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Could nannysharing work for you?

(As published by My Family Care Vouchers - an online parenting site for users of the market leading childcare voucher scheme.)

As working parents we are all looking for flexible, quality childcare at a reasonable price. Employing a nanny can seem expensive in comparison with childminders and day nurseries, but a ‘nannysharing’ arrangement between two families can prove to be a cost-effective option.

Nannysharing is on the increase, with statistics showing that more and more parents are turning to nannysharing as they look to cut childcare costs without compromising on quality. Nanny payroll service provider www.nannytax.co.uk reports that currently 20% of its clients are running a nannyshare, with that figure likely to rise as more and more parents discover the many benefits of sharing a nanny.

What exactly is a nannyshare?

A nannyshare is when two families share the same nanny to care for children in each family. It can work in a number of ways - either the nanny looks after the children from both families at the same time, or the nanny divides her time between both families. In each case the exact arrangement will depend on the individual families’ circumstances and childcare requirements.

How much does a nannyshare cost?

Nannies typically work a 10-12 hour day, and will perform ‘nursery duties’ in the household as well as caring for the children, ie washing children’s clothes, tidying children’s bedrooms, cooking children’s meals, etc. A live-in nanny would expect to take home a net salary of £250-350 a week, and a daily nanny between £350-£450 a week, depending on where you live, and the exact number of hours you expect the nanny to work. Remember, as the employer you need to add NI and tax on top of this, as most nannies are paid a ‘net’ wage. When shared between two families, the cost of a nanny compares quite favourably to other forms of childcare such as day nurseries, particularly if you have more than one child.

When you are sharing a nanny, both families need to register as employers with HMRC, and they can then arrange to split the nanny’s tax code between them. For help with sorting out tax and NI contributions for your nanny, contact nanny payroll support service provider www.nannytax.co.uk.

Providing your nanny is Ofsted registered, you can use your childcare vouchers towards paying your nanny’s salary.

How do you find a nannyshare?

Specialist website Nannyshare.co.uk offers parents the chance to search for a local nannyshare by simply inputting their postcode. Families can also create a free profile, setting out their childcare needs, and then wait for other families to get in touch if they think they would be a good match.

Popular parenting website www.mumsnet.com has a section on its forum dedicated to nannysharing, where users can post up their location and childcare requirements and search for a suitable match. Alternatively you can register for a nannyshare at your local nanny agency.

How to plan for a nannyshare

It is important that both families are flexible and prepared to trust each other. Each family needs to work out exactly what their childcare needs are, how many hours they need a nanny, where the nanny will be working, how much the nanny is to be paid, any perks or benefits, exactly what they expect from their nanny, and set out any house rules. Regular communication is also vital, for example regarding holidays.

Why choose a nannyshare?

For many people, a nanny is their preferred childcare choice, you get an experienced professional providing dedicated high quality care in your child(ren)’s own home setting. The cost of employing a nanny of your own can be prohibitive, but by sharing the nanny, you share the costs, making it an affordable option for today’s parents who want affordable, flexible childcare without compromising on quality.

Article published on MyFamilyCareVouchers.co.uk (Subscribers Only Parenting Site), May 2010

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