How to Split Nanny Share Cost

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Some of the most common questions around splitting nanny share costs are:

  • How to divide up who pays what?
  • Does one family pay more based on hours?
  • Do you pay more if the care happens at your house?

When your child is at home during the day, there are always some expenses. Lunch supplies, energy consumption, you know the drill. Here are some ideas on how to fairly handle the different needs among families sharing a nanny.

Different Work Schedules

Sometimes one family will work longer days than the other, so will require more of the nanny's time. If one family needs the nanny for more hours than another, then that family should pay the nanny’s hourly rate for the extended time.

This is where a nanny contract will be important. You want to make sure the nanny is aware that her hourly rate for one family is different than the hourly rate for two families. If your nanny is used to getting $20/hour when caring for two kids, she may be surprised when she receives $15/hour for the extra time spent caring for only one child if you don't set expectations ahead of time.

Family Vacations

Inevitably, one family will go on vacation while the other family still needs the nanny. It’s best to treat vacations as you would if your child were in daycare: pay for 52 weeks a year.

Think of it this way: if your boss didn’t have as much work for you one week, would it be fair for her to reduce your paycheck? No. The same goes for your nanny. She has built her budget around receiving a certain amount each week and month. Anything less could significantly impact her bills and lifestyle.


The kids need to eat, and naturally your nanny will use each home’s pantry and fridge to feed them. If you are sharing the hosting responsibilities evenly, you can chalk this up to netting out fairly each week.

If one family hosts more than the other, the non-host family should regularly bring ingredients for meals and snacks for the kids, or provide the host family $20-30 each week for the cost of food.

Costs Outside the Home

It's possible that every once in awhile your nanny will concede when the kids beg for a snack at Starbucks. This shouldn’t come out of her pocket. Managing this type of cost works best when both families give her a weekly allowance to pay for outings and snacks along the way (staring with ~$20 is good). Whatever is left over can go towards the next week.


This is where a timesheet is going to be important. Whichever family exceeds the agreed upon hours is on the hook for the overtime rate (time and a half).

If both families work late here and there each week, and one family happens to pull an extra late night that brings her into the overtime zone, you’ll have to get out your calculators. Most likely, you’ll each pay the 1-child overtime rate for the nights she had your littles for the extra time, and split the 2-child overtime rate for the nights she had both kids.


In the event that only one family needs the nanny on a national holiday, your nanny should get paid for a normal work day and it should count toward the 40 hours for that week. Again, this is one of those costs you may just swallow to ensure you're taking good care of your nanny and keeping her happy.

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