Nanny Survey 2008: Advice about Sharing a Nanny

Archived Q&A and Reviews

40. Do you share your nanny with another family?

Our nanny also takes care of another family's child(ren) at the same time 43.9%
Our nanny only takes care of our child(ren) 32.9%
Our nanny works for another family (but at a different time) 30.2%
Our nanny also watches her own child(ren) 6.2%

    40.b. If you share your nanny, what is the arrangement and is there any advice you would give people who are considering this option?


    • Three families share one nanny. The nanny has 2 children every day for full days. Each family needs 3-4 days per week. She comes to all of our houses on different days of the week. If one parent needs to bring her daughter over for a few hours on an unscheduled day, ocassionally the nanny has 3 children.

      Three kids two days a week, two kids two days a week. Make sure the kids get along. Nap time will be tricky logistically if one or more don't nap.

      Too complicated to remember! There are any number of families coming in at different times and different pay rates

      We allow a 2 hour playdate with another child (at a park) to help out another mother (who needs a break). Our nanny gets double pay for this time.

      We alternate between which house the nanny watches our children.

      we alternate homes weekly

      We alternate houses every week which is very nice as it gives the children a different environment. We created a contract for all of us to sign so that we are on the same page in terms of hourly rates, vacations, sick times, etc. We were NOT clear about our policy when the kid's are sick which has caused some problems, so I would be very specific about that when negotiating with another family. All in all, I think it is equally as important to have a good relationship with your share family as with the nanny.

      We and the other family each use three days, but two are overlapping and each child has one day each by herself. This works well because it gives them some individual attention, especially when small, and it means that we have back up care that other day.

      We are alternating between our homes from month to month. There are pros and cons to having them at home or away.

      We are in a 3-family share, but our nanny only has 2 kids at a time.

      We are in the process of doing a nanny share and we are still ironing out the details. IT is our neighbor next door.

      we both have children in preschool. If one of our kids are sick she will watch the additional child at same $9 rate so that we do not need to miss work. If she is sick we take turns watching both children so we do not both need to miss a day of work.

      We did a great nanny share in the past when we had fewer kids. If you find the right family, it is a great thing for everyone.

      We did some sharing briefly, and it worked out well. She still got her full hourly wage from us, plus her wage (almost the same) from the other family. She generally took the kids to the park, Habitot, etc.

      We do 2 wks at our house and 2wks at the other families house. it works out well and is much cheaper for us.

      We do a nanny share with our nanny and her child. We love our arrangement and have done several shares this way.

      We do both. On one or two days a week, my nanny takes care of my youngest son for several hours along with another child as part of a share situation.

      We do not stipulate any thing as it applies to her other employment.

      we do occasional shares w/ other families

      We don't share; she works M-Th for us and Friday for another family

      We each pay separately.

      we each pay the nanny our share separately, $10/$10 per hour. If one family goes on vacation, that family still pays in $5 so that the nanny gets $15/hr for watching one child. It works out pretty well.

      We found a family right around the corner whose child is a similar age to ours. It's very convenient and fun for the kids. Advice below.

      We found each other first and made those arrangements before finding the nanny. Finding a nanny together was a good way to all get buy in and feel on equal footing. Our children are also only a couple of weeks apart which makes things much better for the nanny and the kids, they're on the same schedule, etc.

      We generally have the kids at one of our two houses; everyone provides their kids own food; we have a cell-phone enabled flexible schedule; we all have dinner once in a while to make sure that things are going well.

      We have 3 families, there are 2 children in the share at any given time. One family is full time (5 days/week), one is 3 days/week, one is 2 days/week. It can be very challenging to figure out who goes where when one family takes time off and one of the part-time families takes an extra day, but it's workable.

      We have a Nanny share for 2 days a week and it is great to split up the house we are at - it keeps our house cleaner and less wear and tear on the home. It also enables our son to get to play with different toys and be in a new surrounding.

      We have a nanny-share at our home with families on our block. It is fabulous.

      We have a neighbor who sometimes brings over her child and that seems to work really well

      we have certain days of the week.

