When you and your partner decide to have a child, your entire life begins to change. Immediately after your baby is born, it becomes apparent that raising a child and having personal time are often incompatible. Many parents rely on family members or a local daycare in order to continue their career or even just take a valuable hour to remember what it was like to shower in solitary peace.
Even though it may be more expensive than asking family members or friends to babysit, more people than ever before are hiring nannies.1 They love the flexibility and freedom that it gives their busy family.
More Free Time for Parents
It’s not hard to convince a stressed-out, exhausted parent that taking the occasional break from their children is a good thing. Having time to de-stress and regroup can be exactly what parents of young children need. A nanny offers this benefit without the potentially traumatic experience of having to drop your young child off at a crowded daycare.
Whether you hire a nanny to give you a hand with your morning routine or just engage one on a semi-regular basis so you and your partner can get some couple time in, free time is always beneficial. There are even some nannies that you can hire to travel with your family, which takes a lot of the stress out of traveling with young children.
Nannies also offer more professionalism and consistency than child-care by family members. You can request that your nanny discipline your children or work on their lessons with them, whereas many grandparents have different expectations for their treasured time with their grandchildren.
Online Nanny Services are Easy and Affordable
In the past, many parents found nannies through peer networks or advertisements in the local paper. The responsibility was on them to interview different candidates in person, which could take days. Now, online nanny sites like Care.com and Urbansitter give you the flexibility to browse for nannies online, from your computer or phone, at any time of the day.
Urbansitter uses online social networks like Facebook to make connections and allows you to send messages to potential nannies online. You can even process payments through the site, so everything is secure and cash-free.2
Care.com offers a lot of the same benefits, including the ability to do both payments and taxes via their secure site.3
Using these online nanny services brings a lot of peace of mind because it gives nervous parents the ability to read verified reviews of potential nannies before reaching out to contact them. These sites also list the nannies’ credentials, skills, and whether they’re willing to take on additional duties like cooking, cleaning, and homework help. Having all of these questions answered in advance makes the interview process easy and ensures you’re not wasting time by reaching out to the wrong candidates.
Nanny Shares Can Bring Costs Down Even More
One of the downsides of hiring a nanny on a regular basis is that it can get quite expensive. Many families pay their nanny a weekly or monthly salary in an effort to secure their time and ensure that they’re available whenever necessary.
One way to reduce these costs considerably and still ensure that your child has consistent care from the same nanny is to do a nanny share. This is when two or more families pool their resources and hire one nanny for several children. It’s a great option, but depending on your jurisdiction, it may be subject to regulations depending on how many children are being cared for at one time. If you’re considering sharing a nanny with another family, do your research carefully first.
Doing a nanny share gives your family the flexibility of at-home care for fees that are closer to what you would pay for a spot at a local daycare. This flexibility is key if you or your spouse work odd or inconsistent hours. Daycares often require that you pay for days even if you don’t use them and have strict policies around holidays and statutory vacations. With a nanny, you can negotiate all of this. Plus, you have the flexibility of having four or more parents who are able to take children home even if the other parents are running late.4
In addition to cutting costs, another benefit of doing a nanny share is that it offers your child the chance to socialize with peers on a regular basis. If your child is an only child, it gives them the valuable opportunity to learn new skills like sharing, teamwork, and group problem-solving.5
What Are You Waiting For?
If you’ve been trying to decide how to handle childcare, you may find that the benefits of nannies outweigh the cheaper cost of daycare. You’ll be able to determine your child’s schedule and ensure that they have consistency and discipline on a regular basis. However, all those benefits can be costly.
If you have family or close friends with young children, you should consider a nanny share. This gives you a lot of the benefits of nanny care, without the inflated price tag. There are lots of sites online that can help you find the right caregiver without ever having to leave your house.