1. It’s fine for one family to interview and shortlist first.
Finding a nanny is hard work and interviewing nannies is time consuming—by all means, divide and conquer!
2. Have the basic facts to hand.
Assuming you already have a share partner family, these should include:
- Ages of the kids
- Days and times needed, and any drop-offs and pickups
- Location(s) for the share
- Does any equipment need to be transported between the locations?
- Is any driving involved? (Pro tip – make sure the car will fit enough car seats!)
3. Check that the nanny can handle the maximum number of children that would be involved in the share.
You could ask questions like:
- What’s the largest number of children you've worked with before? Over what time period?
- Tell me about a time you had to look after several children at once. What did you do when one of them needed the bathroom? How did you transport them?
- What’s the hardest thing about looking after multiple children at once? How do you handle this?
- Have you ever had to cope with an emergency when looking after multiple children?
- How do you make sure that all the children’s needs (including development needs) are met when looking after children of different ages?
4. Reassure the nanny that you’re going to be aligned with the other family in the share. Having two bosses is hard for anyone, and nannies are no different!
You could say things like:
- We’ve thought quite a bit about how a share should work and we have a good plan for it
- We checked that we agree on the main things like food, routine, discipline, activities, and we don’t think there’s going to be any major disagreements on these things
- We’re both committed to good communication, and we’ve sorted out a regular time each fortnight to chat to make sure it’s working
- We don’t want you ever to feel like you’re caught in the middle. If you ever do, just tell one of us and we promise we’ll communicate and sort it out
- We’re both committed to making the share work for a long time
If you don’t yet have a family to share with, but you’re thinking of getting one, then you might put it slightly differently. You could say things like:
- We’re going to make sure that when we get a share family, we really think things through before it starts. We’ll talk over things like food, routine, discipline, activities, to make sure we don’t have any major disagreements on these things
- We’ll only start a share with a family that we know we’ll be able communicate well with
- We wouldn’t want you ever to feel like you’re caught in the middle. If you did, just tell me and I’ll talk to the other family and sort it out
- If you take this role and then we get a share family, I want us to make the decision together as it’s important that you are really comfortable with any new role
5. Mention arrangements for holidays, to further reassure the nanny you know what you’re doing
- Be aware that nannies usually get 20 days annual leave, plus 8 public holidays.
- We recommend that in nanny shares where more than 50% of the hours per week are shared, the nanny chooses 10 annual leave days and each family chooses a further 5. In cases where fewer than 50% of the hours per week are shared, the family using the nanny the most agrees the holiday days with her (10 each)
- Of course you can vary the above, it’s just a suggestion
- Let the nanny know about any holiday that either family has already booked
6. Be clear about finances
- Reassure the nanny that you’re going to pay her legally and ‘on the books’, using a professional payroll solution
- It’s usually a good idea to agree a ‘shared rate’ and a ‘non-shared rate’ per hour. For example, a nanny might expect £13 gross per hour for looking after just one family and £15 gross per hour for looking after two families.
- Many nannies talk in terms of ‘net’ per hour (wages after tax) rather than gross (wages before tax). If net/gross confusion arises during the interview, just write down the nanny’s expectations, noting whether it’s gross or net. You can talk it through with a payroll company and get back to the nanny later
We're here for you — whether you're a client of ours or not — if you'd like to ask our advice on anything to do with nanny shares. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0208 050 5678.
Of course, our main business is matching families who have a nanny with families that need a nanny. So once you've found a great nanny and need to be matched for a share, just let us know and we'll get to work.