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The lowdown on live-in summer nannies

Many families are faced with a summer childcare dilemma — the kids are out of school! How do you handle childcare for the summer? One great option is a full time live-in summer nanny. College students, particularly those who live on campus during the school year, are wonderful candidates. Keep reading to learn more about hiring a live-in summer nanny.


Arranging childcare for the summer when your kids are out of school can seem stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Candi Wingate, president of, shares some great information and tips with us for hiring a summer live-in nanny.

1 The basics

Before proceeding, consider the following:

  • Determine whether a summer live-in nanny is right for your family

“If you decide you want a live-in summer nanny, be aware that you provide her with a private bedroom and either a private or shared bathroom,” says Wingate. First determine whether you can accommodate this. Perhaps you’ll be giving up a guest room or office. Will this arrangement work for your family?

  • Scheduling

Determine your needs when it comes to hours. Do you need full time help or part time help? Wingate suggests discussing the hours you need early in the interview process. “If your schedule is not flexible, make sure she’s not taking summer classes that would interfere with your needs,” Wingate advises.

>> See what work-at-home moms can do for childcare

2 Why a summer live-in nanny versus a live-out?

There are some benefits to hiring a summer live-in nanny. For example, if one or both parents travel for work, your concerns about arranging overnight care are addressed. Other families want a nanny that can travel with them during the summer, says Wingate. Alternatively, if you wish to travel just as a family, having a live-in summer nanny means you won’t have to arrange housesitting or pet care.

While these are great conveniences, Wingate reminds you to honestly assess your needs for space and privacy. If you require family time and privacy on a regular basis, a live-in summer nanny probably isn’t a good match for your family.

>> In search of Mary Poppins: Choosing the right childcare for our child

3 Salary

One of the benefits of having a live-in summer nanny is the reduced cost of childcare. “Often, you can pay a live-in nanny less because you’re also providing room and board,” says Wingate. Research the going rate for both live-in and live-out nannies in your area so that you can determine whether the lower salary expense in relation to providing room and board is beneficial to your family.

As always, pay varies based on experience. Also, Wingate notes that a nanny who prefers to live out but is willing to live in to meet your requirements will expect the same salary.

4 Rules, rules, rules

Having a live-in nanny means you need to set reasonable rules. Are you willing to do this? You’re already a parent, but your live-in nanny will become a member of your household for the summer, so she needs to respect your house rules.

Wingate suggests addressing the following, at a minimum:

  • Curfew: Do you mind what time your nanny comes home at night during the week? Will you be lying in bed at 4:00 a.m., wondering whether she’s going to be too tired to care of the kids at 8:00 a.m. because she’s still not home? You don’t want to add more stress to your lives.
  • Drinking: If your nanny is over 21, are you comfortable with her consuming alcohol in your home?
  • Cleanliness: If you’re a very neat family, you want your live-in nanny to be neat, too. Do not skip over this issue!
  • Overnights: If your nanny has a significant other, are you comfortable with overnight guests at your home?

5 Where to find a summer live-in nanny

College students who live in the dorms are great candidates for a summer live-in nanny position. Other nannies are willing to take short-term live-in assignments. Consider the following sources for finding a live-in summer nanny:

  • An online services, such as or
  • Word of mouth — ask friends and neighbors
  • Place an ad in your local paper
  • Place an ad in the local college newspapers
  • Craig’s List — just be careful and be prepared to receive a lot of responses, many from unqualified candidates

more childcare tips

Setting babysitter expectations
How to find the perfect babysitter
Childcare transitions: Making daycare drop-off easier

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