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Hiring A Nanny: For the Single Mom

By Fran Trainer

For a single mom to have the loving and reliable childcare she desires, the nanny needs to be happy with her job. Nannies will frequently talk to each other about what is normal or customary in nanny jobs, and a positive experience is sometimes driven by perceptions. As a single mom you must be committed to having the nanny achieve a win-win working relationship. Following these guidelines will help insure a positive experience for both you and the nanny.

Rate: The rate to pay ranges from $300 or more per week.
Time: A live-in or live-out nanny position normally requires a maximum of 40 to 50 hours per week. A longer workweek calls for additional compensation.
Requirements for a Nanny: Your nanny needs a life away from the job. The optimal situation involves a regular business workweek, giving her evenings and Saturday and Sunday off.

Some Single Moms will try to get a nanny or two with a split schedule. It is rare that a split schedule actually works consistently from day to day or week to week. A split schedule is where for instance a family has 3 children who are in school from 9 to 3:00pm. The family hires a nanny to work 8 hours a day, 7 - 9 AM and 3 - 9 PM. Although total hours are reasonable, such a job schedule restricts the nanny's night-time or personal activities.

Live in nannies are happiest when they have reasonable time in the evenings and weekends for personal errands and activities. Their optimally, work should end by about 6:30 pm.

Due to some single mom's limited income and to the increase in a nannies pay over recent years some single parents are finding it more cost effective to share a nanny with another family. Essentially all this means is that your nanny has another job running concurrently with her employment with you. This is a situation which, if obtained, can work, but is sometimes an issue if there is a Nanny Agency involved, or for the nanny when it comes to taxes. It is important for all involved to consider fully the tax implications of the nanny having a second job.

Also, live-in nannies need reasonable access to a car during their hours off the job. The optimal situation would be to have a dedicated car for the nanny's use. However, if car sharing is necessary, the nanny should be able to get around without having to ask to use the car every time she goes out.

Live out nannies live away from the family home and are probably the most popular choice for single parents. This style of nanny arrives at work each morning and leaves every night thus working to a pre arranged set of hours. The only issues that can arise is when these live-out nannies become sick and stay at their own home while sick. Single parents then need to find an alternative childcare solution, such as a neighbor or relative.


Fran Trainer is a freelance writer for online magazines.

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