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Nanny Share: How does it work?

So, we've done a nanny share before and I think the situation can be done in different ways.  Thanks Amy for your question:

How [do] nanny-shares actually work?  Do you hope to meet another family who needs a nanny on opposite days, thereby employing someone full time between the two families? Or do you alternate homes on the same days, with one nanny for both/all children?

If you've done or considered a nanny share, how have you made it work?  What are key factors that can contribute to sharing success?


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Amy brings up a great topic -- it's been on my mind lately as a something I'd like to get input on as well.

We've been using a nanny since our son was 4 months old (since December). She splits her time between us and other families on alternate days.

From what I understand, a true nanny share is sharing the nanny with another family and splitting costs, not sharing on alternate days. My friend does this with her neighbor; they split the cost between them and get affordable childcare with a trusted provider in one of their homes.

I'm interested in doing a nanny share but haven't figure quite how to do it. I'd prefer to avoid daycare, but I do want my son to have regular socialization with another kid or kids. When you consider the ratio of daycare provider to kids, it's clear a nanny would have more attention to devote to fewer kids.

In my mind you need:

1. Good match with the other family (shared views/values on parenting philosophy). It could be hard to have this conversation with a prospective family without coming across as judgmental. But it's important!

2. Defining your ideal sharing situation, which could encompass # of days for what duration of time, budget, neighborhood, if it will be at one or either household, how many kids, children's ages, etc.

Personally, I would love for my 9-month old son to be in a nanny share with a child who is 2-3 years old. I think he'd benefit from the "older sibling" experience. Plus, from a nannying standpoint, you have to believe it's easier to care for two kids if one is a bit older and more independent. For example, I couldn't imagine doing a nanny share with two 3-month olds.

3. Mutual agreement on hard and soft criteria in a nanny. The obvious, non-negotiable stuff (background check, CPR certified, etc.) and the knowledge, skills and abilities (want the nanny speak another language? do you expect her to perform household tasks?). Being clear on this will reduce chances of getting a match with one family but not the other. Also, agree on what the nanny can/can't do with the kids. Is she allowed to take them on field trips to the zoo? That kind of thing.

4. Define needs, expectations and where you need flexibility. For example, with two kids, how do you handle nap schedules? My friend who does the nanny share ended up having her son's schedule disrupted for the benefit of her friend's son -- this never came up before they agreed to share a nanny, and it created a sticky situation for a while.

5. Map out contingency plans. Agree on a policy re: sick kids, one family needing to cancel, etc. Also talk about what would happen if one family had to cancel.

6. Define house rules. Having 2+ kids cared for in your home instead of one will inevitably lead to more mess, accidents, etc. Anticipate and expect it, and set up ground rules.

6. Paying the nanny -- I guess both families are considered employers and handle taxes as such.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure others will have more/better information to add.

Suz, this is great information. thank you so much.

anyone else?

This is something I'd be interested in doing as well, and recently had a conversation with someone about how great it could work out if it was set up right.

We've been talking for several months about trying to find some childcare situation which would free up a few mornings for me to run errands, clean the house, and possibly do some administrative work for a friend. But in doing some preliminary talking to nannies, most want either full time, or a full 20 hours a week if only part time, and I dont think I would need 20 hours of help a week, but dont like the idea of dropping him off at a drop-in daycare center.

I'm with Suz--I love the idea of Anders having a playmate and enjoying his time away from us while getting some quality attention from his caretaker.

My neighbor said she thought that nannies would charge a reduced hourly rate per family if a share was set up. For example, rather than charging 10/hour for one child, they would charge 7/hour per family, so a total of 14/hour. Is this how it does actually work?

NoPo, I think you're right -- it's more work with 2, but not double, so the rate goes up a bit, but it's still cheap per family. My friend who nanny shares pays $6/hour.

I've been in a number of nanny share situations, so I can weigh in here!

-- in one situation, we shared a few days a week and had "alone time" the other days. during the share days, we paid $6 per hour each (our children were both infants, and within a month of each others' birthdays, at the time), and during the alone days, we paid $8 per hour. it worked out well but wasn't very flexible, given that I came into the arrangement as the "second" mom and the first mom had already set a time when she did, and didn't, want to share her nanny.

