It was during her antenatal classes
The Wellington mum liked the idea of having in-home care. She discussed the concept with her antenatal class friend, Emma Hay - mum to Jasper.
“I was looking for an educator and then Emma and I researched a little further and realised between us we could share a nanny,” says Elizabeth, who now works full time.
During the interview process, the pair found nanny, Sam Steer, was the perfect fit.
“Elizabeth and I got together to discuss what we both wanted in respect of childcare and how we would want our boys to be looked after in our absence,” Emma says. “PORSE gave us advice on interviewing and provided all of the applicants’ CVs. When we met Sam, it felt just right and we knew she was the one for us.”
Sam had just finished a six-year nanny share contract and was well adept at what it took to make this type of childcare option work – great communication, organisation and flexibility.
Sam has always been a nanny and prefers to work in other people’s homes rather than her own.
“My home is not set up for children,” Sam says. “My partner does shift work and on his days off it would be tough to have young children in the home.”
It was agreed Elizabeth’s home would be the best place to be based. She has a lovely back garden for the kids to play in and it’s walking distance from Lyall Bay Beach, the park and the airport, and Jasper loves aeroplanes.”
It wasn’t long after Elizabeth and Emma set up the nanny share, before Charlotte Blake, who’d met Elizabeth at work, asked if she could join. She needed care for her daughter, Georgia Hollings, on a Monday which fitted perfectly when Jasper was away. This met the in-home policy of caring for two children under the age of two at the same time. This means Sam has space for another child.
Another bonus was that all three children were the same age.
“They go through the same things at the same time. They can all learn from each other,” says Sam of the 20 month olds. “It’s like having siblings.”
All the families agreed to pay an equal hourly rate, for the time their child is with Sam, as all felt they were getting an equal amount of care.
Sam’s sole responsibility is to provide a childcare programme for the three tots. She is not required to do any additional work at Elizabeth’s house.
“From the start I was told no housework,” Sam says. “There are times when I will bring in the washing, prepare a meal for the children, and any mess they make, I deal with it.”
Sam also helps with the children’s pick-ups and drop-offs during the week.
Charlotte says Sam has been great in accommodating the share. “She collects and drops off Georgia every Monday to spend the day with Adam.”
For a nanny share to work, these three mums believe all parents must have the same expectations, and agree on the programme provided.
“It helps a lot when the parents have a good friendship and communicate well so we all know what is going on. There is a bond between us all that just works,” Sam says.
And while Adam is “besties” with Jasper and Georgia, soon the three might all get to know each other. Currently Sam is only able to care for two children under two, however, when the trio turn two it’s possible they can all be looked after together.
“I’ve discussed this with the parents, however, it’s a case of wait and see whether this works for all the families,” Sam says.
“Having your child in a home environment and the focused attention of one carer, is important to us and we feel it is the best alternative if you need to go back to work,” Elizabeth says.
“Getting amazing, quality childcare which allows me to return to work without any concerns, and knowing that Adam is getting the best possible care is worth every cent for me.”
Charlotte and Emma agree.
“Georgia gets all the benefits of one-on-one care, while also being able to interact with another little person her age,” Charlotte says. “I feel so much more relaxed about going to work.”
Emma adds: “I feel totally safe and secure in the knowledge that Jasper is with Sam. Having a nanny share gives you the option to have practically one-on-one care at half the cost and the boys get to go out to all kinds of places such as playgroups, the zoo, the beach, and the airport!”