ok.. But then she says that she will bring her own child from time to time when he is not in preschool and that the rate should still be $20 when her child is there.  I think the rate should be less for those days - maybe not the same as a nanny share (typically $13 or so per kid around here) but maybe split the difference at say $17.  My rationale for this is that she will have less time and attention for my baby on those days, that I am paying for one on one care and she will have more to do, that in an emergency situation she would naturally likely help out her own kid before mine, and also that if her child is sick etc mine is more likely to catch it.  Also that if the rate goes up when one of my other kids is there, it should by that logic, go down when her child is there.  She thinks this is unreasonable and "as a mom" I should understand this.    Would appreciate hearing others' perspectives.  Thanks!

    I would probably start talking to someone else. She is asking for a high rate and high accommodations.  One of you is not going to be happy in this situation, which means it's not likely to work out well long term.

    Nannyshare rates are the norm in this situation, so $12-15/hour when she brings her kid. We paid ours $15. I have a friend who paid their's $13, which I actually think is more reasonable than what we paid. $17-20 is a little unreasonable on her part. Their kids do demand their mom's attention from time to time, which is find because no harm is done by a little crying. On the other hand, my baby loved having an older kid around.

    I agree with you--there should be a one-child and two-child rate, and when it's your two kids, you pay the two-child rate; when it's your child and the nanny's child, you pay half of the two-child rate. For $20 per hour you can get one-on-one care without this complication (and it's concerning that she is planning to bring her own child when he/she is sick--??) I'd move on; this isn't a great starting point for a child care relationship, and there are lots of other wonderful nannies looking for work. 

    Wow - I think this is your big red flag that you should find a different nanny. 

    Our nanny cared for our child and hers together. We initially paid her the nanny share rate (she suggested this) but after some time we felt uncomfortable with paying her such a low rate and we raised it to be in between the share and solo rates (like your $17 suggestion). It was a little different as her child was a baby so he needed significant care (vs a preschooler who needs attention but not as much immediate hands-on care as a newborn). I agree with your first two rationales for paying less (it means her attention will be split and you are not paying for 1:1 care) but I disagree about the concern that "she will naturally put her child first." Our experience was that our nanny actually put our child's needs ahead of her own child, because our child was her paying job.

    I would find a different nanny asap. Any person making demands like this in the beginning will be difficult to work with in the long term. Of course it's unreasonable to bring her kid along and charge you the same amount of money, for all of the reasons that you mention. I frankly think that it's unreasonable to just announce that she'll be bringing her kid when she feels like it even if she did offer a discount. Don't let yourself be bullied into working with this person. Every time I've ignored red flags like these I've regretted it. I know that you don't want to start your search over but I can guarantee that this one is not going to work out and you'll never be comfortable leaving your baby with her. I bet that she also wants to be paid cash under the table and would demand extra pay if you want to pay her legally. Don't do it.

  • Fair price for nanny who brings her child?

    (3 replies)

    What do you think is a fair hourly rate for an experienced nanny who brings her baby to care for your baby the same age?

    ($16/hour) ($18/hour) ($20/hour) (more than $20/hour)

    [Moderator Note] Also see the previous advice about this, including a question from August 2017:

    None of these--it should be the same as the going share rate, which I think right now is $12-$13 an hour per family. It is a share (and arguably a little less desirable than a typical share, where one of the babies is not the child of the caregiver). As a parent participating in such a share, I would expect to pay the same as or a little less than a similar situation with two babies unrelated to the nanny.

    This is the same arrangement as a nanny share with two children. My one year old is in a nanny share with one other child his age and each family pays $12 per hour. When we were interviewing nannies the range we were quoted was $12-$15 per hour per family. So I think even $16/hour is at the high end of the range for nanny shares. I definitely wouldn't pay more unless you absolutely must have this nanny. 

    No more than half the hourly rate for a two kid nanny share. Two kids from separate mamas, one nanny.  To me that always equals nanny share, and equal sharing of the rate.  Just because the kid belongs to the nanny doesn’t mean you should have to compensate for more than half. If that is not enough for the nanny, that’s for the nanny to figure out. Maybe I am missing something, but fair is fair-in my book. Just sayin...

