You’ve probably heard the stories. A friend or colleague tells you how they applied for a bunch of childcare centres while just a few months pregnant, have since welcomed a beautiful new bub and a year – or two – later they are still waiting for the first offer.
Surely they exaggerate, you think to yourself. Well, sadly, no. The shortage of childcare places is no joke, and it’s a solid reason for the increasing popularity of nanny sharing.
Just what is nanny sharing ?
Nanny sharing, just as it sounds, is sharing a nanny between people. It might be two, three or even four friends; families or colleagues who’ve welcomed children around the same time, and are looking for childcare.
Exactly how does nanny sharing work ?
Essentially, it means you hire and share a nanny between you but the ins and outs are flexible. It might be that you choose one person’s home to be the base where you will bring the children, or you take turns to have the nanny come to each of your homes on a different day.
There would obviously need to be some coordination before you begin the search for a nanny. You’ll need to decide how many days you need, the hours, and if you want them to cook or do some basic chores. Obviously if you choose the latter, you’ll want to take turns hosting the venue!
Once you’ve got an idea what you’re after, you’re all set to start your nanny sharing adventure.
The benefits of nanny sharing
You’ve no doubt picked up the obvious one. If you want to beat the childcare queues, this is probably your best – and most cost-effective – option. Hiring a nanny for one child can be quite expensive at times, but by sharing a nanny, you might find you’re paying the same or even less to what you would in a centre, particularly if there are a few children.
There’s also the added benefit of knowing that as there are only a few children, there will be much more one-on-one attention. It’s in a familiar environment, so the children are likely to feel comfortable straight away. And you can save on travel time between work, home and childcare.
The downside of sharing a nanny
Of course, you do need to think about possible cons before jumping in to a nanny sharing arrangement. For some people, the main downside is that you will need to coordinate with other parents as well as the nanny and if people’s plans change you will need to be flexible.
The choice really is up to you. Nanny sharing can be a great option, so if you do have a friend or two who are also looking for childcare, why not have a chat about it. You never know, if you’re on the same page, it could be the start of a fabulous nanny sharing experience.
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