-- my next situation was almost like an in-home daycare. the nanny we shared was living in with one of the moms (a single mom) and the boys were all between 1 and 2 when we started. the in-home mom had her own pay arrangement as the room and board were part of the pay, and the other two of us paid $5 or so an hour. we set it up with set hours and paid vacation time so that the nanny could depend on her income (definitely a nice thing to do for the nanny, but you'll find plenty who will agree to alternate arrangements). we always had care in the single mom's home, except for days when she was on vacation or when her son was sick, and then we arranged to meet in one of the other children's houses (but never paid extra per hour, which was nice).

my favorite situation was the second, as the price was right and I never had to worry about whether my own home was clean! but if I had to set it up again I'd be more realistic about my hours. the nanny's day ended at 2:30, no exceptions, due to the parameters of the mom whose home it was in, and i decided to start my day at 8 -- and rarely got Everett there much before 9, so i ended up paying for *so many* hours that i didn't use.

i think the hardest part about a nanny share is that, once you set up the parameters, it's hard to change without disrupting another family in addition to your own. so (within reason of course: the first nanny share ended when i lost my job) consider how your life might change and be realistic about what you'll need. be a planner and it will work out great!

also, i've advertised for nanny shares on craigslist a couple of times and found others hoping for one. sometimes people *do* want just to split days to give a nanny 40 hours a week. so you could always work out something where you split a nanny's time several ways, a couple of hours a day at one family's home and another several at yours, with yet another family's children :)

Our first share situation was two summers ago. We responded to a craigslist posting, a family looking for another little girl, close to their daughter's age, with whom to share their sitter. We moms spoke on the phone for a while, to just get to know each other a bit. Then, we arranged a big playdate so our families could meet one another. Their little girl was about 9 months younger than ours. Plus, their second child was just about the same age as our second. Our families connected really well, and the girls especially got along well.

They only had their sitter on T-W-Th. We, however, needed a sitter for the whole week. We did the share thing for 3-days a week, then our daughter had 1-on-1 time with the sitter on the other two days. The share days were at the other family's house, and we were fine with that. Parents provided lunches for the kids. We also contributed to a snack fund, so they could all get treats sometimes when they went out.

If you find a family whose needs can work with yours, if their parenting philosophy generally jives with yours, and if location is convenient, shares can work really well and turn out to be pretty affordable.

This summer, we're going to another share for half of the summer. It'll be a super-share: three families / five kids total ranging in age from 5-8. They will meet at our house but mostly be out on excursions throughout the city. I think it'll be great fun for our 5-1/2 year old. Part of the fun thing of shares are the social aspects: being able to get-to-know and spend time with a small group of peers.

Suz, you broke it down awesomely. I agree with all your items, especially the contingency plan item. Our sitter, in our first share situation, had a medical emergency. She took about a week off. During that time, each parent took time off from work to stay with the kids for part/all of the day. It worked well, and we all shared/spread the duty.

In terms of finding another family to share with, I recommend hitting craigslist and meeting other families. Also, just getting word out through family friends and friends of friends ...

I'm still a tiny bit fuzzy on how this works exactly, but it seems like a good direction to go in. I would love to find a situation like this for the fall, as my nanny will be returning to school. I want Asher (my 22-month-old son) to have very personal and loving child care, and it would be great if there was another (or more?) child involved. I just don't want to put him in a childcare facility yet, no matter how groovy and wonderful it may be.

I thought I'd post here first, since it's my favorite momspot, and if anyone knows anyone who might be interested in a nanny share for the next year, I'd love to get connected. I am suuuuper flexible, so the canvas is fairly clean for starters. Advice? Suggestions? Thank you!

What a great site! Hi everyone. I am a mother to be in March 2007 and...lets just say I am a planner. I plan on working FT after the baby is born and thus I need some help. I am currently looking for advice on daycare options in and around Beaverton. I ultimately would like to share a nanny or find a great provider that someone highly recommends. I am scared to leave my precious one with a stranger...
This is my first so I am needing help with alot of things. Can anyone offer advice? Anyone looking for a nanny to share?
please email me at jillarnzen@yahoo.com

-Jill Arnzen

My husband and I shared a Nanny with a nearby family for almost two years and it worked out great! Our Nanny was absolutely wonderful... without splitting the cost, we wouldn't have been able to afford her.
To find a family to share with, we put ads in the local classifieds, but I've recently come across a free web site at http://www.sharenanny.com that might also be helpful.
The main advice I have is to put everything down in writing before starting into a nannyshare arrangement to try and eliminate any possible future disagreements between the 3 parties. Good luck!

My friend and I share a nanny. Two days a week my child and just ONE of my friend's children are under the nanny's care. We both pay 6.00/hour, totaling 12.00/hour for the nanny. On a third day my child and TWO of my friend's children are under the nanny's care. The charge is 13.00/hour. How should that be split between the two families?

