Should I hire a Live-in or Live-out Nanny?

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Choosing the right nanny for your family involves making some childcare choices. Before you start interviewing, decide first whether a live-in or live-out nanny would best suit your needs and preferences.

To weigh your options, here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider:

ADVANTAGES OF A LIVE-IN NANNY:

  • Availability - because your nanny lives with you, you are assured that when you wake up in the morning you have available help ready to care for your children and carry out the tasks for the day. You skip the morning rush of preparing yourself for work and getting your kids ready for daycare. Instead, you have a reliable person at home who can take care of your kids in a relaxed, timely schedule, thus, providing a quality one-on-one care.
  • Flexibility - a live-in nanny can be flexible working on shifts or overtime. Chores can be scheduled around activities giving importance to care and development of the kids. Another advantage is you can make spontaneous trips or activities unlike when you're on your own requiring advance preparation to be able to manage.
  • Familiarity - the opportunity to know and grow with your nanny is greater since she lives with you. With constant communication and interaction in the house, you can easily be familiar with each other and this can help you gain trust and confidence that she can deliver the care you instruct and expect. This helps the children as well to trust and be at ease with another person giving them care.
  • Affordability - compared to the cost of daycare, a live-in nanny is more affordable and convenient. You can start their salary on minimum wage, and even after you've paid their vacation, taxes, WCB, and other benefits, the affordability still outweighs other options.

DISADVANTAGES OF A LIVE-IN NANNY:

  • Privacy - since you welcome a new person into your home, it means giving up some degree of privacy. To people who values the importance of privacy, this makes it a difficult decision if they want to settle for a live-in nanny. But to face this disadvantage, what usually works for families is treating the nanny or caregiver not as a stranger, but a new member of the family.
  • Space - this goes second to loss of privacy. Hiring a nanny means providing the person a room of her own and if you don't have a lot of space in the house, then it's something you should learn to give up. For example, my husband and I gave up our dedicated office space to create a private bedroom for our nanny.
  • Car Sharing - if your live-in nanny has a driver's license but came without a vehicle of her own, this means sharing and scheduling access to your vehicle specially when children have school, other activities or there's just the usual errands you have to send her to. You also have to make arrangements of including her in your car insurance policy for additional drivers.

ADVANTAGES OF A LIVE-OUT NANNY:

  • Privacy and Space - opposite to the disadvantage of a live-in nanny, having a live-out nanny means you keep your privacy and space as you don't have to have an additional person living with you in your home.  They come in the morning and leave at the end of the day.
  • More Caregiving Experience - most often, live-outs have a few years of experience in caregiving so you're assured that the job is not new to them and they can readily carry out and adjust to new families with different personalities in providing care to the children.
  • Owns private vehicle - most live-out nannies who have the driving experience have their own vehicle so you can make the arrangement of using her vehicle in providing transportation for the children's school and other activities or errands in lieu of providing her an insurance package and travel allowance per mile.

DISADVANTAGES OF A LIVE-OUT NANNY:

  • Tardiness or Absenteeism - since live-out nannies have to travel, chances are if they commute and miss their ride, they may arrive late causing you a delay as well. For occasional days that the weather is bad, it can mean cancelation of services.
  • Less Availability & Flexibility - nannies would usually expect a regular schedule set for the day (e.g. 6 hours from 9-3) and expect to leave at the end of their duty. In cases of unexpected meetings or delays, live-out nannies are not flexible and possibly won't readily be available if you ask to extend their hours. The reason they chose a live-out job is for them to come home at the end of their duty. They, too, have their own life schedule.
  • Less Familiarity - since they come when you're about to leave, and they leave when you arrive home, there's less interaction between you and the nanny so you don't get the chance to know the person. If you like this "professional" set-up, it can work to your advantage but when children are involve, extra measures should be done to know the nanny you're entrusting your kids with. It can be good advice to stay for a week to interact and orient the nanny before you leave them on their own. An extra precaution of getting a nanny cam you can monitor remotely can work too!
  • Affordability - usually, based on prevailing rates and experience, live-out nannies can be 30% to 60%  more than the live-in nanny rate, sometimes double if you're hiring them through an agency.