Many nannies who are also moms look for families that will allow them to bring their own child to work with them. This is a valuable benefit to the nanny and, under the right circumstances, can also be a benefit to the employer. Here are the things you should think about when deciding if this situation is right for your family.
Consider some of the possible advantages.
Parents may save money by allowing their nanny to bring her child to work. When hiring a nanny who has a child she wants to bring along with her, parents can often negotiate a lower hourly rate in exchange for the benefit. The nanny should still be paid fairly, however the benefit is often worth taking a lower pay rate or forfeiting another benefit like additional paid time off.
If your current nanny wants to bring her child, either because her current childcare arrangement has changed or she’s pregnant and planning for her return after maternity leave, there are a generally two ways to approach the money issue. In most cases the nanny forgoes an upcoming raise or bonus. If the new arrangement makes it impossible for your nanny to continue with her current responsibilities (e.g. she can no longer take the adult /child water class because that would leave her child unsupervised or she can no longer do school drop off and pick up because her car doesn’t have space for the extra car seat), a pay cut may be appropriate.
A nanny who brings her child to work with her can usually give parents more scheduling flexibility. Like all parents, the limits of your nanny’s childcare arrangement impact her work schedule. If your nanny has to be at her child’s daycare no later than 6:30 PM, she won’t have the option of staying late because you have a client meeting or need to finish a big project. If she’s able to bring her child to work with her, she has a lot more flexibility with her work schedule.
The nanny’s child can be a built-in playmate. If your child is an only child, having your nanny bring her child to work may be the beginning of a great relationship. Many parents say their nanny’s child becomes part of the family and is thought of like a cousin or close family friend. This can be a great advantage to both the nanny and her employers.
You can keep a beloved nanny who might otherwise quit. This is a very personal and important issue to your nanny. It can be very hard to care for someone else’s child when your own child is in daycare. Many nannies will leave a position they’re otherwise happy in to find a family that will allow them to bring their child to work. By allowing your nanny this option, you can keep a nanny that you and your child love, value and trust.
For all the advantages that allowing your nanny to bring her child to work offers, there are also some possible disadvantages that should be explored as well:
The nanny’s time and attention will be divided. Even if your nanny is completely devoted to your child, adding another child to the mix means there will be times when her attention will be divided. That doesn’t mean she can’t still provide high quality care. It simply means there will be times when she has to attend to her child before yours. It would be the same case if your child welcomed a new sibling into the house.
There will be an additional child to consider when deciding on activities. Adding an additional child to the mix, especially one that is not the same age as your child, may limit the activities the nanny can plan or participate in. A new baby can’t be outside all day at the lake like a 5-year-old can. A toddler can’t keep up with an 8-year-old on an afternoon bike ride. How much this affects your child’s daily environment depends on the nanny, her child and the things your child normally does.
The nanny may not be able to take on additional tasks. It takes more time and energy to care for two children than it does for one. If you were planning on asking your nanny to take on more tasks like grocery shopping or family meal prep as your child got older, that might not be feasible if she brings her child to work with her.
Allowing your nanny to bring her child to work can be a positive or negative experience. It’s an important decision for both you and your nanny, and it should be discussed honestly and in-depth before any decisions are made. There’s not a right or wrong path. In this case, the right decision depends on your needs and personal preferences.