  • We have been interviewing nannies for our young toddler and picked one we liked.  After agreeing on cost per hours she asked to bring her similarly aged child with her saying the boys will love playing together and her kid is very well behaved.  This request came out of the blue and we asked if she intends for this to be a nanny share situation but she said no -- she is still nanny for just our kid but will bring her son along and offered a $2 discount on the per hour fee.  My husband and I have been discussing it and are trying to reach a decision.  We are thinking that if she was already our nanny and we and our son loved her then bringing her son along would likely have been ok but hiring a new nanny with this tricky situation and paying nearly full nanny cost for half the attention does not really make sense.  I was kind of set on getting a nanny for one-to-one attention, but maybe having a friend will be nice as he is quickly becoming less of a baby, in which case we can join a nanny share with another family and cut our nanny cost significantly.  I don't feel comfortable asking this nanny to take a nanny share rate because of her kid or telling her no to bringing her child as I don't want to hire an unhappy nanny who might leave when something more along the lines of what she wants will come along.  Is a nanny with her own kid watching my child really better than a regular nanny share with another similarly aged kid to justify the increased cost?  Anyone has agreed to a similar arrangement and paid a slightly discounted one-child nanny hourly rate (instead of just half of 2-kid nanny share rate) and found it worth it? How much does a nanny share differ from getting nanny for just my kid in terms of attention and ability to do activities? I liked the nanny in interview but my kid is not attached to her as he only met her once so I can find another nanny or get into another care situation but we are trying to figure out the best care situation for our kid and are pretty new to this.  Thanks. 

    Setting aside your more generalized question about the pro's and cons of such an arrangement, I would not hire this particular nanny. She wasn't honest with you in the interview process, and that's an automatic disqualifier.  She waited until she had you 'on the hook' to bring up a new, and significantly different, condition of her employment.  Based on experience, I can assure you that hiring this person would lead to more problems down the line, and you will only find it more and more difficult to jettison her once your kid gets attached to her.  So, cut your losses now.  

    P.S.  Even if there was some change in her circumstances in between the time you made the offer and she accepted it that caused her to ask for this, and she didn't deliberately conceal the info from you, I still wouldn't hire her.  Good employees have their stuff together and don't need to be changing the terms of the job before they even start working. 

    This situation would raise a huge red flag for me and I would not hire her.  Unless I'm misunderstanding something, the fact that she didn't bring this up until after I gather you essentially hired her and set the rate indicates to me that she is, frankly, deceptive.  I have a feeling you will encounter many issues down the line that may even be totally unrelated to this particular issue. 

    (Beyond that fundamental issue: I personally actually think it would be fair for you to pay at least close to a share rate if her kid is almost always there, as that should be her own cost of her own childcare).

    You should find another nanny. This type of arrangement should have been very obvious from the outset (assuming there hasn't been some family emergency on her part). I would not trust her judgement. Even if something came up during the hiring process, she should have been open about what that was. 

    In general, I would think for a such an arrangement you should pay the same rate as a nannyshare. Maybe even get a discount. She's doesn't have to coordinate with two families and you have to contend with the fact that the other child is hers. 

    I think that nannyshares are a great option. Just not with this nanny. 

    I agree with the others that this nanny bringing up such a huge conditional issue of employment late in the game and offering a $2 discount does not seem adequate. Other nannies without kids are possible to find - go out and search for someone who will not raise a red flag during the interview and offer process.

    I agree with some of the concerns regarding the shift. That said, I've found that when caregivers bring their own children, it's not so much like "half the attention" in the way that nanny shares are. There's a difference there that's hard to explain. As parents, nannies are very in tune with their children and of course keep their needs as a priority, but they can also often figure out how to skillfully address their children's needs in the course of things, while making your child's needs the priority during the time that you're paying for care. For instance, I'd assume that they'll arrange the location and start / end schedule around what works for you, not balance your needs against those of a co-nanny-share family. Or, in a hypothetical situation in which your child seems like s/he's having low energy and should leave the park, they'll likely do that, whereas in a nanny share, they might say "oh, but Child 2's parents really wanted him/her to get some park time with other kids" and try to get your child to tolerate it for the benefit of Child 2. To me, that means that an intermediate rate is probably right, not that of a nanny share.

