Primarily, it’s a way of affording a nanny.
Nanny care is amazing for children. It promotes secure attachment, which is essential for later mental health, and it means care can be totally tailored to the children’s needs. If a child is feeling a bit ill, they can have a quiet chilled day. Full of energy? They can go to the park. Kept the parents awake all night? The nanny can move nap times around to improve the situation. Run out of nappies? The nanny will pick some up on the way home from the park. Kid loves animals? The nanny can frequent a local city farm. Nasty cough? The nanny can sort out the doctor’s appointment and take care of the child from start to finish. Language delay? The nanny can do some research on strategies to help the toddler develop, and focus lots of attention on the child’s linguistic needs. In short, nannies offer tailored, personal attention.
Nanny care is also amazing for the parents. Parents can text to say they’re running late, can have the nanny babysit in the evenings, and can ask the nanny to take over many of the ‘nursery duties’ like sorting out the kids’ clothes and toys. Having a nanny can help parents get their lives back under control.
However, all of this comes at a cost. In London, an experienced nanny can cost £35,000-40,000 per year, or even more (including all taxes).
For many families, then, nanny share is a way to afford a nanny.
But nanny share isn’t just about a more affordable nanny. It also brings additional benefits to the children. Growing up alongside another child is great for children’s emotional and social development. Children learn to share, take turns, and resolve conflict by having another child around, just as they would in a natural family grouping. There are also linguistic and cognitive benefits of having another child around (even for babies!). You can read more about the child development benefits of a nanny share here, here and here.