Monday, March 22, 2010

Hiring a Nanny

One of my readers asked me last week to write about hiring a nanny. I thought it was an interesting topic considering I don't currently have any children. The reason I decided to write about it anyway, is that my wife and I had already been discussing the use of a nanny in our future when the children do come.

Before looking at the financial aspects of this, I realize this is also a very personal decision. Can you trust leaving your children with someone you don't know intimately? Will they raise your children as well as the parents can? The answer to that will vary based on your situation and beliefs and is entirely up to you to decide.

I personally believe after 8 years in school, my wife wouldn't be happy as a stay at home mom. If your not happy as a parent, you're not doing your children any favours. As much as we want to believe that staying home with this children is all bonding moments, in reality it's a lot of cleaning, cooking, and discipline. In some cases the stay at home mom is expected to make extra income, such as with a daycare. With a nanny both parents can come home to relax and spend time with the children. Those "first" moments can then be experienced together.

On the financial side it's important to measure the cost of hiring the nanny. It obviously doesn't make sense to go back to work if the income from that work doesn't provide enough to cover the child care costs. What I like about the nanny is that they generally cover the other services that the stay at home mom provides, like cleaning and cooking. Daycare might be a more affordable option, but then when you come home you still need to cook and clean which means you're giving up time for money. Time in this case that you're losing with your children.

Having two working parents obviously provides more income which can reduce the financial stress on the family too. If you've ever grown up in a home with financial struggles you'll understand the effect that that can have on the children too. This can also alleviate some life insurance costs. If one parent passes away the family is not devastated. Although insurance on the death of both parents needs to be considered.

Not everyone is going to respect your decision to hire a nanny. In fact when I mentioned it to other people there is often a long awkward pause. Living like everyone else though will just leave us in debt like everyone else. Remember, only you know what's best for you and your family, so don't let other people make that decision for you.

So what do you think? Is it worth the cost to you?


  1. a nanny? are you crazy? why would you do that...when I'm around? :) Hiring a nanny makes sense for your family, but not for mine. I hope you have babies soon! Those are my thoughts! :)

  2. If we had a house with an extra room we would hire a nanny in a heartbeat... for all the reasons you've stated and more. I think it gives much more flexibility to both parents and as well it gives children more stability because things are constant.

  3. @FieryCanuck77: How are you going to clean our house, take care of our children, cook our meals all well taking care of your 4 little ones?

    @Amanda: I like the comment about being more stable. Live-out nanny might be an option for you or others without room.

  4. I was a nanny for 9 years for a single father. I had a only a room to myself with winnie the pooh wallpaper. His wife passed away a month before I came there so it was either get a live in nanny or move in with momma. He earned a good living and his house was paid for and he had a basement suite so there was no issue in paying me. I started there in 1988 and got 500.00 month including the use of a car. 9 years later when I left, I was still making the same amount. How disgusting is that. Anyways, i think if the parents are in a job that pays well and they have gone to school for or have been there a long time, getting a nanny might be worth it. But if you are getting a nanny at minimum wage and that is where all the money goes, then what is the point. I only trust myself with our kids so it was never a question for us. But people, if you do get a nanny...give them more than just a bedroom.

  5. Thanks for the post! I have a nanny coming within a month and while I am nervous about having someone new in my house (I'm sure within a few days of the nanny being here I'll be fine!), I am not worried about the welfare of my children, I know they are in great hands! My husband and I have chosen to work and our incomes come support a live-in nanny. I love my job and I truly believe that family and work can be balanced. When the nanny comes, I will have the peace of mind that I know my kids are at home and I don't have to cart them around to various babysitters, the stability it will give my family makes it worth it. My kids are going to be with a sitter 4 days a week, so why not make in your own home? Also, when I come home from work, I can send quality time with my family rather than scambling to get dinner ready, house cleaned etc. Thanks for letting me give my thoughts!

  6. We are also debating what type of child care would work best in our situation. We are both young professionals so it might make sense for us to get a nanny. Does anyone know what the monthly cost of a live-in nanny vs. a live-out nanny is?