How to Choose a Nanny

Do I Need a Live-in Nanny?

After you have decided that a nanny will be the best childcare option for you, you will have to decide what type of nanny you would like to hire. If you have older children, you may need someone only in the afternoons, running kids from school to practices and supervising homework and playdates until you return from work. However, if you have an unpredictable schedule or are looking for full-time help, a live-in nanny may be a better option.

As the name indicates, a live-in nanny will live in your family home full-time. In addition to a salary, you will provide room and board for the nanny. Having a live-in nanny can be very helpful because she is there at all times. A live-in nanny can help the children get ready for school in the morning and can be there late at night, which can be helpful when a child is young and wakes up often during sleep. If you have unpredictable work hours, a live-in nanny often has more flexibility than a live-out nanny, which is also helpful in a home where the parents travel for work, since it means there will be built-in overnight care.

If you also need someone to do light housework or run errands, you can specify this in your search for a live-in nanny, though it is important to note that these are not responsibilities you can automatically assume a live-in nanny will want to take on.

As an employer, you have to be sure in advance that you have a home suited to providing for a live-in nanny. Though a live-in nanny is around your family much more than a live-out nanny, she will also need privacy, off hours and vacation. A live-in nanny should have comfortable private quarters to relax and spend time away from the family. Often a guesthouse or a room with a separate entrance is preferable.

Although your home needs to be suited for a live-in nanny, this type of nanny is not just for the wealthy. In fact, nowadays, live-in nannies are present in many types of households, including single-parent situations, in which the parent is reliant on his income to get by, or two-parent households in which both parents want to maintain their careers [source: Nannies4Hire].

In addition to flexible childcare, a live-in nanny can become an integral part of your family and a lifelong friend. For tips on how to find a nanny, read on to the next page.