      We have LOVED having a share-care situation for the past two plus years (since our kids were 3 months old). Our kids have really been raised as twins because they've always had each other five days a week, full-time, and have thrived as a result of each others' companionship. We've switched houses every other week, which has worked well in terms of impact on house, hassle of dropping off, getting to different parks and activities, and keeping all the toys feeling fresh and new. (There are definitely pros and cons to having the share at one's house, and having it switch is the most equitable way to share those pros and cons.) And, we've appreciated raising our child with another family and going through a lot of the same things together as our kids grow. When our nanny has been ill, we've shared watching the kids for each other. We're very flexible with each other when it comes to food for the kids (the host family provides milk, yogurt, bananas) but both kids eat whatever food either family has prepared depending on what our nanny decides to give them. We've managed to make a bunch of napping situations work -- pack n'plays, switching who gets to sleep in the crib, letting one sleep in a guest bed. That said, having a share is a big challenge -- although our kids are only a week apart in age, they crawled at different times (which activated different levels of childproofing at both homes, often before both families were ready for the changes), one has a bunch of food allergies, one has gone through an extended biting phase (of which the other is the unfortunate victim), one is now into extensive climbing (which was activated yet another level of childproofing), our work hours have mostly been slightly off (one ends the day at 4:30, the other at 5:30, but the kids' naps often don't cooperate, so one parent ends up just hanging out at the other family's house to wait for his/her child to wake up), and they definitely didn't move into toddler beds (aka, climb out of the crib) at the same time, which was rough when it came to naptime at the other person's house. We've had long conversations about pay, raises, vacation time, contract issues, what happens with a new baby added to the mix, what parks we're comfortable/uncomfortable having them go to, whether or not TV is okay (which it's not when the share is going on), what to do when the kids go off to preschool. Overall, it's been a wonderful experience, but we've been very lucky to have found a great family with whom we communicate very well and are very much philosophically in-line with each other. And, of course, a nanny that we're all really happy with.

      We have the share Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Our nanny works for one other family on Fridays, and sometimes fills in for us if we need extra help on a Monday. The share has been hosted exclusively at our nanny-share partner's house, which has worked out very well. My son knows when he goes to his buddy's house, that's where he plays with his nanny, too. Our nanny share partners have been extremeley supportive and open; it wouldn't have worked well otherwise. There were still some rough spots here and there, but nothing nightmarish or unreasonable that we couldn't all work out together. A part-time nanny share was an ideal way for me to start back to work again after giving birth with the peace of mind that my son was being well cared for and getting a little social development at the same time. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

      We have worked with the other two families so that our nanny is made whole on holidays, vacations, time off. Each family covers the time off by the percentage they use the nanny.

      We invited two other families to do part time shares in our house. They were families we knew who had flexibility and similar food/toy preferences (more organic, less loud battery toys).

      We love having a nanny share and thinks it helps our children learn to share and develop social skills, as well as the enjoyment of having a playmate. We also think it benefits our nanny because she has the chance to earn a lot more money than we could afford to pay her ourselves.

      We love having a nanny share with our kid and another one at the same time - gives them a friend to play with, makes the situation more affordable for each family, while still getting very close attention from the nanny. We currently have the nanny for four days/week and share her three of those days, with the fourth just for our son. Doing a share does make everything more complicated because you have to like not only the nanny, but also the other kid and the other parents! But we think it is worth it and not too difficult if you know what you want. And we have made some good friends in the process! In my first nanny share I looked to join an existing situation where the other family had been using the nanny for at least a couple of years, just for extra security and assurances on the nanny's capability.

      We love our share family so it's worked out fine, but we are both very flexible w/our working schedules right now.

      We love this arrangement. We have a wonderful relationship with the other family and the children have really benefited from having each other.

      we pay $16 total. $8 each.

      We share 3 days/week and she watches only the other child the other 2 days/week. Our share has been very easy but I think it all depends on the personalities of the families and the nanny.

      We share 3 hours of care in our home every morning. With our current arragement, our nanny has to walk the other little girl back to her house. This has been awful and messes up the lunch/nap schedule for our daughter. I wish i hadn't agreed to it. I also wish we been able to find a share partner for the whole day--it would be much better for us AND for our nanny (financially).

      We share 4 days/week, 10 hour days. Be sure to see the other home first, and to be clear about all policies: tax arrangements, sick policies, and baby-proofing. There should be a trial period, and do not be afraid to find another situation even if it will take a lot of effort, since it may be better in the long-run.

      we share a few hours one day with the family she works for on our off days. this is great b/c if we need care on days that she is not scheduled to work for us we can take kids to their house and they know each other

      We share at the other family's home since we have two large dogs. One of the other parents works-from-home and we had a hard time with this in the beginning as they thought our child cried a lot!

      we share cost. if child is significantly sick (runny noses ok) then that child can't come. we share food and supply own diapers. you pay if it is your choice not to show up that day; understand vacation policies. give as much notice as possible if leaving share.

      We share nearly every day with another family. Since we are both part-time, she also works for other families on the days she is not sharing with us. This is an established share and she is very experienced so there have not been issues.