    But this can also simply not work out -- are their nap needs relatively in sync? does the nanny feel that she's able to meet both of their needs at the same time? etc. It's a wild card. Of course, so is any nanny share.

    I also wonder why this didn't come out up front. Was there a change in circumstances? If not, this signals either a lack of forthright communication, or the fact that s/he's figuring things out as s/he goes along. Forthright communication is essential to a good parent/caregiver relationship. You want a nanny who will tell it like it is, even when it's unpleasant. (When your child really hates the vegetables that you really want them to be eating, do they get you to pack different lunches, or just discard the vegetables?) Some amount of that flexibility will always be needed, (e.g., sometimes the nanny's child will get sick, and s/he'll have to stay home), but if she's figuring things out on the fly either due to a lack of experience or general disorganization, then you might have more of this than average.

    Finally, though, finding a nanny that you connect with isn't always easy. Even if your child is not yet attached, if you have a really good feeling about this person's ability to relate to your child (aside from this one thing), then you might be able to work it out. The most important thing there would be for you guys to be able to start really communicating clearly. Good luck.

    I had a very positive experience with a nanny "share" with a nanny that brought her own same-aged infant to the share. (In fact, I found her through the BPN child care listings.) I found the arrangement to have all the advantages of a traditional nanny share (built-in play partner, slightly reduced cost) without many of the cons (such as needing to coordinate with another family regarding schedule, issues starting/stopping the nanny share, juggling vacations, establishing rules, etc.).  So, even if this does particular situation doesn't work out, I would highly recommend this sort of arrangement as a general rule. 

    Hi, I don't think you should hire this nanny! She should have been honest with you from the start and now she is being unreasonable. This is a definite red flag before employment even officially started.

    I would not hire this nanny. She was not honest or forthcoming. I would not be able to trust her in case of things that happen in the future.  She should have disclosed this information  during the interview. She waited until everything was negotiated and almost finalized to spring this on you. Plus, $2 discount per hour is not adequate for a nanny share. 

    We had this arrangement (nanny brought her similarly-aged baby), but in our case the nanny had formerly worked for us, so we already had a relationship. We told her we could only afford to hire her in a nanny share arrangement, so she offered to work for the nanny share rate and bring her baby. We paid her the share rate (i.e. half of 2-kid rate) for a while but eventually came to feel that it wasn't really a fair salary (even though she didn't have to pay for childcare) because we knew her family was struggling financially, so we raised it by a couple of dollars an hour. (That wasn't really affordable for us, but we made it through till our son went to preschool.)

    I have experience with this arrangement working really well. I think it was great for my child to have a little buddy, especially when they got to be toddlers, and the amount of attention was totally fine. Honestly, if anything, I felt our nanny gave our son more attention than her own son (since we were employing her).

    However, the fact that she didn't bring this up until you had pretty much hired her, and then she brought it up as a "oh, by the way" situation, is a red flag and makes me wonder how she will handle communication in the future. Also, a $2/hr discount on the fee doesn't sound like very much, given that you are getting a nanny-share situation. That said, paying the share rate is also really low for someone who is trying to support their family. I wonder if there might be a middle ground (if you do decide to hire her).

    If the nanny brings her own child, that is a nanny share and you should be paying a nanny share rate because the nanny's attention is divided between 2 children. A $2/hour discount is not a nanny share rate, assuming you're paying the prevailing rate of $18-22/hour. It seems like this nanny is trying to trick you into paying more than most people would pay for a nanny share.

