Nanny Share Care Arrangements: 4 Tips to Setting Up Payroll

Chirp Connecting Families and Nannies

When it comes to setting up a payroll account for a nanny share care arrangement, a few tips can save lots of heartache downline!  Here’s 4 Tips to get you started right:

#1  Each family needs to set up their own payroll account to compensate their nanny at 50% of the agreed-on hourly rate to include overtime.  This rate must be at least the minimum hourly rate so check your city and county for exact rates.  In San Francisco the minimum rate is $12.25, effective July 2016.

#2  The contract should include the hourly rates for those hours when the nanny is caring for both children, i.e. 50% of the agreed on hourly ‘share care rate’ and the hourly rate when a nanny is caring for only one of the children, i.e. the ‘single child-only rate’.

#3  If a nanny is caring for one of the children part of the week in a shared arrangement and part in a non-share care arrangement, e.g. 20 hours as share care and 20 hours as single child, payroll must reflect the different hourly rates for work performed.

#4  Keep in mind that any overtime will be based on the ‘blended’ rate, i.e. if your nanny is working over 9 hours a day then she is paid overtime based on the average of both the share care and the single child only rate.  Overtime is to be paid for all hours over 9 / day or 40 hours/week.

My Home Pay is an expert in setting up payroll for share care arrangements.  Here’s a great article from their blog on the subject:



4 Financial Reasons to Consider Share Care

If you haven’t yet heard of Share Care, you’re missing out on a popular trend. Share Care is when two families share the cost of a single Nanny. This Nanny cares for the children in one or both of the family’s homes, and the families then split the cost of the Nanny’s salary. Sound good? It is. Not only is share care a great way for children to interact with each other and learn how to get along from a young age, it’s a financially viable option for many families who may be unable to afford a private Nanny for their kids.

Read on to discover 4 financial benefits of Share Care. 

  1. Salary: With hourly rates for Nannies easily topping $20, some families may be unable to pay $800 + per week for 40 hours of childcare, but could probably afford half the Share Care rate of $26-30/hour if they shared a Nanny with another family.
  2. Benefits: Most families would love to give their beloved Nanny the benefits she deserves, such as medical and dental insurance, and even make contributions to the Nanny’s retirement account. But even if families have the best intentions, other financial obligations can get in the way of Nanny benefits. With Share Care, families can split the cost of these benefits for the Nanny, ensuring that she’s well taken care of, yet without a significant burden on either family’s bank account.
  3. Nanny car: Sometimes parents provide a car for the Nanny to use while taking care of the kids. If you share a Nanny with another family, it could be convenient and cost effective if one of the two families has a Nanny car available. This way, one family would reimburse the other family for half the cost of  gas/wear/tear on the use of their Nanny car at the current government rates. If neither family has a Nanny car, you could split the cost of reimbursing the Nanny for costs incurred on her own vehicle if she uses it during her work hours.
  4. Telephone: Another expense parents sometimes forget is a Nanny phone. Whether you provide a cell phone to be used during work hours, or you reimburse your Nanny for calls and texts made on behalf of your family, splitting the cost of a phone bill with another family is just another great reason why you should consider Share Care.

Want to learn more about Share Care? Mark your calendars for one of the two upcoming workshops where Chirp will share secrets on how this type of arrangement can work for your family.


What: Hiring a Nanny: Challenges and Solutions, presented for Golden Gate Mother’s Group

When: Wednesday, October 14th, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Sports Basement Presidio, 610 Mason St., San Francisco


What: Creating Share Care Arrangements that Work

When: Thursday, November 19th, 6:00 to 7:30

Where: Natural Resources, 1367 Valencia St., San Francisco

 Photo credit: Travis Swan/flickr


Seven Steps to Hiring a Nanny with the Right Qualities

Chirp Connecting Families and Nannies LLC

You’ve made the momentous decision to hire a caregiver for your child. But now what? How do you ensure that you will find a qualified nanny who will seamlessly blend with your parenting style and family values?

Choosing the right nanny for your child can be a stressful and time consuming endeavor. But arming yourself with a step-by-step plan can be the key that leads to peace of mind, knowing that you have matched the ideal candidate with the most important person in your life—your child.

