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How to Save Money with Nanny Sharing

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NannyNo matter what option you choose, childcare is expensive. When I discovered it would cost nearly $2,000 a month for childcare for my two children, then aged 6 months and 2 years, I decided it made more sense to quit my job, take care of my children, and work from home. Unfortunately, not all parents have that option.

If you are exploring options for affordable childcare, one option that might make sense is nanny sharing.

What Is Nanny Sharing?

Two families agree to share the same nanny. This could either be that each family needs the nanny on a part-time basis or that each families’ children are cared for by the same nanny full-time.

Benefits of Nanny Sharing?

There are many benefits of nanny sharing, one of the most important being financial. Sharing “can save families about $300 a week by splitting a nanny’s typical weekly salary in half” (Chicago Tribune).

Another important benefit is companionship. If your child is an only child, sharing a nanny allows him to have another child to play with all day long.

Drawbacks of Nanny Sharing?

While the financial aspects of nanny sharing are appealing, there are several important potential drawbacks to consider.

1. Who takes vacation when?  How will you handle vacations? Will the nanny travel with one of the families when they vacation? If so, how will the other family fare without the nanny? How many weeks off does the nanny get?

2. Do your families agree on parenting issues.  If you want your child to never watch television while the other family thinks television is fine, you may have an issue. The key is to be flexible as well as to try to share with a family who has values that are closely aligned with your values.

3. Do your kids like each other?  It is one thing for the parents to get along great, but what if the kids don’t like each other? They will be spending time together every day, so ideally they like to play together.

4. Whose house will the nanny use? Which family will the nanny and the children stay at during the day? Will it be the same house each time, or will she work at one house one week and another house the next week?

Benefits for the Nanny?

Many nannies don’t mind working in a nanny sharing arrangement because they are assured work. “Two years ago, nanny use was down 30 percent, according to a survey by the International Nanny Association” (Chicago Tribune).  That number has since bounced back, in part because nannies are willing to accept unconventional arrangements such as nanny sharing.

Others like nanny sharing because they are used to working in a daycare environment, and even if they are caring for 2 to 4 kids, they are caring for fewer kids than they did at the daycare. In addition, the kids often entertain one another by playing together.

Where to Find Nanny Sharing Arrangements?

If you would like to look into sharing a nanny, you can inquire at nanny agencies. In addition, other sites are popping up that specifically offer nanny sharing such as nannysharechicago.com that caters to the Chicago community.

As far as finding the perfect family to share a nanny with, look to your play groups as well as your prenatal classes if you are expecting or your exercise classes.

Have you shared a nanny? Would you consider it?

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2 Responses to “How to Save Money with Nanny Sharing”

  1. Scott says:

    BIG question not mentioned here in regards to sharing – who sets up the nanny payroll and pays the taxes? Better make sure that is very clearly worked out up front.

  2. Jim M says:

    Be careful with this. When my children were younger we agreed to share a Nanny with another neighborhood family. They decided they wanted her full time. Very stressful for all involved – including the Nanny. All parties eventually became estranged from each other.


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