Many live-in nanny employers, even those who manage people for a living, find that managing a live-in household employee is a challenging task. Live-in nanny employers must establish a professional but friendly, warm but distant, familial but not, kind of relationship with their child’s caregiver and housemate.  Striking the perfect balance can certainly be tricky, but with open and honest communication and the establishment of appropriate boundaries, a lasting, special friendship can be forged.

For live-in nanny employers, clearly communicating their expectations for their employee both as a nanny and as a housemate can make managing their employee easier. Having an employee handbook is an effective way to present all of the information your live-in caregiver needs to be successful. With an employee handbook, you can provide your live-in nanny with a copy of her contract, job description, duties, responsibilities, house rules, emergency contact information and any additional information all in one place. Having your live-in nanny sign an acknowledgement that she’s received the handbook and read it can help to ensure that you area on the same page.

Having weekly meetings can also make employee management easier. When live-in nannies and their employers set aside time each week to meaningfully connect, they have the opportunity to share concerns, ask questions and work together to resolve issues that may have come up during the week.

As with any relationship, the sooner problems are addressed, the sooner they are resolved, and when employers and employees live together, quick resolutions are required. Unresolved issues can be a breeding ground for hard feelings and resentment. Creating an environment where open and honest communication is valued can help live-in nannies feel comfortable approaching their employers about anything.

Boundaries often help keep live-in nanny and employer relationships strong. Live-in nannies should have their off duty hours respected, and during those hours the nanny should be free to do as she wishes. While it’s tempting to ask detailed questions about how a live-in nanny spends her off duty time, employers should avoid asking their nannies for minute by minute replays of how their evening off has gone. In the same regards, employers should refrain from discussing their financial situations and marriage relationship with their live-in nannies.

For live-in nannies and employers to have healthy relationships, mutual respect is required. Employers should support their live-in nannies with regards to her interactions with the children, and if there are concerns they should be addressed in private. Employers should also respect their live-in nannies personal space and living quarters, time off and privacy if they wish the relationship to work out long-term.

Since live-in nannies depend on their employers for housing, in addition to a paycheck, employers should always be considerate and avoid making their live-in nanny feel like an unwanted guest. If a live-in nanny must be let go due to a change in the family’s situation and nothing the nanny has done, they should take a supportive role and assist the nanny as she transitions out of the home.

10 Common Trends For Live-In Nanny Employers

There tend to be trends in the nanny world, just like there are in many other job arenas. These trends tend to move up and down, some staying pretty constant over the years and others having small peaks and then giving way to the newest fad. Here are some of the common trends that have been noted among employers of live-in nannies.

  1. Nanny Sharing. To make for a more economical arrangement and still have the benefit of a live-in nanny, some employers are opting for nanny sharing. These arrangements can work several different ways depending on the needs of the two families involved. The live-in employer may arrange for the children of another family to be cared for in their home or they may allow the nanny to work part time for another family as a live-out nanny.
  2. Summer Nannies.  Employing live-in nannies for school age children during the summer months is a very common trend. It is a great convenience for the parents.
  3. College Nannies.  This has been a long-standing trend for live-in nannies, probably because women in this age bracket are less likely to have started a family of their own yet. This makes them more available to serve in a live-in situation.
  4. Work-at-Home Parents.  More work-at-home parents are becoming employers of live-in nannies. They can keep their children at home with them and still be able to focus on their work while the nanny is in charge. Since many of them work a more flexible schedule, a live-in nanny situation can be ideal.
  5. Educated Nannies. A fairly new trend for live-in nannies is to look for nannies with a higher level of education than was previously expected. This trend seems to be a desire for a higher level of cultural influence for their children.
  6. Niche Nannies. Nannies who specialize in caring for multiples or caring for special needs children are always in demand.
  7. Nanny/Household Managers. Employers with older children who have hired live-in nannies are now considering transitioning their nanny into a household manager role during the hours the children in school.
  8. Nanny/Housekeepers. Live-in nannies who enjoy housekeeping may pick up additional hours with their employers performing general housekeeping duties while the children aren’t in their care.
  9. Separate Housing. Some families, especially those who live in cities, offer their nanny a separate but close townhouse or apartment, rather than a private bedroom and bath.
  10. Housekeeping. Families who employ a housekeeper arrange for the housekeeper to also clean the nanny’s living quarters.

Different areas of the country will have different trends with regards to live-in nannies. Each family needs to choose a nanny based first and foremost on their qualifications and if they have a personal connection, rather than any current trends among other families.