Should you consider hiring a Live-in Nanny?

Many of our clients seeking to hire a Nanny start their searches focused on finding a live-in candidate. The reasons are many, but in our experience, the two main reasons family consider a live-in Nanny are (i) to get increased coverage, and (ii) to save money.

In our experience, a live-in Nanny is not necessarily going to be able to address these two needs.

Often families will expect a live-in Nanny to be willing & able to provide a significant level of coverage with flexibility to meet changing needs (i.e., “24/7” coverage). From the Nanny’s point of view, this is still a job and a source of income. They seeking set schedules for 40 to 55 hours per week. And while they do often have the flexibility to work unusual schedules, they still want to set their work schedule in advance.

Cost savings can also be difficult. Wages for good Live-in nannies are only slightly lower than for live-out Nannies. It is important also not to underestimate the indirect costs of providing housing, utilities, often also food, as well as the cost of lost privacy.

The challenges of finding a live-in Nanny

Qualified childcare is difficult to find under the best of circumstances, and even more so for the family is seeking live-in help. In our experience, the vast majority of professional Nannies prefer live-out positions. Often, both Nannies and employers alike find it challenging to maintain boundaries during non-working hours when the Nanny lives in.

The search for the right Nanny is also complicated by the fact that many live-in candidates live out-of-state and are seeking to move to California. Screening & interviewing out-of-state candidates adds a level of complication that can add undue pressure on the family’s hiring decision.

The challenges of employing a live-in Nanny

The three most important success factors for employing a live-in Nanny are Chemistry! Chemistry! Chemistry! The chemistry match with your Nanny is incredibly important, even more so with a live-in Nanny. Hiring a live-in employee is like hiring someone to join your family. There needs to be a very strong foundation of mutual respect, shared child-rearing philosophies and superb communication between both parents and Nanny.

It is also important that boundaries are maintained during non-working hours. It can be difficult not to ask for or expect help on a Saturday afternoon as you’re struggling with a crying baby in your arms and a toddler scrambling for the stairs.