What’s a Nanny Share?
A nanny share is when two (sometimes more) families work together to hire you to take care of all of their children at the same time.
How Does A Nanny Share Work?
Nanny shares are initiated (usually) by the parents. They have discussed this child care option together and have decided that it’s right for them.
One of the reasons that families will have dedicated that a nanny share is right for them, is because both of their schedules overlap. A nanny share only works if the families need child care at the same time.
It’s possible that one family could need more coverage than the other—that can work in your favor! You’ll be caring for both families’ kids during the designated “nanny share time.” Outside of that, you can care for each family individually, as needed, and be compensated at your full hourly rate.
Location is a discussion between the families involved. All care could take place at one of their homes, or it could be split between both as they see fit. If both homes are being used, make sure you discuss a clear system for everyone to know where care is happening and when. The last thing you want is for wires to get crossed and neither home is available for care.
Additionally, for each sitting, the visiting kid(s) will need transportation to the home in which care is taking place. The families could decide that this would be part of your duties, but make sure that you’re being compensated for that time and gas/mileage. That’s “on-the-clock” work!
The Benefits of a Nanny Share
Typically, each family pays two-thirds of your hourly rate based on what they would pay on your own. This means that you’ll be making more money per hour than if you were caring for just one family! Just make sure they’re paying you at least minimum wage, which is the highest of the federal, state, or local rate.
In a nanny share, both families are considered employers by the IRS. That means both families must pay you legally and pay the related taxes. Being paid “over the table” gives you the benefits of having a verifiable income and legal employment history (needed for loans, credit, social security, medicare), receiving unemployment benefits, and being eligible for a healthcare subsidy.
Don’t get us wrong—individual time spent with a kid can be lots of fun. However, the benefit of a nanny share is that there are other kids, typically friends, to help keep the energy fun and increase the options of activities.
The Challenges of a Nanny Share
A nanny share has a lot of moving parts. There are at least two families with their own schedules and needs as well as your availability. All families involved are paying you—potentially different amounts based on the hours worked and with which kids. All of this coordination necessitates one of the parents to take the lead on being the master manager, but double-checking their work will be important to ensure you’re not missing out on pay or knowing what’s going on.
Not only is it already important for families to have clear communication about expectations and needs with you, but with a nanny share, all families involved have to be on the same page. This isn’t something that you, as the nanny, can control, but pay attention and advocate for yourself to have clear cut communication from everybody.
With a nanny share, kids are interacting with other kids on a regular basis and potentially in someone else’s home. There has to be a certain amount of trust that is built up between you and the each family and between the families themselves. Additionally, schedules have a way of shifting at the last minute. Is there enough trust and understanding that everyone involved will handle these situations with care and flexibility? You don’t want to get caught between feuding families for your time.
Is A Nanny Share Job Right For You?
Only you can decide that for yourself. Really consider the pros and cons and what type of work environment is ideal for you. It could be that you’re open to doing a nanny share, but that you have strong qualifications that each of the families must meet in order to take them on for that type of job. Bottom line: be honest with yourself and with the families involved.