Live-In Nanny Care

Everything you need to establish and maintain a successful live-in nanny arrangement.

Whether you are looking for a live-in nanny job, looking to hire a live-in nanny, or already have one, is home to everything you need to know to establish and maintain a successful live-in nanny relationship.

The Live-in Nanny Arrangement

For parents who require flexible childcare for their children, hiring a live-in nanny is often the best childcare solution. Live-in nannies are hired by parents to provide full-time or part-time childcare to the family’s children in their private home. Unlike nannies who commute to and from work each day, live-in nannies reside in the family’s home and receive room and board as part of their compensation package.

Live-in nannies play a unique role in the lives of the families whom they serve. They are housemates and employees, which naturally lends itself to the development of an intimate relationship that sometimes feels like family and other times does not.

For those who enter the arrangement with the right employment match, there can be no better employment situation. With minimal living expenses, nannies gain more disposable income in addition to having no commute and parents gain convenient, flexible childcare on their schedule, regardless of how traditional or not it is. And don’t forget the children. Children cared for by live-in nannies have the opportunity to develop a special bond with a consistent caregiver whom they become extremely familiar with as they live out their daily lives together.

To reap the rewards of a live-in nanny arrangement, however, work must be done. Careful consideration must go into the initial caregiver and family match and effort and energy must go into developing and maintaining a strong relationship. Both parents and live-in nannies must make in investment in and commitment to each other for the relationship to work and withstand the test of time.

For the right match to be made, in addition to being a qualified caregiver, a live-in nanny must be a qualified housemate. Live-in nannies must share not only a similar childrearing style with their employers; they must share a compatible lifestyle too.  A family who likes the house quiet and dark by 9 o’clock and a nanny who thinks the evening doesn’t start until 9 o’clock may not be the best match.

Once the right match is made, live-in nannies and parents must work together to establish and maintain healthy boundaries that protect the integrity of working relationship and respect the need for autonomy of those within it. These boundaries include ensuring that the live-in nanny has adequate off time and that her off time is respected, that the family has adequate family time and that their time together is respected and that neither party feels taken advantage of. Parents and nannies can establish these boundaries by having a written work agreement and maintain them by encouraging open and honest communication through daily interactions, using a nanny and family journal and by holding weekly meetings.

While a live-in nanny arrangement isn’t for every family and nanny, for those who desire one and are willing to put the work in, having a live-in nanny relationship can be a highly rewarding experience.

10 Strategies for Successful Live-in Nanny Arrangements

For families and nannies who are willing to invest in each other and to make a commitment to the relationship, a live-in nanny arrangement can be a beneficial and rewarding experience for all.  Consider these strategies for making the relationship successful from the start.

  1. Choose the right match. Live-in nannies and families must have complimentary parenting styles and lifestyles to be a good match. A night owl nanny and an early to bed family may not be a good match.
  2. Provide adequate living quarters. A live-in nanny needs her own space which should include a private bedroom and bath, at minimum.
  3. Have a written work agreement. A written agreement should outline the duties and responsibilities of both the live-in nanny and family so that there is no confusion or misunderstandings.
  4. Discuss expectations. Parents and live-in nannies should discuss their expectations when it comes to both caregiving and house sharing. A live-in nanny won’t know she is expected to take out the trash every Tuesday if she’s never told. 
  5. Establish clear boundaries. Nannies and families must work to ensure the nanny’s off time is respected. There should also be clear boundaries in place as to which areas of the home the nanny is free to use and when.
  6. Watch the clock. For the relationship to be successful, nannies and parents should relieve the other at the time agreed on. Constantly running late without notice is a sure fire way to irritate one and other.
  7. Encourage open and honest communications. Live-in nannies and families must work together to have open and honest communication. When questions, issues and concerns aren’t addressed quickly, trouble can brew.
  8. Teach the children to respect the nanny’s time off. Unless they are told, the children will assume they can enter the nanny’s room and demand her attention at any time. Since most live-in nannies truly love their charges and won’t object, parents need to step up and help children understand the importance of their nanny having time alone too.
  9. Ensure privacy. Both live-in nannies and parents have to make conscious efforts not to overstep, pry and snoop. With each other’s lives so intertwined, it can be challenging to not.
  10. Evaluate and revaluate what works and what doesn’t. Each family and live-in nanny will have a different relationship. It’s important to consider and reconsider what’s working and what’s not and to make adjustments throughout the duration of the working relationship.

If both nanny and family are willing to put the effort in, a live-in nanny arrangement can be mutually beneficial. Mutual respect and understanding, coupled with practical strategies, will lead to successful live-in nanny matches and relationships most all of the time.