This week we spoke with nanny share specialist Britney Fredrickson. Britney is a working nanny who takes care of children from two different families. Nanny sharing can be a great option for families who can’t afford to hire a full-time nanny, but it also comes with more logistical challenges than a typical nanny situation. Britney talks us through her tips for making a nanny share work in the podcast below!
2:25 — Britney started out as a preschool teacher before becoming a nanny, and that experience has carried over into her life as the nanny in a nanny share. In fact, being a nanny isn’t that different from being a pre-K teacher with a two or three student class.
5:40 — How Britney found her first nanny share
15:01 — Britney explains that in nanny shares, the nanny and the kids spend more time at one family’s house (the host family) so that the share can run more smoothly. “We pick one house, because that’s just easier for everybody. I have to bring a Pack & Play, and so that’s what I do. I bring my own toys. I bring my own booster seat. I bring all of my own things so that the host family isn’t providing all of those things.”
20:22 — “I prefer to do my own matching…I come to the table with families that I don’t want to leave.”
25:20 — Britney on working with two kids at the same time: “We’re not talking about anything out of the ordinary. So many people have more than one kid crying at them.”
0:40 — What should parents ask themselves before beginning the search for the nanny? “Parents need to know their needs.” That means knowing your work schedule, which chores you want the nanny to do, how many hours you want the nanny to work.
9:20 — Another key aspect that everyone has to agree on is the pay structure: Britney offers a base nanny care rate for times when she’s looking after one kid for one family,. but she offers a discounted rate to both families when she’s working with two kids from two family. But the combined salaries from the two families mean she gets paid more per hour dur ing shared hours.
20:05 – Britney’s Top 5 Things that are Necessary for Making a Nanny Share Work
1. Flexibility – “The family needs to know that they’re not the only family involved.”
2. Willingness to come home to a little bit of extra mess. “You are opening your home to another child, and you are opening your home to everything that the child requires.”
3. Need to be gracious to the nanny and to the new child.
4. Don’t hover over the nanny’s shoulder. “Your nanny would rather you say goodbye and let her do her thing.”
5. Compromise is very important in a nanny share. “If your nanny is happy, then it’ll flow over to your kids.”
If you want to learn more about assessing nanny family compatibility, check out this blog post with Britney’s favorite screening questions for parents!
Have you ever attempted a nanny share? Have you ever had two (or three or four) kids crying at you at once? If so, what strategies do you use when taking care of several children at once? Sound off in the comments below!