    Your nanny is a working mom just like you are. Working moms have to make arrangements for childcare. Good for the nanny if she can find a job where she can bring her child to work. But she should be clear up front with her employer that's the type of job she's looking for, and she shouldn't be expecting the same level of compensation that other nannies receive whose attention is directed to one child only. If you were able to bring your child to your job, I think you know that your work would receive less attention because of it. You'd also be saving lots of money on childcare expenses, so a lower salary in exchange for this benefit might be agreeable to you.

    I think a nanny bringing her own child to work can be good on all sides, but everybody needs to agree up front. My wonderful nanny of 5 years sometimes brought her son to work on days that her childcare fell through. Our two kids were 2 years apart, and they became friends, went on weekend outings together, went to each others' birthday parties, etc. We are still friendly with the nanny and her family - her son is about to start college! But when she was working at my house, I always viewed her as a professional working mother, the same as I was. I paid her a good salary and benefits so she could afford childcare. She in turn took her job seriously, and gave it her full attention when she was working. I think we need to view a nanny as a professional working mother, and ourselves as employers, and act accordingly!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Part-time nannies who want to bring their own child

Jan 2014

I have been looking for a part time nanny and most of the responses that I have received have been from mothers (who've nannied in the past) with a child that they want to bring. Is this typical for a part time scenario? I really just want someone to look after my rather rambunctious older daughter and newborn. I'm concerned that the pair on its own will be quite enough, and I'm willing to pay more to ensure that they are the center of attention. I'm also worried (although, that's why I'm asking here) that if someone brings their own child that they would give preference to their child's needs over mine. Anyone have experience with this on either end--having a nanny who brought their child or a nanny who brought your child? Need some perspective as I'm weighing my options. Thanks!

Hi there! I have experience as the nanny with a child. When my first daughter turned one, I wanted to keep her with me, but earn some extra money. I found an outstanding family who also had one child, a boy. This worked because they were the same age. I know my former bosses had the same concerns, but I'll tell you, it was the other way around, my own child got the shaft. I put that other kid first every time, probably like school teachers, afraid it will be perceived as favoring. Also, my daughter was WAY more relaxed, and easy going. This family paid me less, because I brought my own kid.

A year and a half later, I started to do the same work for another family. The also had a boy, whom they brought to my house. This family made less money, but they paid me MORE. Their thought process was, they are paying for a nanny and a playmate. I took exceptional care of both those boys. I taught their parents many things about their children that they simply couldn't learn, since I was with them 7 hours a day. How to get them to nap, bathe, what skills they were working on, etc. Having my own child there was inspiration to me, I didn't want her getting bored (i.e. I never once turned on a t.v.) Many nannies (no judgement here, I swear), sit at the park and talk to the other nannies. That's all fine and good. But I didn't. My own child was there, I wanted to raise her myself, so I got down in the sand and I went down the slides and I played monster, etc. Finger paint, teaching letters, you get the idea. If my own kid hadn't been there, I may not have been as invested. Or maybe I would've, who knows, I loved both those boys.

The fact that you have two kids at different ages adds new challenges. But I'd say go for it. Give it a try for a month. Maybe be upfront and let the woman know you are on the fence and it's a trial period. Then remember that any arrangement is hard. Your older child might like having someone to play with (boss around?). It might be a nice break for your kids to have someone else there as a playmate, siblings get tired of each other.

Both of the families I worked for still think it was the greatest thing they could've done, be it over 10 years ago. I still know both of them, we are friends now. Meet a few women and go with your gut. The mom who talks to her kids, makes eye contact, teaches them, they will do the same thing for yours. And isn't that the point? missing those days!!

We had two different nannies who brought a child with them back when we just had one kid. I'm not sure how well it would work with two children in your family, especially a newborn and toddler whose needs are so different.

The biggest bonus of mom-nannies, for us, was that it was a great way to get nanny share prices (we paid $11/hr) without having to negotiate with another employing family's needs and schedule. Our son also LOVED his playmates (one nanny had a child around his age, and another had a mobile infant who loved watching our big kid play), and it was a great way for him to get used to sharing attention while he was still an only child. I also think it's way less intense for little ones to be cared for by a new adult when you're not the sole focus of that adult's attention; we briefly had a nanny who didn't bring a child with her and my son asked the first day, with quite a bit of concern, ''where's her baby?!?''