Hi, Jill,

I'd think that you could pay $5 and the other family could pay $8. That's a little more than a 1/3 and 2/3 split and you both benefit by paying far less than you would if you didn't share care.

Families can find out more about setting up a nanny share - and also find a family to share with - at http://www.findanannyshare.com

I am due Nov 2008 and anticipate going back to work March 2009, 3 days in office, one working from home one office. We are interested in exploring a Nanny Share. We live in NE PDX, Rose City Park neighborhood. Please contact me if you also are interested.

Amy, I'm interested in exploring a nanny share too, and also live in Rose City Park. I would love to talk with you -- I'm due in September and would be wanting to start nanny share around the same time as you...

Andrea- Not sure how to contact you, just noticed you posted back in June. If you still would like to talk about a Feb-March 2009 Nanny Share in Rose City Park, please email me at fellowsamy@yahoo.com

Great blog! This site has been really helpful to me the last two plus years! I think its great that more people are thinking outside the box and finding healthy sloutions for their families needs! Childcare options and solutions are something that most parents face. Recently I wrote an article about funding this need, and how families can save money! It might be helpful information for people looking into starting childcare or thinking about paying for childcare when money is tight!

Nanny sharing is the best thing that happened to my family! We found a wonderful nanny share family using www.gonannies.com. They offer a free nanny share program and I was able to find a very compatible nanny share family within 5 minutes from my home. I followed all of their advice on how to find the right match and we couldn't be happier! We couldn't afford a nanny without using a nanny share, and are able to pay our nanny a combined higher salary than she was originally seeking, so it's a Win-Win for everyone!

Nanny sharing is the best thing that happened to my family! We found a wonderful nanny share family using www.gonannies.com. They offer a free nanny share program and I was able to find a very compatible nanny share family within 5 minutes from my home. I followed all of their advice on how to find the right match and we couldn't be happier! We couldn't afford a nanny without using a nanny share, and are able to pay our nanny a combined higher salary than she was originally seeking, so it's a Win-Win for everyone!


The advice on this site is so great!
Our family is seeking a nannyshare arrangement to start in August 2009. We are expecting our first child, a baby boy, and are looking for a family with one or two children that lives or works nearby. (We are located in the Burlingame neighborhood in SW Portland.) We need full-time care, M-F 8-5:30 or so. But we're open to talking to families who need care a few days per week, and are open regarding the care location.
Keep us in mind!

I am pregnant with twins(due in August) and looking for a nannyshare arrangement to help with childcare. I live in Southern California in the east San Fernando Valley.

Id like to find someone early, so things can be settled before the little ones come.

please email

Sharon E. put an add on craigslist, and or make a flyer and stick it on bullitons boards at local schools, stores, and churches. Having facilitaed a nanny share for almost 2 years now they can be tricky to start but amazing once you get the ball rolling! Good luck

I'm in NE- Roseway- and we're expecting our first, a girl, in June. I'll be back to work part time (but various hours on various days) at the end of August. We're looking for another family close by with similarly aged child/ren who would be interested in nanny sharing. Please email me if you're interested amymsons@hotmail.com

Hi Families,
I'm currently in a nanny share and because I had so much difficulty finding a nanny share, I started a nanny share blog to help families find nanny share matches. It's completely free:


Feel free to spread the word.

Many thanks,

Sharon in NYC

Thoughts on the best way to handle pay if one of two kids in a 3 day a week nanny-share is sick? If we pay 12 for both kids ordinarily, do you still pay 12 when only 1 is being watched since the other is sick? (ie does each family pay 6 each or do you ask the nanny to take less (ie like 10 & the parents of the sick baby pitch in 4 instead of 6?)
Thanks, Susan in Denver

Anyone know if both families need to file for an employer identification number?

My son is 4 months and we're considering a share with a family with 1 yo twins. They have a nanny who comes to their home 5 days/wk, she also does some light housekeeping and food prep for the twins. The share would be 3 days/week in their home, I would bring meals for my child pre-prepared (just bottles now, but that will change over the course of a year).

My question: Should the cost split be only about how many days and kids, or should it take into consideration that my son is younger (infants cost more at daycare centers) or that the other family gets the benefit of housekeeping/cooking/etc.? I'd like the perspective of other parents on what seems fair before negotiating with the other family and the nanny.

BTW, this is the most helpful site on this issue on the web -- thanks!

