Decision-Time: Hire a Live-In Nanny?

Hiring a nanny has advantages and disadvantages, as we have discussed.  Hiring a live-in nanny adds an entirely new of pros and cons.


  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • Nanny won’t “miss the bus” or get stuck in traffic
  • Evening “babysitter” (on occasion, usually if you swap hours or pay overtime)
  • Less expensive (because you’re providing room and board)


  • Lack of space (challenges if you have a smaller home)
  • Giving up privacy
  • Nanny can’t “leave work behind”
  • Personal issues
  • Figuring out who disciplines the child when parents and the nanny are home
  • Kids might play favorites (“Mom, I want the nanny to put me to bed”!)

Weigh the pros and cons before you make the leap.  Discuss them thoroughly with your family.  And make a decision that’s right for you and your children.

Making the Leap

Should you make the leap and hire a nanny?

Before you do, it’s helpful to compare the plusses and minuses of hiring a nanny vs. other child care options, such as daycare.

In terms of advantages, hiring a nanny as many:

  • Children remain in a familiar location–their home.
  • Having a nanny eases the morning rush.  (Children can be stubborn, especially when they are half-awake at 7:30 a.m. in the morning.)
  • The child will receive more attention from his or her caregiver.  (Compare this to a daycare, where the ratio of caregivers to children might be 4:1 or worse.)
  • Some nannies may perform light household work–such as doing the child’s laundry, preparing snacks, and tidying up around the house.  That can make life easier for parents.

Having a nanny is not, however, without it’s disadvantages and challenges:

  • It’s expensive.  Indeed, the most expensive form of childcare.
  • Nanny taxes.  Yes, a nanny is considered an employee under federal and state law.  Legal compliance is an added burden and cost.
  • Sickness.  If a nanny is sick, parents are left scrambling to find care for the day.
  • Your nanny might quit on short notice–even with a good nanny employment agreement in place.  That leaves parents scrambling to find a new caregiver.
  • Lack of supervision.  Unlike at a large, licensed daycare, a nanny is largely unsupervised throughout the day.  While cases of nannies committing crimes or abusing child is rare, it occurs.

In sum, before you make the leap and hire a nanny, consider the advantages and disadvantages–it’s well worth it.