I didn't find that either nanny gave preference to their child's needs--though I wasn't home while the nannies were there, we had plenty of neighbors ''nanny-camming'' on our behalf and it seemed like both nannies would just calmly tell one child that she needed to change the other one's diaper or whatever. It was very useful for both kids to learn to wait, an especially useful skill for a new big sibling like yours.

The two biggest drawbacks to this setup, for us, were:

(1) One of the nannies frequently bailed when her child was sick or didn't want to expose him when our child was sick--understandable, but it was why we ultimately gave her up. So make sure she has backup care for her child if needed!

(2) You can't ask a nanny to treat children differently, so make sure you are on the same page about discipline, sharing, etc. It's too unfair to the toddlers and confusing for the caregiver if one kid gets time-outs and the other doesn't.

Good luck! Hannah

I started out as a nanny when my little one was 6 months old. It was a great way for her to interact with other babies. As she has gotten older it has taught her responsibility, and she is very nurturing and loving towards the children I have cared for. As for me, I never new I could love other babies/children from other people. I feel, because I am a mother i am more intuitive and responsive to the baby/toddlers needs. In saying this, I understand how you would have concerns but I think mothers tend to be better caregivers . Spend time with the nanny and go with your gut feeling. Good luck heavenly

I think if you don't want a nanny who is going to brink her own child to work, and are willing (and able) to pay for a nanny to give 100% of her attention to your two children you should be able to get that. I know a lot of moms who are happy with nannies bringing own child to work and appreciate the savings it provides - it is cheaper since it becomes affectively a nannyshare, but if I could afford a nanny to watch just my kids I would prefer it and will look for a nanny who won't be bringing other kids with her to work. Even though I'm sure nannies are professional and will not consciously show preference to own kids, I think sub-consciously they would provide more emotional nurturing to their own child and it might inhibit them forming a good bond with your kids. If your child was an only child and would benefit from a play mate than I could see a benefit in a nanny bringing a kid same age with her to work, but since you already have 2 children, adding a third to the mix likely will retract from the care and enrichment opportunities your kids will have (taking good care of three kids and giving them all good attention and safely taking them for outings, etc is very difficult). I agree with your intuition and will keep looking for a nanny able to offer 100% of her attention to your children during work hours if you can afford it. anon

It really shouldn't be too hard to find a part time nanny that will work on your terms without bringing their own kid (if that's what you want). I've posted this resource here recently but please check out We found our absolutely wonderful, local, part time and very flexible nanny within a week using You pay $20 a month to access the caregivers contact info but you can view their full profiles,rates,location and pictures for free. Most of the caregivers are background checked and fingerprinted too. Good luck fan

How much to pay if the nanny brings her own child?

Nov 2011

We are working out a rate for a nanny for 3 children (from 2 families, but the care will be at one home if that matters). The prospective nanny would be bringing her own young child as well. She is asking for $8 a child, which seems high to us given that she is bringing her own child (and has asked to be paid under the table). 3 out of the 4 parents don't make $24 an hour (before taxes), so we're wondering if this is the going rate (and therefore we'd need to find something else). 2 of the children are older and fairly self-sufficient, if that makes a difference... broke mamas

We currently use an arrangement where the nanny brings her child and watches 2 of mine, charging $12.50 per hour. I see this as a good deal... it's not for a full day though, more like occasional babysitting. Not sure how it should scale to more children and longer hours. And no, you can't have my nanny

$8 per kid is a normal, acceptable rate for toddler/preschooler care, even if the nanny brings her own kid. And paying your nanny under the table isn't a reason to pay her less: it saves you money that you should be paying in taxes (not that I'm endorsing it). If you feel that $24 is outside your budget, consider offering a guaranteed rate of $20 per hour, no matter how many children she's watching on a given day (so she'll still get paid even when your kid is home sick). PW

Sounds right to me! I don't get your logic that none of the parents themselves make $24/hour. You obviously will be making more than $8/hour or you wouldn't be able to hire her. If you don't like paying $8/hour for personalized care for your child, then put your child in a daycare with less personalized attention.

