Hiring a Live-in Nanny
November 12, 2004 5:33 AM   Subscribe

Anyone ever hired a live-in nanny?
posted by adampsyche to Work & Money (16 answers total)
this happens a lot here in (middle/upper-class) chile. we don't have one (or any other "help"), but most of our friends do. i'm not sure it's anything like in the usa though - do you have young women ready to live with a family in exchange for board, lodging, and a small allowance?

is there any more to the question?
posted by andrew cooke at 6:10 AM on November 12, 2004

Response by poster: Well, not sure how it works, honeslty. Looking for someone to occupy a finished basement (will put in a shower stall, it has a toilet already), pay cheap rent, and help get my youngin' from school, quick dinner, like an hour or two a night, tops. Maybe a bit on the weekends.

I have no idea if this is feasible or not, because most people that I know who have had nannies paid them outright, free board, but they were also full time. But I will be needing some help with the mortgage, and will need some help with my son as well. All utilities would be included, free Internet, unlimited phone (thank you, VoIP), etc. Am I way off the mark, or is this doable?
posted by adampsyche at 6:14 AM on November 12, 2004

here, at least, if you're a live-in nanny, you're pretty much on call, 24 hours a day, 6 hours a week. (for your delight here's a cringeworthy web site - minana.cl) - but i guess you need americans to answer.

one point that might be relevant - am i correct in assuming that you're single? sounds like you're more aiming at a kind of coummunal living arrangement than a nanny (or something inbetween the too). maybe that is a different direction to start from? find another single parent and share chores? or perhaps you could find, say, a student studing something related, who would be willing to help out for free board. maybe that's way off. sorry...
posted by andrew cooke at 6:25 AM on November 12, 2004

I've looked into this on the other side of the equation and I think it depends on what you mean by 'cheap rent.' Most nanny situations (as you mention) that are live-in involve free rent and a stipend. I don't think I've ever run across a live-in part-time job. Perhaps you could find the right person to fit the bill...just be aware that the situation isn't of the norm.
posted by amandaudoff at 6:26 AM on November 12, 2004

How exactly do you expect this person to pay rent if you're only offering an hour or two a day of employment? I think you've confused two completely different needs: You want a tenant to pitch in with the mortgage. You want a couple hours a day of nannying.

You might find someone willing to put in the 10 hours a week, but the chances that person will also want to be a tenant are pretty slim.
posted by majick at 6:27 AM on November 12, 2004

To put it somewhat more bluntly: You want someone to watch your kid and pay you for the privilege.
posted by majick at 6:28 AM on November 12, 2004

Response by poster: I guess I was assuming that since it was part time, that the person would have other time to pursue another job. School. Something like that. Maybe I do need to just find a roomate, and see if they wouldn't mind babysitting here and there.

If I'm way off, it's because I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. Yes, single.
posted by adampsyche at 6:30 AM on November 12, 2004

Response by poster: To put it somewhat more bluntly: You want someone to watch your kid and pay you for the privilege.

Um, no. I would offer cheap rent and pay for the time that they spend with the kid.
posted by adampsyche at 6:31 AM on November 12, 2004

I know several nannies. I'm quite certain none of them would accept an offer of employment that included limited hours on top of a requirement to pay rent.

If you're very, very lucky, you'll find a person in a situation that your offer fits perfectly. It can't hurt to ask around -- stranger things have happened. But don't be surprised if you get few or no responses, because to someone who nannies for a living, your offer's going to look pretty unattractive.
posted by majick at 6:48 AM on November 12, 2004

Response by poster: Well, ok. Maybe I shouldn't think of it as a nanny, but as a roomate who would babysit here and there. Does that make it look any more attractive? I mean, part time means that they can keep/get another job.
posted by adampsyche at 6:53 AM on November 12, 2004

I think this would work for a student in grad or professional school. I know a few people who have lived in arragements like this (or close). The key is that rent has to be cheap enough to offset the work. Say, if you'd pay someone $10 an hour to babysit, and it's 10 hours a week, or $400 a month, you'd still have to improve on the rent reduction. So if the apartment would normally go for $800, you'd have to make the deal for under $400 so that the tenant has the incentive to organize their day around your child's schedule. Make certain that the number of hours that is included in this deal is outlined - if it's 10 hours a week, anything above that would be paid for separately.

