When you begin your search for a nanny you have to consider many options. Do you want a live in or live out nanny? Would nanny sharing with another family work for you? As an agent I rarely receive a request from a parent for a nanny who will bring their own child to the job. However I frequently receive emails from nannies who want to bring their child to work with them.
On the surface this ideas seems wrought with problems. Most parents will not even entertain the idea as they feel there are far too many disadvantages. Sometimes, however, a nanny will become pregnant while working with a family and as the family does not want to loose their much loved employee they compromise to allow their nanny to bring their child full time or part time to work. In this case, of course, the family has a comfort level and trust of their nanny so the decision, although somewhat difficult, is not as uniformed as hiring a new nanny who wants to bring their child. I have placed 12 nannies in the last 24 years who brought their child with them to work. In each case the situation worked out extremely well.
There are many pros and cons to this type of working arrangement.
The Advantages are:
• The nanny will have first hand knowledge and experience as a parent which may provide them with more knowledge and experience regarding a child’s needs
• If you have one child who is similar in age to your nanny’s child this can be an excellent opportunity for socialization and companionship for both children
• Generally when a nanny brings her child to work her salary is negotiated to reflect this. In most cases her salary is lowered by 15 to 20 %.
The Disadvantages are:
• If your nanny’s child is sick she may not have back up care. This is also a problem for nannies who have children and use a daycare but often their resources and options are more reliable
• When I discuss this option with parents the most common concern is the possibility of the nanny favouring their own child over the employer’s child. Interestingly enough, according to the nannies and employers I speak to in follow-up this is usually not the case.
• Obviously if you have a busy household with more than one child this situation may not be desirable. In this case your nanny may need to drive children to activities and appointments and taking their child in tow could be very inconvenient
If you are considering hiring a nanny with a child it is a good idea to have some test days to make sure the children get along. Some children are more aggressive than others and may have entirely different interests. It’s also a good idea to consider the ages of the children involved. A toddler and a young baby would not be a great match and this arrangement would probably not benefit either child.