Choosing which is best for you: to live in or live out?
So how can you decide?
We're often asked by parents which type is the better option for their family. Realistically, there’s no 'one-size-fits-all' - the type that works best for you depends on your budget and home space, as well as your needs for flexibility and privacy. That being said, there are some differences that in certain scenarios can impact on the choice you select for your family.
What's the difference?
Live-in nannies live with the family and typically have their own bedroom and bathroom, and food is provided. They work a daily schedule, but it may also include evening childcare if the parents have plans. They do still have a day or two off each week. A live-out nanny also has a daily schedule, but they do not live with the family. These jobs are higher-paying since you have to cover your own food and housing expenses.
Living space and your privacy
Sharing your space may simply be a non-runner
If you have the space and need a more flexible childcare arrangement then a live-in nanny may be your ideal solution. Also, it's possible to find a nanny who can work weekdays living in and spend weekends living out - which might be an attractive choice for some families. Even if you do have the space, privacy can still be an issue so a living in arrangement won't necessarily suit everyone.
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Quality Of Care Is The Same
Whichever choice you make the main thing to keep in mind is that the standard of care is the same with either option.
- All nannies perform the same professional duties.
A good nanny will:
- Be able to plan and arrange safe, fun learning opportunities;
- Know how to plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks;
- Have first aid training;
- Show good organisational skills;
- Have an interest in children as individuals, and a confident and positive personality;
- Have experience of working with children of various ages as a sole charge nanny;
- Be warm, caring and patient.
Nanny costs vs other childcare options
Consider the costs of other childcare options - although the cost of a nanny might be more than you expected, it can still be a more affordable option than others. You might be considering a daycare service for your children while you're at work. Remember, that daycare services can be just that - daytime hours only, and if you're delayed they may charge you a late fee to boot. Whereas you can rely on a nanny to give your children their undivided attention.
Live-in nannies are a good choice if your budget is a little tight, they not only help save costs for your family, but also provide flexible cover that you know you can rely on.
What Hours Do Nannies Work?
Live-in nannies usually work from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, as well as babysitting twice-a-week. Live-out nannies generally work slightly shorter hours between 7:30 am or 8:00 am and 6.30 pm or 7:00 pm.
However, as some parents' own working hours get longer we've started to notice a trend towards live-out nannies being engaged to work longer hours - in some cases working the equivalent of their live-in colleagues.
Nanny's living accommodation
Naturally, nannies who live in the family home expect board and lodging - this can mean anything from a bedroom with en-suite bathroom or shared bathroom with the children, to a complete separate apartment just for the nanny.
Jobs that come with separate accommodation or with an entirely separate living area are the most sought after live-in positions. Even if you only have a loft with a little kitchenette there will be considerably more interest in the role from candidates.
If you employ a nanny to live with your family
It's very important to be completely clear right from the start as to the agreement with your nanny regarding house rules, so that everyone knows where they stand in relation to use of the home telephone, visitors, and use of the kitchen. Every family is different and as long as everyone is aware of the expectations then all should be fine. Families often worry the nanny will want to sit in their living room with them every evening, but this is hardly ever the case, nannies are professionals and will value their own free time away from their charges and the work environment. Some nannies are happy to go off at weekends if they're not needed during this time, and such an arrangement can work very well for families. Most parents recognise that their nannies free time should be respected, so once their nanny has clocked-off for the evening they should be afforded time to relax away from your little ones.