Hiring a Live-In Nanny: What to Know

By Alicia Geigel on January 10, 2022

Depending on your work or home situation, you may consider a nanny. There are two different kinds of nannies you can hire, a standard nanny or a live-in nanny. If you are someone that needs the help without having to worry about transportation troubles or poor time management, a live-in nanny might be a great option for you.

Are you someone in need of a nanny? Does your work or home life require more attention and care to your children? Here is what to know about hiring a live-in nanny!

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1. Find the Right Nanny: Starting your search close at first is always a good option, such as asking fellow friends and family who are parents and have nannies (or know someone who is). If those close to you don’t have a solid person to point in your direction, seeking options elsewhere is the next step. A blog post by Today’s Parent notes, “Recommendations from friends and neighbors are always a solid lead, and if that doesn’t work out, you can consider spreading the word a little further, either in a local Facebook group or perhaps by using a third-party company.” Third-party companies such as Care.com and SitterCity.com are both reliable options to look into.

2. Working During the Pandemic: Conduct a proper screening of your nanny candidates by asking the questions that mean the most to you and are the most important. Due to the pandemic, questions specific to the coronavirus are necessary and important to ask, as the answers will help you determine the level of risk each candidate can bring to the job. Questions to ask include, but are not limited to:

- How do you view mask-wearing/social distancing?

- How do you spend your free time?

- Do you live with anyone that puts you at greater risk?

3. Set Up Living Accommodations: The main difference between a standard nanny and a live-in nanny is that a live-in nanny lives with you, rather than leaving after their shift is over. When considering a live-in nanny, it’s important to set up proper living accommodations, specifically a place for your nanny to sleep. In a blog post by GTM, they suggest, “At the very least, a live-in nanny is provided with a private, furnished bedroom in your home. Most live-in nannies also have access to a private bathroom and some even have a separate kitchen and living area. Whatever the accommodations, your employee needs privacy when they’re off the clock.” If you cannot provide the proper accommodations for a live-in nanny, look for an alternative instead.

4. Determine Pay: An important element to evaluate when hiring a nanny is the pay rate. There is not much of a difference in pay rates between live-in nannies and standard nannies, but you should base your pay rate off of the standard in your state, as well as what the potential nanny wants, and compromise somewhere in the middle. Remember that their pay rate is not affected by the fact that they will be living in your home. Amy, a writer for Nanny and Butler writes, “A live-in nanny will receive room and board and are paid a salary. It’s important to note that you will need to make sure the nanny is legal, so tax and national insurance contributions also need to be completed.”

5. Establish House Rules: Every living arrangement needs house rules, and having a live-in nanny is no different. Just like you would do with roommates or even a romantic partner, establish house rules with your nanny so each party is on the same page in regards to what is acceptable. Some areas to set rules around could be physical shared spaces such as the kitchen, bathroom, and living area, or behavior that is allowed in the house, such as cleanliness, guests, noise levels, etc.

6. Create a Schedule: Just as you would do with a standard nanny or babysitter, create a schedule with your live-in nanny. Just because they live with you, doesn’t mean that they will be working 24/7 and are always on call. A blog post from Smart Sitting affirms this, stating, “Live-in nannies should definitely have a set schedule! It’s so important for nannies to have time to recharge their own batteries so they can be the most helpful to your family.” Prior to making the arrangement, work with your nanny to determine a schedule that will accommodate both of your needs. Factor in elements like waking up, bath time, getting to school, extracurricular activities, play dates, meal times, and sleep time. Ensure that your nanny’s schedule will allow for what you expect before hiring him/her.

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Image via Pexels

Though a live-in nanny situation is not for everyone, it definitely has its benefits if your situation allows for it. Prior to taking anyone in, be sure to review all the necessary guidelines established above to help you make the right decision!

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