A live in nanny’s space
Live in nannies offer great flexibility and be cheaper than a live out nanny, but do you have enough space for another adult living in your home?
Unlike an au pair a live in nanny is not part of the family. She (or he) will probably want to clock off at finishing time and spend their weekends independent of you. This means she may want to prepare her own meals at different times to you, use the bathroom after a leisurely lie in on a Saturday morning or have friends over. It also means she’s likely to be spending a significant amount of time in her room so it needs to be somewhere relatively spacious and comfortable.
If you’re reading this and panicking because you don’t like in a mansion, don’t worry. There are some simple things you can using your existing space to better advantage.
If you only have one family bathroom then your nanny will have to share. If you have a room with an en suite consider giving that room to your nanny (unless it’s the only room that can fit a double bed), as you’re less likely to be disturbed and they can be more private. Otherwise you nanny can share a bathroom with the children but you need to uphold your end of the bargain and only use your bathroom, which if your en suite only has a shower may wear thin after a while.
Be creative with your use of the space. You can get all kinds of bed/storage solutions – remember that you nanny will be bringing everything she needs for every season with her. Unlike au pairs she probably won’t need a desk, but she’ll appreciate a comfy chair. Most nannies these days have a laptop or tablet and watch their favourote shows or films on catch-up or using netflix so there’s no need to find space for a TV. A full length mirror is usually appreciated, and if you don’t want things stuck to the walls provide a pin-board. Keep decoration and linen fairly neutral so your nanny can easily put her personal stamp on her room.
The living room
However nice you make your nanny’s bedroom she won’t want to stay in it all the time. If your children have a playroom then offer her that space to use in the evenings, if not then set out your expectations about the living room. It’s reasonable for you to want to have some couple/family time too.
This can be the trickiest room in the house to share. Nannies often eat with their charges, but at weekends you need to decide whether you’re offering your nanny the option to eat with you or not. If not then it’s important to let her know when it’s okay for her to use the kitchen, particularly if you prefer to take over the entire room to prepare elaborate meals! Allocate your nanny a shelf in the fridge or freezer for her food, or better yet put a mini fridge into her room. You can also provider her with a kettle to make a cup of tea or coffee so she doesn’t need to come down in her PJs if she fancies a cuppa.
Before making the decision to have a live in nanny, first thing about how you’ll use the space to accommodate someone else living in your home. When you get the right person it can be a brilliant choice!