Looking to start/join a nanny share Fall 2009:
My daughter is 9 months old and we live in north portland. I am looking for part time care for her, i.e. just mornings or afternoons, 4-5 days/week. We would like to partner with other eco-friendly families drawn to waldorf/montessori-inspired environments for children, but we are open and flexible. Please contact me if you are interested at leigh.sangster[at]gmail.com

I am going to start nanny sharing with my neighbor who has one infant. I also have one infant and one 2 1/2 yr old. How do I split costs if she has one & I have have 2 kids? Also, how do we work it out financially if she needs the nanny for the full day and I only need her half a day?

Looking to start/join a nanny share February 2009

My son will be 11 months old in February and we're interested in either starting a nanny share or joining a current family with a nanny in North Portland (Overlook). My schedule is all day, but every other day, alternating one week Monday/Wednesday/Friday and the other Tuesday/ Thursday. Please contact me if you are interested: ambervillazang@gmail.com

If you are looking for a nanny share, NannyShare Connection (http://www.nannyshareconnection.com) matches local parents who are interested in sharing a nanny. It's free, and you don't have to hire the nanny through them (even if you find the family match with them).

Hi there parents! My husband and I were looking for other families interested in nanny sharing, but it's been tough. There isn't a simple way to search for families nearby, which is surprising.

My husband (who is a techie) went ahead a built a simple site to help parents search using a map - http://nannyshare.us . We hope that it helps other parents, and let us know if you have any suggestions!

Hello, I'm am in negotiations for a nanny share job with a 2 month old boy and a 4 month old girl. So far the only thing agreed upon is Mon-Thurs 9 hours per day with one family needing 5 hours on Friday. And they have talked about alternating location every week (they live a few houses away from each other) and light housekeeping (sweeping, mopping, baby laundry) at whichever house I am at that week.

What should I charge? Should it be different since one family needs 36 hours and the other needs 41 hours?

The cost split is what I'm trying to figure out. I've seen this asked above with no response. If someone has a live-in nanny who does some cleaning and cooking as well as caring for their 2 kids under 3 and one 10-year old (3 kids total but one is in school half the day) what would be fair to pay per hour for my one child who is one year old?

When thinking about cost do you compare it to the cost of a daycare center (which I can find for $42.00 a day 6a-6p) or do you look at the real cost of having the nanny?

I have a question. I just moved up here and I was wondering if it was common to be not hired with a nanny position if you have your own children present as well. What are your thoughts on this?

IHello Everyone!
I currently work as a nanny and would like to answer some of the questions I see floating around here! A question that a lot of you are asking is if one child is sick does the nanny have a pay cut, does the other mom pay the whole rate? The answer is that you pay the nanny regardless of if your child recieves care or not...a child enrolled in preschool or dance class is still required to pay for the missed day regardless of attendance...the same should go for the nanny. She was available to watch your child that day and should be paid accordingly. Unless it is at the nanny's fault, she should always be paid her daily wage! Another question most of you are asking is about second children in one family and the pay rate. When I worked at a hotel nanny servicefor guests the policy was $8 per hour for the first child per family and $4 for each additional child. So if you had 2 families one with 1 child and the other with 3...the first family paid $8 an hour and the second family paid $16. Now this is a very high price but it was also a very expensive hotel...I was just using it to show a structure! Hope this helps...good luck!

Nannyshare.co.uk helps parents to search local families who want to also share a nanny. It also helps to create a family profile to contact-to or be-contacted by other families for sharing a nanny thereby saving the cost of hiring a nanny.


I'm a nanny with approx 20 years of experience from being a Child Care provider in an American Air Force base, and having my own home daycare from 1994 to 2007, and currently being a private nanny for two families (both part-time).

I'm very much interested about nanny-sharing, and am learning from this site.
Forming a share group in my area is very much tempting for me.

From a nanny's perspective, this is what I can share with you:

Think of nanny sharing as a regular daycare. The nanny is allowed to have so many children under her care by law, and her income depends on this. Therefore, she should be paid the agreed amount even if a child should call in sick and be absent for the day. In regulated daycares (and quality home daycares), you are required to pay for the day even if your child is absent. You are paying for that space.
That's one way to keep your nanny.

If you're looking for a nanny, Nannyshare U.S.A. is a unique nanny referral agency specializing in both traditional nanny referrals & community-based nannyshare partnerships.

Supporting families with quality nanny referrals, at the most affordable price.

We are a full-service nanny referral agency specializing in both traditional nanny placement & modern-day nannyshare partnerships between family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers alike. A nannyshare is when (2) families from the same community "team-up" together to share professional childcare services ( a nanny) on a routine basis either together or separately. A nannyshare gives families the ability to access the best childcare available in the marketplace today in the most creative fashion.

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