Here, seven Chirp-recommended steps to ensure you find a nanny perfectly suited to you and your family.

1. Evaluation of Need: What do you want in a nanny? Consider practical aspects such as her schedule and responsibilities as well as the personal qualities you’d like your nanny to possess. Write them down in order of importance.

2. Getting the Word Out: Let the world know that you are searching for a qualified caregiver for your child. Ask relatives friends and colleagues for leads, and post notices in local mother’s groups, online and with college and university job offices.

3. Prescreening: Before you meet the candidates in person, conduct brief telephone or email interviews to determine suitability. Request that resumes, letters of recommendation, certificates of education and background check clearances be emailed for your review.

4. Interview Process: Choose the top 3 to 5 candidates from the prescreening process and evaluate them for a fit with your family. Use your instincts as well as evaluating her past work to make the final decision. After all, you want a nanny who will feel like part of the family.

5. Trial Period: Though the trial period is scheduled and paid, it is a time when both the nanny and family determine whether the arrangement will work long term. During this time, your nanny will obtain CPR/First Aid training, TB testing and complete background check requirements.

6. Contract: If she is a fit for your family at the end of the trial period, offer her a contract. Sit down at a formal closure meeting to review emergency procedures, review employment documents and to review and sign the contract.

7. Performance Reviews: For the first few weeks, conduct a weekly discussion about your child’s care with your nanny to ensure that you both feel comfortable with the situation. Once you are confident in your nanny’s abilities, formal discussions can be held monthly or quarterly.

For a more detailed explanation of the Seven Steps to Hiring a Nanny with the Right Qualities, click here.

Photo credit Simon Blackley


Hiring a Nanny: Challenges and Solutions

Chirp: Connecting Families and Nannies

Whether you’ve just had your first child, you’re going back to work, or you simply need assistance with the day to day chaos of raising children, the time may be right to consider hiring a nanny. It may sound simple, but the fact is, hiring a nanny to care for your children in your absence may be one of the most important decisions you can make in your family’s life. After all, you want the nanny to be an excellent caregiver who not only adheres to your parenting style, but whom your kids will trust and come to love as part of the family.

But what considerations should be made in attempting to find a nanny? One of the challenges is the sheer number of questions you must ask and answer in the process, many of which you may never have thought of. For example, what kind of nanny arrangement will suit your family best? Will the nanny’s job description include housework or errands? Will the nanny receive health benefits, paid holidays, sick days? Would you prefer a nanny of a certain race or religion? These and many, many more probing questions must be addressed as you go about your search for a nanny to ensure your family ends up with a good fit. Chirp has ample experience helping parents consider these important decisions and assists families step by step through the nanny hiring process. We utilize a 15 page workbook filled with questions about what you’re looking for in a childcare arrangement, questions for the potential nanny, and information about the hiring process in general. To take a look at this nanny selection workbook, click here.

For a more in-depth look at how to hire a nanny, check out “Nannies For Modern Moms,” a book by Chirp’s founder Alyce Desrosiers.



What happens if I get a negative reference on a nanny I want to hire?

When a parent calls a nanny’s references they usually expect to hear how wonderful, loving, responsible and collaborative the nanny has been in their working relationships*.  Why else would a nanny use that employer as a reference?  So what happens when you call and the previous employer says something like this:

I’m very reluctant to give just a glowing recommendation for Maria.  Maria was wonderful with our daughter and she was a great family assistant.  But there were times when she didn’t do what I asked her to do and then she was very defensive when I talked to her about it.   She also was late several times and dismissed it as nothing important.  When I needed her to have more flexibility in her schedule she wouldn’t be available and ultimately I couldn’t depend on her. 

With this information in hand, you begin to question Maria’s character and work ethic. You may also question your own judgment.  Did you miss something when interviewing Maria?  Are you foolish to hire a nanny that has this type of blemish on her employment record?

These situations never offer straightforward, immediate and simple solutions or answers.  They most often require a brief time to separate emotion from fact before acting.

