An essential element in creating a nanny share is finding the right partner family. If you’ve done your due diligence and considered a few families (and used our checklist to determine the right fit), the next step is to sit down together. At Guidepost at Home, this is an essential step in our family matching process. This is not a formal interview, but rather a chance for all parties to interact in a comfortable environment in order to determine compatibility. And it should be fun! We realize the idea of sitting down with another family for the first time might feel like an awkward first date. But remember that you already have a lot in common—you're all parents!
And don’t forget to bring the little ones! This meeting is a great opportunity to see if there is chemistry between the families. After all, you’re looking for your new village and your little one’s best friend.
The goal is to have both families and babies as comfortable as possible, so it’s ideal to meet at someone’s home rather than out at a public place where there could be distractions (you’re not going to have a productive conversation if you’re chasing your little one around a coffee shop).
If you’ve already discussed which family would likely host the nanny share, then it’s best to hold the meeting at their home. If you’ve decided you’d like to split hosting, then pick one home to start with and hold a follow-up meeting at the other home.
Again, this isn’t a formal interview but rather a chance to get to know each other. During the family matching process at Guidepost at Home, we recommend the agenda below to help the conversation flow.
- Choose a facilitator
- Make basic introductions
- Ask and answer match questions
- Take a tour of the home
- Plan a follow-up meeting and/or call
You’ll notice we haven’t listed out logistics. At this point, you should have already discussed hosting versus dropping off and know where each family lives and how it will work with your commute. Getting into the nitty gritty of schedules and drop can wait. For this meeting, try to stay focused on getting to know each other.
The Facilitator Factor
At Guidepost at Home, we always recommend that the families choose a facilitator to help the meeting stay on track. Having a facilitator is not meant to formalize the meeting, but rather to make sure everyone has an opportunity to ask all of their questions. This person will also make sure each agenda item is covered by helping the group move on to the next question when possible. And if the meeting needs to end by a specific time, the facilitator will be responsible for keeping time in check.
The facilitator will guide the group in the agenda. If there are other questions that come up or if the conversation goes off on a tangent, that's totally fine! The questions we’ve put together are meant to help the conversation flow naturally. Again, you’re trying to get to know each other, so don’t put limits on the conversation.
Starting with the basics is a good way to open the conversation. Have each family take a few minutes to introduce themselves. You can cover where you grew up, where you work, your parenting journey so far and more.
Now it’s time to dive into some questions around your personality, your parenting style and most importantly, the little ones! Focus on areas like what you do for fun, why you want to do a nanny share, what your screen time and outside play preferences are and more. Take turns having each person answer each question.
We've crafted a list of questions for you in our First Meeting Guide to help get the conversation started!
Tour the Home
Now it’s time to take a look around and make sure everyone is comfortable with the little ones being cared for in the home. If you’ve decided to split hosting, then make sure to set up another meeting where you can conduct this same tour of the other home.
Here are the most important areas to cover:
- Where the children would spend most of their time (living room, a playroom etc)
- Any outside areas the kids might spend time
- Where the babies would sleep
- Storage options for the drop off family (where they could keep diapers, changes of clothes, etc)
- The kitchen (cover bottle prep and storage, where the kids would eat, where the drop off family could store snacks and meals)
- Baby proofing elements
Make a Follow-Up Plan
Before you part ways, make sure you have a solid plan for next steps. If you plan on alternating homes for care, then make sure to set up another meeting to tour the other home. If not, schedule a follow-up call within a week. This will give both families some time to think through the meeting, their chemistry with the other family and if their parenting styles would match well for a nanny share. (And it also gives you plenty of time to gush over how cute the little ones were together!)
If you’ve decided that the match isn’t ideal for you, then make sure to let the other family know in the scheduled call or ahead of the tour of the second home. Be as direct as possible—this is not a time to ghost! Yes, that conversation could be awkward, but remember this family is undergoing the same stressful childcare search that you are and will need to find another family if this isn’t a fit—it wouldn’t be right to leave them hanging.
If you’ve decided the match is a great fit for your family, then happily tell them! If they feel the same way, you can start planning the logistics of your share and the process of finding the perfect nanny for your little ones.
Here’s to finding your village!
Download our First Meeting Guide to get started!