It should be no surprise that a live-in nanny arrangement isn’t for everyone. Depending on the family’s childcare needs, personality, home, and lifestyle, hiring a live-in nanny may or may not make sense. And while some nannies prefer to live with their employers, others wouldn’t think of doing so. Before determining if a live-in nanny situation is right for you, consider these pros and cons.
Pros for Parents
- Live-in nannies allow for flexible care. Live-in nannies provide care when parents need it. Since they live where they work, they are typically more willing to be flexible with their schedule. Most live-in nannies are willing to work evenings and overnights.
- A live-in nanny can be cost effective. If care if needed for more than one child, a live-in nanny may be less expensive. Plus live-in nannies don’t charge per minute when you’re late.
- Live-in nannies offer convenience. For busy families, not having to take the children to daycare or wait for the nanny to arrive in the morning can be a real bonus.
- Most live-in nannies take on some housekeeping tasks. Live-in nannies take on all the tasks related to providing childcare. This includes doing the children’s laundry and keeping their areas clean.
- Parents get to really know their caregiver. When you live with your children’s caregiver, you get to know them in a deeper way.
- Parents get to handpick their childcare provider. Parents who hire live-in nannies get to handpick their children’s care provider.
- Parents can play a hands-on management role. Since parents will be able to interact with their live-in nanny frequently, they can better manage their nanny and offer daily guidance and feedback.
- Live-in nannies can be more affordable than live-out nannies. Live-in nannies receive room and board as part of their compensation package, so typically earn slightly less than live-out nannies.
- Parents can attract a wider variety of candidates. If you’re hiring a live-in nanny, you can open your nanny search to nannies all over the country.
- Live-in nannies typically work longer hours. Live-in nannies tend to work more hours than live-out nannies, and are often willing to because they have no commute home.
Pros for Live-in Nannies
- Live-in nannies have no housing expenses. Since live-in nannies have no housing expenses they can save a significant amount of money on housing costs.
- Live-in nannies get their food costs covered. Live-in nannies also receive their meals as part of their compensation package, saving them hundred, even thousands of dollars per year in grocery bills.
- Live-in nannies typically get use of a car. Most live-in nanny employers will provide a vehicle for their live-in nanny to use.
- Living in is convenient. Rolling out of bed and heading to work is pretty convenient. Having no commute can be a huge bonus.
- Live-in nannies get some great amenities. Depending on the living quarters and arrangement, a live-in nanny may get use of the family’s in-home gym or spa.
- When nannies live-in they sometimes get household benefits. As a household member, some live-in nannies are granted access into the family’s health club or country club.
- Live-in nannies in homes with housekeepers typically get their quarters cleaned. If the family hires a housekeeper, the nanny’s quarters typically get cleaned too.
- Live-in nannies have access to greater dispensable income. Since live-in nannies can save on living expenses, they have more money to save or spend on other things.
- When working overnights, live-in nannies can typically sleep. When the nanny works overnights, most families are comfortable with her taking the baby monitor to her room and going to bed before they get home.
- Live-in nannies get to build special relationships with the family. Live-in nannies can develop deep and lasting bonds with the families whom employ them.
Cons for Parents
- Parents need to private at minimum, a private bedroom for their live-in nanny. Depending on the home, parents may need to make additions or changes to the home to accommodate a live-in nanny.
- There can be a lack of privacy when a live-in nanny is hired. When a live-in nanny is hired, there is a natural loss of family privacy. The nanny doesn’t go home at night and gets to see the good and bad, when it comes to family interactions and business.
- Boundaries are hard to maintain. It can be hard to develop and maintain professional boundaries when a worker lives in your home.
- Parents typically have to provide a car for the live-in nanny to use. Most live-in nannies will require the use of a family vehicle both during work and off duty hours.
- Grocery bills may increase. When feeding another adult, the grocery bill will likely increase.
- Utilities bills may increase. With another adult home during the day and taking showers, you can expect basic utility bills to increase.
- Parents may feel obligated to include their live-in nanny in whatever they do. In an attempt to not be rude, parents may feel obligated to invite their live-in nanny on family outings and to family events.
- Parents have to be good housemates. Parents have to share their home and respect the needs of their live-in nanny.
- It’s harder to separate parent time from nanny time. When you have a live-in nanny, it can be hard to get time alone with just the family. And it’s hard for young children to understand why it’s necessary.
- There is an adjustment period for parents. For both parents and live-in nannies, the initial time together will be awkward as everyone adjusts to their new relationship and roles.
Cons for Nannies
- Live-in nannies may not feel they have adequate privacy. Live-in nannies typically spend their off time in their room, which may or may not be soundproof. Live-in nannies may not feel like they can have free conversations when their employers are home.
- Your quarters aren’t really your own. Even though you’re living in your bosses’ home and given space to call your own, it’s really not. Live-in nannies are not in an equal housemate relationship.
- Some live-in nannies have curfews. Some parents put restrictive curfews on their live-in nannies, expecting them to be home and in bed at a certain hour each night.
- House sharing with your boss can be awkward. Living with your boss can be awkward.
- Live-in nannies may get asked to work late more often, since they are already there. Since you’re already there and don’t have to get home, parents may feel more comfortable asking their live-in nannies to work last minute.
- It can be hard for live-in nannies to have true off time. When you live at work, it can be hard to separate your work life and personal life, which can leave you feeling like you’re never really off.
- The children may not respect the nanny’s off time. The children may come to your door or want to spend time with you during your off hours. For many live-in nannies, it can be hard to turn their charges away.
- Professional boundaries can be hard to keep. It can be hard not to get too close when you’re living with your employer. The line between employer and housemate is a hard one to keep.
- Live-in nannies may not be allowed to entertain at the home. Some live-in employers will not let their nannies have guests over the house, especially those of the opposite sex.
- Live-in nannies may experience job creep. Since live-in nannies share a home with their employers, it can be easy for more and more duties to become the nanny’s responsibility.
Having a written work agreement is essential for both parents and nannies. A detailed written work agreement outlines the duties, responsibilities and expectations of both parties with regards to both the employer and employee and housemate roles. A written job description can prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications and can help to set the tone for a professional relationship right from the start.