      We share on Mon & Fri only. On Tues & Thurs we have her to ourselves and on Wed they have her to themselves.

      We share our nanny 3 hrs a week with another family. Look for a family that is consistent and reliable.

      We share our nanny at the other family's home. We like it but not as easy as having the nanny come to your house (although there is less wear and tear on our house this way and it's nice to come home to a house the way you left it).

      We share our nanny for 30 of our 36 hours. We share her with families we didn't know before but have turned out to really like and that's a bonus for us and our child. I would advise people to try to meet a number of families to get a sense of what you feel comfortable with and if you are placing an ad to be as clear as you can about what you are looking for, would feel comfortable with, etc

      We share our nanny with another child. It used to be our daughter and one other child - currently it also includes our infant son until our daughter starts preschool in a few months time. My advice would be to really assess the other child's personality - we have found that our daughter has not enjoyed the share as much since we were forced to change share family. Also, be clear about what happens if you want your child to go to a class etc - can the nanny take them, will they pay for the other child to attend also etc.

      We share our nanny with another family who have a child the same age as ours. We take our child to their house but make contributions to the other family for food expenses. Advice: Try to find a family with a child close to the same age as your child. Share care with a nice family is a wonderful thing!

      we share our nanny with several other families. It has worked well but it is a lot of work to coordinate with other families

      We share our nanny with two other families. I'd advise being clear at the beginning about the schedule, location, sick policy and who provides what.

      We share with a neighbor whose child is 3 months younger than ours. We share for about 20 of the 36 total hours per week. We did not have any formal agreement with the other family, and have been very fortunate that they are very flexible and accommodating and the kids get along well. The nanny was already caring for our child when they joined us, so they made a point to respect all the agreements we already had with the nanny (eg: paying her through family vacations).

      We share with another family. She takes care of our son (11 months old) and a 16 month old little girl. It is nice that they are so close in age. We swap houses every other week, which seems to work well, and occasionally leave things at the others' house for the week.

      We share with one family Tuesday mornings and another on Monday (full-day) and Friday (half-day). I would recommend finding one family that commits to as much time as possible. It is a pain coordinating multiple families and sometimes I feel like I'm running a daycare while I'm working full-time.

      We share with one other family (2 babies total). The babies spend 2 days at my house because I work from home and one day at my friend's house. When one of us needs to use the nanny for longer than usual on a particular day, that family pays more for that day.

      We share with one other family (one child) in my house, 40 hours per week. For those hours, she is paid for 2 kids. For the extra time with only mine, she gets the one child rate.

      We share with two families; one baby comes one day a week, the other baby comes two days a week; we have her to ourselves two days a week. As we use the nanny full-time (45 hours a week), and for longer days, the share is always at our house.

      we share with two other families.

      We share with two other families. The nanny and the kids are great. Sometimes one of the other parents can be difficult.

      We shared at her house with 2 other kids but she always seemed to have more kids, so we were unclear how much she was really making/per hour. We should have been clear about a limit on the number of kids but we really needed a nanny quickly.

      we shared her for the first 2.5 yrs with another family. we split the cost 50/50 and alternated homes every month. i liked the monthly schedule because it made getting into a rhythm easier. Only took 10 minutes to get there.

      We split the $20/hour rate, don't come if the child has a fever/diarrhea/other infection of concern, have the same policies noted above, and are flexible about location though have agreed to have it all at one home for now.

      we switch houses every week. really get to know the couple and if you can work with them. Remember that most of the time when you see them you are in a hurry and trying to get somewhere else. Great communication is important.

      We use our nanny four days of the week, and share with two other families who each use nanny two days. So, nanny has two children on each day.

      We use the nanny 4 days/week; the host family uses her 5 days/week. The share is always at the host family's house (not ours) -- unless they are out of town: then, nanny takes care of our baby at our home. We have never had the host family's baby cared for in our home; however, we'd be willing/able to host the share if needed.

      We used to share her, we paid our same rate regardless of the number of children in her care. I did not see any reason to pay her less.

      We will begin nanny share with our current nanny in a couple weeks.

      We work well together by talking and don't seem to have problems.

      We've had some problems with our Nanny's son being in the home while she is working. He is somewhat destructive; likes to color on walls and steal things, but we're working on that. It's not an ideal arrangement. If given a chance I'd reconsider this arrangement because because, the nanny's son's disipline problems a) set a bad example in my home for my son and b) take time away from the care of my son as well. It's not an ideal situation.

      work out as many issues in advance as possible: how to manage illness how to manage vacations/travel how to manage food choices how to manage location of sharecare

      works for other families during the week and we have her on the weekends