Childcare work is exhausting non-stop work and requires exceptional patience and dedication to the well being of the children being cared for. I was the nanny sharing with my child and only one other child and not making enough to cover my living expenses and too exhausted to do additional work on the side. I eventually felt like both a crappy parent and a crappy nanny from the strain of not being able to even care for myself and my own family while making sure that another family's child was well cared for. Now I gladly pay a preschool more than your nanny is asking for per child to care for my child part-time so that I can make a livable wage.

Your nanny is making her living. If she is working any less than 40 hours/week for you or the other family then she will be just barely making a living wage if it is just her and her child she is supporting. (If you don't believe me search ''basic family budget calculator'' and type in 1 adult + 1 child for our geographic region). Make sure the person who is caring for your most precious charges is paid well enough to really put all of her energy into caring for your child the way you would want her to rather than overworked and financially strained because you don't think it's right that she make more per hour than each parent does on their own. worth the cost

I think the rate the nanny is asking is entirely reasonable. I was recently part of a nanny share in which we paid $9/hr per child when there were multiple children. I don't see how this should be any different because one of the children is the nanny's own child - the caregiver: child ratio is the same.

I might be concerned about 1 nanny with 5 children - you don't say the children's ages, so maybe it's ok depending how much older the older kids are, but I'd be worried about safety with this ratio.

Whether your nanny is being paid on or off the books shouldn't affect her salary - she may not have taxes taken out now, but she will lose out on other benefits later since she's not paying into them now.

Here are some informational resources about becoming an employer of a domestic worker:

Also, this is a few years out of date now, but BPN did a survey about how much parents pay nannies, benefits they offer, etc.: Domestic workers need a living wage too

$8.00 sounds very good to me. From your message it sounds like you don't like the idea that she makes more than you per hour! What do you care? I've noticed here that some people don't like it if their nannies or cleaners make more than them. Maybe it'd be a good idea to stop comparing how much you and others make and enjoy the service these people provide. Our cleaner charges 25 an hour. Definitely much more than I make, but so what? I'm happy having her clean our house. I'd rather do my job (that I love) and be paid less than clean somebody else's house (or look after their kids). Happy to Pay

truth is... daycare is expensive. Whether a nanny or a center you have to be able to pay to get quality care. I charge $25/hour per child. I think you have an amazing discount here. Anything less than $1500 per month is a great deal! Take it and don't look back because pre-school is going to be more expensive. AND unless you all want to pay her benefits, think of her bringing her child with her as one of the benefits that you are giving her, so you don't have to pay her medical insurance on top of the pay you all agree to. -Kids are expensive- Lisa

Pros and Cons of Nanny bringing her child to work?

Nov 2006

Hello, My son is a year old and I have been trying to find a nanny for him. In our area (San Ramon), it is a bit diffucult. It seems like all the available nannies are taken. I have talked to candidate, however, she has a 6 month old son and wants to bring him too. What are the pros and cons of this situation? Would my son get adequate attention from her? What would be the pay rate at this situation? I am a first time mom and I have no idea on how to hire a nanny. Thanks a lot. S.

My nanny is pregnant and she (and we) want her to return, but we have the same concerns as you. With out any advise from friends, family, here or other forums I think we will just advise her to work at a daycare with her baby and we will get a new nanny. I'm just at a loss at how this can work. Bummer. Bummed Mom

We live in Danville and have employed three nannies since our 5 year old twins were born. The first moved to Colorado after 6 mos to follow her dream of rodeoing. The second was with us the next 1.5 years and went to another family of twins when ours went to preschool PT. She needed FT hours. We're on our third and we share her with another family. How hard have you been looking for a nanny? There are many out there. Are you offering market-competitive compensation? If you're not comfortable with him or her bringing their own child then perhaps you should find a nanny share -- someone who has a nanny already and would like to share the costs while caring for two kids approx the same age. A professional nanny can take care of two kids at the same time (it happens all the time) but what I'm reading in your post is wondering if her child will get pref treatment and yours will just be ''dragged along for the ride.'' Two dif issues BTDT

This is a very common issue when hiring a nanny. I except you'll get lots of responses from people who have done it, but here's another perspective I would like to offer.