If you live in a place with a college and/or university, try posting through their education departments first, or through their international students' listserv. Both would have populations that would be interested in one part of the deal inherently (kids or cheap rent), and you'd definitely get a few that would be interested in both. This isn't really a case for a 'professional nanny' as some have mentioned above. That means you might not have someone with nanny references, but they'd likely be just as capable and willing to do these sorts of tasks. Good luck!
posted by fionab at 7:03 AM on November 12, 2004

The more I think about it, the more an international student would be ideal. We can't work off-campus in the US, so part-time, well-paying jobs are out. We are not eligible for many sources of funding (funded grad programs are different, but for master's and non-funded programs, we're generally SOL), and we don't have our families around which makes it both lonely and gives us more time (we don't have obligations which local students have). Things like rent reduction would go a long way for an international student. Also, many international students are used to caregiving for both elderly and younger family members. Plus, your kid would be exposed to someone from another culture/country and possibly language! As long as the student has a DL if driving is necessary, I think you should seriously consider it.
posted by fionab at 7:27 AM on November 12, 2004

How about phrasing it as an advertisement for a roommate who can provide some prearranged childcare services in exchange for a reduction in rent?

If the hours that you need childcare are consistent then you might well be able to find an agreeable grad student or something of the sort, but otherwise it might be hard for this individual to arrange another job around your changing needs.

Have you considered entering into some kind of babysitting barter arrangement with other neighborhood parents? They take care of your child at certain times and you take care of their children at certain times? I have a friend who does this with great success, and no money has to change hands. Of course she did have to buy a minivan to haul the extra kids.

One more possibility: in my town the local YMCA offers before-school and after-school childcare. You drop off your child on your way to work and they provide care until the school bus arrives. After school your child takes the bus to the Y, and they have activities to do there until you get back from work. It's quite reasonable (at least compared to fulltime daycare) and it might be a good solution for you.
posted by Songdog at 7:41 AM on November 12, 2004

My parents did this (to provide care for my very young siblings) when I was in college. Our family went through three part-time helpers in the space of just a few years. I will say up front that "a roommate who would babysit here and there" makes the "job" more attractive but also makes it less of a job. The less you do to undermine the "job" aspects of caring for your child in this way, the more reliable your childcare will be. Feel free to email me to talk about specifics.
posted by caitlinb at 8:13 AM on November 12, 2004

I agree with the posters above that a nanny is not what you're looking for. I did short-term nannying stints when I was traveling around the world, and I can tell you that nannies are looking for good money with no rent, and they can usually get it.

It sounds like you need a student - someone who is looking for cheap rent and has a flexible enough schedule to take care of your kid. As a former international student, I really agree with fionab's suggestion of targeting that demographic.

You might also consider dividing the two roles and look for a tenant and a babysitter separately. That way you might be able to increase the quality of both the tentant and the babysitter rather than trying to find a desirable person from the relatively small pool of candidates who fit both bills. I agree with caitlinb's comments above about the level of commitment you can expect from an 'occasionally babysitting' tentant.

In college, I worked as a babysitter and catered to the working parents - in other words, picking up their kids from school, fixing a snack (if not dinner), and supervising homework until the parents came home. Usually the hours were 330-6p. This is 10 years ago now, but I think I charged $10/hr.
posted by widdershins at 10:01 AM on November 12, 2004

you live in new york city, right?

i'm sure someone needs a place bad enough to be willing to do it for you.

these types of ads seemed to be pretty common in berkeley/sf while i was living there.

you've got the rental shortage on your side, baby.

posted by fishfucker at 12:33 PM on November 12, 2004

« Older OS X claims a 200 GB Maxtor external drive has...   |   Ladies: how would you interpret it if a man didn't... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.