Share care is when two or more separate families have come together in agreement on sharing the same nanny to care for their children.
It could mean sharing same hours or perhaps sharing different days.
One family could decide on part time and another full time, both could be part time or full time. The point is to try and get a nanny that would fit both schedules. The compensation on share care usually differs on the number of children and the hours. For example, if the nanny happens to care for two or more at the same time the amount per child is less than when she cares for one child alone.
If you and your family decide on a share care program, it is imperative to choose a co-family that you can get along with. It helps if you have some things in common as far as the interests of your children. Some families tend to make a desperate decision on having a share care, but that moment of desperation ends up in disaster along the way. My advice is take time to find the right match.
There is a lot as a parent that you sacrifice in a case of a share care, for example it’s a little difficult to sign your child up for specific classes you would probably want your child to attend due to the fact that you have to take into consideration the care of the other child. I was once in a share care situation where one set of the parents wanted me to take their child out to the park or walk only in the morning but remain home in the afternoon, the other set of parents wanted their child out twice because they felt they wanted their child exposed to the outdoors. Now with the way the schedule was set up it made sense to take the children out twice otherwise spending four hours in the house with the two children in the afternoon caused them to be antsy especially on a good day. So that became a bit of a problem for everyone and one thing just lead to another.
Some of the major reasons most families decide on share care is because it’s affordable and also provides an advantage to the child having a companion with another child. Whatever the reason, make sure there is a clear understanding on what both families expect from each other and what outcome you expect from this arrangement. You are under no obligation to be best friends, but at least have a common thread.
There is a lot to be discussed when deciding on share care: Both parents need to discuss things such as
- Food- are you willing to share or should each family pack their own?
- Diapers- are you willing to share the cost of diapers or should each family cater to their own?
- Daily activities- what are both families comfortable with? Discuss or have the nanny decide what is feasible for her. Sick child, how do you solve it if one of them falls ill, do the parents stay home with the
- Sick child- so as not to contaminate the other?
- Extra curriculum activities- making sure each set of parents contribute evenly towards spending money for the children when taken on special trips by the nanny.
And of course the grand of all,
- Nanny pay, when the nanny gets paid, how much should she be compensated and how to deal with vacation pay.
Word of Advice: It’s not at all feasible for a full time share care nanny to do kids laundry. You don’t want to burn out your nanny!