We Love Our Nanny! How to Keep Her with Kids in School Now?

September 26, 2016

With the school year in full swing, you may find yourself in the position of needing to reduce your long time nanny’s hours. This can prove difficult for both of you, as you don’t want to lose the nanny you and your children love because you can’t provide them with full-time hours. Likewise, your nanny probably wants to stay with a family that they know and love. So what are some ways that you can ease the transition and keep your nanny once the school year starts?

How to Transition your Nanny to Fewer Hours and/or Responsibilities with Children in School Full-time

Start Talking About it Early

Your nanny knows how old your child is, and the older they get, they will see the writing on the wall and realise that your needs for them are going to be evolving. Instead of sweeping it aside until the time comes, be honest with your nanny. Sit them down and talk to them about what your expectations are, and what you anticipate you will be able to offer them in terms of hours, etc.

Fostering an open and honest relationship with your nanny will show them that you respect them, and make it more likely that they will want to do what they can to continue to work for you.

Your nanny will likely be aware of what is coming, and may have already given some thought to what their preference is in terms of how they might like to move forward with your working relationship.

Talk About Other Responsibilities

While your nanny may not have reduced responsibilities in terms of the amount of time that they will spend with your child, that doesn’t mean that they might not be open to taking on additional responsibilities within your home. Think about some of the jobs that you might like your nanny to do ahead of time, and sit down with them to discuss. Not every nanny will be open to taking on additional domestic work in your home, but it could serve as a potential compromise for all parties involved.

Consider Extra Hours

Another way that you can ease the transition of fewer daytime hours is by offering your nanny the opportunity for additional evening or weekend hours. Maybe you and your partner can make Thursday nights date night? Or your nanny can watch your kids for an extra hour in the evening so that you can go to the gym? By using your nanny outside of the normal 9-5 hours, you may find that the hours start to add up, and pretty soon the school year does not really mean a big reduction in pay for them after all.

Consider Keeping Their Pay

Part-time nannies can be very difficult to find and the hourly wage for part-time caregivers is often higher than full-time care. So one thing to consider is to continue to pay your nanny full-time hours. This ensures that they will be available to you for anything that may come up, including sick days, PD days, school vacations, etc. It will cost you more money in the long run, but particularly for families who do not have anyone else locally who can take their kids on short notice, it may end up being worth it for the peace of mind this arrangement will provide.

Consider a Transitional Period

If you can afford it, you may want to offer to continue to pay your nanny full-time hours for a certain time period. This will “reserve” their time for you, and will also emphasize to them how important they are to you and your family. Give your nanny a deadline by which they will need to find additional part-time work in order to pay their bills, at which point you will have to cut their hours down to part time.

Think Outside the Box- Nanny Sharing

There’s no way around the fact that once your kids are in school you will need your nanny for fewer hours, so their salary will go down. But there are still options you can consider. Nanny sharing is a great way to maintain your relationship with your nanny while making sure they are able to earn enough money to continue working for you.

If you can find an another family that requires a nanny, they may be willing to “share” the cost of the nanny with you. This will ensure that your nanny is able to continue to earn a full-time salary, but may also mean that both families can pay less for the same care.

Nanny Sharing Examples

Both these examples provide full-time pay for the nanny with a cost saving for the family.

Part time with 2 families

Share the nanny part time with another family i.e.: they have her from 10am-2pm and you have her from 2:30-6pm.

This situation always works well with neighbors.

Caring for 2 families at once

A second possibility is the nanny is shared and at times she is caring for more than one family at once. Some nannies like this because they can earn a higher hourly wage with both families paying them.

Be Understanding

If the suggestions above are not feasible for you and your nanny for whatever reason, then you may have to accept that your nanny will have to take on an additional job in order to make ends meet. Be honest with your nanny that you understand that they need to earn a certain amount of money in order to pay their bills, and you are supportive and willing to help them find part-time work, even including acting as a reference for them. If your nanny has been good to you and your family, they deserve your support.


Transitioning your nanny from full-time hours and pay to something less can be difficult for everyone. Nannies can often be torn when their hours and wages are reduced due to school age children. They really love your children and want to continue to watch them grow but they may not be able to afford a lower income. Being honest and open with the nanny is always best and highly recommended.

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