With Australian families currently tightening their belts, utilising a childcare centre is often the only option considered by working parents. A new trend of ‘nanny sharing’ is now emerging, however, where families reap the many benefits of a nanny while keeping the cost more affordable.
“Nanny sharing is quite simple,” says Louise Dunham, Managing Director of approved government in-home-child-care provider Placement Solutions.
“It involves one nanny caring for the children of two families at once – up to four children in total; our agency’s ratio of one to four ensures children receive the attention and care they require.”
In practice, all the children involved gather at one of their homes with the home alternating between the two families in most cases. This provides the convenience of either no commute or a very short one.
Other advantages of nanny sharing include extra socialisation for the children involved, personalised care, a reduced chance of catching colds and viruses (when compared with a childcare centre), and greater flexibility overall. Nanny sharing is also accessible for parents with infants.
Other than invoicing, all aspects of care are handled jointly.
“At the start we interview parents from both families together, and we select potential nannies based on the families’ joint needs.
“Later, client liaison visits are also held jointly, which presents an opportunity for any issues – including between families – to be ironed out quickly,” says Ms Dunham.
Before considering nanny sharing, aspects that potential ‘share parents’ should discuss are consistency in:
- matters of discipline;
- nutrition, such as sugar ‘allowances’;
- education, for example reading expectations; and
- screen time, including what can and cannot be viewed or played on televisions and computers.
“Nanny sharing simply won’t work if there is one set of rules for the children of one family and a different set of rules for the other.
“Where these things are in sync, and the two homes aren’t too far apart, nanny sharing between two families can be a realistic and money-saving option well worth considering, especially if your children have special needs.”
Additionally, families that utilise nanny sharing services may be eligible for the Federal Government’s Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate.
For further information, visit www.placementsolutions.com.au.