It’s no secret that we live in an area where everything’s pretty pricey! And finding quality child care is certainly no exception. Most of the top-rated schools and daycares in NYC have mile-long waiting lists, not to mention sky-high tuition and entrance fees.
But what if we told you about a child care arrangement that would allow your child to enjoy quality care with more individualized attention than a daycare – and at a lower cost? We’re guessing you’d jump at the chance! If this is what you’re looking for, it’s time for you to consider a nanny share.
A nanny share, quite simply, is when two or more families with children share a nanny.
There are lots of different ways a nanny share can work, and the details of the arrangement are typically ironed out by the families involved. Some have the nanny watch all of the kids on a full-time basis. Others only need childcare a few days each week, so the nanny takes care of one family’s kids those days and the other family’s kids on the other days. So what are some of the benefits of a nanny share? Read on to find out!
Nanny Shares Cost Less
As New Yorkers, paying less for something is generally a foreign concept. But with a nanny share in NYC, you truly can get quality child care at a lower price than employing your own nanny. How much does a nanny cost in NYC? According to Glassdoor.com, the average cost of a nanny in NYC is around $18 per hour. So does that mean that each family would pay their nanny $9 in a nanny share? While you certainly can do it this way, it’s best to have each family chip in a few extra dollars toward the nanny’s hourly rate, thereby paying the nanny a bit extra to take care of multiple children. In this type of arrangement, both families still enjoy a reduced price for child care, while the nanny enjoys a slightly higher salary.
Nanny Shares are More Individualized than Daycare
The best daycares know that parents are seeking a low child-to-provider ratio. With a nanny share, your child will enjoy much more individualized care than in a daycare environment. And fewer children means fewer germs, less chaos, and fewer outside influences. Your kids will be able to spend their days either in your own home or the other family’s home, and will likely feel more relaxed and comfortable in this type of environment.
Nanny Share Allows You Much Greater Flexibility Than Daycare
Though perhaps marginally less than if you employed your own nanny, participating in a nanny share allows you much greater flexibility than a daycare center or group in-home provider would. Staying late at work? Need someone to take your child to swim lessons? Having another baby? These are all things that nannies are typically able (and willing!) to take on, even in a nanny share.
By participating in a nanny share, you’re less likely to need back-up care for most mild illnesses (fever and vomiting are typically still a no-go for all parties involved), and with several parents in the mix, it’s much easier to cover if your nanny gets sick or needs a day off. Of course, it’s best to work out the logistics of these types of situations in advance, but flexibility is one of the greatest benefits of nanny shares.
Best of Both Worlds
When considering child care options, you’re often faced with having to choose between socialization and individualized attention for your kids, but a nanny share in NYC allows you to have the best of both worlds. Your kids will get all the benefits of socialization with the kids from the other family, but the smaller group size will ensure they’re each well cared for. This is especially helpful with younger children, who may still need a bit of extra attention in order to go down for naps. No one wants to imagine their baby crying himself to sleep for naps because there’s no one available to ease him into sleep.
A successful nanny share definitely takes a lot of advance planning and coordination, but it can be an excellent solution if you’re lucky enough to find a great nanny and a great family to share with!
Remember that open, honest communication is the key to making a nanny share work; if an issue arises, handle it quickly. Treat your nanny with respect and be sure to let her know you appreciate her. And hopefully, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful, long-lasting nanny share where your kids can thrive.
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Christin Perry is a freelance writer and editor living in the DC area. She specializes in the lifestyle genre and her writing has been published by The Knot, The Bump, and LittleThings.com.