Here are a few important fundamentals you may find helpful:

  • What is the purpose of the reference?  Parents can forget that references provide an opportunity to evaluate a nanny for what she does well and where she may need support.  References are not one-sided opinions.  In fact getting a recommendation for a nanny that gives insight into her strengths and weaknesses is a good one.
  • How much of another’s experience with a nanny indicates character and how much is situational.  If a nanny doesn’t get the dishes done or laundry folded is it because she can’t manage her time, is lazy, disorganized or sloppy – or is it that the responsibilities with the children consume her day.
  • How much of another’s experiences with a nanny is idiosyncratic to that relationship or consistent in all relationships?  The nanny/parent/child relationship is complex and raising kids adds stress to the mix.  What happens in one relationship may not necessarily happen in another.
  • Recommendations are one-sided opinions until the other party corroborates them.   Unless you have the opportunity to hear from the nanny about her experience and understanding about the situation, it is a one-sided opinion.
  • Even when the relationship between a parent and nanny is warm and supportive, caring for a child often stirs up strong feelings.  It isn’t uncommon for parents – or for nannies – to compete for a child’s affections or for the best solution to handle a behavioral challenge.

 handling negative references: 3 key steps

  1. Talk with other references and compare experiences.  Focus the discussion on those areas about which you need more information and a better understanding.   Have they experienced the nanny in similar ways as the parent giving the negative recommendation?
  2. Examine your situation and determine the relative risk of having a similar experience?   Will the nanny face similar challenges in her work experience with you?
  3. Know yourself:  Have you had problematic relationships with others having similar character traits?  Perhaps there are some characteristics of others that inevitably create friction and are difficult for you to manage.

As most nannies and parents recognize, developing a positive relationship between them is critical in providing quality care to the children.  If the nanny-parent relationship is healthy then caring for the children can be enjoyable and mutually satisfying.

* References are a piece in the complex puzzle of knowing who a person is, how they care for children and the type of relationship they tend to develop with others.   Parents should do due diligence in gathering and evaluating all the required documents to support their felt experiences during interviews, including testing/training and background checks.  You may want to review Chirp’s comments on what these requirements are in our blog:  What are the Health, Safety and Background Checks Requirements for Nanny Employment? 

**Remember:  Any comments from references indicating child abuse/neglect, drug/alcohol abuse or allegations of criminal history should be taken seriously and not questioned.  



In-home Caregivers provide care for children in the child’s home. In addition to family childcare providers, relatives and friends (kith and kin), the definition includes nannies, au pairs, doulas, mother’s helpers and babysitters The types of arrangements parents create include full-time, part-time, temporary, nights or weekend care, share-care with another family, live-in or live out.   Parents create in-home childcare arrangements based on their child’s age, family lifestyle and work commitments.

baby nurse and post-partum doulas

Post-Partum Doulas and Baby Nurses provide postpartum care to both mother and baby.  Their responsibilities include care for the newborn, parenting advice and guidance in the care of the newborn, breastfeeding support and advice, cooking, errands, and light housecleaning


According to the International Nanny Association (INA) a nanny is someone who comes into a parent’s home and provides individual loving, responsible and nurturing childcare. A nanny can be live-in or live out, full-charge with both parents working outside the home or in partnership with a stay-at-home parent. The actual responsibilities are unique to each family but most often include full care for the child, the housekeeping related to the child, running errands as needed and keeping the house in the same order it is usually in.

mother’s helper

A mother’s helper assists a stay-at-home mom with childcare and managing the daily household responsibilities.


A babysitter provides childcare, generally for a few hours at a time during evenings and weekends.


An au-pair is a European woman between the age of 18-25 years who comes to the U.S. under the auspices of a program managed by the U.S. Information Agency (USIA).  Au-pairs are under contract for one year to provide a maximum of 45 hours/week of childcare for children over 3 months of age in exchange for the cultural experience of living in the U.S. and a small salary (approximately $1,600 per month including room and board).  Parents pay an agency fee (approximately $3,500), transportation to bring the au-pair to the U.S. and a return ticket home at the end of the au-pair’s year contract.