For a woman without a lot of education and a small child, nannying is one of the very few employment options available. Minimum-wage jobs do not pay enough for mothers to afford childcare (esp. good childcare), so the only solution is a job where they can bring their baby with them. And we all know that those are few and far between. So by employing a mother as a nanny, you may well lift an entire family out of welfare and off poverty. It can really be a win-win situation.

Now, of course, you are not hiring a nanny out of charity, your concerns are about the care of your child, but I think that with some forethought this sitation could work out very well. First, you could save some money. Pay scales for nannies who bring their babies are often at the ''share rate,'' like ~$8- 10/hr. Second, a mom will have more experience (of the best kind!) than someone with no kids. You'll want to think through some of the logistics -- what happens if her child is sick one day? Needs to see the pediatrician? Does she have any backup care for emergencies? Will she need to bring age-appropraite toys to your house for her child? (This will matter less as the kids get older and the age difference becomes less of a big deal.) Other than that, just query her the same way you would if you were in a nanny share, or if you had 2 children - what would she do if both kids were crying at the same time? What kind of eating/sleeping schedule would she forsee for the 2 kids? What kinds of activities would she do that they both might enjoy?

In sum, it may not work out every time for every family, but in general I think it can be a really positive thing for all. anon

If your nanny is good and a pro her own child shouldn't slow her down, other than the sleep deprivation thing! However that slows down every mom of two kids when baby #2 arrives. I was a nanny w/o kids for years and once pregnant realized my options for employment had changed. dramatically. I went from making $18 an hour to being offered $12 until the baby was due and then being expected to accept $10. It was interesting thinking on the part of my employer that apparently my expenses would decrease once I became a single mother. I was very conscious of favortism, my son spent a lot of time in his carrier(when the BIG kids were running around) and became very independent at a young age, He also was the youngest of 4 boys(I juggled two part-time jobs.) The only thing I became selfish about was taking care of my violently ill charges when their mom wanted to ''catch a yoga class'' Prior to having a ''barfy'' baby and having to pay to do laundry I was open to taking care of sick kids. I probably would have continued to be open if the mom had to work Or if I was being paid a competitive wage. Since neither was the case and I had also been informed rather cavalarly that my son and I had proably been exposed to RSV(originally ''just a bad cough'') when he was all of 2 months old I was WAY more cautious. I nannied for 3 families with my son before I started a daycare.

When I had my second baby and found myself a SAHM I had a babysitter/nanny who was FABULOUS one day a week @$15 an hour. I didn't flinch paying her that salary when she became pregnant and eventually had the baby.She was little beat by month 8-she read and played a LOT of ''quiet'' games to my 2 and 4.5yo sons at that point-they adored her absolutely. When her pink bundle arrived, they were VERY patient with the baby, having to pick up their tiny toys before her arrival etc.

She took all them to the park, played catch and did all the regular things they always did after starting back-she took about 6 weeks off. I always gave her the heads up that my guys were illin'-she volunteered to leave her baby with her mom and come anyway. When her daughter was ill she did the same unless it had been a truly wretched night for the both of them and then we took a pass. Again she was a consummate pro. no regrets sydney

I am the mom of two and I watch another child 22 months (my daughter is 27months) 2 - 3x a week. They love each other and have so much fun together. It's a great situation. Many of my other mom friends watch another child as well. Pay can range anywhere for $7 - 10.

One thing I would suggest is to have a child closer in age to play with, a one year old can't really play with a 6 month old. I think it would be more beneficial to have the same age or a little older. If it was that much of an age gap when your daughter was 2 it would be a big issue. Also a 6 month old needs a lot more care, time and attention. And your child may not get as much attention as your hoping for.

