What Is a Live-In Nanny?

The pros and cons and the importance of a contract

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A live-in nanny is exactly what it sounds like: a child care provider who lives in your home. This individual provides care for your child or children during an agreed-upon set of hours. In return, you provide a place to live and a salary. This salary is typically less than a "live-out" nanny because you pay for the nanny's room and board.

Are you curious of a live-in nanny is right for your family? We're going to dish out the pros and cons for you to consider. Plus we have something things you could include in your contract. When someone watches your child, regardless if they are a nanny, home daycare provider, or daycare center there is always a contract. Use the contract to set the schedule, rules, boundaries. Here are a few things you should consider while looking for a live-in nanny.

The Pros and Cons 

The upside of hiring a live-in nanny is certainly the cost. You'll pay less for a nanny. You get a live-in babysitter, too, for date nights.

A live-in nanny can be super dependable, which is one of the biggest challenges for childcare. You can (almost) say goodbye to impromptu searches for backup childcare with a live-in nanny. If you do run into an emergency they are there to save the day.

Having your nanny around will make your bond tighter. When you get to know one another better communication will be easier. You may gain trust in one another quickly and easily get on the same page about issues. 

The downside can be privacy, naturally. A live-in nanny is privy to all your most personal foibles and may overhear family arguments, er, discussions. You'll want to carefully screen the individual to make sure you can coexist happily. A live-in nanny works best when you have a large house, ideally with separate quarters for her to live, where you won't get in each other ways during off-hours.

Also, depending on one person can be like putting all your eggs in one basket. Although the last-minute rush to backup childcare will occur less with a live-in nanny, be sure to have a backup plan for those rare occasions.

Set a Clear Schedule

The first thing to figure out is when you'll need your live-in nanny. Decide ahead of time if you'll need her full time five days a week and what the hours will be. If you need weekend coverage, part-time for a part of the year, business trips or trips with friends specify this in the contract. 

During the hiring process, find out if and when your live-in nanny would like to visit her family or take vacations. This way you can consider your vacation and work schedule. You want to be sure your schedules gel well and that you'll be able to let her go on vacation when she wants to.

Create the Job Description

If you need your live-in nanny to do more than watching your child put this in the contract. For example, if you need help with household chores include what you'd like to expect. Although remember that you are hiring a nanny and not a maid. Things like cleaning up after the children or cleaning the dishes they ate from, and doing light laundry may be okay. But be sure to address this in the contract so there's no confusion. 

Will you need your live-in nanny to drive your children places? In the contract, specify how much driving they may do and if you'll cover gas costs. Also, while hiring your live-in nanny check ask or investigate their driving record.

Rules to Follow

Your house your rules. Any candidate coming to live with you should have a good idea how you run your home. If there are certain things you will not tolerate in your home put it in the contract. 

Include a clause about the children not appreciating the nanny's "off-time". To help the live-in nanny manage that fine line between work and life the children need to understand when the nanny is available to them and when she is not. It's very easy for a child to move on to the next person to get what they want so create response you both agree on that is the automatic signal of time off. For instance, if the child wants the nanny, the response could be, "It's not my turn to take care of you right now.

A live-in nanny is a pretty big commitment. With the right contract and research, your child could benefit from the one-on-one care and you can feel confident that you're leaving your child in capable hands.