Live-in nannies--All you need to know

Hiring a live-in nanny may be a wonderful option if you are looking for full-time childcare. A live-in nanny can help your children get off to school in the morning, greet them when they finish their school day and bring them to practice and play-dates. They can also make your evening comfortable and positive by encouraging good study habits and proper hygiene from your children.

If you are often traveling or away from home overnight for any reason, your live-in nanny can provide overnight supervision and care. Moreover, a live-in nanny can help you deal with all-night screaming infants while you get back on your feet and back into your living schedule after giving birth.

If you are considering a live-in nanny, it is important to take your time during the hiring process and to get to know a few things about your nanny before he or she moves into your home. When you hire a live-in nanny, you are creating a personal bond that involves you and your children, so it may take some time to make everything work, and to see the real benefits of having a full-time personal caregiver to help you bring up your children.

Talk to other parents who have hired a live-in nanny and find out about their arrangements, so you know what to expect. During the hiring process, outline in detail the schedule you will need your nanny to follow and exactly what chores and duties you expect your nanny to fulfill. These should be laid out in detail within the nanny contract. To find the right person for the job, you will have to be both honest and realistic in your expectations. Negotiate a fair salary and make sure that your potential nanny is comfortable with the housing arrangements you plan to provide.

One important thing to remember when you are trying to find a nanny is that you are not hiring a housekeeper or a personal assistant. (That is, of course, unless you specify that you are interested in hiring someone willing to fill more roles than childcare itself. In this case, you may want to look specifically for a housekeeper nanny).

When you hire a nanny, you may be hiring a dedicated childcare professional or a young, relatively inexperienced person. This may be someone with a degree in early childhood education, a healthcare professional, or an experienced nanny who has decided to make a career out of bringing up children. Or, it could be a young person whose major experience could be with their younger siblings and babysitting. For a talented, creative individual, being a nanny is a challenging and rewarding career.

Make sure that your home is ready to welcome a live-in nanny. Make sure that his or her living quarters are adequate, and that you are willing and able to give your nanny privacy during off-hours. Most nannies will expect two consecutive days off a week, and you should negotiate a fair contract that includes rules for overtime, time off, vacation and on-call hours.

If you want your live-in nanny to perform other duties such as light cleaning or meal preparation (which would also be considered a nanny housekeeper), or to run errands or help you with at-home office duties, make sure that your nanny has enough time at home-when the kids aren't around-to finish the tasks you expect. And when it comes to overtime or extra work, your nanny should be given extra compensation.

A live-in nanny is not only a talented caregiver, but also should be a family friend for life. Take care that you are fair and honest with your nanny. From working out the contract to watching your children grow, it is extremely important to build a trusting relationship with your live-in nanny.

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