Did you post something on Berkeley Parents Childcare? Maybe say you are open to having someone with a child closer to your child's age? Hope this helps!

Fair Price for Nanny bringing her own child?

June 2006

Can anyone tell me the ''going rate'' for a share situation where the nanny is a mother who cares for her own child and yours at the same time? Both children are toddlers, if that matters. I've looked in the archives but the advice on this topic is quite old. Thank you!! - Newbie

We currently pay $10/hour for our nanny who watches my 7 month old daughter and her own 6 month old daughter in our home. Lucy

Hi - I've never done a share with a nanny bringing her own child, but am in a nanny share right now and each family pays $9/hour for two kids so she is making $18/hr total. That said, your nanny is saving money by being able to watch her kid and yours so maybe $9/hr is fair? Jennifer

When our nanny started bringing her own toddler (3 y.o) to work, she decreased her hourly rate from $12/hour (when caring for just our toddler) to $9/hour. $8-9/hour is about market rate for a nanny-share with two children, and when she brings her son the situation is like a nanny-share. Incidentally, they two really enjoy each other's company and it has worked out well for all involved Our nanny is in our nanny-share

I am a ''nanny'' and I bring my 2 year old son with me. I would like you to consider paying your nanny what you would pay a nanny without a child. Even though it seems like share care-- it isn't; your nanny isn't being paid by two parents and making a living wage. Even though she is theoretically ''saving'' money by not having to have her child cared for by another, she still needs to live! This is totally ridiculous--should she pass on her 15 bucks an hour to someone else to care for her child while she takes care of yours?! It is my experience that caring for other children is only enhanced by my son's presence. The children are wonderful friends and as a parent myself I would prefer my child to be with other children and not just an adult. I would urge you to do the right thing and pay this person a wage they can live on-- this is one of the most important and difficult jobs and people are so often mistreated. We expect our nannies to somehow do everything perfectly for so little money. Nanny

Nanny is bringing her kids over after school

Nov 2001

I currently have a nanny who I like. The problem I'm having is that when I come home from work each night she has her daughters there. She picks them up from school and they all go to the park. My daughter loves playing with other kids, so she loves it. My problem is, I don't feel I should be paying my nanny to watch two other kids. I'm paying here to watch my daughter alone. I worry that her eyes are on her kids at the park and not mine. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Any advice/and or experience would be appreciated. C.

It depends a little on the age of your children and the ages of your nannies' kids, and it depends a lot on your nanny. My nanny watches my child with an eagle eye when she has her own kids with her - and they (who are 9 and 11) watch him too. He absolutely ADORES them, so while there are some downsides to the arrangment, I go along with it. But, I trust my nanny implicitly (and there has never been a problem). If I were you, I would talk to her about it. Tell her you love her kids and your daughter does too, but you want to be sure it isn't too much for her to handle all at once. Ask her some hypotheticals "what happens if so-and-so runs off to the slide, and my daughter goes in the opposite direction?" and see how you feel about her answers. Good luck! FR

I certainly don't blame you for not wanting to pay your Nanny the full rate while she is watching her own children as well. However, it seems that it is working out well for the kids (your child enjoys playing with the Nanny's children, she can adequately supervise them all). Perhaps a fair resolution would be to pay her less for those hours when you are sharing her with her own children. My Nanny brings her 2 year old with her while she cares for my almost 3 year old and my 10 month old. I pay her $12 per hour, which may be a little high, but the hours are a little unusual (2:30 to 5:30 pm, daily), I'm paying for 2 kids and I'd rather have a happy Nanny watching my kids! Good luck. Katia

I can understand your point of view about you child not receiving you nanny's total attention but I would say try not to make a big deal out of it. As long as she is taking good care of you child it should be fine to have her kids there. There are positives to this situation. Like you mentioned her children are able to play with your child. Also as a mother myself whenever I take care of someone else's child I take care of them as if they were my own hopefully she does too. One last thing. No matter what advice you receive ALWAYS go with your instincts : ) Nacole

The upside to this is that your daughter is learning to interact with other children which is something she will need to develop before school. Marianne