The following is excerpted from the ABC Nanny Hiring Guide.
One of the first decisions you must make when considering a nanny for your family is whether you want a nanny who lives in or one that comes in daily. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of hiring a live-in nanny.
Advantages of a live-in nanny include:
- The live-in nanny arrangement eliminates a commute, and potential challenges that come with it: tardiness due to car trouble, weather, or simply traffic.
- Proximity to the family also affords the live-in nanny a faster and more natural connection with the family. This is especially true for the parents, who may otherwise spend a few hurried minutes with the nanny in the morning, and again when they relieve the come-and-go-nanny at the end of their shift. This extra face time creates ease with the nanny, and less anxiety for parents (and the children) when parents leave the house each day.
- Families enjoy greater flexibility with a live-in caregiver. They are generally more available to address last minute scheduling issues, as they do not have their own family waiting for them at home in the evening or early mornings. (Remember, if the live in nanny is available for overtime, the family must compensate her for the additional hours worked.) Parents who require 24/7 coverage at times due to work travel find that a live-in nanny can better accommodate this occasional need.
- There is some anecdotal evidence that the retention rate of a live-in nanny is better than their live-out counterparts.
- When you require your nanny to live-in, costs for room and board are not reported as income, and the wage you offer may be lower than a comparable live-out nanny.
- While all hours worked must be paid, there is no overtime differential (time-and-one-half) in most states.
Disadvantages of Live-in care include:
- Families must be prepared to provide separate, private sleeping quarters for the live-in nanny. Expect to provide a private, furnished bedroom and preferably a private bath. (Some live-in nannies will agree to share a bath with the small children, but rarely with the other adults in the household.)
- Providing meals for the live-in nanny is part of their overall employment package. Many families invite the live-in nanny to share meals with them, and often allow the live-in nanny to add certain items to the family grocery list – a favorite yogurt or soft drink, for example.
- A majority of live-in nannies do not own their own vehicle, and may require regular access to a family-owned vehicle.
- Families hiring live-in caregivers are often surprised at the 'value' a live-in nanny assigns to the living arrangements. A live-in nanny salary is typically 10 - 15% below that of a similarly qualified live-out nanny.
- The majority of live-in nannies are younger, less experienced caregivers. As their earning potential increases, many of them aspire to live-out and enjoy the privacy of their own accommodations.
Excerpted from the ABC Nanny Hiring Guide.